Dividends: Distribution Yield vs. SEC Yield

I recently looked up the yield on the Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt municipal bond fund and was surprised by what I saw. According to Google, Yahoo, and Morningstar, it’s yield was a little over 3%. Wait a minute… Over 3% for a tax-exempt bond fund? In the current interest rate environment? Really? Yes, really. Well, sort … Read more

Dividend Investing: Payment Dates Don’t Matter

Here we go again. Every once in awhile I’ll run into an article* about a great set of dividend-paying stocks whose payout dates are lined up to ensure a monthly flow of dividends. And when I do, I can’t help but roll my eyes. If you’re interested in picking stocks, there are plenty of things … Read more

Deciding When to Rebalance Your Investment Portfolio

I’ve talked in the past about why you should rebalance your portfolio. In short, you do so to maintain your desired risk profile. But how do you decide when to rebalance? While it’s good to keep things in check, there’s no sense in going overboard. While some re-balance at set time points (e.g., annually), we’ve … Read more

The Economic Impact of Fantasy Football

In honor of the NFL season being back on I thought I’d highlight some interesting numbers on the economic impact of fantasy football in the workplace. Sure, the season technically kicked off Wednesday when the Cowboys beat the Giants, but today is when it really gets rolling. For starters, an article on AdWeek argued that … Read more

Does Car Insurance Cover Tire Damage?

Over the past week or so, I’ve been having a run of bad luck with cars. Not long after I got my speeding ticket, I suffered a flat tire. I had driven to the airport and all seemed well when I parked and headed to my flight. But, upon my return, my tire was dead … Read more

Thoughts on Dollar-Cost Averaging

On the way to work the other day, I heard a discussion of dollar-cost averaging on the radio. Yes, I listen to boring radio stations… Overall, I was struck by how complex they made an otherwise simple concept sound. I thus thought I’d share some thoughts on the matter. For background, dollar-cost averaging (DCA) refers … Read more

The Economic Impact of Income Taxes

In honor of the never ending debate on taxes, I thought I’d highlight the results of an older (but still applicable) study from the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy. As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s pressure in a number of states to reduce or abolish personal income taxes. In general, the argument in favor … Read more

IRS Whistleblower Program: Who Qualifies and How it Works

Big news this week: an IRS whistleblower earned $104 million in rewards for turning in tax cheats based on knowledge he gained as a Swiss banker. Pretty slick. If you know any tax evaders and want to doing something similar, read on… Note: Yes, I realize that it’s extremely unlikely that any of you will … Read more

How Much Do Substitute Teachers Make?

Over the past year, my wife has started substitute teaching. Now that our youngest is well on his way in elementary school, she has time to spare. Not only that, but she’s been spending a lot of time volunteering at the school so she might as well get paid for her time. Right? So… How … Read more

History of the Federal Minimum Wage

In talking about how much substitute teachers make, I noted that the 2012 daily pay rate (at least around here), when expressed in hourly terms, was flirting with the current minimum wage rate of $7.25/hour. This got me to thinking about how the minimum wage has changed over time. With that as my inspiration, I … Read more