October 2009

Bought a home with problems? Part 2

Posted by on October 29, 2009 in Mom2KG Columns, Real Estate

Today is a continuation of yesterday’s post on what to do if you buy a home with a problem; a dialogue between myself and my regular columnist, Mom2KG. Today we talk about how real estate lawyers help (or don’t) and how to approach the vendor in solving problems in the house they are selling you. [...]

Bought a home with problems?

Posted by on October 28, 2009 in Mom2KG Columns, Real Estate

Decide to buy a home. Hire a real estate agent. Look for houses. Look again. Make an offer on a home. Make another offer. Enter into an agreement of purchase and sale…. and, now, there is a problem before closing. What do you do? Can your real estate agent help you? Your real estate lawyer? [...]

How effective are dividend stocks in downturns?

Posted by on October 27, 2009 in Dividends

If history is any indication, economically disruptive rescission, like the 1991 variety, tend to produce two things in their wake. There is a predictable increase in companies reporting losses or profits based mostly on cost-cutting initially and, correspondingly, companies begin to be creative in their financial reporting to meeting earnings expectations. However, studies continue to [...]

How lawsuits impact the average consumer

Posted by on October 26, 2009 in Investment Information

Conventional wisdom is that business booms for litigation lawyers during down times. As the money and cash flow dries up, it is harder for people to buy their way out of disputes and, ergo, cue the lawsuits. If most of us are lucky, we will never be subject to a lawsuit. But, as consumers, the [...]

The curious case of the Madoff clawbacks

Posted by on October 22, 2009 in Misc.

Imagine you invested in a mutual fund several years ago. You received dividends and, on sale, capital gains. Not soon after the sale of your units, the mutual fund is put into receivership or goes bankrupt. A few months after that, you receive a letter from the receiver or trustee asking for your profits back [...]

How would we do in a world without financial advisors?

Posted by on October 21, 2009 in Investment Information

It has been trendy lately to pile on the financial advisor or financial planner. The typical complaints are that financial advisors actually lower returns, increase risk exposure, turnover stock/mutual fund/ETF portfolios unnecessarily and charge fees disproportional to their value. Stories have been written about suing financial advisors and, in a grossly unfair generalization, financial advisors [...]

Who decides my burial?

Posted by on October 20, 2009 in estate planning

Ted Williams, arguably the greatest left-handed hitter in baseball, died in 2002 with 3 adult children. In the immediate aftermath of his death, rather than celebrate a full life as a hall of fame baseball player and war veteran, his children squabbled over what to do with his body. Ted’s will stated he wanted to [...]

Does choice affect asset allocation?

Posted by on October 19, 2009 in Investment Information

Congrats to David for winning the draw for the book The Secret Language of Money. David has received an email informing him that he was the winner. Thanks for participating and I hope to have at least one more draw this year. Asset allocation is the strategy of distributing one’s investments across different investment classes. [...]

Do I have rights as an employee when my company goes bankrupt?

Posted by on October 15, 2009 in Jobs

The effective unemployment rate (those out of work and those who have stopped looking for work) is, in some regions, in double digits. No doubt, some of this unemployment is due to businesses being petitioned or assigned into bankruptcy or receivership (typically, a receiver is a person placed in custodianship of a business to, often, [...]

Are dividend ETFs redundant?

Posted by on October 14, 2009 in Dividends

Numerous studies have found that the number of dividend paying stocks continue to decline. Not surprisingly, this has resulted in an increasing concentration of dividend paying stocks in large cap indexes as medium to small cap indexes tend to have members with characteristics not conducive to paying shareholder dividends: mainly lower profitability and less reliable [...]