The Money Compass: Where Your Money Went and How to Get It Back
Between the ongoing recession, the collapse of the housing market, and the crumbling of the middle class, many Americans are left wondering what happened to the American Dream. They’re also wondering what happened to their money. For millions of people, just making ends meet is challenging enough. So when it comes to saving and investing, it seems like the deck is stacked against you.
The bad news is that you’re right. If the economy were a card game, the dealer would hold all the aces. But the good news is that you don’t have to play by the house rules. Renowned for his unvarnished insight on finance and investing, money manager Mark Grimaldi has a reputation for telling it like it is. He doesn’t sugarcoat the negative and he doesn’t have time for the financial industry hype that leads to bad investing decisions. Here’s the truth: the economy is in bad shape, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save responsibly, invest profitably, and retire comfortably.
In The Money Compass, Grimaldi teams up with accounting professor G. Stevenson Smith to offer a wealth of smart investing advice for today’s investor. This plain-English guide to good investing presents practical strategies and actionable advice for safely navigating today’s financial markets. It shows you how to manage credit and debt responsibly, how to use the tax code to your advantage, which kinds of trendy investing advice you should ignore, and where to put your money for solid returns.
In addition, the authors explore the hard macroeconomic realities that explain how we got here and where we’re going next. They look at the primary causes and consequences of the recession, the housing crash, the slow collapse of government programs, long-term unemployment, and how it all impacts you and your money. Plus, Grimaldi and Stevenson forecast the next big economic shock and show you how to profit from it.
The economic game is rigged to keep you poor and keep Wall Street rich. So it’s time to write your own rules. Whether you’re white collar, blue collar, or somewhere in between, The Money Compass gives you the commonsense guidance you need to chart a course to a comfortable financial futureeven in the roughest economic waters.
Chapter 1: Introduction
The Invisible Hand of Confiscation
The Fourth Branch: K Street Government
More Income Tax and More Debt, too
Monetization of the Debt: Say What?
The Last Biggie: Repeal of Glass-Steagall and Gamblers Gone Wild
Chapter 2: Greenspan and the Growing Bubble
Simple Plans Often Become Complicated
The 36-Day Election
My Take Away is More Than Fries
Chapter 3: Drop the “U” out of “Housing” and You Got What America Got
2000 to 2006: The Perfect Storm
Oops, Almost Made It
2007: All Fall Down
2008: The Year of Reckoning.
The Fat Lady Sings: “It’s not over.”
2009 to 2012: The Road to Recovery?
What to Do Next? Let’s Buy a House
Chapter 4: Credit Cards
Let Me Have it NOW! And They Did
Pay to Play
The New Law
Let’s Skip a Payment
How is that Interest Rate Figured?
The Credit Card Tax
Tipping a Hat to Debit Cards
Chapter 5: Who Are Target-Date Retirement Funds Targeting?
A Ticking Time Bomb
The Dawdling SEC
What Can You Do?
Chapter 6: Four-Oh-One-Kay Tales
The Truth About Your 401(hey)!
Meet Mr. Uninformed and Mrs. Navigator
Mr. Uninformed and Mrs. Navigator, 10 Years Later
A Little More Sizzle
Four Reasons to Invest in After-Tax Accounts
Chapter 7: Exchange-Traded Funds
Is Mr. Bogle “Indexing” The Problem?
What Is An Index Fund?
Why Invest In An Index Fund?
Giving Up Downside Protection
Giving Up The Ability To Lock In Profits
Why Not Buy and Hold?
So What’s Wrong With ETFs?
How Much Should You Pay for An ETF Trade?
The Benefits of Professionally Managed ETFs
Ranking ETFs the Navigator Way
Chapter 8: Who Took My Money Now?
The Collapsing Education System
The Feds and State Government
School Administrators, Relatives, and Cronies
Teachers, Sex, Unions, Drugs, and More Fraud
So What Are You And Yours Losing?
Are There Choices?
Chapter 9: Staying Poor in America
Rich or Poor?
What Else? Business Models have Changed Our Way of Earning a Living
Other Factors Making Americans Poor
Spend It If You Got It Or Pretend to be Rich Until You Are Poor
Chapter 10: The Federal Debt Bomb: Hold Your Breath (at least try)
Government Choices and Me
What am I going to lose in these policy choices?
So How Do I Keep from Losing My Shirt? Or, at Least Surviving an Inflationary Environment
Chapter 11: Navigating the 2014 Recession
Behind the AccoladesAccurate Forecasting
The 2014 Recession
Recession Rules to Live By
Appendix: The Grimaldi Forecasts
January 2008 Navigator Newsletters
February 2008 Navigator Newsletters
March 2008 Navigator Newsletters
June 2008 Navigator Newsletters
November 2008 Navigator Newsletters
May 2009 Navigator Newsletters
Chapter 12: Changing Job Patterns and You
The Old Jobs Are Not Coming Back
Productivity is Up, but…
One More Time: The Jobs are Gone
Return to Capital vs. Return to Labor
Chapter 13: Gratuity Government: Should I Take the Free Butter?1
Taker Trends: Get Wise and Do Less for Yourself
Entrance to the Land of the Takers
Transfer Payments and a Hypothetical Monthly Budget
About the Authors