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Ted Barnhart

Ted Barnhart has written 134 posts for The Austrian School of Investment Thought

Three Ways to Invest in Gold

  A reaction to zero interest rate policy around the globe. A long-term hedge against the tax of inflation. A safe-haven in times of crisis. These are among the many reasons gold bugs have long sought investment in gold.     But being a gold bug is not always easy. Whether it be riding out long … Continue reading

Economic Shutdown and the Cost to Save a Single Life

America is facing a dilemma. Amid the greatest crisis since World War II,  and four weeks into an effective shut down of the U.S. economy as a response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, public debate is turning towards the question of how long the shutdown should continue.  Last week President Trump released federal guidelines for “re-opening” … Continue reading

Advice From Coach Lou Holtz

Back in the 90’s I had the opportunity to see legendary Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz speak up close and personal.  He was fantastic and very entertaining but there was one thing from his speech that has stuck with me for some twenty-five years. Coach Holtz stated that given the opportunity he would rather say … Continue reading

The Fed Put is Back – But What Exactly IS a Fed Put?

Some of us are old enough to remember last October when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell steadfastly commanded that “The really extremely accommodative low interest rates that we needed when the economy was quite weak, we don’t need those anymore… Interest rates are still accommodative, but we are gradually moving to a place where they will be neutral, … Continue reading

Should You Apply for Social Security Now or Later?

  When should you apply for benefits? Consider a few factors first. Now or later? When it comes to the question of Social Security income, the choice looms large. Should you apply now to get earlier payments? Or wait for a few years to get larger checks?   Consider what you know (and don’t know). You … Continue reading

What is a Core – Satellite Investment Strategy

The Core – Satellite investment approach is a strategy that dictates a significant allocation in a portfolio to “Core” type investments or funds, and reserves a smaller allocation for investments and strategies considered to be satellites to the core portfolio holdings. Typical core investments might be a portfolio of blue-chip stocks or funds, investment-grade bonds … Continue reading

Bond Ladders vs. Bond Funds

Fifteen years ago when, when someone asked me if they should invest in a bond fund or create a bond ladder, I always told them that a ladder was preferable, assuming you had enough money to build one properly. After seeing what happens to ladders in real life over time, my thinking has evolved. In many … Continue reading

Inflation: Getting Your Hands on the Money First

Is wealth disparity the cause of economic problems, or are economic problems the cause of wealth disparity? The default government response to economic and financial troubles is to inflate. Just because there is not a rise in consumer prices does not mean that inflation is not present. Financial asset inflation is every bit as destructive … Continue reading

Understanding Medicare

Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance to retired individuals, regardless of their medical condition, and certain younger people with disabilities or end-stage renal disease. Here are some basic facts about Medicare that you should know.   What does Medicare cover?   Medicare coverage consists of two main parts: Medicare Part A (hospital … Continue reading

Friday Humor: The Complete Book of Golf

Chapters 10 and 14 are my personal favorites Chapter 1 How to Properly Line Up Your Fourth Putt Chapter 2. How To Hit a Nike from the Rough, When You Hit a Titleist from the Tee Chapter 3. How to Avoid the Water When You Lie 8 in a Bunker Chapter 4. When to Give … Continue reading

Keep an Eye on China

A good (despite the hyperbolic headline) post on Zero Hedge this morning about the Trump administration cracking down on trade issues with China:  Trump to Launch Trade War With China on Friday, Beijing vows retaliation. As we mentioned shortly after the election in Chines Currency Manipulation and the New “Giant Sucking Sound”,  trade relations with … Continue reading

Business Succession Planning

When developing a succession plan for your business, you must make many decisions. Should you sell your business or give it away? Should you structure your plan to go into effect during your lifetime or at your death? Should you transfer your ownership interest to family members, co-owners, employees, or an outside party? The key … Continue reading

Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports: Financial Challenges Continue

