Watch Out for Annuity Zombies

I don’t know why I continue to be surprised by the ingenuity of the financial industry to develop and peddle products that will endanger the financial prospects of anybody who falls for them. Maybe I should stop being surprised. Ever again. The dubious investment that caught my eye recently is an old dog wrapped up […]

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I'm Back

It’s been two months since I last posted anything on my blog. I was feeling increasingly guilty about it. It was the emails that I received inquiring about my absence, however, that prodded me to return now. Actually, there was a reason for my absence. At the time I disappeared, I was juggling two books […]

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Playing Philanthropist

Thirty seven billion dollars is a nearly unfathomable amount of money to imagine. If you counted each dollar bill of that fortune, I suspect it would cripple your wrist and consume years of your life. That’s the stunning sum that Warren Buffett is going to be donating to mankind. The money will primarily flow into […]

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Trust Departments: Can You Trust Them?

If you’re the beneficiary of a trust, you may not be a happy camper. And it’s easy to appreciate why. Over the years, bank mergers have swallowed up many hometown banks, which have left plenty of beneficiaries talking with trust officers thousands of miles away. In fact, the concept of a personal trust officer has […]

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The Dangers of Equity Index Annuities

I decided to write the post below after Scott Dauenhauer, a financial planner I admire, sent me a link from an annuity firm that rails against all the bad press that Equity Index Annuities have deservedly been receiving. After you read the spiel, I hope you’ll be as appalled as I was. (Though I wasn’t […]

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Kids & Money

I wrote the following column three years ago, but it’s still as relevant as it was back then. And my son still has the Roth ……. At the top of my son’s Christmas wish list this year is a present that Ben doesn’t expect to touch until he retires. When he hunts for it under […]

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Investors Behaving Badly

Do you know how well your mutual funds have been doing lately? This past week, you were probably too depressed to look at your returns thanks to the market’s particularly nasty tantrum that just wouldn’t quit. And that’s okay since frequent checking of your portfolio’s net worth is often counterproductive. Turn on your computer and […]

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Get Started Early

Over the years, studies have thoroughly researched and exhaustively footnoted what most of us already know. Americans typically don’t start seriously thinking about saving for retirement until they near their own mid-century mark. After snoozing for decades, our middle-aged Rip Van Winkles suddenly awake with a jolt to see the financial equivalent of a fully […]

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