Author: Art Ernst

Trinity College Library

Lessons from Ireland

Last month I flew to Ireland to help my daughter move back from Trinity College in Dublin. Taking advantage of roads and hotels emptied by the current economic slump, we spent about two weeks exploring the cities and countryside. The scenic vistas, friendly pubs, and sites steeped in Celtic and Norman lore tempt one to
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Chart: bonds versus bond funds

Which Are Best, Bonds or Bond Funds?

Despite recent strength in the stock market, last year’s crash has pushed many investors to seek returns in other sectors. The massive flight of capital to the safest of vehicles, treasury bills and money market funds, has rendered paltry rates of returns; T-bills and cash equivalent accounts currently return next to nothing. Of the three
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Fear Not?

A few weeks ago, the article I had planned for this space did not include a question mark. President Obama was newly installed in a worldwide aura of goodwill and hope. Soon after the inauguration, most of us expected to hear speeches and statements focused on propping up the economy — perhaps even evoking FDR’s
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Chart showing annuity harm
Chart showing gold underperforming everything else

Fools’ Gold: A False Safe Haven

As of this writing, the Standard & Poor’s 500 is down over 45% from its peak 15 months ago; bond prices of esteemed corporate issuers indicate distress; and there is fear that the entire financial system is in peril. We have weathered recessions, liquidity crises, and periods of deflation and inflation before, but the economy
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Bar chart demonstrating age-based allocation

Age-Based Asset Allocation: Avoid the Gimmick

Over time, about 90% of the rate of return on one’s investments will be determined by the allocation among equities, bonds, and cash. Regardless of one’s luck or lack thereof in picking stocks, locking in yields, or choosing mutual funds, the vast majority of portfolio performance will be due to the proportion of assets devoted
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Senate Bail Out

Why to Keep Investing Amid the Turmoil

Economics is often referred to as “the dismal science”, a term coined by historian Thomas Carlyle in the mid-18th century when the discipline focused on the world’s limited resources and their inability to keep up with mankind’s growing needs. A lighthearted smear shared by bored or frustrated college students, this gloomy moniker now seems more
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