2004

Jan. 2004 – Health Savings Accounts: Opportunities for Investors

A new way to pay for health care that was introduced by the Medicare Reform Act in December combines an insurance component with an intriguing savings kicker. The new plans, called health savings accounts (HSAs) are designed to help individuals save for qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-favored basis. Contributions to these …

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March 2004 – Martha, et al.

The highly publicized case against Martha Stewart has focused attention on the notion of insider trading. These events, as well as the trend described by the Wall Street journal article reprinted herein, serve as a reminder that individual investors are not well served by stock picking. The capital markets assimilate information with stunning efficiency. This …

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April 2004 – Tweaking the Dow

On April 8 the 30 component companies of the venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were changed for the first time since 1999. Eastman Kodak, AT&T, and International Paper were dropped while Pfizer, Verizon and American International Group (AIG) were added. Although two of the firms that were replaced were in our high-yield Dow model, …

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May 2004 – Rising Rates

The month of April ushered in news signaling very solid economic growth, and the bond market responded by sending interest rates to their highest level in a year, as shown in the first chart below. Conservative investors who have structured their portfolios in accordance with our recommendations might be anxious about the decline in their …

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