Last updateTue, 30 May 2017 5pm

A new way to move a pension

One of the most difficult decisions employees face when leaving a job is whether to roll over their company pensions to an IRA.

If you’ve worked at the same company for many years, that pension balance is likely to be substantial, so this could be an important decision.

How to understand the true cost of car ownership

Americans in general – and Californians in particular – love their cars. Given the abysmal public transportation here when compared with the rest of the developed world, a car is seen as a necessity, and an expensive one at that.

It's time to worry about our pensions


I recently attended a seminar about public pension reform led by Chuck Reed, former San Jose mayor and current board member of the Retirement Security Initiative.

Back in 2012, Reed led the effort to pass a pension reform measure for San Jose. Today, he paints a dire picture of the underfunded pension situation across the United States, not just for those on public pensions, but for all retirees. Reed says a solution is difficult to find because it would require compromise from the same people who caused the problem in the first place: politicians, union leaders and even rating agencies.

ETNs are not the same as ETFs

Thanks to the proliferation of 401(k) and similar retirement plans, most everyone today has become familiar with mutual funds.

In 1993, the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) came into being. Although not as well understood as mutual funds, ETF investment growth today is starting to eclipse that of traditional mutual funds.

Double your money

In Douglas Adams’ best-seller “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” the magic number that unlocked the universe’s answers was simple, if opaque: “42.” Adams later said it was a joke and that he picked the number at random, though many tried hard to justify that number as a truly magic number.

When it comes to investing and finance, however, there is a truly magic number: 72. While a spreadsheet or a scientific calculator may be required to calculate compound interest, using the number 72 gives you a simple calculation for when your money can double after compounding over the course of several years.

The wrong way to evaluate investment performance

The Harvard Crimson ran an editorial last year excoriating the university’s management of its endowment fund. Harvard’s student newspaper was blunt.

“Harvard Management Company announced a $2 billion loss for fiscal year 2016. Let’s not mince words: This is unacceptable,” it said.

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