February 9, 2012

The Problem with Long-term Stock Market Investments

One of the long-term retirement strategies that I learned about in my university Personal Finance class was to invest in the stock market. (This was way back in 2004.) Sure, there have always been dips and lulls, bears and bulls; but historically, it's always made profit. It made me think of the stock market tend like this: (S&P 500)

Ah ha, this is the ticket to financial freedom! Early retirement! I just invest in my 401/k and Roth IRA (RRSP), and I'm set! It's so simple! So I thought.

Only, it turns out that the stock market has actually been performing like THIS for the last 15 years:

Hmmm, see any trend difference? Raise your hand if this data raises your confidence in the future of the US economy. Think of ALL the government debt being poured into the ecomony over the past 15 years, and where has it gotten us?

So then, what does this mean in terms of investing for retirement? I'm no economist, BUT I'm left to believe that, in the future, there may not exist such a thing as retire at 65. What do you think?

February 4, 2012

Revolving Door Between Pentagon and War Industry Continues

Weapons contractor Raytheon just announced that it hired retired General James Cartwright to it s board of directors. It's another example of the revolving door between the Pentagon and the war industry. Eighty percent of retiring 3- or 4-star generals cash in by going to work for military contractors--a major conflict of interest that makes a few people at the top of these companies, very, very rich.

From 2007: A family of four's share of the financial burden for both wars is $20,900