09 Sep 2014

Beware the Terrorism-Industry Complex

“Don’t believe what you read in the newspapers.  See, that’s the law talking.  They want us to look big so they can look bigger when they catch us.” –Warren Beatty to Faye Dunaway in “Bonnie and Clyde,” 1967 Terrorism has used violence to shape political goals since the first century,

0
11 Jun 2014

Examining Marco Rubio’s Social Security Reform Proposal

Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican in the 2016 presidential run, made headlines this spring by proposing a five-point, Social Security-focused reform plan. The last time Congress made changes to Social Security was 30 years ago, so Rubio’s plan helped to fuel an emotional and complex national debate, although nothing he

0
23 May 2014

Barclays Finally Cited for Being Rogue

Today marked a black day for Barclays Plc. as it was cited twice by British financial regulators for manipulating the price of gold on June 28, 2012 and a day after the bank was fined a record £290 million for manipulating the London inter-bank offered rate (LIBOR). Barclays, which dates back to

0
06 May 2014

Should You Pay for Fund Underperformance?

 “While 85% of the equity managers studied underperformed the market in nearly all relevant time periods, the amount of fees extracted globally for this and other financial-intermediation services is in the range of $1.5 trillion annually.” –Suzanne Duncan, global head of research for State Street’s Center for Applied Research

0
03 Apr 2014

Lewis Argument is Half Right: Financial Markets Are Rigged, But More From the Top-Down Than the Bottom-Up

The recent heated discussion about whether the equity markets are rigged should be a major concern to all investors, especially those in retirement, since it fundamentally affects their quality of life and collective financial futures. Any society which has its fundamental retirement system under constant attack by conservatives concerned about

0
03 Apr 2014

Plutocracy, Here We Come

Yesterday’s announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court increased the ability of wealthy donors to influence political campaigns and elections by raising the amount they can contribute to candidates signals that money and politics are now synonymous. In effect, this means that all political offices at every governmental level will now

0
27 Aug 2013

Did the Fed Use the Wrong Tools to Resurrect the Economy?

Quantitative easing has been the Fed’s major policy to resurrect the economy since late-2008, but after spending hundreds of billions in the process, it is now fair to ask if better tools were available to resurrect the economy faster than massive bond purchases. It’s a legitimate question, especially considering the

0
23 Jul 2013

Plan Sponsors Affronted By Too Much Disclosure?

Disclosure has its pros and cons.  It is good when someone wants to release good news, and the opposite emerges when there is bad news afoot. That seems to be the case when Yale University Law Professor Ian Ayers sent 6,000 letters to plan sponsors notifying them of their ranking

0
26 Apr 2013

Hedge Funds Also Charge High Fees, But Fail To Beat the S&P 500 Index

There is more bad news for hedge funds, which saw $1 trillion in redemptions in 2007-2008. A new study in Alpha magazine study shows there is more good reason to question hedge funds. The reason: Most do not even beat the S&P 500 index. Plus, the managers also don’t pay

0
01 Oct 2012

Find Out How You Can Save Thousands of Dollars in Mutual Fund Fees

      New Department of Labor (DOL) regulations on 401(k) fee and expense disclosure are having a profound impact on the trillion dollar retirement industry.  But these big changes hinge on whether millions of 401(k) investors want to save their own money by getting better informed. And if you do,

0