Happy Hour: Stagnant Income And The Internet Of Things

Welcome to the end of the week! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this weeks roundup in another edition of Happy Hour.

Income Stagnation

Much has been discussed lately about a lack of rising income. Higher wages is typically a sign of an improving economy, which we haven’t seen yet. As FiveThirtyEight points out, income has actually fallen for the average middle class worker over the past 15 years.

I doubt it’s a coincidence that incomes have stagnated at the same time the internet technology disruption has commoditized many products and services. Continue Reading…

How Much Money Do You Need To Retire?

What's Your Number?The million dollar question. Or is it two million? Either way, it’s hard to save for anything without knowing how much you need. When it comes to how much you need to retire, there’s no perfect answer.

In its entirety, it’s a series of educated guesses, along with dirty math, to come up with a fuzzy number you’ll need to live off throughout retirement.

I don’t say this to discourage you. Understand, we’re predicting the future based on past averages. You’re projections need to account for: inflation, expected returns (and an asset allocation to get you there), your ability to save, and your behavior along the way.

It’s simply not a perfect science. Retirement calculators work in a vacuum, reliant on fixed numbers. The economy and the stock market don’t move in a straight line or act rationally at all times. Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: Savings Promo Act And Munger

Welcome to the end of the week! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this weeks roundup in another edition of Happy Hour.

Savings Promotion Act

Back in the day, apparently, everyone had bread but no toast. To fix this, and get people to save, banks gave away toasters. Okay, not really. But toasters and other kitchen items become giveaways for new account customers. Now, it seems, we’ve gone full circle. Continue Reading…

The Argument For International Stocks

International Stocks Annual Returns BreakdownInternational stocks are a great way to diversify away from the U.S. But when a home country bias is alive and well, it’s easy to ignore everything else. U.S. stocks have performed admirably in the past, but international stocks have too.

Since 1970, the S&P 500 performed at a 10.40% annual clip (with dividends). Did you know that during that same time, international stocks practically matched it?

You can try to hand-pick countries based on expected returns or go with a basket of countries that captures all that missed opportunity. The tables below show how international stock returns breakdown. Hopefully, it makes the argument to stop ignoring the big opportunity outside the U.S. Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: Profitless Amazon and SPIVA

Welcome to the end of the week! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this weeks roundup in another edition of Happy Hour.

Amazon Profits?

Too often, investors confuse little or no profits with not making money. As this post makes the case, Amazon has no problem making money. It makes piles of it.

Bezos uses all of it to test delivery drones, build phones, Kindles, warehouses, data centers, and whatever else he can come up with to grow market share and expand into new lines of business. Simply, Bezos believes the best use of capital is to plow it back into the business because it offers the best return on that money. Continue Reading…