The Demise of Investigative Journalism
The Huffington Post, March 2009
The 20,000 journalism jobs lost in the past 18 months are flushing knowledge and experience out of American newsrooms, diminishing our lives and our democracy.
Building a Portfolio for All Seasons
Fidelity magazine, May 2007
The right investment mix may help your portfolio in any environment—whether it’s a sunny day or a stormy one on Wall Street.
Your Take-Charge Guide to Affordable Health Care
AARP The Magazine, July/August 2006
How scared are you of big medical bills? If you’re like most people, very. Americans fret more about their health care costs than they do about losing a job, paying the mortgage, or becoming a victim of terrorism, according to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Le Bond du Jour
Wealth Manager, May 2006
Pop quiz: Foreign bonds make up what percent of fixed-income investment opportunities worldwide?
A. 23 percent
B. 52 percent
C. More than 75 percent
D. Who cares?
The answer, per the number crunchers at T. Rowe Price, is C. But many American investors—amateur and professional alike—would likely answer D.
REITS GO Global
Financial Planning, April 2005
Welcome to the brave new world of international real estate securities
“Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.”
—Gone with the Wind
Whether you agree with Scarlett O’Hara’s dad or not, there’s no denying that land—if not Southern plantations, then certainly modern malls, condos, and hotels—has been an awfully good investment of late. For 2004, the nearly 200 U.S.-based real estate investment trusts (REITs) that collectively make up the NAREIT Composite Index returned 31.6 percent. Over the past five years, the NAREIT’s compound annual return has been 22 percent, and over the past 10 years, 14.8 percent. Not even vintage Pez dispensers have done that well, never mind plain vanilla stocks and bonds.
Invest Like the Big Boys
AARP Bulletin, March 2005
Exchange-traded funds are moving from Wall Street to Main Street
Every month, it seems, Wall Street comes up with some newfangled investment idea. The array of financial products is now so dizzying that the old lumpy mattress is starting to look like a more comfortable place to stash the cash. But there is one new product out there definitely worth looking at. Something of a cross between an index mutual fund and a stock, it’s called an exchange-traded fund, or ETF.
50-Plus and Going Broke
AARP Bulletin, January 2005
Divorce, layoffs, medical costs—and seductive credit cards—add up to a bankruptcy boom
Sandra Thompson, 64, of Eugene, Oregon, is not a shopaholic with closets full of fancy clothes. To the contrary, she describes herself as a frugal woman with an aversion to debt. But after the death of her first husband, a failed business and a divorce, with no career training to speak of, she found herself going deeply in the hole.
Lighten Up Lighten Up
AARP Modern Maturity, May/June 2003
Moving to a smaller place isn’t a step backward—it’s a chance to do more with less
With home prices at record highs in most parts of the country, have you asked yourself lately if it makes sense to be clinging to the big old place you’ve lived in for years? Ever since the kids moved out it has seemed awfully empty. And the upkeep-the dusting, the lawn cutting, the sidewalk shoveling—isn’t getting easier. Then there are the expenses—not the mortgage (chances are, that’s paid off by now), but taxes and insurance and utilities. That stuff’s not getting any cheaper, either.
Someone to Watch Over Me
AARP Modern Maturity, January/February 2003
What you need to know before you sign on the dotted line for long-term care insurance
An Oregon widow’s long-term care (LTC) insurance refused to pay for her nursing home—because the facility didn’t precisely meet the definition of “skilled” care. An Illinois man’s $1,000-a-year LTC policy quickly skyrocketed, and when it hit $8,000 he let it lapse. When the day came that he needed long-term care, he was on his own.
The ABC’s of Money
AARP Modern Maturity, July/August 2002
The time-pressed consumer’s guide to skillful investing, saving, and spending. Let the nation’s top financial gurus show you the ropes
“I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need—if I die by four o’clock this afternoon,” said comedian Henny Youngman. Presumably you’re in the game of life for longer than that. Which is why you need a money plan. A good one needs to cover all the bases-savings, investments, pension (if any), Social Security, taxes, debts, household budgeting, and more. Unfortunately, if you’re like most people you may not have such a strategy in place yet. A recent study co-sponsored by AARP found that only 32 percent of American workers had even figured out how much they’ll need for retirement, much less felt confident about their overall financial picture. But have no fear. The solid planning starts now! Because time is money (see Franklin, Ben), all this good advice has been tightly compressed and neatly alphabetized.