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.
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.
Until recently, many retirees have been able to rely upon the three-legged stool of retirement income sources: A defined benefit pension plan that guarantees a lifetime income, their own savings, and Social Security.
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.
The challenge for most people today is finding the right financial advisor. The sheer number of financial professionals holding themselves out as “financial advisors,” makes it a daunting task at best. It is easier if you know what to look for, but that requires an acute sense of what exactly you want from an advisory relationship.
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.
It seems that I’m not the only one who appreciates the wisdom of philosopher and Hall of Fame catcher Lawrence Peter Berra. Yogi was named "Wisest Fool of the Past 50 Years" by The Economist and I’m going to turn to him again for the title of an article.
Over the years I’ve been involved in the world of investments, I’ve found that my clients have been able to make money in all three of stocks, bonds and real estate, though rarely at the same time. Since no one knows the best time to invest in any one of them, we encourage most of our clients to use all of them.
Although I’ve been helping people with their investments for twenty-five years, I know there’s always going to be something new to learn so I regularly attend conventions and participate in asset manager’s conference calls. A few years ago, I was on a call hosted by Christopher Davis, a third generation money manager from the Boston area.