Jeff Benjamin

Investment Insights: The Blogblog

Jeff Benjamin breaks down the game for advisers and clients.

As Ukraine heats up, Obama “tees up” more sanctions, and the market turns a blind eye

Plus: Financial pros warn against ignoring Ukraine's significance, the housing market is being hurt by basement-dwellers, epic Medicare fraud, safe investment bets surprise in 2014, and $1 million saved for retirement is now considered a good start

Apr 24, 2014 @ 7:43 am

By Jeff Benjamin

  • Things are heating up in Ukraine as the locals have started pushing back on Russian forces, reportedly killing a handful of pro-Russian gunmen overnight. For his part, President Obama took a break from his Asian tour to warn Russia that more sanctions are “teed up,” even as he acknowledged his limited influence. Obama's frank pessimism

  • Meanwhile, financial pros train a cautious eye on how the turmoil in Ukraine will likely impact the financial markets. The markets are missing the seriousness of what's happening

  • The U.S. housing market is being held down by the stagnant pace of new housing formation. In other words, if you want to help the economy, move out of your parents' basement and get married. Brace yourself for some sticker shock if you haven't bought a house lately

  • Medicare fraud runs up a $5 billion tab, exposing a system that is badly broken. Or, depending on your perspective, an extremely expensive taxi service for lazy people. Envelopes full of cash

  • Contrary to what the prognosticators were expecting for 2014, safe bets are shining so far this year. Utilities, gold and government bonds were all supposed to flop, but instead they are outpacing riskier investments. Power company stocks lead the S&P 500

  • If you managed to save $1 million for retirement, congrats. You are part of an elite group, which includes only about 10% of all retirement savers. But don't get too excited, because it still might not be enough. Health care costs and inflation means $1M isn't as cool as it once was


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