Category Archives: personal finance

Suze Update

I’ve been blogging for a good seven years now, and I’ve never — not even close — received anything like the amount of positive feedback that I got today for my blog entry on Suze Orman. I clearly touched a … Continue reading

Posted in personal finance | 1 Comment

In Praise of Suze Orman

The kind of people who read — or, for that matter, The Big Money — are not Suze Orman’s target audience. You, dear reader, are likely an urban sophisticate; you’re probably male; there’s a very good chance you work … Continue reading

Posted in personal finance | 5 Comments

Is Buying Bonds Really a Good Idea?

The WSJ’s Brett Arends has learned his lessons this year, and shares them with us, including these ones: 4. Invest more, not less. Is that a guffaw from the peanut gallery? I don’t blame you. Your savings just fell 40% … Continue reading

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Adam Levitin on Credit Card Minimum Payments

In behavioral economics, "anchoring" is a well-known phenomenon, and so it’s not surprising that when people get credit-card statements, the lower the minimum payment, the less they’re likely to pay. According to the Economist, the minimum-payment boxes are actually a … Continue reading

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The Admirable Suze Orman

I was recently flattered to be on a list of media winners from the credit crisis. But arguably the biggest winner of all wasn’t on the list: Suze Orman, who’s the subject of a mildly skeptical article in today’s WSJ. … Continue reading

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Credit Cards: Not Dead Yet

Dan Gross has a piece in Slate entitled "The Death of the Credit Card Economy". It tells a plausible and compelling story: as credit-card companies slash credit lines, so are consumers cutting back on their spending. Gross quotes Dan Ariely … Continue reading

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0% is Not a Useful Stock Fund Benchmark

Barry Ritholtz says it’s "amazing" that out of 2,100 diversified retail U.S. stock mutual funds open to new investors, just 17 have positive returns for both the past 12 months and year-to-date. The factoid comes, depressingly enough, from a very … Continue reading

Posted in investing, personal finance | 1 Comment

What’s an Easy Way to Buy Cheap Assets?

It’s much, much bigger than regional banks buying GSE preferreds. You can buy Fannie and Freddie senior debt at significant spreads over the government which is guaranteeing it; hell, you can write credit protection on the US government and make … Continue reading

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When Op-Ed Pages Turn Neutral

The Christian Science Monitor has a classic example of "Opinions on Shape of Earth Differ" syndrome. It runs a first-rate op-ed by Mark Lange on the invidious and predatory behavior of credit-card companies. It then, however, neutralizes Lange’s piece by … Continue reading

Posted in Media, personal finance | 4 Comments

A Brief History of Home Equity Loans

Louise Story has an excellent history of the home equity loan on the front page of today’s NYT. She talks a lot about the explosion in such products — outstandings rose a thousandfold, to $1 trillion, from the early 1980s … Continue reading

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