4 Reasons Not to Load Up on Muni Bonds

Many brokers recommend investing in municipal bonds. Municipal bonds, a.k.a. munis, are a debt security issued by a state, municipality or county to finance its capital expenditures. Most are exempt from federal taxes and even state taxes if you live and file taxes in the issuing state.  They are often pitched as being very safe with a long history of low default rates. Get the latest tips on protecting your money and saving for retirement — AARP Money newsletter » So …

Investing — It’s OK to Have Some Fun

In a recent column I exposed my own portfolio and its daring dullness. It is that very dullness which, I believe, is the key to its success. Still, beneath this dull exterior beats the heart of “The Gambler.” Even yours truly gets the occasional urge to buy that risky stock, offering the possibility of a 1,000 percent return, and sometimes I just can’t resist acting on that thrill-seeking urge. That’s why I carve out a small piece of my portfolio …

3 Reasons to Consider a ‘Robo-Adviser’

I’m a fan of the so-called “robo-advisers.” These are online wealth management services that provide automated software-based portfolio management advice without the use of human advisers. Two of the larger robo-advisers are Betterment and Wealthfront. In addition, Schwab recently launched its version, branded Intelligent Portfolios, and Vanguard has a product called Personal Advisor Services. Here are three reasons I’m a fan of these adviser services: Lower fees Fees matter. And because they do, I encourage people to get real when …

Can Indexing Become Too Big?

For some time now, actively managed mutual funds have been underperforming index funds that essentially own shares of all the stocks in the market. That’s because the lower costs of index funds give them huge advantages over the high-priced active funds. Though I’ve been investing in index funds for decades, I’m rather surprised by their more recent popularity. My indexing approach was once rare, but now a full 37 percent of the money in U.S. stock funds is in index …

10 Financial Tips for the Kids

We all want our children to be successful and happy. And though being financially fit won’t make anyone happy in and of itself, it can at least take away money stresses and allow the kids to pursue happiness. Just in time for Financial Literacy Month, three journalists from the Wall Street Journal offer 10 great tips in the video below. Get the latest tips on protecting your money and saving for retirement — AARP Money newsletter » Here are the 10 …

Labor Department Proposes Rule to Save Retirees Billions

Financial advisers would have to adhere to more stringent standards when giving advice on 401(k) plans, IRAs and other retirement accounts under a rule proposed Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Labor. The proposed rule would protect people saving for retirement from being steered into accounts with high fees and commissions that benefit the adviser at the expense of the saver. It would force financial professionals to act in the best interest of their clients — a move that advocates say would …