Shortly before his humiliation and expulsion from public life, Florida Senator Marco Rubio resurrected the idea of allowing some non-government employees to invest in the Thrift Savings Plan, which is the federal equivalent of private-sector 401(k) and non-profit 403(b) plans. The proposal got some sympathetic attention from lazy personal finance journalists, and some critical … [Read more...] about Everyone should have access to the federal Thrift Savings Plan, but not for you reason you think
This is a funny thing I was unaware of until I saw someone mention it on Twitter the other day: the SEC hosts a website offering free financial planning tools. I was surprised, since I think of the SEC as having a "hands-off" approach to investing: they don't want people to commit too much fraud or anything, but they're mostly indifferent to whether you invest well or poorly … [Read more...] about The SEC offers free financial planning tools. Are they any good?
The other day, I received an invitation to an event at the Brookings Institution called "The new American dream: Retirement security." This seemed right up my alley, so I clicked through to see the event details. The description starts off with some generic language: "The American dream has drawn millions to the 'land of opportunity' and long encapsulated the idea that every … [Read more...] about The risks of specialized knowledge
Because of the antipathy of American politicians to low-income people, who mostly don't vote and mostly don't make large campaign contributions, we've been blessed with a fractured and dysfunctional welfare state, designed to make income support as cumbersome and difficult as possible to receive, even or perhaps especially for those people who are, in fact, entitled to … [Read more...] about What’s the optimal amount of self-employment income?
It's been a boring year in the stock market. If you bought Vanguard's S&P 500 ETF on October 16, 2017, and held it until this last Friday, you would have earned a mere 10% in price appreciation, and a mere 2-4% in dividends (I can't be bothered to look up the exact historical dividend yield at the moment). If you assume 2% inflation (and no, I don't know why people assume … [Read more...] about Something finally happened in the stock market. What did you do?