What the experts say
Day trading your nest egg; Appreciating Europe; More bang for your buck
Day trading your nest eggBoomers fearful that they don’t have enough saved for their golden years are increasingly day trading their retirement accounts, said Walter Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times. Disillusioned with middling market returns and the typical “set it and forget it” approach to 401(k)s and IRAs, some boomers are trading mutual funds more frequently, venturing into options, and trying to take advantage of short-term stock fluctuations. “I don’t want to use the word ‘desperation’—but it’s close to that,” said MotleyFool.com’s Jeff Fischer. Vlad Tokarev, a 49-year-old software engineer in Minneapolis, began day trading his three retirement accounts last year. “I don’t see how it can be dangerous,” he said. But investment advisers say day trading puts savings at greater risk, since it’s hard even for professionals to time the market correctly. For most people, experts say, “this type of trading will backfire.”
Appreciating EuropeDon’t let Europe’s economic woes turn you off European stocks, said Brett Arends in SmartMoney.com. The fact is that “investors’ returns have very little to do with the growth of a country’s gross domestic product.” If anything, panic over Europe’s debt crisis has caused “short-termists” to dump otherwise healthy stocks, making them cheaper. Many of Europe’s blue chips, including British supermarket empire Tesco and French drug giant Sanofi, also get most of their current growth from emerging markets. Warren Buffett invests in both companies. One sector that still looks risky is financial stocks, but the bottom line is that “a portfolio of European blue chips, even without any financials, can earn 4 percent or more in dividends.”
More bang for your buckIt’s hard to find a savings account that beats inflation these days, said Ann Carrns in NYTimes.com. The Consumer Price Index is running at 1.7 percent, but few banks pay more than 1 percent interest. To help consumers get better interest rates, NerdWallet, a credit card comparison website, has launched a monthly tracker that scans more than 7,000 deposit institutions to find accounts that beat inflation. This month, it found more than 1,300 accounts around the country that fit the bill; the highest nonpromotional rate was the 2.85 percent annual yield for a seven-year CD offered by Security Service Federal Credit Union in San Antonio.