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

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

Save covered-call options for fun, not for income

Q My wife and I are both 67. We have money in various traditional IRAs and cash, we own our home, and we have no debt. We have started to take Social Security so that I can reduce my hours from work. I can control my level of work, and I continue to earn enough that I do not need to draw from investments yet.

Updated: June 19, 2011, - 07:48 AM

Downsizing has appeal for seniors

Q My husband and I are both 71. He sold his small business about 10 years ago and planned to retire. He quickly flunked retirement as he realized that golf and tennis weren't enough to keep him entertained. He also realized that we needed additional income.

Updated: June 11, 2011, - 02:16 PM

Condo owner should analyze before moving

Q I own a one-bedroom condo in a very nice part of Uptown, right along the greenway. I've already lost almost $20,000 of the $237,000 I paid for it when buying in 2008.

Updated: June 04, 2011, - 03:19 PM

Survey ranks the best and the worst of brokers

QI've been trying to locate any website that might include information on historical performances of major money management firms (Morgan Stanley, Fidelity, Amerprise, etc.) and I'm not having much luck. Do you know of sites that have comparison information?

Updated: May 23, 2011, - 03:55 PM

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