Chris Farrell

Columnist | Your Money
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Chris Farrell is economics editor for American Public Media's weekly "Marketplace Money" show and author of "The New Frugality." He answers reader questions on most Sundays. Send questions to cfarrell@mpr.org and put "Your Money" in the subject line.

Recent content from Chris Farrell

Downgrade aside, U.S. bonds are safe

QI have a daughter in college and another three years away. Given the U.S. government's recent downgrade from Standard & Poor's, how safe are savings bonds? What is the type of return one can expect and how is the interest accrued?

Updated: September 17, 2011, - 02:07 PM

Things to consider in hiring, firing financial planner

Q For 16 years, my wife and I entrusted an independent financial adviser to manage our mutual fund portfolio, which...

Updated: September 10, 2011, - 10:23 PM

'Emergency' nest egg can be key part of a plan

Ah, the State Fair. A Pronto Pup, chocolate chip cookies, and the DNR's fish pond all sampled before heading to the Star Tribune booth Tuesday afternoon to talk personal finance.

Updated: September 03, 2011, - 10:03 PM

Early mortgage payoff may not be best strategy

Here's a piece of news that comes under the "glass is half-full" headline: Households are reducing their debt burdens.

Updated: August 20, 2011, - 10:35 PM

Don't panic: This economic horror film will end

Summer is a time for blockbuster horror flicks, and the performance of the economy and markets surely provide the basis for a gory one. Prices on the global stock markets have plunged in recent weeks.

Updated: August 13, 2011, - 01:02 PM

Analyze risks, then make your decision

Q My husband and I are in our early and middle 50s. We have one child, a junior in college. I have been not working since September (unemployment plus a very part-time job).  

Updated: August 06, 2011, - 04:47 PM

In a severe crash, is a 'guaranteed' investment safe?

What's your opinion on the relative safety of guaranteed investment contracts. I know these are not FDIC insured. But compared to bonds or equities in the event of a catastrophic economic meltdown, would these contracts reflect a loss rate based on the failures of the underlying banks and insurance companies?

Updated: July 23, 2011, - 10:34 PM

Take care of downside risk with stash of cash

With Treasury bills and other high-quality short-term, interest-paying investments, you reduce the amount of money at risk to a financial catastrophe or economic cataclysm.

Updated: July 16, 2011, - 10:00 PM

How to hedge your nest egg against inflation

Q I consider myself to be a successful student of the Chris Farrell School of Money Management. We have weathered the economic storm by living below our means and maintaining an emergency fund, big-ticket-item savings account, retirement accounts and one for monthly and semi-annual outlays. As my wife and I approach retirement (I'm 59 and she is 58) our big concern is hyper-inflation brought on by federal and state governments' inability to budget and plan long-term. We use the bond/equity ratio based on age for asset balancing. Our funds are mostly in broad-based index funds with no gold or gold index funds. Help!

Updated: July 08, 2011, - 04:03 PM

Debt ceiling debate raises default worries

QMy wife and I are too close to retirement and are willing to trade safety for income so that our 401(k) is totally invested in T-bills. Unfortunately, I believe there is a real risk of our government defaulting. If its does, what happens to the money in T-bills?

Updated: July 02, 2011, - 11:51 PM

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