Since tomorrow is Good Friday, we're posting the weekly roundup a day early. Here's our latest collection of interesting articles on investing and other financial topics.
- U.S. economy grew at a pace very close to Trump's 3 percent goal at end of last year (Washington Post). Amid the market turmoil, this is good news. As one economist put it, the latest numbers show "the economy's wheels were spinning faster than we thought in the fourth quarter."
- ETFs: Tax-efficient but not tax-immune (Morningstar). A bit of a deep dive on how ETFs differ from traditional mutual funds.
- There's a major Medicare change taking place. Here's everything you need to know (Money). The government's plan to step-up the security of Medicare ID numbers is having a not-so-good side effect: scammers are on the prowl.
- No need to sign on dotted line: Credit cards are phasing out signatures (NPR). This is a direct result of the introduction of "chip" cards (and it's doubtful that signing your name provided much a security benefit anyway).
- Scottrade layoffs climb to over 1,000 (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). The TD Ameritrade / Scottrade merger has (not surprisingly) led to layoffs. Scottrade employees who've lost their jobs in recent weeks no doubt would appreciate your prayers.
And from the pundits and bloggers...
- Two centuries of momentum (ThinkNewfound). A short history (but a long post!) on momentum as the basis for a systematized investment strategy. (As we note in our current SMI cover story, momentum "is a foundational principle on which most of SMI's...strategies are built.")
- Combined market cap of 20 largest crypto coins is down -49% since first of the year (Charlie Bilello, a performance table via Twitter). What a difference three months makes!
- This is the less risky alternative to retiring early that still gives you freedom (Harry Sit, MarketWatch). We wrote last summer about the early-retirement movement known as FIRE. This author says that although FIRE followers offer helpful techniques, there is a better approach.
- How to maximize charitable giving tax benefits in the new tax reform law (Bob Carlson’s Retirement Watch). The "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" has made Donor Advised Funds even more attractive.
- A biblical perspective on paying your taxes (Howard Dayton, Compass – finances God's way). Disliking the tax system mustn't lead to an un-Christlike attitude or ungodly actions.
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We hope you have a blessed Easter weekend!