A dry-eyed view on investing in water resources

July 30, 2012

CHICAGO, July 30 (Reuters) – I have a pretty good idea of
what drought looks like after recently traveling more than 1,400
miles from Chicago to Utah: Vast patches of brown where there
should be green. Cornstalks that look like desiccated
scarecrows. Wilted soybeans. Forested Colorado canyons
devastated by wildfires and pine beetles.

Five strategies for a mid-summer portfolio overhaul

July 27, 2012

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Do you have a lingering memory of motion sickness after last summer’s debt storm? I do.

REITs worth a look for yield boost

July 24, 2012

CHICAGO, July 24 (Reuters) – While there’s some debate over
whether the U.S. residential market is in recovery mode, there’s
a stronger case for a rebound in commercial properties.

Gold’s chameleon role in a portfolio

July 16, 2012

CHICAGO (Reuters) – I’ve always had mixed feelings about gold. Is it an alternative currency? A speculator’s refuge from political or fiscal instability? A reliable inflation indicator? Turns out it’s maybe all of the above.

Five questions to ask before handing money to a financial adviser

July 13, 2012

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A friend recently asked me to vet several financial advisers he was considering to manage his retirement portfolio. As one who hates to see people getting fleeced, I’m cautious of Madoff-like malefactors, the latest of which cropped up in the case of the PFGBest brokerage in Cedar Falls, Iowa. So I curbed his enthusiasm a bit about money managers who had impressed him with their initial pitch.

Broker-sold funds still a hard sell

July 9, 2012

CHICAGO, July 9 (Reuters) – A recent New York Times story
quoting a former JP Morgan broker who said the company urged its
financial advisers to sell its own commissioned funds over
less-expensive outside products should not have surprised any
educated investors. It has been well-known in academic finance
circles for years that when you add up the fees that brokers
layer on, the value proposition often evaporates.

Bill Bernstein’s ways to rewire your brain for investing

July 5, 2012

CHICAGO, July 5 (Reuters) – Bill Bernstein is both a
neurologist and a money manager, which gives him a unique
perspective on the human impulses that he says typically
short-circuit people’s portfolio decisions. Author of six books,
including “The Four Pillars of Investing,” he says we need to
rewire our brains to do the right things at the right times.

Five money lessons I’ve learned through 10 bear markets

July 2, 2012

CHICAGO (Reuters) – I turn 55 today. As a member of the baby boom generation who hopes he’s aging like a fine wine and not turning into vinegar, I abhor the idea of losing money again in a 2008-style meltdown.