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


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video


American high

Can advisers save clients from the financial ravages of opioid addiction?

Latest news & opinion

Fiduciary advocates press CFP Board for specifics on standards changes

Meanwhile, few brokerages and their trade associations, which blasted the DOL's fiduciary rule in comment letters, are responding to the CFP Board's proposal.

Big gains attract new money to emerging markets, but should investors stay?

An estimated $6.7 billion has flowed into emerging-market stock funds and ETFs so far this year, according to Morningstar.

Attorney blasts Finra after regulator loses insider trading case

Lawyer says it was 'slimy' of Finra to publicize the case while it was still being litigated.

Will Jeffrey Gundlach's Trump-like approach on Twitter work in financial services?

The DoubleLine CEO's attacks on Wall Street Journal reporters is igniting a discussion on what's fair game on social media.

Fidelity wins arb case against wine mogul but earns a rebuke from Finra

In the case of investor Peter Deutsch, Fidelity doesn't have to pay any compensation, but regulator said firm put its interests ahead of his.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print