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.

Is buy and hold dying a quick death?

June 29, 2012

CHICAGO, June 29 (Reuters) – Portfolio volatility is your
sworn enemy if you’re nearing retirement or market downturns
make you nauseous. But if you’re a buy-and-hold investor – and
believe that stock market risk diminishes over time – you still
need a new course of action.

Sure things in the age of uncertainty

June 25, 2012

CHICAGO, June 25 (Reuters) – If there was such a thing
as a global financial uncertainty index, it would be soaring to
a stratospheric level.

Three likely winners in healthcare: John Wasik

June 22, 2012

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The one thing the Supreme Court will have no impact on as it decides the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is the immutable trend in U.S. healthcare: the growing cost of caring for an aging population.

Three likely winners in healthcare

June 22, 2012

CHICAGO, June 22 (Reuters) – The one thing the Supreme Court
will have no impact on as it decides the constitutionality of
the Affordable Care Act is the immutable trend in U.S.
healthcare: the growing cost of caring for an aging population.

Four currency strategies for euro/dollar angst

June 18, 2012

CHICAGO, June 18 (Reuters) – Developing a currency strategy
for your portfolio is like playing a chess game in which the
pieces are the futures of entire countries. Will Greece be able
to form a government and get its act together to keep the euro?
What about Spain and Italy? With the embattled euro and dollar
under a perennial cloud, does it make sense to have currency
strategy for your portfolio at all?