Alternative Retirement: Introduction

From the start of this site we’ve looked at many aspects of retirement planning trying to incorporate some alternative ideas into the conversation. The manner in which people will retire, both day to day living and funding their lifestyles, is of course evolving and doing so at a fairly rapid rate. I’ve worked in financial services for decades and all of the concepts about how to save, invest and then withdraw are all valid but appear as though they will apply to fewer and fewer people for the foreseeable future. Earlier this year I had a series of blog posts looking at lifestyle choices at attitudes in a series called Figuring it Out and so I think a next step is a series of blog posts about retirement but with less of an investment advisor approach as a lot of people, for whatever reason, will never seek out professional guidance. The significance of the Figuring It Out series is that retirement issues might be a little easier to address retirement issues once the other stuff is figured out. You can look at the Figuring It Out posts here, here, here and here.   If regular financial planning won’t be sufficient for some folks those people still need to figure something out, like the horny toad pictured above who can change his color to better fit in with his surroundings, they need to adapt their expectations of their future to their reality. My first direct exposure to this concept cam from living in Walker. There have always been people up here successfully making their “retirement” work without having $1 million saved...

Yeah, The Fed Still Wants To Hike Rates

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; If you read this week’s Barron’s will find at least three mentions of a Chinese solar stock that cut in half in a matter of hours last week after months of spectacular gains. In subsequent days, Chinese financial companies associated with the solar stock had similar declines last week but one of them had a 52% lift on Tuesday. We report this not for the general interest such price moves may have but because the solar stock in question had a 12% weighting in one of the solar ETFs and so that ETF felt the impact of the decline quite noticeably. Please click through to read the entire update. Chase Field panorama from an event last Friday saluting Wildland...

The (Investment) World Is Changing And You Need To Get On Board

My latest post for Alpha Baskets looks at the extent to which the world, investing and otherwise, is changing and the importance of keeping up. From the post; Capital markets are no different. Certain jobs don’t exist anymore or there are fewer of them (like exchange personnel) and new products have come along that seek to offer new exposures or tap into some trend. Current jobs will disappear (robo advisors will supplant some portion of RIAs even if not a lot of them) and products will continue to evolve. Please click through to read the entire post. The picture is from the prescribed burn that I mentioned earlier this...

Market in Retro Grade

This week’s market update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; Last week the news was more volatile than the equity market. The week started with a throwback story of an AOL merger and although the first one is generally viewed as a seminal event in the popping of the internet bubble, the latest one might be best thought of as an amusing footnote. Later in the week came a fraudulent buyout offer of the other big multilevel marketing firm. Please click through to read the entire update. The first picture is from over the weekend, Walker Fire participated in the Ranch Prescribed Burn with the US Forest Service. The second picture is from our May 2 training that I filtered the hell out of on...

If The Bond Market Crashes, It Will Look Like Every Other Crash

My latest at AlphaBaskets considers the possibility of bond market upheaval with some ideas about how to manage around taking the full brunt should such upheaval occur. From the post; This brings us to a post from USA Today that asks Time For A No Bond Portfolio? The article itself is not so hot but I believe the title asks a pretty good question. A better way to frame it might be is it time to rethink bond exposure not in terms of owning more equities but in terms of finding legitimate substitutes that offer closer to normal bond market returns, with similar volatility profiles but without taking interest rate risk. Please click through to read the entire...