Commentators almost seem to have been competing to coin the catchiest—or most negative—label for the ten years from the end of 1999 to the end of 2009. It’s not surprising that some have called it the “Decade from Hell,” given … Read more
Are Americans becoming more thrifty? Personal savings rates are up, the government statistics tell us. This fact has engendered a wide-ranging debate. Is this just a short-term deviation from America’s obsession with spending, or is it a permanent change?
I … Read more
Like everyone else, I’ve been reading (well, skimming) reams of year-end—and in some places, “decade-end”—economic summaries. There’s lots of talk about black swans, financial “Frankensteins,” lost decades, and fundamental changes in investor behavior.
Black swans are old news, and I’ve … Read more
I’ve mentioned in several previous posts that the anxiety about 401(k) balances has been largely overstated, in part because of the beneficial effects of ongoing contributions and diversified portfolios. This point has come across as Pollyanna-ish to some of you, … Read more
Paul A. Samuelson, who died December 13 at age 94, was rightly remembered as a brilliant educator, as author of the best-selling economics textbook ever, and as the second recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Professor Samuelson, the … Read more
Every year, many investors find themselves “buying a distribution” and incurring liabilities that could have been avoided or at least deferred.
Tax law requires that realized gains in a portfolio be distributed at least annually, typically in December. If you’re … Read more