QI'm 26 now and just got my first "career" job. So I've been thinking more about investments. I have a macroeconomic/fiscal cliff question for you. While I intend to invest in the way that's best for me, if I were being completely unselfish wouldn't bonds be better? After all, sales of stock (other than IPOs) just shift money from one investor to another and sap money from corporations through dividends. Things like municipal bonds, on the other hand, can result in necessary infrastructure being built. Especially with talk of changing the capital gains tax rate, it seems like it would be easy enough to raise it for stocks but leave it at 15 percent for bonds, and indirectly promote huge private investments in infrastructure.
Updated: December 22, 2012, - 04:27 PM
Q Do you have any suggestions on good books that a 16-year-old could read to understand how investments work and offers good advice? Also what's your opinion on good techniques for teaching about how investments work? I am toying with the concept of having him read the book and giving him $1,000 to invest if he can explain some basic concepts. KEVIN
Updated: December 15, 2012, - 08:32 AM
For much of the past week I've spent way too much time watching evening cable television news shows hyperventilate over the impending fiscal cliff. Don't get me wrong: It's a really bad idea to saddle a still-anemic economy with $500 billion to $700 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts starting next month.
Updated: December 08, 2012, - 03:23 PM
QI am over 70 1/2 years and just left my full-time job early in November that had a 401(k) plan. I am confused as to when I must take my first required minimum distribution (RMD). Would appreciate knowing if it must be taken this year or possibly delayed until next year.
Updated: December 01, 2012, - 04:44 PM
Q What sort of results should I expect from my financial planner?
Updated: November 17, 2012, - 04:31 PM
QMy husband is retired and draws a defined-benefit pension. I hope to retire in five or six years. We have no savings apart from our (rather large) IRAs. I have suggested that it would be a good idea for us to build a cash reserve before I retire so that in retirement we can avoid having to make withdrawals from our IRAs (beyond the required minimum distribution) to cover living expenses just after a market sell-off.
Updated: November 10, 2012, - 05:17 PM
Q I have about $385,000 of U.S. savings bonds. About half of the value is principal, the other half is deferred interest. Most are I bonds purchased early in the program, which have a 3 percent fixed interest rate (or higher) component. The EE bonds are at a 4 percent rate.
Updated: November 03, 2012, - 04:36 PM
QWe have seen rising prices at the grocery store for some time. This also is happening at the hardware store, restaurants, gas pumps and other shopping places. What is the inflation number on the items not on the federal inflation index?
Updated: October 20, 2012, - 05:26 PM
For the past quarter-century or so, the national conversation about retirement has focused on investing. With good reason. Millions of workers suddenly faced the need to learn more about investing as the 401(k) became the primary retirement savings plan for private-sector employees.
Updated: October 13, 2012, - 05:35 PM