Archive for November, 2012

This and That: Fiscal Cliff, Vanguard ETFs and more…

November 9, 2012

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Falling off the Fiscal Cliff: With the US elections over and done with, we are going to hear incessant referrals to the term “fiscal cliff” in the news. This CNN Money article explains the budget and tax cut items that make up the fiscal cliff. Unfortunately, Canadians need to pay to this as well because US estate tax parameters will revert back to 2001 levels.

Vanguard DRiP and new ETF ticker symbols: Vanguard announced today that six new ETFs have started trading on the TSX. The new ETF lineup includes some long-standing demands from ETF investors — a dividend ETF, a REIT ETF and an unhedged S&P 500 ETF. The fund company also announced that it is introducing a DRiP program.

The Coming Bond Massacre: Earlier this year, Warren Buffett said that bonds should come with a warning label. Investors, of course, are still piling into bonds. In colourful language, the Reformed Broker says here that investors piling into bonds are “walking beneath a dangling piano hoisted 10 stories above their heads”.

New Books on Warren Buffett: Jason Zweig did a short review of two upcoming books on Warren Buffett in The Wall Street Journal. He finds one — a compilation of 80 articles on Warren Buffett called Tap Dancing to Work — to be worthwhile and the other — a compilation of quotes called The Oracle Speaks — not so much.

Investing in Commodities: A column in The Wall Street Journal explained the options available to investors who want to gain exposure to commodities in the metals, energy and agriculture sectors.

A New York Times article offers some tips to picking passwords that can thwart hackers.

Want to ruin your financial life? Author and comedian (remember the “Bueller? Bueller?” scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) Ben Stein has some tips in the hopes that people will do the opposite.

Is today’s low interest rate environment good for stocks? This article in The Economist says that based on past experience, low interest rates portend low stock market returns. That may be true but it seems to me that long-term investors would prefer a 2.3 percent real return to negative real returns.

Carl Richards has some tips for putting together a list of financial goals even though future goals may just be best guesses at this point.

Larry Swedroe has six reasons why the US economy is performing much better than the headlines indicate.