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11 Nov 2011

Expect Less in 2011–Is America’s Standard of Living Declining?

One of the darker themes of the current recession and its erratic, mismanaged recovery, is that the U.S. is headed for a lower standard of living. That is not officially articulated, of course, but implied in the many reports about long-term unemployment, proposed cuts to retirement benefits, 401k contributions, unpaid

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11 Nov 2011

What Makes Retirees Happy? Ask the Europeans

Millions of people in the first wave of Baby Boomers entering retirement face more stress than they did in their working lives. Their home equity has shrunk, along with their portfolios.  Partisans in Congress threaten to cut Social Security, a key component in retirement income, along with the new health

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08 Nov 2011

Should Mutual Fund Companies Take a Public Position on Correcting Income Inequality?

When it comes to taking sides publicly on major social issues, corporations have not led the way.  Stating a position is not what corporations do.  Getting the needed corporate consensus is time-consuming, requires direct participation by top executives and the board of directors, and uses political capital to arrive at

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07 Nov 2011

No Country for Old Men and Women: Boomers Face Drops in Retirement Income

A recent Gallup poll found that 66% of Americans ranked not having enough money for retirement as their top financial concern. This was an increase from 53% a decade ago and raised a red flag for U.S. policymakers concerned about distress and downward mobility in the middle class. A recent story

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07 Nov 2011

Revenge of the Baby Boomers

Call it the “Revenge of the Baby Boomers,” but the huge inequality in net worth between people aged 65 or older is now estimated to be 47 times greater than that of a family headed by someone who is under age 35. That is a staggering, unsustainable gap, which casts

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05 Nov 2011

Good Corporate Governance Factored into Stock Prices

Companies with good corporate governance standards—those that avoided no poison pills, staggered boards, golden parachutes, and other practices favoring management—helped boost share prices, according to a new study by three university professors: Lucian Bebchuk of Harvard Law School; Alma Cohen of Tel Aviv University and Charles C. Y. Wang of

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The Progressive Investor