Why the Latest S&P Downgrade of New Jersey is a Big Deal

downgrade of new jersey
The sad part is, I don’t think I’m being too hyperbolic comparing the future of New Jersey’s finances to the explosion of the Hindenburg, which coincidentally happened in New Jersey

The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s recently downgraded the state of New Jersey once again. This downgrade is far more perilous to the municipal bond market than average investors realize. As a former municipal bond trader myself, here’s my take on what the downgrade of New Jersey means for investors and residents of the state. Continue reading “Why the Latest S&P Downgrade of New Jersey is a Big Deal”

What’s Going to Happen to the Markets with President Trump

markets with president trumpThe unthinkable appears to be happening. Barring some unexpected change to the way things are trending, we will wake up to a President-elect Donald Trump. This has some profound implications for markets, and so many people have asked me what to do on Facebook I’ve decided to post this late last night.  Continue reading “What’s Going to Happen to the Markets with President Trump”

The Millennial Moola Show Episode 3: Emergency Election Edition

It occurred to me that this episode I recorded of The Millennial Moola Show will be irrelevant after Tuesday evening. I wanted to break down a detailed account of the candidate’s personal finances, which are among the most corrupt and troublesome of any in our country’s history. Regardless of your politics, I sure wish we had folks running for the highest office in the land that cared more about doing what was right. Even so, both the pro and anti sides of each candidate will find something to like about this episode.  Continue reading “The Millennial Moola Show Episode 3: Emergency Election Edition”

How Trump’s Implosion Will Affect His Finances

trump's implosion will affect his financesDonald Trump is not even close to being worth “10 BILLION DOLLARS.” In fact, I’ve long held the position that he is running for President to personally enrich himself and to intentionally lose. The key to his strategy is increasing the value of the Trump brand. Unfortunately for him, this strategy took on water after the release of a tape with him making vulgar comments about women. Trump’s implosion will affect his finances, just not completely in the way you might think. Continue reading “How Trump’s Implosion Will Affect His Finances”

Wealth Inequality Does Not Bother Me

wealth inequality
My 2004 Honda Civic with 200,000 miles on it looks like a Ferrari compared to the Model T

If you listen to the nominees of both major political parties in America, you’d hear that wealth inequality is one of the most existential threats to America in the 21st century. Indeed, in many public policy conversations, unequal division of wealth in America is treated as a no brainer negative for the country. However, I will make an argument that what we should be concerned about is not concentration of wealth at the top, it’s financial literacy and the rate of economic growth. Continue reading “Wealth Inequality Does Not Bother Me”

The US Government Should Pay You to Play Pokemon Go

US government should pay you to play pokemon goA new study by the scientific journal The Lancet finds that laziness costs Americans $27.8 billion annually. The researchers wanted to focus on a few diseases only and isolate the costs coming directly from inactivity. That means the figure they found is likely way too small and conservative. In fact, health experts assert that 22 diseases in total link directly to sloth. Rather than expand health insurance coverage and Medicaid funding, perhaps it’s time to go down a different, more productive path. The US Government should pay you to play Pokemon Go. Continue reading “The US Government Should Pay You to Play Pokemon Go”

Philadelphia’s Stupid Laws Don’t Apply to Democrats at the DNC

philadelphia's stupid lawsI lived in Philadelphia for three years, and it is a wonderful city full of great people. It is also home to some of the most corrupt politicians in the country after Chicago. Phildelphia’s stupid laws really hurt average people and raise costs for virtually everything. After all, this is a city where the city’s convention hall required paying union laborers $100 in order to plug in a television until recently. Philly has banned Uber and restricts all sales of alcohol to state run liquor stores. The Parking Authority has impounded Uber drivers’ cars, and most of the city’s restaurants do not even serve alcohol because of the Byzantine and astronomical cost of complying with the liquor regulations. For the DNC this weekend, the transportation sponsor is Uber and the alcohol regulations have all been lifted. Apparently Philadelphia’s stupid laws are good enough for everyone except high ranking Democratic politicians. Continue reading “Philadelphia’s Stupid Laws Don’t Apply to Democrats at the DNC”

The Worst Funded Pensions in America are in Chicago

worst funded pension
Public workers in Chicago are about to get left out in the cold. Source

The Windy City of Chicago has the worst funded pension system in the United States. A combination of corruption, skipping required pension payments, generous benefits, and ridiculous investment assumptions have put the financial future of the nation’s third largest city in jeopardy. Because of this pension problem, Chicago just raised property taxes by 72% over the next few years. Sadly, it will not be enough to avert disaster. Continue reading “The Worst Funded Pensions in America are in Chicago”

New Jersey Stole From the Police Pension and Gave It to Teachers

new jersey stole from the police pension
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Imagine you are a police officer in New Jersey. You put your life on the line to keep the citizens of the state safe. When you are not risking bodily injury, you have to deal with all kinds of unpleasant situations like evictions, traffic stops, or looking for suspects with outstanding warrants for their arrest. All you want is a secure pension when you retire. How would you feel if you discovered that New Jersey stole from the police pension to shore up the failing teachers’ pension? Continue reading “New Jersey Stole From the Police Pension and Gave It to Teachers”

Most Public Pension Investment Assumptions Are Impossible

public pension investment assumptions
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Looking at the latest New Jersey pension performance report made me realize how doomed pensions are for average people in America. If you work in the public sector, you need to be using a 403b and IRA to shelter as much as you can for your golden years. I seriously doubt all but the strongest funds will be able to pay their obligations in 30 years when many Millennial Moola readers will retire. This is mostly due to impossible public pension investment assumptions, and I have the numbers to prove it. Continue reading “Most Public Pension Investment Assumptions Are Impossible”