Why You Shouldn’t Substitute Stocks for Bonds

A friend sent me the following article from the USA Today insert of his local paper. The article proclaimed “The 60/40 stock-and-bond portfolio mix is dead in 2016” and went on to explain that with bond interest rates near historical lows, one should reach for higher returns by taking more risk with stocks. The article quoted one adviser who suggested investors in their 60s invest 70 to 80 percent of their portfolio in stocks. I couldn’t disagree more, and here …

Blocking Unwanted Phone Calls

Nuisance calls are the top complaint to the Federal Trade Commission and many state attorney general offices. How can you block them, beyond listing your number on the Do Not Call registry, which is ignored by scammers making live and automated calls? VoIP Landlines Nomorobo is a free service that intercepts calls after the first ring and blocks those on its vast FTC-assisted blacklist (quickly approaching 1 million numbers, with 200 added daily). If it’s legitimate, the call goes through …

Connected Cars: Safety and Fun Are Driving Innovation

News last week that a North Carolina woman died in a head-on car crash while posting selfies and Facebook updates brings home the hope for “connected cars.” More cars connected to the Internet, the argument goes, would help, not distract, drivers. With hands-free, eyes-on-the-road communication and entertainment as the norm, we might hear fewer such horror stories. Related: Top Ten Technologies for Mature Drivers We’re definitely moving toward connected cars. The market for hardware, software and apps that connect cars …

The Unwiring of America

Four or five years ago, some time after I decided to bite the technological bullet and get fiber-optic broadband phone and Internet service at home, I gave up my “analog” – copper wire – telephone line. I almost immediately regretted my decision. During our first extended power outage – and where I live, we typically have several of them a year – we lost phone service. In the pre-digital days we could call others – starting with our electric company …

Why Aren’t Older Adults Buying Smartphones?

There’s an app for that – but usage by older adults is stalled.  Boomers and beyond have the spending power, but they aren’t snapping up tablets and smartphones. Pew’s latest smartphone numbers tell the story – smartphone usage has not grown beyond 11% among the 65+.  And tablet ownership, despite many cute stories, has only grown to 13%. Yet you and I both know that that these phones and tablets provide significant utility, from easy access to discounts and savings …