Not Wrong, Just Early

When a prediction about the stock market fails to come to fruition, a timeless excuse is that the prognosticator was "not wrong, just early;" the implication being that the predicted event will eventually occur. But, as Michael Aronstein of Marketfield Asset Management contends, being early is just another way of being wrong.

Aronstein eloquently explains: "Popular media presents an endless stream of heroic commentators who 'called'...every great market dislocation since the 1929 crash. What is never mentioned is that these calls were generally three or four years before the actual event and thus useless in application. By the time such a long-touted event unfolds (if ever), the narrative behind the opinion has been so fully discredited by poor performance that clients have moved their assets elsewhere and the manager has become emotionally impaired."

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Why Your Retirement Number Should be Zero

Most people focus on how much money they need for retirement. But just as much attention should be paid to eliminating debt by the time you retire. With zero debt, you need less savings to cover your basic needs. It also allows the savings you have accumulated to be used for discretionary spending.

Musical Treat

The concept of "zero" comes up in Billy Preston's hit  "Nothing from Nothing."  The "fifth Beatle" is also worth hearing on his hit "'Round in Circles."  Love the music and the hair!

Sizing Up the Investment World

I recently sent out a survey asking questions about the size of publicly traded stock markets in various countries throughout the world. As you'll see, it was a bit of a trick question. Let's look at China and Japan to see why.

According to the World Bank, the gross domestic product of China is the second largest in the world. China's GDP is about one-third larger than Japan's. But when you look at the market capitalization of their publicly traded stocks, Japan's is three times larger than China's.

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Where Baseball and Investing Intersect

Would you pass on a six-year, $144 million contract hoping you could strike a better deal next year? Probably not. But Max Scherzer, a pitcher with my beloved Detroit Tigers, rejected such an offer. Most of us would consider Scherzer a dope for making this decision.

As a feature in Sports Illustrated points out, however, Scherzer is far from dumb. He graduated high school with a 3.9 GPA and scored a 35 out of 36 on the math portion of the ACT test. He's known as an intelligent man. So why walk away from so much money?

Scherzer has not provided an explanation, but we can see by his actions that he was probably seeking to maximize his earnings -- he believes he can make more money as a free agent next year. In his favor is the fact that this Cy Young award winning pitcher is one of the best in baseball. Yet Scherzer, who is 30 years old, faces the risk of injury or poor performance this year, thereby making a larger salary less likely.

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The Value of Art

Art appraisals are not just for the very wealthy as Debrah Dunner of Aesthetica Art Services explains.  Discover why you may need to have your collectibles valued for insurance, estate planning, and other purposes.

Musical Treat

A relatively young Rod Stewart, along with Ron Wood, perform a rollicking acoustic version of "Every Picture Tells a Story."

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