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Daily finance & investment thread (2-28-13 edition)

Posted on 02/27/2013 11:19:24 PM PST by dennisw

Trying to focus on the markets for today and each day and the economic news

A number of people have talked about such a thread. Lets see how it goes. This is where you can impart some investment wisdom to your fellow freepers. You can vent about the big one that got away. You can chime in how Obama is out to wreck American capitalism.

If you see another FR economic thread you like and want to link to it here, please do

Post your favorite economic site links. Your favorite precious metals blogs and sites is a solid place with good reputation to buy precious metals Kitco is a good site for charts and other precious metals information

Ping list -- on or off let me know here or via freep-mail. If I missed you then Freep-mail me

TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: finance; investing; investments; markets; personalfinance

1 posted on 02/27/2013 11:19:31 PM PST by dennisw
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To: chuckles; Diana in Wisconsin; Boogieman; BipolarBob; yldstrk; nodakkid; Aquamarine; BenLurkin; ...


2 posted on 02/27/2013 11:20:27 PM PST by dennisw (too much of a good thing is a bad thing --- Joe Pine)
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To: dennisw

A bit off topic but a financial question decision that we have less than 12 months to make. My wife turned 61yo last month, I’ll be 58yo next month. We live a comfortable mid-western life in a modest suburban home near a metro area. We don’t spend lavishly, have modest saving. In short, we have played modestly and saved well. My wife and I do feel our age, but good health as of yet. I’m employed, good compensation and benefits but I do look over my shoulder. I’m a technical professional without a BA degree. Wife worked until her early 40s in HR, then we made the decision that keeps on giving, we moved out of California. She currently volunteers at church and helps true senior citizens. Also single, responsible 28yo son w/ master’s degree and no debt. Currently job seeking, but drives a school bus to pay his rent to us. He will get 80% of rent back as lump sum when he moves back out of our house.

My question, what considerations should I take into account to analyze on our decision to have my wife start accepting Social Security at age 62.

Some of my thoughts:

Am I a selfish self-serving baby-boomer for taking SS when we don’t need it?
Should we take SS and use to payoff home mortgage?
Should or would getting her into the SS stream make it less likely they will or could pull the rug out from under her in 4 years (65yo).

I frequently tell co-workers that I’m doing better than I deserve (hat-tip Dave Ramsey), and so my dilemma because if she does take SS I’m confident I will feel like a selfish self-serving baby-boomer. I know many would like this financial dilemma, but it is a bigger moral dilemma to both of us. See my tagline.

NOTE: I’m NOT seeking help on the moral dilemma portion, only the lesser financial dilemma side.

Thanks in advance,
Mostly lurker, rare contributor, please don’t judge regarding my lurker/contributor ratio.

3 posted on 02/28/2013 12:30:59 AM PST by fastrock (It is never right to do wrong, even if sanctioned by law. - Abe Lincoln)
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To: fastrock

You gave the government a portion of your paycheck your entire working life to be spent on political bribes and you feel guilty asking for it back?

4 posted on 02/28/2013 3:21:45 AM PST by zeebee
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To: fastrock

Financially, you will get more from SS if you wait until full retirement age (66, I think, for her). You get a reduced payment by starting at 62, but you collect for 4 extra years. In her mid to late 70’s, she will catch up if she waits, and thereafter it is financially better to wait. However, you need to factor in two life expectancies: your wife’s and the Social Security program’s. If she is in good health, she can expect to live into her high 80’s and beyond. But if the SHTF, Social Security payments could be suddenly reduced, or even stop altogether (or be inflated away to insignificance). If you think those dire possibilities are likely, as I do, get it while you can.

5 posted on 02/28/2013 5:51:24 AM PST by Stirner
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To: fastrock

If there’s any SS left for me (I’m 52), I’m getting my hands on it as soon as I can whether I *NEED* it or not!

My in-laws, my parents and step-parents all took theirs the minute they could.

So, as of now, I’m working to support 5 retirees within my own family.

Go for it. Use it up. We slackers up-stream will keep working our fingers to the bone for ya!

Just kidding. Sort of. ;)

6 posted on 02/28/2013 6:02:36 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: dennisw; All


Global Activated Carbon Market: Will Production Capacity be Sufficient to Meet Projected Demand?

Just happen to see this article and was wondering if anyone has an opinion about this relative to an investment given the EPA is out of control. I know from working in the water industry that activated carbon is use a lot in treatment plants. Was surprised to read it is used in the gas industry. Thanks in advance for any comments.

7 posted on 02/28/2013 7:57:57 AM PST by LuvFreeRepublic
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To: fastrock

My wife and I both took SS at 62.That was over 10 years ago and I don’t regret it. We have company pensions and my military retirement. At the time I reasoned that I could invest it and make up for the lower lifetime checks than waiting for 65 or later. Well, we didn’t invest it but spent it. Still don’t regret it.Do the math if you want but ENJOY.

8 posted on 02/28/2013 8:04:34 AM PST by larryjohnson (USAF(Ret))
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To: dennisw

HLF was just halted pending news.

