To Avoid the Biggest Investing Mistake, Stay Strong

(from Carl Richards’ in the 3/26/2013 New York Times – click here for the original post. Carl is a certified financial planner in Park City, Utah and director of investor education at the BAM Alliance. His book, “The Behavior Gap,” was published last year. His sketches are archived on the New York Times’ Bucks blog.) If you have been awake for the last five years, your investing experience has probably been anything but smooth. Scary markets like the one that bottomed out in March 2009 often cause us to do crazy things.… [read more]
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Hidden Risks

I’m occasionally asked why we don’t purchase individual bonds in client accounts.  This is typically posed by an incoming client with existing bonds purchased back when rates of 5% or higher were not uncommon.  It can seem like a no-brainer – loan a company money for a few years, receive a fixed interest payment and then cash out your original investment at a pre-determined date.  It’s not as risky as owning an individual stock, right?  Not necessarily. Today, the risk associated with any individual investment was called to attention when I learned a client’s bond, [read more]
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Who Advocates for the Future?

New York Times columnist and PBS NewsHour commentator David Brooks is someone whose opinion I always enjoy reading, regardless of how often I agree.  David recently wrote an op-ed piece that made some recommendations for Congress and our current administration suggesting that our country is going through its “second adolescence”. Politics aside, he made one point about curbing government spending that really stuck with me.  “The future has no lobby, so there are inexorable pressures favoring present consumption over future investment.  The crucial point is not whether a dollar is spent publicly or privately, it’s… [read more]
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The Speed of Change

Last week the CEO of Groupon was fired after the company’s share price dropped 24% in one day following a poor earnings report.  The Chicago based company pioneered daily coupon deals for local companies on the Internet.  But in today’s world, when you come up with a good idea there is immediately someone behind you devising  a cheaper, faster, better way to do what you do – or replace you entirely; and it appears that Groupon’s business model has fallen victim to this cycle.  Companies have always been subject to business competition.  But the lifecycle [read more]
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