A Gold Fund’s Debacle Highlights Risks

Any time a fund invests in something more esoteric than exchange-listed stocks from a developed country or widely traded high-quality bonds, the potential for something to go wrong increases. We saw this happen in December when the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund—a mutual fund—suddenly shut its doors in response to junk bond losses. Last week…

 

Coping With the Frustrating Market

Mr. Market started 2016 on the wrong foot, and his mood has gotten worse throughout this month. Barring a big rebound next week, this will be the third consecutive year the S&P 500 has declined in January—something that has only happened two other times since 1950. The index may also come close to breaking, or…

 

Investor Update: Two Key Points About the Fed’s Rate Hike

Much of the chatter about yesterday’s interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve overlooks two key points. First, over the past 61 years, stocks have tended to rise during the 12-month period following the first rate hike. Secondly, it’s different this time. Put asterisks by both of those statements. I’ll start with the reassuring news….

 

AAII Investor Update: Binary Option Contracts, A Really Bad Idea

Companies are very aware of our tendency, as humans, to overestimate the odds of making money. They use this to their advantage by pitching products and services as money-making opportunities that in reality are highly effective tools for separating us from our money. One bad idea for a financial product brought to my attention in…

 

FINRA’s Proposal to Halt Elder Fraud: Stop Withdrawals

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released a new proposal to protect seniors from financial fraud. The rules will allow financial companies to respond to situations in which there is a reasonable belief that financial fraud is occurring. If fully implemented, financial firms would be able to place a hold on the dispersal of funds…