MONEY matters

Mark Zaifman's thoughts on money, global economic trends and politics
Is Gold Losing it's Luster?
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, May 19, 2010 @ 06:15 PM
As stock market volatility continues and the price for an ounce of gold continues to climb, many investors are jumping on the gold bandwagon. For socially responsible investors, the cost to the environment for mining gold is a price too high to pay.

Having a portion of your investment portfolio in precious metals such as gold has traditionally proven to be a good hedge against inflation as well as a hedge against a falling dollar. Most advisors recommend no more than a 5-10% total allocation to precious metals.

New Health Care Bill
Mark Zaifman   |    Mon, Mar 29, 2010 @ 10:34 PM

What’s in it for me?

Index Funds Are Smart!
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Feb 11, 2010 @ 11:01 AM

For many investors, low cost index funds are just too boring. Here’s an article from the New York Times by Paul Sullivan titled, Index Funds, Dowdy to Some, Get Notable Endorsement, that adds some gravitas to the fans of index funds.

He interviews Burton Malkiel, author of investment advice books,who practices what he preaches. In his retirement portfolio, he says "all the serious money is indexed."

The Economist - latest update on Global Economics
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Feb 11, 2010 @ 11:00 AM

Latest post from The Economist: New Dangers for the World Economy - not for the faint of heart, but definitely worth a read.

The Economist, The World in 2010, Highlights/Predictions
Mark Zaifman   |    Mon, Jan 18, 2010 @ 02:27 PM

David M. Walker - Former Comptroller General
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 02:45 PM

David M. Walker is the former Comptroller General of the US. He is someone that truly cares about the financial wellness of our country. I saw him last night on the Ed Schultz show on MSNBC. I’m definitely going to get his new book: Come Back America-Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal ResponsibilityWalker writes on social security, healthcare reform, Medicaid and Medicare, tax reform, our international deficits, political reforms and more. Like it or not, we need to keep our eye on ball and this 'call to action' book gives us information and the hope we need to turn things around.

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.

Bond Funds - continued
Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Nov 20, 2009 @ 09:22 AM

From my perspective as a fee-only financial planner, investors seem confused about bond funds and fixed income investing in general. As the stock market continues on its upward path, please don’t lose sight of how important it is to maintain an asset allocation to bonds or bond mutual funds. To help you make sense of all this, here’s another link to some outstanding info from Vanguard.

Remember as well, being financial empowered means increasing your financial intelligence. Here’s your homework: http://www.vanguard.com/jumppage/bond/

Bond Funds - What's Next?
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Nov 05, 2009 @ 09:25 AM

According to the Investment Company Institute, investors poured $220 billion into bond funds during the first eight months of 2009, compared with just $27 billion in 2008.

Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman on the Global Economy
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, Oct 07, 2009 @ 11:59 AM

Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize Winner, recently held a Q & A with his New York Times readers. If you’re interested in reading the latest news about the global economy , especially the U.S economy, click on the link below and it will take you to his responses. I highly recommend taking the time to read it.

From everything he said in the Q & A, the most intriguing to me was the following:

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