Three Solutions to Save Our Savings – Empire of the Fund

Lending Club Passive Income With Automated Investing

The following is a guest post is by Professor William Birdthistle, author of the new book, “Empire of the Fund: The Way We Save Now“. You can find out more about Professor Birdthisle and his book at

Empire of the Fund is an examination of the way we save now.  For a video précis of the book, here is a short trailer:

Over the past thirty years, America has embarked on a grand experiment – perhaps the richest and riskiest in our financial history – to change the way we save money.  The hypothesis of our experiment is that millions of ordinary, untrained, and busy citizens can successfully manage trillions of dollars in a financial system dominated by sophisticated investments firms – firms that on many occasions have treated investors shabbily. 

As ten thousand baby boomers retire from the workforce each day and look to survive for almost two decades largely on the mutual funds in their individual accounts. We will soon learn whether our massive experiment has been a success.  And if not, we will soon also discover just how large the costs of failure will be.

Three Solutions to Save Our Savings – Empire of the Fund

The End of Pensions

Empire of the Fund by William BirdthistleA generation ago, large numbers of Americans enjoyed the support of pensions offered by their employers.  Pensions, of course, guarantee their beneficiaries a steady stream of payments from their retirement until their death.  Together with the benefits of Social Security, pensions provided secure retirements to millions of working Americans.  The golden age of the pension, however, is effectively over.  And it may never have been all that gilded, as not once in the past thirty-five years did more than 40% of American workers ever participate in such a plan.

Today, the benefits of Social Security and pensions are alarmingly inadequate.  The average monthly benefit for retirees from Social Security is now $1,335, or just over $16,000 per year.  Pensions, meanwhile, have rapidly disappeared from our economic ecosystem: public pensions are underfunded by trillions of dollars, and the number of U.S. private-sector workers covered solely by pensions has fallen to just 3%. 

Americans in the future will have to support themselves far more on the success or failure of their personal investment accounts.

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Is Geopolitical Risk A Danger To Your Retirement?

Is Geopolitical Risk A Danger To Your Retirement?

Is Geopolitical Risk A Danger To Your Retirement?Your retirement account is most likely the most important investment account you’ll ever have. The reality is that we work incredibly hard to retire; spending the vast majority of our lives working and saving so that we can enjoy our golden years. However, in times of geopolitical risk, unrest, and war, several people lose everything they’ve worked for; forcing them to work long into their retirement years.

The threat that geopolitical risk and unrest is becoming to retirement investments and how converting your 401k retirement plan and other qualified retirement accounts to gold can help protect everything you’ve worked for.

Is Geopolitical Risk A Danger To Your Retirement?

Russia vs. Ukraine

The first geopolitical issue on the chopping block today is the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine over the Crimea Peninsula. The Crimea Peninsula is property of Ukraine.

However, Russia claims that they have legal rights to the strategic land. As a result, months ago, Russia brought troops to the Crimea Peninsula. Since this move, we’ve seen military action from rebels and Russia and corresponding responses from Ukraine.

In an effort to end the crisis, the western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia for their aggression toward Ukraine. In response, Russia refused to trade many food products with western countries; ultimately leading to more financial troubles for the Eurozone.

In the beginning of this conflict, it was a major part of the stories we heard in the news. While news coverage has died down a bit, the conflict between the two countries is very much alive.

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Should You Pay Taxes For Your Roth Conversion From Investments?

A reader recently wrote in with the following question about converting a 401k retirement plan to a Roth IRA and the tax consequences. Should you pay for the taxes when converting a 401k retirement plan to a Roth IRA from the proceeds of your plan? The short simple answer is no! You should not pay for your taxes from money that was in your retirement plans during a Roth conversion. Taxes On Your Roth Conversion You will have to pay taxes when you convert a 401k retirement plan to a Roth IRA. If you use money that was once in your 401k and you are not 59 ½ years old at the time of withdraw, you will not only owe … Read more