Every year, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds release reports to Congress on the current financial condition and projected financial outlook of these programs. The newest reports, released on July 13, 2017, discuss the ongoing financial challenges that both programs face, and project a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2018. … Continue reading

Friday Humor: Advice for your Swing

For the holiday weekend some prudent advice on the golf swing:       Request: Introductory Phone Call With Barnhart Investment Advisory Visit: Barnhart Investment Advisory Website  

Understanding Risk

Few terms in personal finance are as important, or used as frequently, as “risk.” Nevertheless, few terms are as imprecisely defined. Generally, when financial advisors or the media talk about investment risk, their focus is on the historical price volatility of the asset or investment under discussion.   Advisors label as aggressive or risky an … Continue reading

Active vs. Passive Portfolio Management

  One of the longest-standing debates in investing is over the relative merits of active portfolio management versus passive management. With an actively managed portfolio, a manager tries to beat the performance of a given benchmark index by using his or her judgment in selecting individual securities and deciding when to buy and sell them. … Continue reading

Keeping Your Business in the Family

What are some of the issues concerning keeping the business in the family? You may want to keep your business in the family, as opposed to selling it to an outside party or another business. If this is your plan, you should be aware of some of the issues that can contribute to the success … Continue reading

Friday Humor: To A Long and Healthy Retirement

A long-time retired, elderly couple were married for over sixty years. Although the man and women were not poor, they were far from being rich. They managed to get comfortably by skimping and watching their pennies. The elderly man and women were both in excellent health for their age, mainly because of the wife’s insistence … Continue reading

Understanding the Net Investment Income Tax

If your income hits a certain level, you may face an additional wrinkle in calculating your taxes: the net investment income tax (also referred to as the unearned income Medicare contribution tax). This 3.8% Medicare tax applies to some or all of your net investment income if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) exceeds certain … Continue reading

Zero Hedge: What if Rates Rise Above 3.5% ?

Late last month the notorious financial blog Zero Hedge published an analysis  regarding the economic after shocks that could occur if interest rates were to spike above 3.5%. Indeed eight years into “recovery” from the great recession of 2008, it is easy to forget just how extraordinary Federal Reserve policy remains.  Just because the can … Continue reading

401(k) Rollovers: What to Consider

If you’ve lost your job, or are changing jobs, you may be wondering what to do with your 401(k) plan account. It’s important to understand your options.   What will I be entitled to? If you leave your job (voluntarily or involuntarily), you’ll be entitled to a distribution of your vested balance. Your vested balance … Continue reading

Friday Humor: Super Bowl Tickets

A guy named Bob receives a free ticket to the Super Bowl from his company. Unfortunately, when Bob arrives at the stadium he realizes the seat is in the last row in the corner of the stadium – he’s closer to the Goodyear blimp than the field. About halfway through the first quarter, Bob notices … Continue reading

2017 Tax Rates and Information

2017 Tax Rates and Information including: Important Dates, Tax Brackets, Standard Deductions and Personal Exemptions, Alternative Minimum Tax Exemptions, Qualified Dividends and Long-Term Capital Gains, Net Investment Tax (ACA) Thresholds, Education Deductions and Credits, Estate Tax Rates and Exclusions, Retirement Plan Contribution Limits, Medicare Costs, Social Security Taxable Benefits. Request: Introductory Phone Call With Barnhart … Continue reading

What are Alternative Investments?

  These days the mention of alternative investments within the investment community is a bit like bringing up the presidential election, an interesting topic for sure, but you are likely to run into some pretty strong opinion or resistance, no matter where your personal views lie.   Before diving into the debate of whether or … Continue reading

Friday Humor: Can I Get a Day Off?

An employee goes to see his supervisor in the front office. “Boss,” he says, “we’re doing some heavy house-cleaning at home tomorrow, and my wife needs me to help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff.” “We’re short-handed,” the boss replies. “I can’t give you the day off.” “Thanks, boss,” says the … Continue reading

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