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Weekend Reads – February 16, 2018

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by Paul Kindzia in Uncategorized
February 16, 2018

Fill your brain with some goodness and read some of these recommended articles on debt, investing, health, time management, and other interesting tidbits to give you a leg up in life.

Simplify your life. Find your truth. Work towards your goals.

Financial Planning

• Important research from Stanford on planning for retirement with longevity in focus. How to increase the probabilities that you don’t outlive your financial resources in your golden years when you are no longer actively working – http://longevity.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/How-to-pensionize-any-IRA-401k-final.pdf
• XIV was an exchange traded note that “shorted volatility.” It was a product/strategy that looked and performed like a “can’t lose proposition.” Everything was going great until it lost over 90% of its value in 24 hours. Here’s the story of how a trader lost $4 million and 3 years of work over one night – https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-06/xiv-trader-loses-4-million-and-3-years-work-here-his-story
• There is an acute rental housing crisis on the way. Rents are skyrocketing past affordability for low to middle income households – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/16/major-apartment-developer-there-is-an-acute-crisis-headed-our-way.html
• Proving once again that investors don’t ever really buy low and sell high. They buy high, hope to sell higher and then get squeezed when markets come down. E-Trade adds 37,100 new accounts in January 2018 while markets are at extreme valuations. – https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-12/retail-goes-all-e-trade-adds-37100-new-accounts-154

Crooked Wall Street

• Massachusetts regulators blast Scottrade for “an aggressive sales culture” related to client retirement accounts, violating fiduciary standards – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/15/scottrades-aggressive-sales-culture-draws-regulatory-action.html

• So this is a good example of a big company doing some risky investing stuff without any regards to the well being of their customers. Wells Fargo increasing the risk underneath the target date funds of investors who wanted to stay conservative. What’s the good news? Wells Fargo got fired, as they should. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/01/wells-fargo-loses-a-big-client-after-dialing-up-risk-in-its-target-date-retirement-funds.html
• Do you trust Wall Street investment firms? If you do, you need to get your head examined. Credit Suisse defends their ETN that exploded in the market and lost over 90% of its value in less than 24 hours – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/07/credit-suisse-defends-controversial-xiv-etn-amid-market-turmoil.html

Debt

• Updated data shows, credit card, student loan and auto debt now hit record highs in December 2017. Savings rates plunging down to 2% – https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-07/credit-card-student-auto-debt-all-hit-record-highs-december
• Student loan crisis worsens. Defaults will start to strain the government (which means the taxpayers). This is what happens when people borrow money without thinking through the eventual need to pay it back – https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-03/student-loan-crisis-worsens-looming-defaults-strain-govt-bailout-program
• It’s official: most Americans are in debt (usually up to their eyeballs) but who’s watching anyway? – https://www.fool.com/retirement/2018/02/15/its-official-most-americans-are-currently-in-debt.aspx
• Total US household debt soars to record above $13 trillion – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/13/total-us-household-debt-soars-to-record-above-13-trillion.html
• You may be trying to pay off your debts all wrong. Here’s the best ways – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/09/why-snowball-method-is-best-way-to-pay-off-debt.html

Investments/Valuations

• The U.S. stock market is the most expensive in the world right now – https://seekingalpha.com/article/4140123-u-s-stock-market-expensive-world
• Hussman’s insight and models aren’t always the easiest to understand. But for those willing to put in the time and effort to learn and comprehend, the value is priceless in reducing your portfolio risks and preserving your wealth when it counts the most. Be aware, these are not short-term timing techniques. These are proven mathematical models built upon historical data points that make things very clear once you acknowledge that the price you pay for any investment will dictate your future success or failure – https://www.hussmanfunds.com/comment/mc180201/
• On her last day as Federal Reserve head, Janet Yellen expressed her concerns over how high the stock market has become.  Well thanks for that news update as you are walking out the door. It probably had nothing to do with your 0% interest rate policies and massive government stimulus programs…I guess by declaring this on her last day she isn’t responsible for any of the follow up mess because “she told us so.” – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/05/yellen-hard-to-tell-if-market-is-in-a-bubble-but-valuations-high.html

Macro

• Bridgewater (The largest global hedge fund) has established a massive European short position which now stands at $22 Billion (and growing) – https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-14/bridgewaters-european-short-grows-massive-22-billion-here-are-targeted-companies

Health

• The head of the Center For Disease Control had to resign because after being appointed, she thought it would be a great idea to invest in tobacco stocks, the very companies that are responsible for supplying some of the most harmful consumer goods to our society which contributes to our country’s monster healthcare epidemic. You can’t make this stuff up – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/31/dr-brenda-fitzgerald-head-of-the-centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention-resigns.html
• Research now showing links between consumption of ultra-processed foods and cancer risks – http://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k322
• Booze, pizza, and sex. What Americans will (and won’t) give up for better sleep – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/14/study-americans-would-give-up-alcohol-for-more-restful-sleep.html
• Many people take dangerously high amounts of ibuprofen without realizing the damage they are doing to their bodies – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/08/many-people-take-dangerously-high-amounts-of-ibuprofen.html

 

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