A Look at Variable Annuities

David MoonBlog, Uncategorized

Read our white paper, “A Look at Variable Annuities,” before locking away your money in a product that is regularly misunderstood, misrepresented and mis-sold. Download our white paper: A Look at Variable Annuities

Personal satisfaction at record high

David MoonBlog

A recent Gallup poll finds that a record 90 percent of Americans are satisfied with their personal lives. Sixty-five percent of Americans report being “very satisfied”, also a new all-time high. Gallup didn’t poll any specific issues related to life satisfaction, instead asking the respondents one simple question: “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in your personal life at this time?” There were five possible answers: (1) very satisfied, (2) somewhat satisfied, (3) somewhat dissatisfied, (4) very dissatisfied and (5) no opinion. How does someone have no opinion on whether or not they … Read More

Suit: Annuity language intentionally misleading

David MoonBlog

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) won’t like this next paragraph, but read the entire thing, not just the tantalizing “promises” in the first sentence. If you hire me to manage your money, I promise to always outperform the market, never lose money and that you will never be fat. You just have to let me define the terms “the market,” “outperform,” “lose money” and “fat.” As the old lawyer joke reminds us, you can name any price you want in a transaction, as long as I get to define all of the terms. Don’t email me or report me … Read More

Might as well spend taxpayer money

David MoonBlog

If you’ve ever built or renovated a house, you likely learned that the three most expensive words in any construction project are “might as well.” It’s the reason most building projects run over budget. And Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander just demonstrated it’s one reason the federal government will almost always operate at an annual deficit. Assume you are finally replacing those 1970s-era kitchen countertops your wife has never liked. “While the kitchen is an unusable construction zone, we might as well replace the cabinet hardware, too.” Or you are building a house from scratch. “While the framers are here, we … Read More

What are these investors smoking?

David MoonBlog

I didn’t need anyone to tell me that the marijuana investment craze was foolishness, but my waiter at dinner a few weeks ago provided confirmation when he spent about 20 minutes telling me about a cannabis stock that was going to make him rich. I don’t mean to pick on him; I’ve had the same conversation with plenty of people, including business owners and PhD engineers. Curiously, I haven’t had that conversation with any farmers. There are multiple facets of the marijuana investment theme, including retail sales, medical cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD oil), branded pot and hemp biomass. Bluntly, money is … Read More

Warning: Experts declare no recession imminent

David MoonBlog

On January 6, ten well-known investors and economists sat down with editors from the financial newsweekly Barron’s and reviewed their 2020 outlook for the economy and financial markets. The good news is that the experts were unanimous in their assessment that the U.S. economy would not slip into a recession this year. The bad news is that the experts were unanimous in their assessment that the U.S. economy would not slip into a recession this year. Call me a contrarian, but when the experts are unanimous about something, I examine their conclusions more carefully. Their opinions diverged on topics related … Read More

War drums offer little investment insight

David MoonBlog

Less than 24 hours after a U.S. drone strike killed Iranian General and Republican Guard head Qasem Soleimani, the phrase “World War 3” began trending on Twitter. It is generally awkward to discuss money in the context of war and death, but it doesn’t stop anyone from doing it. But unless you are going into the bomb-making business, geopolitical conflict doesn’t offer much help in making investment decisions. This is especially true with respect to Iran, which has been in an almost constant state of war with someone since at least the 7th century BC. Whether it’s fighting the Scythians, … Read More

A decade worth celebrating

David MoonBlog

By almost every quantitative measure, we just completed the most outstanding decade in the history of mankind. Poverty has declined; health and wealth have improved. And despite news reports to the contrary, this is the safest, most peaceful time in history. In 1990, 36 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, compared to less than 8 percent today. There are 500 million fewer people in poverty today than a decade ago. What about the world’s supposed “shrinking middle class?” For the first time in recorded history, over half the world’s population has enough discretionary income to be considered … Read More

Medicare for All: Are we stupid yet?

Harold Black, PhDBlog

When he reached his 80s, my dad said that the scammers must think that he had gotten stupid from all the scam calls he was now getting. Well if that were the case, then the American electorate must have just turned 80. How else to explain the serious discussion about Medicare for All where the government takes over the healthcare insurance industry? The gang that gave us Obamacare with its high deductibles and rising premiums are now going to make things worse. With straight faces comes one proposal costing $3 trillion a year and another at “only” $2 trillion a … Read More

NY resolutions about money

David MoonBlog

According to a Harris poll, this year’s most common New Year’s resolution is the same as it is every year: to lose weight. For this goal to keep topping the annual list, people must generally be failing at accomplishing this goal. Having lost a little more than 2,000 pounds in my life, I am uniquely qualified in advising people how to lose weight. I am also an expert at gaining it. This week millions of people will go through a half-hearted 2020 resolution exercise. For most, the exercise will result in little more than a wish list, without any of … Read More