The Independent Investor

Nothing sheepish about the price of wool

We humans have been using wool for thousands of years. It was the primary clothing material of the Middle Ages. But even today, new uses for wool are cropping up, driving prices to record highs.

The primary use for wool continues to be in clothing production. The newest demand for this natural material is coming from sports’ companies such as Nike, Puma and Adidas that are weaving it into sneakers. It appears that a new generation of consumers prefer natural over synthetic fibers. They want to know where their products come from and where they are going. 

All hail the rise of the smoothie

The global market for smoothies is one that is growing and profitable. Driven by a new health-consciousness among consumers, today’s on-the-go convenience of gulping down your vitamins and minerals is appealing to more and more of us. Expect that trend to continue.

Same-sex marriage is good for business

The Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage at the federal level was greeted with a sigh of relief by most large companies. It makes my job a lot easier as well. Here’s why.

How to run for president and make a fortune in the process

Almost every day in the past few weeks, it seems, we received an announcement of yet another contender for the 2016 presidency, or an announcement that an announcement would be forthcoming. The reason for so many candidates, however, may have nothing to do with winning the presidency.

The financial challenges facing single parents

Over 13 million Americans struggle each day to be the best single parent they can. It can be a thankless job and one that requires an entire set of financial tools that couples rarely face. This column is dedicated to helping the single parent cope.

How to make the most out of Social Security

Yes, it’s complicated. Social Security benefits have been around since 1935 and, like taxes, have become increasingly complex through time. Most people are losing out because they don’t understand the fine print. Starting today, you will, so read on.

The business of guns under fire

The firearm industry has a lot going for it. It is responsible for a piece of this country’s economic recovery including job growth as well as providing a hefty contribution to the tax base. It also sold the weapons that recently cut down 26 people, including 20 children, in a Connecticut elementary school. The shooter also killed his mother and himself.

When to start saving for retirement? Now

The Independent Investor

What are the best avenues to save for retirement?

Today savers are offered a plethora of tax-deferred retirement plans. For those of you who are just starting out the choices can seem overwhelming but it is not as hard as you think.

Back in the day, before the advent of government-sponsored savings plans, defined benefit pension plans and the odd annuity were the only investment vehicles available to me.

Robin Hood would be proud

The Independent Investor

Taxes are not my favorite thing. Like everyone else, I would like to see less, rather than more, taxes in my life. However, there is one tax under consideration in Congress that I fully support

Gordon Gekko should run

The Independent Investor

Did you know that congressmen and senators consistently outperform the stock market year after year? On average, the lower house members beat the market by about 6 percent a year, while those of the higher chamber wrack up a 10 percent level of outperformance annually. Now, if you believe that’s purely coincidental, well, I have a bridge I can sell you cheap.