BUZ LIVINGSTON: Songwriters are here

Published: Friday, January 17, 2014 at 09:22 AM.

Have fun, be safe and tip your servers well — festival attendees have reputations to uphold. 

Culture, the arts and South Walton’s natural beauty separate us from Destin and Panama City Beach but a little Hill Country wouldn’t hurt. Ray Wylie Hubbard would be my only, albeit gentle, suggestion for next year.

Markets go up and markets go down, make sure your investments have a degree of safety but beware of fool’s gold.

Seeking safety, a SoWal guitar picker (not a client) invested solely in the Thrift Savings Plan’s (TSP) “G” Fund. The TSP is a 401(k) plan for federal employees and light-years ahead of most private sector plans. The “G” Fund owns only short-term government bonds but stashing all your money there or in a money market fund merely gives a mirage of safety. You still face inflation risk and time in the market beats timing the market. Saving in an IRA or 401(k)-type plan won’t guarantee reaching your goals but it helps. Never move money from the TSP until age 70 ½. A TSP rollover to an IRA prior to age 70 ½ is more foolish than Nick Saban trying a 56-yard field goal. 

Last week I hammered big banks and was shocked to see noted libertarian and Ayn Rand devotee Alan Greenspan offering a mea culpa. When wrong, some people yell louder but intelligent folks change their minds.

Renouncing his earlier delusion that markets magically self-regulated, he agrees with me that large U.S. banks should have higher liquidity ratios or, in plain-speak, keep more money in reserve. Of course large banking conglomerates can have lower cash on hand but dividends would be limited as would salaries and bonuses for royalty, err, upper management.

For the 30A Songwriters Festival this column has a Fleetwood Mac musical allusion. The first person to identify it wins a copy of “Investing in an Uncertain Economy.” 

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