Independent Investor

Baby Boomers: Your kids don’t want your stuff

You saved all your life, acquiring all sorts of assets that you now want to leave to your children. Today, more and more Baby Boomers are finding that their kids just don’t want that antique auto or that original oil painting.

Tiny houses gain wider appeal

Tiny houses gain wider appeal

In this era of tight credit, high-priced McMansions and rapid lifestyle changes, the American Housing Dream may no longer be defined as a three-bedroom homestead on half an acre. For many Americans of all ages, there is a movement afoot to downsize their living space dramatically. 

Supermarkets need to evolve to survive, and they are

We take our local supermarkets for granted. Like gas stations, there seems to be one on almost every corner, at least in suburbia. With competition from a variety of sources, supermarkets have been forced to reinvent themselves and are doing a good job of it. 

Are you ready for the repercussions of El Niño?

It’s that time again. Trade winds in the Pacific are blowing west to east, pushing warm water to the surface. In times past, those conditions wreaked havoc with much of the world’s weather, creating everything from fires to floods, sometimes in epic proportions. Some weather models predict this year’s El Niño could rank among the worst.

Does another trade pact make economic sense?

Politicians in both houses of Congress need to decide whether the proposed Trans-Pacific, 12-nation trade pact makes economic sense. It does, and we should jump on it.

Brazil: not for the faint of heart

Beset by scandals that could reach as high as the presidential office, suffering from an epic drought, low oil prices, high inflation, a declining currency and a negative economic growth rate, the world’s seventh largest economy could be an interesting long-term investment — but not for the faint of heart.

The rise of the healthy veggie/fruit smoothie

The global market for smoothies is projected to hit $9 billion this year. Driven by a new health-consciousness among consumers, today’s on-the-go convenience of gulping down your vitamins and minerals is appealing to more and more of us. Expect that trend to continue.

The real-life Greek drama

Greece is once again on center stage as the world looks on, wondering if this time the country’s finances will finally implode. It is a play we’ve seen before, and its outcome is fairly predictable.

The joint business is jumping: hips, knees, that is

Today, more than 7 million Americans are no longer limping. Instead, they are trotting around with the assistance of artificial knees, hips or both. Every year another million of us will join the crowd, and that number is expected to grow as America ages.

‘529’ college savings accounts are not risk-free, taxed or not

A national debate over whether to tax “529” college savings plans has turned the spotlight on these plans and how they work. Do they really help parents save the money their kids will need for college? The answer depends on how they are invested and how they are managed.