Secured bonds, also referred to as senior secured bonds, are a great way to get decent bond yields while having extra protection against the risk of default. Any rational investor would choose a secured bond over an unsecured bond if the yields were comparable. However, investing in secured bonds can be problematic as they are difficult to find. Most bond issuances are not traded often and are not secured. Even worse is the prospect of investing in secured bond ETFs as these are generally limited to senior bank loans which have high credit risk and diluted recovery covenants. However, investing in senior secured bonds is not impossible and the investor can be rewarded for doing a little legwork. Here is how to do it.Read More →
The Social Security Administration does a great job at letting you know what your future benefits will be if you plan on retiring at 62 or 67 with the assumption you will be working until at least age 62. What if you plan on retiring sooner than that? How would you know what to expect? The Contrarian Project created an early retirement calculator to give you an understanding of what your future benefits will be, in today's dollars, if you retired right now or within the next 5 years.Read More →
It has been well established that gold is a great way to store and preserve wealth, especially in a world of fiat currency. But what about the other precious metals such as silver, platinum and palladium? Should you also have exposure to these metals or can these metals replace gold in a portfolio?Read More →
Investing can be complicated but it doesn’t need to be. If you are new to investing or you would like to consider another approach besides following the herd look no further than the Contrarian’s Investing Made Simple guide. This guide is designed to be a simple, rules-based guide to help you grow your financial knowledge and wealth..Read More →
The U-Haul Investors Club is a peer to business lending program that allows non-accredited investors the opportunity to invest in small dollar notes secured by assets, called U-Notes, for a fixed period in exchange for quarterly interest payments. The program has been around for many years and has attracted more than $138 million in investment so far.
The program is relatively unique in that is it not a peer to peer lending program, the loans are secured (i.e. asset-backed) and it is available to non-accredited investors. Is this program right for you? Read on to find out.Read More →
The most common question one encounters when considering the prospect of retirement is how much money will be needed. Doing a simple internet search will result in a variety of retirement calculators where, using some simple assumptions, one can calculate the money needed for retirement. However, most of these calculators are wrong. Here is why.Read More →
For decades now we have seen standards of living decline for the average American household. With constantly rising cost of living and stagnant wages it can seem the system is rigged against the common citizen. Make no mistake about it, the economy is indeed rigged and it is rigged on purpose.Read More →
The saying goes that a little inflation is good for the economy (whereas high inflation and deflation are bad). We are told this by the Federal Reserve, politicians and just about anywhere one can look online. The Fed embarked on multi-trillion dollar quantitative easing projects since the global financial crisis in 2008 in part just to stimulate inflation. So is a little inflation actually good?Read More →
The Consumer Price Index is an index maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that claims to measure the prices of a basket of goods and services over time. When the index was first created that is indeed what it did. However, the numerous revisions since its creation has changed the index to combine attributes of price changes with assumptions of consumer behavior. The CPI is now effectively a behavioral index that no longer focuses primarily on price changes over time
Inflation on the other hand is roughly defined as the rate of increases in prices for a basket of goods and services over time. Inflation sounds very similar to CPI but don’t be fooled.Read More →
Peer-to-peer lending has exploded in popularity over the last few years as interest rates stayed at historic lows. Investors have been desperately seeking yield and rightfully so. Peer-to-peer lending has provided an attractive alternative to low yield treasuries and certificates of deposits. However, these lending platforms carry significant risk – more risk than the returns provide. Below are the dangers of the two most popular lending platforms and why you should stay away from them.Read More →
Imagine you had a bank account. To fund your bank account you have to buy currency from a third party, who charges you a fee, and then you need to transfer the currency to your bank account, incurring another fee.
Now imaging you want to use your bank account to make a purchase. Every time you want to make a purchase you pay a fee. In addition, you also have to wait for the transaction to clear, sometimes waiting many hours.
Would you use this kind of bank account? Of course not. But this is exactly how cryptocurrencies work.Read More →
People often talk about and think about houses as a good investment. At first glance it appears to be reasonable considering houses generally appreciate in value over time. If one purchases a house and sells it for more than the purchase price surely it is a good investment, right?
Not quite. A house is an asset as well as a liability. Assets in and of themselves do not necessarily equate to "good" investments, and indeed a house is terrible investment. Let's review the reasons why.Read More →