Runnymede Blog

Wednesday Wangdoodles

Submitted by Chris Wang on Wed, 07/23/2014 - 09:00

doodleWelcome back to Wednesday Wangdoodles. We had so much fun with our first installment that we are back for the second time this month. For the newbies to Wangdoodles, I will help point you to interesting investment and financial articles that are worth a few minutes of your time. Hope you enjoy.

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An impartial review of the Allianz 365i Annuity with Income Maximizer Rider

Submitted by Chris Wang on Tue, 07/15/2014 - 11:00

annuitiesThe annuity business has grown in popularity as investors, especially those nearing retirement, look for options to protect themselves from stock market volatility and give them a decent income stream in retirement. With over $200 billion in annual sales, the annuity industry is big business with lots of salesmen trying to persuade you to make a purchase.

Today I will dig deep into the Allianz 365i Annuity which has been requested by several readers in recent weeks. Sales of indexed annuities, a fixed annuity that provides a minimum guaranteed rate of interest combined with an interest rate tied to movement of an index, increased to $39.3 billion in 2013, a 17% gain year over year. This is the biggest percentage increase of any form of annuity.

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Wednesday Wangdoodles

Submitted by Chris Wang on Wed, 07/9/2014 - 10:00

doodleMy favorite baseball writer Rob Neyer had a ongoing segment at called "Wednesday Wangdoodles" where he provided links to interesting articles around the web that he felt one should read about America's pastime. In my homage to Neyer, I will breathe life back into Wangdoodles from an investment perspective. I will help point you to interesting investment and financial articles that are worth a few minutes of your time. Hope you enjoy.

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Graph of Every Job in America Shows Service Sector Dominates

Submitted by Andrew Wang on Tue, 07/8/2014 - 11:10

service-sector-1428072_78120956The June non-farm payrolls report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that 288,000 non-farm payroll jobs were added during June – beating economists’ expectations of an increase by 211,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent.

According to the national employment report compiled by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing, the U.S. private sector added 281,000 new jobs last month, the fastest pace since late 2012. Of the new jobs added in June, 82% were service-sector, 5% were factory-sector, and 13% were construction.

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First Half 2014 in Review: Melt up!

Submitted by Chris Wang on Thu, 07/3/2014 - 11:56

I've bemedium_2932154983en in the business for almost 17 years now and I can't remember a time when virtually all assets classes went up together. Needless to say these are highly unusual times. If you have investments, you should send a thank you card to the central bankers for their easy monetary policy. The ECB is trying negative rates. The Fed's balance sheet is over $4.3 trillion. The Bank of Japan is buying assets faster than the Fed! While this may not end well, the financial markets are partying like it's 1999. With that said let's take a look back at the first half of 2014.

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Robert Shiller definitely concerned about stock market peak

Submitted by Chris Wang on Mon, 06/30/2014 - 10:30

Robert Shiller, Yale professor and Nobel prize winner, is "definitely concerned" about the valuation of stocks which are trading at historic highs. Using his CAPE (cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio) model, stocks are trading at 26x multiple which is well above its long-term average of 17. Shiller points out that the CAPE level has only been higher 3 previous times: 1929, 2000 and 2007. That sure sounds like a dire warning of a huge market drop. But is it?


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3 ways to earn more on your Cash

Submitted by Chris Wang on Wed, 06/25/2014 - 11:18

According to a recent study from the Center for Applied Research at State Street Corp, investors around the world are stockpiling cash. With 2008 etched in our memory banks, the 5 year bull market hasn't been able to move cash from under people's mattresses. The highest cash holding are in Japan at 57% while the lowest is in India at 26%. In the US, cash has risen from 26% in 2012 up to 36% in the first quarter of 2014. This may be a smart move after a huge run in the equity markets in 2013.


With the Fed's zero interest policy firmly in place, you have to look for creative ways to earn some return on your cash. Here are 3 ideas that may do better than a big fat zero:

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5 Tips to Keep Thieves Out of Your Bank and Brokerage Accounts

Submitted by Andrew Wang on Tue, 06/17/2014 - 04:15

Investment Adviser New JerseyToday, data breaches at major retailers like Target have made cybercrime front page news. It is unsettling because nobody knows when or what will happen once the personal information of tens of millions falls into the wrong hands. With ubiquitous computing, you cannot let your guard down for even a moment, especially when hackers are increasingly targeting bank and brokerage accounts. According to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crime Enforcement Network, illegal wire transfers are outpacing cases of identity theft. In fact, wire-fraud cases in the securities industry are up tenfold over the past decade.

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5 Investing Lessons from my Vacation in Mexico

Submitted by Chris Wang on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 09:45

End_of_moneyI am just a few days from heading home after a much needed vacation to the beautiful Riviera Maya. A visit to Cancun and Playa del Carmen can do wonders for your soul. Time to rest and relax with family - sip on frozen drinks and think about investing. So what lessons can be learned from my time at the beach? Here are the top 5 investing lessons from my vacation in Mexico.

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Recommended Summer Reading on Index Annuities

Submitted by Andrew Wang on Tue, 06/3/2014 - 11:23

MP900399399It is finally time to think summer. While I'd bet you're not planning to learn about complex fixed index annuities while relaxing at the beach or sitting poolside, I hope to change that. With low interest rates expected to continue for an extended time, it is certainly worth learning more about index annuity products that promise a guarantee of principal and a potential for market-linked growth. Just like picking the best beach makes your summer better, gaining a balanced perspective versus the fixed index annuity sales pitch can help make your investment life better. As such, I've compiled six quick reads that you can finish before your sunscreen wears off. 

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