On a recent trip to my parents’ house, I sifted through crates of childhood junk that my mother had cleared from the attic. One item in particular caught my eye—an “official program” from a New York Mets game in 1980.… Read more
Yearly Archives: 2012
Any long-term investor knows that inflation is the enemy. A spike in inflation can drastically reduce your real investment returns, particularly for fixed income securities. At present, yields on many Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are negative, a clear reflection of … Read more
I remember one of my colleagues observed that many investors don’t really have portfolios—they have “collections” of securities. He meant that their accounts had been assembled piecemeal over time, with a brother-in-law’s recommendation here and a newsletter recommendation there. In … Read more
If I were asked what an investor should do to maximize retirement wealth, I’d tick off my standard list, my rules of thumb. Start saving early—and regularly. Keep debt under control. Maximize the use of tax-deferred retirement accounts, like 401(k)s. … Read more
Well, perusing recent press, it’s clear that target-date funds continue to be one of the financial media’s favorite targets for generalized scorn. Still, I suppose to some extent, you know you’ve arrived when even Jim Cramer is beating up on … Read more
U.S. interest rates today are clearly low and below historical long-term averages. Recalling the double-digit rates of the 1970s and early 1980s, I still find it somewhat astonishing that the yields on a broadly diversified basket of high-quality bonds (whether … Read more
Performance drives many of the decisions we make as consumers. What kind of gas mileage will I get? How big a load of clothes can the washing machine handle? How long will this roof last? For many of these kinds … Read more
Many of us, if not most of us, are managing our social connections—and increasingly our financial lives—on mobile devices. No longer tethered to the desktop or that pesky laptop, we pay bills, make deposits, and access accounts and balances from … Read more
I recently wrote about the connection among Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, and how my mother “taught” me to become financially literate. In this post I’d like to acknowledge teachers—and the role they can play in teaching financial literacy—more directly.… Read more
About a year ago, I wrote my first Vanguard Blog post to commemorate 529 College Savings Day. In that post I encouraged investors to start saving for college as early as possible. I also asked them to pay attention to … Read more
One of the vexing questions in the investment world is why many investors are inattentive to fees. While Vanguard has helped create a class of investors that’s fee-conscious and fee-aware, the fact remains that many individual investors remain in high-cost … Read more
The latest figures are out from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in Washington, D.C. Unsurprisingly, “retirement confidence” remains down from its peak in 2007, and is at levels similar to what we saw during the Great Recession.
What’s going … Read more
Two years ago, my husband and I bought a TV. He wanted the super-duper one. I wanted a good deal. We went with the good deal.
Fast-forward two years, and the TV we got only turns on and off when … Read more
A Wall Street Journal report, published on February 21, notes that small-capitalization stock prices, as measured by the Russell 2000 Index, are nearing an all-time high. But investors aren’t pouring money into small-cap stocks.
The story, “Small-cap rise is big … Read more
Along with about 50 million others, I’m a product of Generation X. I had a Dorothy Hamill haircut, spent my weekends at the roller-skating rink, and grew up watching Madonna on MTV (back when she was more controversial and they … Read more