Friday, September 29, 2006

“Will Reverse Mortgages Rescue the Baby Boomers?”

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has come up with another great topic: Will Reverse Mortgages Rescue the Baby Boomers?”

In their email announcing this new publication, the Center summarized its findings:

  • Reverse mortgages will become more popular as baby boomers reach retirement with insufficient income.

  • At current interest rates, a 65-year-old household with a $200,000 house could borrow about half of its home value.

  • The amount available through a reverse mortgage is very sensitive to interest rates, so households should not overestimate their accessible home equity.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Structuring Venture Capital Funds" by Gunderson Detmer speakers

IPOs aren't as popular as they used to be as an exit strategy for venture capital. Instead, the companies that they invest in are being snapped up by strategic buyers or financial buyers.


It's the influence of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, according to Jay Hachigian of the law firm Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian. Public companies have to deal with too many regulations. Hachigian spoke on "Structuring Venture Capital Funds" with Nick Guttilla, his colleague, at the Boston Security Analysts Society on September 21.

The other fact from this presentation that captured my attention is that total venture capital investments are finally trending up again after peaking dramatically at $104 billion in 2000. In 2006, that number will recover to only $25 billion, according to Hachigian's graph.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mr. Anonymous was right about Putnam

My anonymous commenter of "Whither Putnam?" in March 2006 got it right.

Marsh & McLennan has put Putnam up for sale. With Mass Financial Services also up for sale, it's an interesting time in Boston's investment community.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What's the outlook for independent research providers?

Investment professionals know that sell-side research analysts have been sorely tested by recent years' business and regulatory environment.

But what about independent research firms? Are they thriving? Or do they also confront challenges?

"Independent Research Faces Its Own Hurdles" on the blog of Integrity Research gives you that firm's perspective.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Answers to questions raised by Hartford attendees

Yesterday the participants in my seminar on "The Six Deadly Sins of Investment Commentary" raised some questions I wasn't able to answer on the spot.

Q. Can you point us to some examples of good investment writing?

A. I enjoy the writing on Tom Brown's Bank Stocks blog. If you look, for example, at "Exploiting our edge: How we manage risk," it has:
  • A simple, catchy title
  • A topic -- risk -- that most investors care about
  • Ample use of "you"
  • A controversial approach to risk -- whether you agree or not, you'll probably find this interesting
  • Good use of numbering and bolding when he lists his rules
By the way, can you find the typo in his second paragraph? Unfortunately, the spellcheck feature of Word is no good at catching the use of "manger" where "manager" belongs.

Q. Are there other tools that you use to produce good writing?

A. I use free Bullfighter software to alert myself when my sentences are running too long. You can learn more about this software on my SusanGhostwriter blog.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

For Hartford society participants in "Six Deadly Sins of Investment Commentary"

This forum is for participants in my September 14, 2006 session on writing investment commentary, "The Six Deadly Sins of Investment Commentary, or How to Write What People Will Read."

Have you got follow-up questions?

Post them by clicking on the word "comments" below. I will try to reply within 48 hours.

Happy writing!

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Monday, September 04, 2006

"Municipalities love taxing homes almost as much as Americans love owning them"

Financial planners counsel their clients on income, estate and gift taxes. But they often neglect residential property taxes. That may be a mistake.

Read the rest of my Wealth Manager article, "Municipalities love taxing homes almost as much as Americans love owning them."


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Alan Greenspan speaks in Boston on Sept. 25

Alan Greenspan, former head of the Federal Reserve Board, will speak in Boston on Sept. 25.

For details, go to the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council website.