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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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Opinion: What should your retirement wish be for 2020

Opinion: What should your retirement wish be for 2020

Which of the following retirement scenarios would you want to come true in 2020?

Lower interest rates along higher stock and bond prices, or higher interest rates and lower stock and bond markets? If you’re like most retirees and soon-to-be retirees to whom I pose this question, the answer is a no-brainer: Of course your fervent wish is for the former.


  • Mr. Hulbert did not once mention that higher interest rates and growth generally may be assumed to also cause higher inflation across the broad social economy, a loss of purchasing power.
    And how may he assume that some folks don't use part or all of their RMD from IRA's as a form of annuity payments throughout the year.
    I'm not about to send him an email to ask him to expand his view.
    My 2 cents worth, inflation adjusted; of course.
    Have a good remainder,
  • one reason may be that the first point has generally not proved to be the case, to the puzzlement of many, not just economists
  • Buy scratch card in Lottery and maybe win at least $1m
  • "What should your retirement wish be for 2020"

    Well, my wish is that our health remains in as good shape as our retirement income. At the moment, that may be somewhat optimistic.
  • edited January 2020
    Actually, a pretty thoughtful article - the exception to the rule nowadays. The annuity “quagmire” he alludes to (my phraseology) is real. Low rates translate into low “guaranteed” payouts.

    On another point (excerpt): “Japan is the obvious recent example of this, of course. Their long-term interest rates have been low or negative for several decades, and their economic growth has been disappointing, to say the least. The Nikkei Dow index NIK, +1.76% is today barely half of where it stood at its all-time high in 1989.”

    It’s startling to think that Japan’s major stock market is but half way back to it’s all-time high reached in 1989. Does anyone know whether if a Japanese investor had diversified globally or put 100% of his money in the U.S. market back than it would have helped? I suspect the answer lies in exchange rates (Dollar vs. Yen) and that the benefit would not have been so great.

    PS - I don’t have a particular wish, but would like to wish everyone good health and happiness.
  • Hi @hank
    This Nikkei graph is view only; but provides a look back to 1970 representing your notations about performance.
  • The Nikkei graph:

  • Hey, @Old_Joe , thanks for making the proper post for this graph.

    Had a brain fart with this........old habit; well, don't know. Hoping nothing more than a short period brain fart.
    Take care of yourselves in your neighborhood.
  • @catch22- Have noted significant variation in brain performance at this end also. I think that we're approaching the lower right-hand end of the bell curve. :(
  • edited January 2020
    Looking at that graph, I must wonder who amongst us here would have the patience to sit on our stocks (or funds) for 30 years patiently waiting for them to regain their 1989 high? Before someone jumps on me, I’d better acknowledge that the graph doesn’t represent return after dividends were paid out over that period, so investors might well be net positive. Thanks to the 2 “OF”s that together posted the NIkkei 225 chart.

    BTW - I remember well that period. Everybody was trying to figure out why Japan seemed to be so far ahead of the U.S. financially. Delegations were sent to Japan by U.S. businesses and schools to try to get at the answer. Quoth one after returning: “I don’t get it.”
  • Answer to original poster's title.

    Good Health - Every thing else will take care of it's self !!
  • Hi @hank, I have some memories of that time too in the manufacturing world. That quote from US businesses and schools, “I don’t get it”, was exactly the reason Japan was beating the sox off US manufacturing at the time. Toyota was heads and tails better at making reliable, less expensive cars than General Motors, Ford or Chrysler and Dodge in the '70s and '80s. Fuji proclaimed that they would destroy Kodak and take our lucrative film business (I remember that well. We laughed at first). Electronics, TVs, stereos and such were all made cheaper and better in Japan. RCA became a looser, Zenith was a looser to Japan. Why, because Japan manufacturing adapted religiously to a manufacturing system taught to them by American statisticians after WW2. Edwards Deming led the way in the '50s to teach Japan what American CEOs once knew but were to fat, dumb and happy to implement themselves, Lean Manufacturing and Statistical Process Control (SPC). The Toyota Production System is synonymous to Lean Manufacturing, the bible for LM in fact.

    Japan's economic rise is understood. Their mediocrity since is less, but likely due to poor government economic policy and the rest of the world catching up with outsourced labor costs and more efficient technology.

  • Gary said:

    Answer to original poster's title.

    Good Health - Every thing else will take care of it's self !!

  • edited January 2020
    @MikeM - Thanks for the injecture. While I didn’t necessarily intend sarcasm with my “I don’t get it” reference, I agree that U.S. manufactures were lazy and inept at responding to the Japanese manufacturing challenge - particularly the quality issue. I owned a couple new U.S. cars built in the 70s that were both poorly put together and prone to frequent breakdown. In short - nicely stylized junk.

    The only issue I might have is that looking at this question in such a simplistic manner leaves out a lot of contributing factors. Japan’s industrial base had been devastated during WW II. So they were ramping up production at brand new state-of-the-art plants, while U.S. plants were more dated. Japanese cars at first were smaller and more fuel efficient - able to profit from the (unexpected) 1970s OPEC Oil Embargo. Prior to that game-changer, fuel in the U.S. had been plentiful and relatively cheap. And, we haven’t even gotten around to the question of labor unions (like the UAW) that sought and received living wages and generous fringe benefits for workers, putting the U.S. at a disadvantage to Japan where labor was cheaper. You’re right. U.S. politicians and auto execs didn’t “get it” at first.

    My brief (quoth) remark pertained to one public school educator from an excellent system here in the U.S. who visited Japan in the late 80s (about the time the Nikkiei was peaking). By than Japan was all the rave. Japan could do no wrong. He sought to compare classroom experiences of Japanese students than with those of the system where he worked. He did not observe a significant difference. If anything, he reported that the students he observed in Japan appeared less attentive and more prone to arriving late / leaving early than in the system where he worked. I must caution that was just one person’s limited experience and may not have been representative of Japanese schools at large. Equally likely, the school where he worked wasn’t representive of all American schools.
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