Co-authored with Theresa Hamacher.
Risk matters as much as return in any mutual fund investment, but assessing the risk of a specific mutual fund can be a challenge. Even though mutual funds have become increasingly complex, their risk disclosure was designed for a simpler era, when funds used only traditional investment strategies.
Read the rest at FT.com. (May be behind paywall.)
In this economy, a college education is more important than ever: The unemployment rate for college graduates is 3.8 percent, compared to 7.8 percent for everyone else. Yet, the exploding costs of education are causing some students to graduate with heavy debt burdens.
Read the rest at Yahoo! Finance.
Co-authored with Theresa Hamacher
Earlier this month, President Obama signed into law the Jobs Act, short for Jumpstart Our Business Startups. This Act won bipartisan support because it purports to create jobs by making it easier for small businesses to raise capital. However, the Jobs Act will also significantly loosen the regulatory requirements on hedge funds – whether or not this was the intent of Congress.
Read the rest at the FT.com
Government workers’ pensions may sound like an obscure topic, but it’s front and center in some of the most rancorous of today’s political discussions. Retirement benefits for public workers are at the heart of the conflict between state and local governments and the unions representing their workers — and how that conflict gets resolved will affect investors in the municipal bonds issued by those states and cities. Let’s take a look at the looming public pension crisis, its effect on municipal finance and how accounting reform might help.
Read the rest in the Washington Post
Bloomberg recently interviewed me for an article about the challenges facing target date funds, which are designed to gradually reduce an investor’s risk as he or she approaches retirement. Here’s what I had to say in the article:
Choose one: How would you best describe exchange-traded funds?
E. All of the above
Read the rest at the Washington Post
2011 was a tough year for private defined benefit pension plans (DB plans). According to a report from Credit Suisse, the funding gap for the DB plans of S&P 500 companies rose from $250 billion at the end of 2010 to $450 billion at the end of 2011. Note that this is much higher than the shortfall during the peak of the financial crisis, which was estimated at $274 billion.
Yesterday, Princeton Professor Emeritus Burton Malkiel wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about challenges facing bond investors looking for yield. The piece echoed much of my thinking on the issue, but I wanted to add a few more thoughts.