Got this email from a fan. And since none of the current writers are Canadian, I thought I’d throw this out there. BTW, RSP stands for “Registered Retirement Savings Plan” and seems to be a Canadian 401k. I’m sure a lot of the standard retirement plan advice would apply, but we’re looking for a Canadian (more…)
Investors come in every shape and size, as well as risk tolerance. That last quality can really vary depending on whom you’re discussing the subject of investing. So let’s approach today’s rant in a way that should appeal to you whether you’re ultra-conservative or a daredevil risk taker.
One of the things to do during this holiday season after you’ve completed your shopping, should be to plan out your finances for next year. Most people I know put more thought and time into planning for their vacation than they do for their retirement. I’m guessing the majority of IG readers hold down a job somewhere so the first place to look at planning are your company’s offering of retirement plans. And I’m also guessing that most of us will not be able to say we spent a larger portion of our life taking vacations vs. being in retirement.
Retirement Plans Are Not Built Equally!
Complaints about one’s own retirement plan from disgruntled friends and family are common. My reaction is to ask them how much time they spent studying the features of their company’s offering? Too many people have the misconception that all plans are built equally. Throw that out right now! Ask for your company’s retirement plan prospectus and scrutinize it. Don’t say it’s boring, because you’re just giving yourself an excuse to fail. And if you can’t accomplish such a simple task, you really have no one but YOURSELF to blame for your future.
Suze Orman’s latest Yahoo article titled The Parent Trap addresses the issues Boomers are facing with grown kids moving back in, as well as aging parents. I see another problem here, my own personal parent trap. Let me esplain…
My parents were crazy youngsters when hey had me, divorced when I was two, and then those crazy fools married again when I was in my late teens. Each had more children, and one parent even gained a whole other family. I have been on my own ever since.
I know my writing often sounds like I’m preaching for everybody to be value investors. That’s simply not true! I only feel that some people can be value investors due to the temperament and the time needed to perform analysis. So what do I tell the general public who couldn’t care less about reading financial statements, or sitting in front of the computer day-trading?
Mutual funds are still the no-brainer solution for the average joe. Much “marketing” debate has been made about management fees. They’re not wrong to be critical but everything is really dependent on the “net” returns you’re able to achieve. My only concern is that consumers do the minimum work of researching the track-record of the fund and the fund manager. A long, consistent and positive tracking record is a must for active-managed funds.
But when John Bogle, founder of Vanguard, decided to balk the norms of the financial industry and aggressively market passive index funds, it was a strong indictment on the vast majority of managers who fail to beat their corresponding benchmark indexes. Vanguard’s promotion of this strategy still trumpets strongly, but there are signs of shifting towards actively managing their index funds, even if it’s just a little bit!
You might be wondering why an investing website like Investor Geeks is discussing a topic like long-term care insurance. Well, it would be a shame to learn all sorts of great investing strategies on this website, grow your portfolio, and then watch it quickly disappear if you get sick or injured and require long-term medical assistance. Protection of assets should be a concern of all investors.
Today President Bush signed into law a bill that is designed to encourage 401K participation. There are many good points to this bill and estimates are that it will increase the number of people participating in retirement plans. The numbers are still foggy but you are looking at anywhere from 30% to more then double (more…)
Pension plans have long been offered as part of employee benefit packages. Long thought to be an integral part of any retirement plan. But in todays environment, with large corporate bankruptcies and massively underfunded pension programs, do you still rely on your Pension plan?
Certificates of Deposit are not for everyone but if you live long enough you will probably be considering them at some point. If you are going to invest with what banks currently call CDs then you should be smart about it. Using a technique called "laddering" or "stepping" you can improve your liquidity and maximize your returns over the long run by protecting yourself from downturns in market interest rates.
The best way to learn is to teach – or so they say. I believe it, which is why I’m delighted to join InvesterGeeks as a contributer. While it could hardly make me geekier (as a long time software developer, my geek credentials are as solid as they come), I do hope to become a better investor as I share what I’ve learned (and am learning) here as well as my home site www.ThinkingAboutMoney.com.
And now, for my first tale….
Once upon a time, people would work for 40 years or so then retire. But nowadays for many there will be no happily ever afters. For those of you who have not or are not saving enough, there are other options which I’ll get to later.
I was recently disappointed because I couldn’t purchase the Mairs & Power Growth Fund (MPGFX) or Artisan International Fund (ARTIX) through my T. Rowe Price Roth IRA. After doing some sleuthing on Morningstar I discovered I could purchase both of these funds through TD Ameritrade, from whom I have a standard brokerage account.
I was ready to transfer all my assets over from TRP to TD Ameritrade and it turned out that transferring a Roth IRA was extremely bothersome. So instead of jumping into anything I thought I had better check to see if there was another discount broker that offered more funds, because I didn’t want to have to do this again. I spent some time at it, and put together a screen using the Morningstar Premium Fund Screener (more info) that would show the number of funds each major discount broker had available, and which funds were covered by all of them. The results were fascinating.