Try to beat the market in 2016 with these

By Steven Goldberg
Posted on March 23, 2016

Even after the sharp sell-off so far this year, the stock market isn’t bargain-priced. But many stocks are cheaper than they were at the first of the year — making this a good time to beef up your investments in solid companies like the ones I recommend below. These five picks, in my view, ought to beat the market — whether the sell-off accelerates or ends today.I have a... READ MORE

Expert advice for these uncertain times

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on March 10, 2016

Readers have been asking about market volatility, capital preservation, and planning for a long-term secure retirement. I approached several experts I respect in various financial disciplines to ask their advice.Stan Haithcock, annuity expert: “Stay rational and grounded when looking for safe money solutions. In a low-interest world, annuity salespeople will tell you what you want to... READ MORE

Quinn on how to preserve your nest egg

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on March 02, 2016

Making your money last through retirement is harder than it used to be. We are living much longer, the rate of return for conservative investments is very low, and there is a great deal of volatility in the stock and bond markets.An excellent guide to help you reach your objectives is Jane Bryant Quinn’s new book, How to Make Your Money Last (Simon and Schuster). Like her other books, ... READ MORE

Ways to reduce the risk of a dividend cut

By Anne Kates Smith
Posted on February 24, 2016

When investors think of dividends, they often think “safety.” Checks that arrive like clockwork come to mind.But a recent round of dividend cuts has given some income-seekers a rude awakening. Among the rudest: Kinder Morgan (symbol KMI), the energy pipeline giant, slashed its dividend 75 percent in December, cutting the quarterly payout from 51 cents a share to 12.5 cents. A... READ MORE

How to react to the stock market selloff

By Anne Kates Smith
Posted on February 19, 2016

There’s nothing like a market rout to remind investors of the importance of following the tenets of sound investing. The declines during January and February were doozies, making the start of 2016 a baptism by fire. In the first four trading days of the year, the Dow Jones industrial average racked up a loss of nearly 1,000 points, or more than 5 percent. Selling continued to... READ MORE

All about required minimum distributions

By Kevin McCormally
Posted on February 04, 2016

It’s a watershed year for the baby boom generation. In 2016, the first of the boomers — those born in the first half of 1946 — will reach age 70 1/2. Their present from Uncle Sam is a demand that they begin withdrawing funds from their traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s. If you’re among... READ MORE

Workers seek phased retirement options

By Adam Allington
Posted on January 27, 2016

Roberton Williams’ plan was to retire on his government pension and take a part-time job to make up the difference in salary. It didn’t quite work out that way.Williams, 68, did retire, but then started another full-time job with the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.  “The plan was to work full time just until I got my feet wet,” Williams said.... READ MORE

Beware hidden dangers in bond funds

By Eleanor Laise
Posted on January 19, 2016

Regulators and money managers are raising alarms about a growing threat to bond funds and their investors. The concerns revolve around “liquidity” — the ability to buy or sell a security at a decent price within a reasonable period of time.As a result of new regulations enacted since the financial crisis, broker-dealers — the bond market’s middlemen —... READ MORE

The best bonds for your portfolio in 2016

By Jeffrey R. Kosnett
Posted on January 13, 2016

As the Federal Reserve finally starts to gently raise interest rates, and fear and loathing reach a fever pitch in bond-land, I am reminded of a column that appeared in a well-known business magazine in December 2013, just before Janet Yellen’s confirmation as Fed chairman. It began, “Bonds are going to get killed. Are you ready?”My reaction at the time: Poppycock. Now,... READ MORE

A guide to organizing your estate records

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on January 04, 2016

As I’ve emphasized before, one of the best legacies you can leave to your loved ones is a well-planned estate. Part of that is making sure your important estate documents are organized for easy access.This is the topic of a useful book, Get it Together by Melanie Cullen and Shae Irving (published by Nolo), which advises on creating a comprehensive plan with your attorney and... READ MORE