Archive - October 2008

1
Diversified Portfolio is Still the Long-Term Favorite
2
What Should You Do With Your 401(k) When You Change Jobs?
3
Lehman CDS Auction Should Reveal Winners and Losers
4
FDIC Account Insurance Limits Raised Temporarily
5
Fidelity and Vanguard Join Treasury’s Money Market Guaranty Plan

Diversified Portfolio is Still the Long-Term Favorite

There’s a lot of soul-searching among advisers these days, when financial markets all over the world seem to be tanking simultaneously. Still, past experience has shown that pulling an investment portfolio entirely out of stocks after a downturn is a bad idea. The problem is that no one can say for certain when stock markets will begin to go up.  Mind you, eventually some stock timer somewhere will announce that it’s time to get back into stocks, and lo, the stock market will climb, as if by magic.  But with thousands of professional stock timers out there making predictions, someone

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What Should You Do With Your 401(k) When You Change Jobs?

This is a question that most people will face sooner or later, since labor statistics indicate that the average person entering the workforce will change jobs at least seven times. What follows is a short discussion of some of the key considerations that should be kept in mind as you evaluate this question. This summary is not personalized financial advice; remember that there will be tax and/or other financial consequences depending on what you decide to do.

Every few weeks, I get some sort of mailing from one of various investment firms urging me to roll my old retirement accounts …

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Lehman CDS Auction Should Reveal Winners and Losers

Lehman CDS Until now, it hasn’t been entirely clear how much damage will result from the Lehman bankruptcy. An auction taking place today will be an important step in assessing which financial institutions stand to take a hit. Today’s auction involves a type of security that many people know little about or have only heard of recently: credit default swaps.

What are credit default swaps?

Generally, an “investment swap” involves trading one security for another.  However, another kind of investment swap is a contract: one in which two parties agree to enter into transactions with each other on the basis of changes …

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FDIC Account Insurance Limits Raised Temporarily

As part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the level of FDIC insurance coverage has increased as of October 3rd to $250,000. As I noted in an earlier post, it’s possible to have much more than $250,000 of coverage at the same bank, because the coverage depends on the titling of the account.

For example, if a husband and wife each have an IRA and an individual account, and the two also a joint account at the same FDIC-insured bank, their deposits are insured to the follow limits:

Husband:
Single-owner account – $250,000
Joint-owner account -$250,000
IRA …

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Fidelity and Vanguard Join Treasury’s Money Market Guaranty Plan

081 - VanguardToday’s WSJ notes that Fidelity, Vanguard, and T. Rowe Price Group have signed up for the Treasury Dept’s guaranty fund for money market funds that were held prior to September 19th. Now all the major mutual fund families with large money market funds appear to be participating in the fund (Charles Schwab is also on the list). Investors wondering about their accounts should check their fund’s web site; participating funds seem to be announcing their participation fairly prominently. You may also want to confirm that the specific fund that you own is covered; for example, Schwab’s U.S. Dollar Liquid Assets …

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