Planning for My Financial Future

I’ve been fortunate over the past few years. I’ve managed to get out of debt, quit my day job to write full time, built substantial savings, and am now able to do what I want when I want. I still work hard, of course, but I do so on my own terms. I’m a lucky man.

Read more »

Merry Christmas from the ECB … and Happy New Year from the Federal Reserve!

The $50 billion in renewed currency swap lines at the beginning of December was a nice stocking stuffer for the euro zone. Here’s how it’ll work:

Read more »

The Man Who Invented Christmas

In the spirit of the holidays we decided to depart from our normal financial topics to bring you Alex’s inspiring anecdote of Charles Dickens, “The Man Who Invented Christmas.”

Read more »

Subs of European insurers could be torpedoed by crisis on the continent

Ratings for Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America and Aviva Life and Annuity Co. have been placed on review with negative implications by A.M. Best Co. Inc. due to their parent companies’ exposure to the eurozone crisis.

Read more »

Can We Expect Relief At The Pump Next Year?

To this day I can’t figure out why I hate paying for high gas prices at the pump. It’s not like I can’t afford to pay a little more to fill up. But I keep thinking of how many six-packs I could be buying if only gas prices hadn’t gone up so much this year.

Read more »

A Very Scary Christmas And An Incredibly Frightening New Year

Can you hear that?  It almost sounds like a little bit of peace and quiet.  This year, the holiday season has been fairly uneventful, and for that we should be very grateful.

Read more »

The Twelve Days of Christmas for Our Weak Economy

Despite glimmers of improvement, the US economy remains lackluster and Washington seems unable to get anything passed to help, even a payroll tax extension that all sides want. Things are worse in Europe.

Read more »

Thinking About Year End Tax Issues? How About Tax Free CEFs?

Tax free stocks are technically closed end funds or CEFs that own municipal bonds which pay tax free interest. There are risks of course like any investment, such as a potential  rise in interest rates, which would cause the price of the shares to drop. Plus many CEFs use leverage to obtain higher yields.

Read more »

Congress Handing Out Stock Tips to Hedge Fund Managers

As if trading on insider information gleaned from their legislative duties wasn’t bad enough, now it turns out Congress has been passing that information on to hedge fund managers as well.

Read more »

Detecting and Preventing Lifestyle Creep

For three years, I’ve been patting myself on the back. The household expenses remain the same every month, and we’re getting out of debt. In spite of increases in costs, we’ve found efficiencies and made room.

Read more »