MONEY matters

Mark Zaifman's thoughts on money, global economic trends and politics
Investment Strategies Based on Serving, Not Selling
Mark Zaifman   |    Sat, Sep 03, 2011 @ 10:18 AM

Last week, one of my investment management clients called and asked me to review his 85 year old mother’s investment statement and offer my opinion about her overall investment strategy or lack thereof. He was worried that his Mom’s portfolio was being churned and burned.

Even before his fax came through, I had a bad feeling. When I reviewed her current investment statement, it didn’t surprise me to see that 85% of her now dwindling portfolio was invested in stocks and that on average, 42 stock trades were being bought and sold each and every month. I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but it’s not, not by a long shot. Elder abuse, especially when it comes to investing, is on the rise.

I’ve seen enough statements like this one that betray an investor’s trust to last a lifetime. It always gets me thinking - this could be my Mom being taken advantage of.

Beware of Being Sold the Investment Performance Sizzle

How to Handle Stock Market Volatility When Planning For Retirement
Mark Zaifman   |    Mon, Aug 22, 2011 @ 04:12 PM

If you’re the type of investor that thrives on volatility in the stock market, this is your kind of summer. With the advent of high frequency trading, multiple hedge funds using Wall Street as one big casino, the global sovereign debt crisis, etc, market volatility for at least the short-term is here to stay.

Planning for Retirement, What Baby Boomers Need to Know
Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Jul 08, 2011 @ 11:17 AM
The Economist "Bubble Warning"
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Jan 07, 2010 @ 02:57 PM

There are so many predictions about how markets here in the US as well as around the world are going to perform in 2010 that it could make you dizzy. I think one of the most objective and responsible sources for being able to read the tea leaves is The Economist.

If you have stock investments, please check out this sobering article, Bubble Warning. In addition, this current issue is jam packed with info on this topic.

Retirement Planning - Dare to Dream
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, Mar 04, 2009 @ 04:40 PM

As the global economy continues to implode and the stock market reaches new lows, lots of baby boomers are wondering about their retirement plans. If you watch the talking heads on Sunday morning TV shows, which I admit I do regularly, you’ve seen a zillion commercials on preparing for retirement.  Most commercials show the happy couple sailing off into the sunset, not a care in the world because they followed this plan or that plan. It seems like well meaning retirement advice they’re dispensing. But BEWARE, there are a lot of illusions, delusions and downright lies about retirement that can be dangerous to your retirement well-being.

As long as you have enough money saved up, your retirement will take care of itself. This is the biggest and most dangerous lie about retirement. Of course you need enough money saved up to have a secure retirement, but this is only one aspect of many that need to be considered for a thriving not just surviving retirement. Focusing only on the tangible financial aspects of retirement and ignoring the other, less tangible, “must haves” is a prescription for disaster.

Read More