Fri10242014

Business & Real Estate

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your lifetime.

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Is that hedge fund really worth it?

One expert argues that hedge funds are overpriced, nontransparent and provide poor returns over time.

Simon Lack, author of “The Hedge Fund Mirage: The Illusion of Big Money and Why It’s Too Good to Be True” (Wiley, 2012) and previously a member of J.P. Morgan’s hedge fund due-diligence team, spoke at the CFA Institute’s annual conference in Seattle earlier this year. He explained that hedge funds suffer from some of the same problems as actively managed mutual funds. Their managers claim to be able to take advantage of market inefficiencies, improve diversification and provide lower correlations to more traditional investments. But the bigger the funds grow, the harder it becomes to make a difference

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Are Money Market Funds Still Safe? (Part 2)

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on money market funds.

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Does recent SEC action make money market funds riskier?

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on money market funds.

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Are you ready to retire to South Dakota?

Bankrate.com recently ranked the 10 best states for retirement. The list, which includes such rugged spots as Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming, was topped by, of all places, South Dakota.

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Annuities are not always a bad thing

Annuities have received some bad press in the financial planning community. They tend to be denigrated because of their cost – “They have way too many fees, many of them hidden” – or because they are not hedged against inflation, effectively reducing their usefulness at exactly the time (later in life) when they’re designed to provide the most value.

What’s important to recognize is that not all annuities are the same, and that allocating a portion of your retirement portfolio to two types in particular can provide better longevity protection than investing solely in stocks and bonds.

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Are index funds really less expensive?

When it comes to investing, there are many things we cannot control. For example, we cannot control, let alone predict, investment returns. On the other hand, there are things we can and should control, such as the costs of our investments.

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