“Herbalife to Increase the Size of Its Board of Directors and Nominate Two Icahn Representatives for Election to Board”

Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) today announced that it has reached an agreement with Carl C. Icahn, Icahn Enterprises Holdings L.P. and certain related entities (collectively the “Icahn Parties”), which beneficially own, in the aggregate 14,015,151 shares of Herbalife common stock, representing approximately 13.6% of the Company’s outstanding shares. As part of the agreement, Herbalife will increase the size of its Board of Directors from nine to eleven members immediately before the 2013 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (“the Annual Meeting”). Herbalife’s Board of Directors will nominate two individuals to the Company’s Board of Directors, designated by the Icahn Parties and approved by the Company’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Icahn Parties have agreed to, among other things, abide by certain standstill provisions and vote their shares in support of all of the Board’s director nominees. The Icahn Parties have the right to increase the size of their ownership position in Herbalife up to 25% of the outstanding common stock. A copy of the agreement with further detail will be attached to a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by Herbalife with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement and look forward to working with the Icahn representatives as members of our Board of Directors,” said Michael O. Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Herbalife. “We appreciate the Icahn Parties’ shared views on the inherent value of Herbalife’s operations, products and future prospects.”

“Over its long history, Herbalife has proven its ability to increase revenues and returns, and we will work with the Company to build on its results,” said Mr. Icahn. “We conducted considerable research on Herbalife and its business before making our investment in the Company, and have great respect for its Board and management team, and believe in the Company’s great potential. We expect our shareholder representatives to provide positive input into Board decisions affecting the future of the Company.”

9 posted on 02/28/2013 11:27:03 AM PST by Wyatt's Torch (I can explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.)
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To: fastrock


10 posted on 02/28/2013 11:41:17 AM PST by fastrock (It is never right to do wrong, even if sanctioned by law. - Abe Lincoln)
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To: fastrock

The decision on when to take early SS, or wait until full retirement depends upon how long you plan to live (just kidding). Seriously, I believe the break-even point is around 78 or 79. If you die before that age, the early retirement date is best. If you live longer, then waiting until 66 is financially more beneficial.

Of course trying to out-think what politicians will do to the program in the future is beyond anyone’s brain power, I suggest.

The moral question is of no moment, I suggest. The money was seized (there was no “contribute” to it) from you all of your working life, and the law allows you to collect on it at the specified age.

It is YOUR money, at least as the law is now written.

Many here suggest that “greedy geezers” shouldn’t collect it since “they don’t NEED it.”


This is an argument that is similar to the specious claptrap that Warren Buffet puts out about how he doesn’t pay enough in taxes. If he wants to pay more, all he has to do is write a check payable to the US Treasury. They’ll cash it.

It’s the same with SS. All who say older folks shouldn’t collect it if they don’t need it will be first in line to sign up if/when they make it to that age.

11 posted on 02/28/2013 11:42:12 AM PST by abb
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To: dennisw; Diana in Wisconsin; BipolarBob; All
The Trouble With Gold

Late last year, gold investments were flying high…

December marked a new record in gold holdings by popular exchange-traded funds. Spot gold hovered around $1,700. The 12-year golden bull appeared alive and well.

That’s where the trouble started.

Some analysts believe gold has become too tradable with the invention of ETFs that offer investors exposure to the physical metal. With ETFs, momentum traders can easily gain exposure to physical gold and hop right off if they don’t like the ride.

And now that we’ve seen the first signs of a gold sell-off, evidence is mounting in favor of lower gold prices in the coming weeks and months.

One of the market’s inconvenient truths is that one wave of selling can inspire countless other investors to run and hide. The same herd mentality that pushes prices skyward can also send them crashing down. That’s true of anything you trade on an open market–even gold.

Read more: The Trouble With Gold...

12 posted on 02/28/2013 3:27:25 PM PST by Aquamarine
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To: Aquamarine

I agree with this report 100%. Physical gold is what a person should have if they are a serious collector. For a trade I’ll stick with what has worked in the past for me and that is silver and platinum.

13 posted on 02/28/2013 4:20:08 PM PST by BipolarBob (Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
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To: dennisw

I will repeat

“Do not bottom pick apple. Apple has a market cap of 430 billion. Samsung is at 275. Rimm is at 7.

I am long rimm or bbry (new symbol).”

14 posted on 03/01/2013 6:43:53 AM PST by staytrue
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To: abb
Many here suggest that “greedy geezers” shouldn’t collect it since “they don’t NEED it.”


Agree! It is bad enough that the Fed mobsters tax the taxed away earnings - again.

Not taking the "benefit" is surrendering 14% off-the-top retroactive Federal taxes on your lifetime income. But, anyone can elect to do this, thanks; just as long as one don't buy into the demonization of those who do take the "benefit."

15 posted on 03/01/2013 8:57:12 AM PST by GregoryFul (We all live in an Idiocracy, an Idiocracy, an Idiocracy...)
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