Posts by Bernice Napach
- Bernice Napach at Yahoo Finance2 days ago
Forget gold, antique cars or fine art to hedge against losses in stocks and bonds or boost your investment gains. There's another alternative investment especially for those in no hurry for quick gains: rare instruments. The Economisteven says the violin market is “red hot."
London instrument dealer Florian Leonhardsays the average Stradivarius -- created by renowned Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari in the late 17th and early 18th centuries -- has increased in price by almost 11% annually over the past decade. (The Dow has gained an average of less than 7% in the same time frame.)
Carpenter Fine Violins, a boutique dealer in rare stringed instruments, says the rare instrument market has returned a compounded annual return of between 8% and 12% since 1950, but profits could top 20% depending on the particular instrument.
- Bernice Napach at Yahoo Finance4 days ago
More than a third of Americans haven't saved any money for retirement. That's the dramatic finding of a new survey from Bankrate.com, which also found that among those nearing retirement -- aged 50-64 -- 26% had no retirement savings, along with 14% of those 65 and older.
The big reasons people aren’t saving enough, according to the survey: lack of access to retirement savings plans at work, especially those that automatically enroll workers, and failure to make retirement saving a priority. "Inertia is a powerful thing," says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com
But it needs to be overcome, according to McBride. "'I'll just work forever’ is not a viable strategy simply because you don't control your destiny on that," McBride tells Yahoo Finance in the video above. "When we look at long-term unemployment figures, it's most concentrated among adults over 50."
Related: 7 ways to retire happy
- Bernice Napach at Yahoo Finance4 days ago
Are stocks overvalued? That's a question investors have been asking for several years since the stock market has posted huge gains while the economy has grown moderately.
One measure cited showing that overvaluation: the CAPE ratio, created by economists John Campbell and Nobel prize-winner Robert Shiller. This cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio now tops 25 -- a level that occurred only around 1929, 1999 and 2007.
But, to quote the entertainer Harvey Fierstein in , "Is that so wrong?"
Apparently it may be. The CAPE has topped the 20-level mark for most of the past 20 years, Shillerrevealed in The New York Times on Sunday. So is it a legitimate measure of stock market valuation, and why is it so high?
- Bernice Napach at Yahoo Finance8 days ago
There's no doubt that the U.S. economy has recovered from the Great Recession, reclaiming the 8.7 million jobs that were lost. But apparently they aren't the same jobs because the average annual wage for new jobs is 23% less than the average annual wage of jobs lost during the recession, according to a new report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. And there was no wage growth in thelatest monthly jobs report, which also showed the economy gaining 209,000 jobs.
"We're stuck in a kind of trap where we see a slowly accelerating economic recovery, but on the wage side it is basically still flat except for those top earners," says Tyler Cowen, economics professor at George Mason University, referring to the top 20% of earners whose wages are rising.
- Bernice Napach at Yahoo Finance9 days ago
There's no question that the U.S. corporate tax system is broken, as many CEOs would argue. The problem, however, is not only that corporate tax rates are too high -- at 35% they are the highest in the world -- but that many of the country's most profitable companies don't pay ANY corporate taxes.
USA Today reports that 20 big, profitable U.S. companies paid no taxes in the second quarter, among them Merck (MRK), General Motors (GM) and computer storage company, Seagate (STX). (See below for the full list.)
Merck, the second largest pharmaceutical company in the U.S., actually had a negative effective tax rate of 7.5% during the second quarter, which means it got a tax credit. Eight of the 20 companies were in real estate or real estate-related businesses.
- Bernice Napach at Yahoo Finance24 days ago
Move over immigration reform, minimum wage rate hike and climate change. Corporate tax avoidance is the latest hot issue on Capitol Hill which also has no prayer for compromise and legislation.
This morning Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill) introduced a bill to curb the latest craze to limit corporate taxes: inversion. By using corporate inversion, a U.S. company will merge with a company based overseas where tax rates are lower. The foreign company is then considered the owner of U.S. operations, so the company is taxed at the lower rate. Nothing else changes in terms of corporate operations.
Senator Durbin calls inversion a "monetary calculation ... a decision to desert America while still expecting the same benefits as truly American companies."
- Bernice Napach at Yahoo Finance25 days ago
A leading mutual fund manager sees an opportunity in transportation stocks right now.
Craig Hodges is president of HodgesCapital Management, and a portfolio manager of the Hodges Small Cap fund (HDPSX), which has outperformed all but one other general U.S. domestic stock fund over the past five years.
His funds have profited investing in airlines and other transportation stocks. Among his fund's top 10 holdings are American Airlines (AAL) and Spirit Airlines (SAVE), which releases earnings before Tuesday's open.
Russian government policies helped create many of the country's billionaires and now they are the reason many of those billionaires are losing billions of dollars of wealth.
These oligarchs got rich when the Russian government awarded them control of newly-privatized, state-owned enterprises. But sanctions imposed by the U.S. and European Union to protest Russia's incursion into Ukraine have erased some of that wealth.
As of Monday, the 19 richest Russians lost $14.5 billion so far this year, while the 64 richest Americans gained $56.5 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires, which tracks the net worth of the world's richest people.
"These sanctions are really hitting these guys," says Rob LaFranco, an editor at Bloomberg Billionaires. "They're losing a lot of money every day and it's continuing to go down."
Since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the U.S. alone has lost close to 3 million jobs, according to the AFL-CIO and Economic Policy Institute. That's because American manufacturers can't compete with cheaper Chinese imports, and there are a lot more of them after China joined the WTO. So many U.S. companies laid off workers and closed factories.
John Bassett III, a third-generation furniture factory owner in Virginia, refused to do that. He decided instead to take on the Chinese.
"He's absolutely relentless, “says Beth Macy, author of F actory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local -- and Helped Save an American Town .
Bassett traveled from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to northern China to visit a factory that made knockoffs of the furniture his factory made. Bassett pretended to be interested in doing business with the Chinese manufacturer, who was willing to supply Bassett with furniture provided he closed his own factory.
Investors typically want to buy low and sell high to maximize profits. But, according to New York Times economics correspondent Neil Irwin, that's difficult to do now in what he calls the "everything boom" economy.
"Around the world, nearly every asset class is expensive by historical standards," writes Irwin in a recent New York Times column. "Stocks and bonds; emerging markets and advanced economies; urban office towers and Iowa farmland ... [all] trading at prices that are high by historical standards relative to fundamentals." The result, according to Irwin is "relatively low returns for investors."
Irwin tells Yahoo Finance in the video above that two basic trends are driving up asset prices and driving down investment returns. He says one factor is the very accommodative policies of the world's central banks. "They have been printing money like it's nobody's business for more than 5 years.”