Financial News Friday – August 15, 2014

Financial News Friday – August 15, 2014

40 Tourist Scams to Avoid This Summer (JustTheFlight)

Much of the time when we travel to another country we focus on the places we plan to visit and the memories we will make. We get off the plane with our cameras, maps, and our notorious inability to speak the native language and unfortunately, we look like an easy mark for scammers. Therefore it’s important to arm ourselves with knowledge of the most common scams that tourists experience when they are abroad. Click the link above to check out the infographic.

REMINDER: You Are ‘Shockingly’ Terrible At Investing (Business Insider)

“The performance of the typical investor over this time period is shockingly poor,” wrote Bernstein. “The average investor has underperformed every category except Asian emerging market and Japanese equities. The average investor even underperformed cash (listed here as 3-month t-bills)! The average investor underperformed nearly every asset class. They could have improved performance by simply buying and holding any asset class other than Asian emerging market or Japanese equities. Thus, their underperformance suggests investors’ timing of asset allocation decisions must have been particularly poor, i.e., investors consistently bought assets that were overvalued and sold assets that were undervalued.” Click the link to the article to see the graph.

What’s Up With That: Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos (Wired)

I find the errors, mental shortcuts, and blind spots we all have endlessly fascinating. Our brains often don’t work the way that we believe they do. This is just as evident in our inability to catch typos as it is in the average returns of an investor due to irrational behavior. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“The reason typos get through isn’t because we’re stupid or careless, it’s because what we’re doing is actually very smart, explains psychologist Tom Stafford, who studies typos of the University of Sheffield in the UK. “When you’re writing, you’re trying to convey meaning. It’s a very high level task,” he said.”

SEC Enforcement: Kansas Charged With Securities Fraud (ThinkAdivsor)

“The SEC has charged the state of Kansas with securities fraud for understating municipal bond exposure to unfunded pension liability.”

Happy Retirees Have This One Thing In Common (Business Insider)

Wes Moss, author of You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think: The 5 Money Secrets Of Happy Retirees, states what his research has found to be the key indicator of happiness during retirement:

“When it comes to home values, vacations, restaurants, cars, and shopping, happy retirees have found the sweet spot in the middle,” Moss writes. “Nothing low-rent, but not high-end either. They’re not spending lavishly — but they’re also not depriving themselves. They’ve struck a balance that’s right for them.”

Hey, SEC, A Modest Proposal: Ban ‘Alternative’ Investments (Bloomberg)

There is currently an “alternative investment” craze that has hit the world of financial advising. The problem with alternative investments is that there is no single definition of them. A whole swathe of assets fall under this category, which essentially makes the category’s term useless. Managed futures, timber, private equity, hedge funds, or any number of other investments that simply aren’t a stock or a bond seem to fall under this category. The author suggests with such a wide array of investments lumped into one category, the SEC should ban the term alternative investments. This would force fund companies to be more specific, so that investors really know the underlying strategy of a fund.

Summary of Global Markets for Friday August 15, 2014

Global Market Summary for August 15, 2014

Click the image above to zoom in and see the full Global Market Summary.


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