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Eric Schurenberg
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Entries by Eric Schurenberg

3 Things Everyone Knows About Social Security That Aren't True

(294) Comments | Posted May 19, 2011 | 2:43 PM

Uncle Sam issued the 2011 Social Security trustees report last week, fittingly enough on Friday the 13th. The headline: Social Security will run an estimated $46 million in the red this year, more than was expected last year, and the trust fund will be exhausted in 2036, a year...

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Can We Please Stop Talking About the Social Security Trust Fund?

(239) Comments | Posted January 30, 2011 | 6:44 PM

Nothing get clicks from seniors like a scary story about Social Security, and the Associate Press supplied a real granny-grabber last week: "Social Security on Pace to be Drained by 2037." Hyper-ventilating off on a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, the headline managed to seize...

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Wall Street 2: Shorting The Financial Crisis On The Big Screen

(39) Comments | Posted September 24, 2010 | 9:31 AM

Halfway through Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, a little old lady asks Michael Douglas's Gordon Gekko to define "moral hazard." I leaned forward. By this point in the movie, I was ready for a slogan that would capture 2008 the way the original Wall Street's "Greed is Good"...

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5 Reasons to Stop Worrying About Home Prices

(6) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 9:10 PM

The New York Times more or less pronounced the single family home dead as an asset this week. Data from the National Association of Realtors and the Federal Home Financing Agency hammered some nails into the coffin. But come now, folks. Let's apply a little perspective:

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Social Security Turns 75, Starts Cadging From the Kids

(17) Comments | Posted August 24, 2010 | 10:02 PM

On Saturday, Social Security turned 75 years old. AARP chapters around the country held corny birthday parties, but they didn't invite Stephen Goss, Social Security's chief actuary. That might have spoiled the fun.

Just a few days before, Goss and his team produced an annual trustees...

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Is Deflation Now "The Peril?" And What Do You Do if It Is?

(2) Comments | Posted August 4, 2010 | 7:26 AM

The Seven Faces of The Peril may never outsell the Twilight Series, but as economic white papers go, it's pretty Gothic. The author is James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, and it caused a few ripples on Wall Street when it was published...

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The Kids Who Could Save Social Security

(7) Comments | Posted July 21, 2010 | 11:07 AM

As USA Today informed us this morning, no one believes in Social Security any more. More than half of retirees think their benefits will be cut sooner or later and...

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Obama Wants to Steal Your 401(k)! And Why That May Be a Good Idea

(3) Comments | Posted June 21, 2010 | 10:13 AM

Over the past couple months, my twitter feed has been lighting up with warnings that the Obama Administration plans to confiscate your 401(k). You'd think the stock market's 25% drop from its 2007 peak, not to mention the suspension of matching contributions at scores of 401(k) sponsors, was apocalyptic enough...

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Would You Let Goldman Sachs Manage Your 401(k)?

(3) Comments | Posted May 27, 2010 | 1:55 PM

Goldman Sachs wants to run your 401(k). Having allegedly helped a German and Dutch bank manage their CDO investments into oblivion, the most controversial firm on Wall Street now wants to help you do the same with your nest egg. Think about it: This could be your first opportunity...

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5 Reasons the U.S. Will "Probably" Default

(7) Comments | Posted March 30, 2010 | 3:40 PM

The United States will probably default on its debt one day. There, I said it. Did I get your attention?

Well, actually, I didn't say it. Scott Mather, head of global portfolio strategy for the bond giant PIMCO, said it in an interview for the Fiscal Times....

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Where the Next 401(k) Will Come From

(3) Comments | Posted March 3, 2010 | 8:44 AM

Robert Reynolds, CEO of Putnam Investments, wants to reform the U.S. retirement savings system, but there's plenty of reason why he shouldn't really want to. The man made his fortune peddling 401(k)s, first as the founder of Fidelity's 401(k) business, and since 2008 as the top guy at...

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Why Geithner Can't Save the Treasury Bond

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2010 | 10:14 AM

Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner defended the Treasury bond's AAA rating yesterday on television. But what else could he do? Last Wednesday, credit rating agency Moody's warned that the T-bond's rating was in danger of a downgrade, which would be a disaster for Geithner and the...

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The Best Investments For the Next Decade, Fantasy Version

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2010 | 12:29 AM

The silly season of investment predictions is still upon us. The newsstand at the San Francisco airport on Friday was crowded with crystal balls: Money's Investors Guide 2010, Business Week's "Buy, Sell, Pray" cover, and Barron's annual round table of prognosticators (subscription). But this year my favorite example...

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Survey Lies. The 401(k) Still Needs Fixing

(2) Comments | Posted January 11, 2010 | 9:59 AM

The Investment Company Institute, the trade group for mutual fund companies, released a survey about 401(k)s Friday that suggested the nation's de facto retirement plan was working just fine, thank you very much. The survey's title, "Enduring Confidence in the 401(k) System," left little doubt as to...

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China's Boom: The Sure Thing Not to Bet On in 2010

(12) Comments | Posted January 5, 2010 | 10:21 AM

The predictions are in for 2010 and while there's a lot to debate, some trends seem so obvious you'd be nuts not to invest in them. Among the ones that everyone can see, for example, is that emerging markets, particularly China, have the momentum going into this year. Maybe you...

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Does the Senate Bill Hurt Retirees?

(4) Comments | Posted December 22, 2009 | 10:39 AM

When politicians want to kill any measure, the surefire trump card-used liberally by both parties over the years is to declare, "This bill cuts Medicare benefits!" The Republicans tried it against the Senate's health care reform earlier this month, but for once, it didn't work. (A last minute endorsement...

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What Has Financial Innovation Ever Done for You?

(34) Comments | Posted December 18, 2009 | 8:51 AM

What does the financial industry have against the regulatory reform? Well, there's money, naturally. The bill that passed the House last week would create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, a big new watchdog bureaucracy that will inevitably raise compliance headaches and interfere with the industry's unfettered ability to dream...

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The Best Route to a Rich Retirement

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2009 | 9:20 AM

If you had to decide the single best thing you can do to assure yourself a prosperous retirement, what would you say it is? Financial advisers tend to recommend saving early and generously. That's a great idea, certainly, and you can see why advisers love it. (Oh, by the way,...

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The Case for Gold is Airtight. Which is Bad for Gold.

(4) Comments | Posted December 3, 2009 | 11:36 AM

There's no shortage of doubt about most investments these days. (Are emerging markets in a bubble? Are Treasuries a trap for the wary?) But there is no doubt about gold. The yellow metal keeps hitting records, this morning at over $1,200 an ounce. What's more, it's hard to find a...

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Why It's Worth it to Send My Kid to Yale

(2) Comments | Posted November 18, 2009 | 9:41 AM

My child is applying to college.

As those who've gone before me can well imagine, those six words are a death sentence for peace, sanity and intergenerational detente in my household. They also add up to a body blow to the family's tangible net worth, since it's likely to take...

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