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Is the China syndrome worth the risk?

With China in the news on so many fronts, I was prompted to check out some of the mutual funds that are categorized as “China funds.” Whoa! Some have gained almost 40 percent during the past 12 months. It’s clearly an economy that is growing faster than ours, and we sell a lot of products to them — starting with cars whereby General Motors sells more in that country than it sells domestically.

Tightwad or spendthrift – question for retirees

Anticipating the day when my job income stops and I have to depend on investments and retirement accounts for income is NOT something I’m suited for given my background and temperament. I’m always worried about what can go wrong, and I like to have “back-up.” This came up in a discussion with my wife (a retired licensed therapist) when she caught me reading Bob Rotella’s book “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect” — for the umpteenth time.

The revolving door of investment success

To create some investment excitement, and to help the greeting card industry, let’s designate something called “Losers’ Week.” This would be a week set aside to celebrate the fact that yesterday’s perennial fund losers have finally begun to stir. We may soon be disappointed once again as we enter what is traditionally the “summer doldrums” of a seasonally weakening stock market, but for the moment, we have something to be happy about if we’ve been patiently holding, say, energy, precious metals or China funds — to pick a few examples.

Investment risk and some antidotes

Professional bond investors are canaries in the mine shaft when it comes to predicting long-term future movement in the economy. Unlike economists or pundits, bond traders are playing with real money. Long-term bets on the future of interest rates can move today’s bond values up or down significantly — prices drop if market interest rates rise and prices rise if market interest rates drop — like a rope over a pulley. Added to this is the fact that bond investments are purchased with borrowed money to a greater extent than stocks, and leverage, of course, can work both ways.

The sleep machine of stock market logic

Your Fitbit or similar monitor will illustrate that night after night, your deep sleep lasts for almost exactly the first four hours. That’s the sleep you really need. Time spent tossing and turning after that is important primarily to “work out the conflicts in your life.” Those who have no conflicts, in theory, only need the first four hours of sleep. When those four hours are up, those who are “conflict-free” reportedly bound out of bed and start, well, tweeting in some cases.

Who do stock buybacks leave behind?

A major component of stock market gains in recent years is attributable to stock buybacks. Companies have been using their historically huge hoards of cash to purchase their own shares on the market and retire them. This reduces the total number of outstanding shares representing a company’s value, so the value per share increases. It’s a gift to stockholders in lieu of dividends.

Benefit Insights: Who is an Employee and HSA vs 401(k)

Who is an Employee?

Maintaining a retirement plan for your employees is no easy task. At various points during the year, employers and HR departments field participant questions, help with enrollments, deliver notices and statements, and participate in the distribution process. However, an additional responsibility, and one of the most important, is the collection of data that is used for compliance testing and government reporting. Learn more by selecting the Newsletter attachment below...

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