29 Aug 2014

The False Premise of Retirement Planning

The financial media is replete with articles about why more Americans are failing to accumulate enough wealth for retirement.  There are many seemingly viable answers, but the problem is that they all come from the monolithic perspective of the financial services industry: investment firms, banks, financial planners, investment counselors and

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02 Jul 2014

Millenials Want Social Security Benefits to Remain At Current Levels, Pew Research Finds

While Social Security has become a political football in Washington, Americans still regard it as the corner stone of their retirement and are very concerned about it future financial health. A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press report, the Millenials in Adulthood report, found just 14 percent

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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

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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

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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

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26 Sep 2013

Free Market Zealots vs. Reality

In their focused efforts to revoke regulations, conservative zealots in the media and Congress have expanded their argument to elevate free markets into near-divine status. But in the process, free market proponents have consistently avoided any discussions about how government intervention and its largesse provide essential funding and profits to

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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

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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,

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19 Apr 2012

Revenue sharing lawsuit costs plan sponsor $35 million

In what is being called the first suit involving revenue sharing and fee disclosure and heightened transparency, a Missouri company has been ordered to pay $35 million to current and former plan participants. The lawsuit  (Ronald Tussey et al v. ABB Inc. et al, Case No. 2:06-CV-04305-NKL, United States District

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28 Oct 2011

Why Mutual Fund Expenses Matter to Shareholders

        There are over 8,000 mutual funds in the U.S.* and virtually all of them charge fees to shareholders to help offset their operating expenses. This is a normal cost of doing business. But the mutual fund industry considers itself special.  Over the years, it has lobbied securities

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