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Financial Perspectives

with Michael Dubis, CFP


Government inflation is not necessarily your inflation: Part II

Once again we see that the government's definition of inflation is likely not your definition of inflation. I've written about this before.

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Government-Defined Inflation is Often Not Your Definition of Inflation

For the second year in a row, Social Security benefits will not receive a cost-of-living adjustment. Unfortunately, most folks — especially retirees — continue to feel lifestyle expenses increasing all around them. Between health care, long-term care, and property and local taxes, a large portion of your lifestyle expenses are experiencing exponentially high cost increases. Locally, we just heard that Dane County wishes to increase property taxes by 2.9%. Even if inflation is, say, 1.5% right now, this would be a 100% above-inflation increase while one of a retiree's primary sources of income — Social Security — continues to run stagnant.

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Mid-Year Market Review: Bull or Bear Arguments. What to do now?

"I don't know what to do! I personally feel bearish. But then I see markets go up though 3% in two days! So the bulls must be back. Right? Buy, sell, buy, sell ... I'm going to go broke if I keep this up!" Silly investor, thought he was smarter than the most powerful secular force on the planet. You unfortunately can't time this stuff. Investment means risk for potential reward; it does not mean risk automatically equals reward. So after about 14 months of an unprecedented run-up in stock prices (similar in precedence to the drop in 2008 and 2009), market volatility has returned.

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Commercials Are Abundant for Roth Conversions — Watch Out!

Taxes are now done! What's next? Roth IRA Conversions. That's the big thing this year so it seems.... Before 2010, only individuals with modified adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 or less could convert amounts in their traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. However, beginning in 2010, the $100,000 AGI limit on conversions of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs is eliminated.

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"Lost Decade?" That depends on the definition of markets.

I've grown increasingly tired of the media and misinformed talking heads stating we lost a decade of investment returns. It's simply not true. Unless, of course, you were not diversified in your portfolio or you failed to rebalance to your risk tolerance. Then, of course, as always, you lost. Nothing has changed when folks think they are smarter than the aggregate capital markets.

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About This Blog

It is an understatement to say the world has experienced a radical shift in capital markets. There are more layers of information and opinions on the direction of the world than we've seen in decades. The internet and the media do not always make it easier, but Michael Dubis' contribution through IB blogs will help you sift through the noise and give you some perspective. You can find his company online.

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