Thousands Occupy Wall Street: http://t.co/zpOQI47f via @AddThis
By John Wasik
(Reuters) – Watching the U.S. home market struggle to rebound is like listening to children in the back of a car. No, we’re not there yet.
The National Association of Realtors reported that ten real estate markets are “leading the nation toward a general recovery and stability of the housing sector,” but myriad problems are going to weigh down the housing market for months to come.
The lingering malaise in the economy has triggered a new wave of defaults and foreclosures. After five straight quarterly drops, foreclosures nationwide shot up 14 percent from the second to third quarter this year, according to data released by Realtytrac, the foreclosure information service (see link.reuters.com/kaw94s), in October.
Nov 15 (Reuters) – Where there’s muck, there’s money, the
old expression goes.
With 7 billion people now needing food on this planet,
putting your money into soil and agriculture might be a
long-term investment to consider. You’d certainly be in good
company: In recent years, high-profile investors such as Jim
Rogers and George Soros have made investments in farmland (see).
What makes farm property attractive? It has a finite supply
and may become even scarcer with global warming,
desertification and development. And with a rising population,
more tillable land will be needed.
Nov 11 (Reuters) – The financial troubles of Europe and the
U.S. have become fiscal soap operas on a grand scale. If you’re
an individual investor, where can you escape the endlessly
singing fat lady?
There are just a handful of countries that are reasonably
solid long-term investments. They are not without risk, yet
their leaders have managed their economies better than most
industrialized nations and they are thriving. The healthiest
economies also managed to invest in their countries while
avoiding the banking cyclones that are ravaging the U.S. and
Here are four places with a positive story: gross domestic
product growth (GDP), top sovereign debt ratings, low or no
budget deficits (relative to larger industrialized nations) and
healthy domestic investment.
Nov 8 (Reuters) – Not all target date funds are created
While these prepackaged, risk-reducing portfolios make a
lot of sense for retirement saving, you don’t know if the funds
within them are good choices unless you open them up and peel
The lowest-cost among them contain index funds that track
baskets of securities. While neither a perfect nor risk-free
solution, these funds offer an efficient way to invest in the
entire stock or bond market without engaging costly active
The products are designed to ratchet down stock exposure –
and then hold more bonds — the closer you get to a planned
retirement age or “target date.”
Nov 4 (Reuters) – Buying stocks shouldn’t make sense
Yet despite all of the growling in Europe, there are still
reasons why you should invest in U.S. stocks.
This is a contrarian view, to be sure. The last quarter was
the worst for stocks since 2008, with the S&P 500 index
suffering a 14 percent loss. For those keeping score at home,
that wiped out some $2 trillion in wealth.
Adding salt to that wound is the Federal Reserve’s slashing
of its growth forecast for next year and anemic U.S. job
Instead of eating up your brains, they devour your nest egg with high expenses and walking dead performance. They may be lurking within your 401(k)-type plan or individual retirement account.
I like index funds because they generally can track nearly any kind of asset class. As such, they are the white bread of investing and should cost about the same from fund to fund. The cheaper the better. Why pay Nieman-Marcus prices for the same thing you can get at Costco or Sam’s Club for less?
You can vanquish these funds without overtly violent acts, but first you have to identify them. Unfortunately, mandated fee disclosure is still pending, so you have to take the initiative.