According to the website BrainyQuote, the famously reclusive Howard Hughes coined the phrase Money can't buy happiness. In reading about his life of producing movies, racing airplanes and dating glamorous women, I note very few times when he did, in fact, seem to have lived happily.
Since I’m on the leading edge of the Baby Boom generation, the Beatles have been an influence on my life for more than half a century. During their touring years, the least flamboyant of them was George Harrison, the lead guitarist and contributor of one song per album. After the band members went their separate ways, he became better known as a songwriter.
Many great fortunes have been made by purchasing the right stock at the right time but the risk inherent in the stock market means that there will always be a role for bonds to play.
Hedge funds are periodically in the news, so let’s shine a light into that corner of the market beginning with a definition. When used as a verb, hedge means to limit or qualify (something) by conditions or exceptions. Since we know that a fund is a pooled investment strategy, we can see that a hedge fund is a pooled investment used to limit risk.
If an investor decides that stock ownership seems like a workable strategy for making money over time, how does she or he decide which company to become an owner of, i.e. which stock to purchase? Choices abound. There are shares of around 8,000 companies currently available on US exchanges and at least that many more on foreign exchanges.
A recently widowed woman visited our office not long ago asking for help understanding her investment portfolio. Fortunately, she was in good financial shape but I was struck by some of her questions. While I strive for clarity both in person and in print, at one point she asked me what an index fund was.
Lots of publications provide a “year in review” issue in December, so here are some reflections on issues that affect WWA and our clients.
I’d like to begin by returning to my youth in Indianapolis listening to radio station WIBC. Its broadcast day began with Harry Andrews’ farm report. Although I’m about to turn 70, I’m still not sure what barrows and gilts might be.
Although I don't think anyone expects a Social Security check alone to be enough to support their retirement, the income is certainly a welcome addition to those who have completely or partially stopped working. Most years, there's a cost of living increase to help reduce the sting of inflation and benefits have increased every year but two since 1975.
It’s been a few years since I last discussed Medicare, the government program that helps insure health care costs for those of us who are 65 or older. Since it recently turned 50, I thought I’d offer an update. It was conceived as a way to provide health insurance coverage for retirees and it continues to fulfill that role.
My previous newsletter kicked off the tour of our office wall which features quotations that I find helpful in various ways. We last heard from Peter Lynch, legendary manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund. Next up is the current manager of Berkshire-Hathaway’s investment portfolio, Warren Buffett.