October 18, 2013 |
In his crowded townhouse office on Locust Street, Howard Trauger was calming an investor over the phone Wednesday. Shouldn't stock prices be collapsing, with all the "silliness" in Congress, and the threat that the United States would default on its debt? asked the caller, head of a foundation that invests more than $2 million of its endowment with Trauger's firm, Schuylkill Capital Management. "As a matter of fact, they aren't" collapsing, Trauger, a ruddy Schuylkill County native who has been buying and selling securities for a living since he cut his teeth at the Girard Bank in the 1970s, told his client.
June 1, 2012 |
Q. We have been discussing putting our investments in the hands of a highly recommended adviser. As part of our discussion, he said that he must have full control of our assets so that he can take advantage of opportunities that are available only for a few minutes. He wants not only control, but possession. I told him that you are opposed to giving any adviser both control and possession of the securities. He immediately pointed out that mutual funds do just that, and that you're out of date.
October 18, 2011 |
There is no income in fixed income. We're at a strange inflection point in the capital markets. For decades, yields on fixed-income securities such as U.S. Treasuries have been falling, and they have reached a historic low point because the federal government has been intervening in its own debt markets. Leaving aside whether it's a good idea for the Federal Reserve to buy Treasuries, the yield on the 10-year Treasury, for instance, is now less than 3 percent. As a result, there are very few places for investors like us to find a place to generate income in our portfolios.
June 6, 2012 |
With the current volatility in both stock and bond markets, most money managers aren't as worried about taking risks in a portfolio as they are about preserving your capital and protecting income from dividend-oriented or growth stocks and bonds. Still, they are all having a hard time reading what has been an unusual investing climate. Such is the case with local money manager Bob Costello, who manages $55 million at his own shop, Costello Asset Management in Huntingdon Valley.
July 8, 2011
For garden-lovers in the Philadelphia area - anywhere, really - there's a new book in town. Published by the University of Pennsylvania Press ($19.77 on Amazon.com), it's called Chanticleer: A Pleasure Garden , by Adrian Higgins with photos by Rob Cardillo. Higgins is the Washington Post's garden editor. Cardillo, who lives in Ambler, is a well-known garden photographer of the first order. In fact, his photographs - almost 100, culled from 4,000 taken over two growing seasons - often threaten to overshadow the prose, only because they're so extraordinary.
December 24, 1996 |
Township officials are hoping to revise investment of their police pension funds, which have lost about $600,000. Supervisors voted last week to investigate how the township should handle a group of limited partnership investments it made in the mid-1980s. Overall, the township bought $1.6 million worth of stock with the group, called American Insured Mortgage Investors (AIM), but the investment withered. Last year, supervisors sold some shares originally valued at $186,000.
May 21, 2010
Pruning is one of the scariest tasks in any garden. Most of us fly blind and do terrible things to our plants, shrubs, and trees. But as Lee Reich explains in The Pruning Book (Taunton Press, $21.95), proper pruning is critical. It keeps plants healthy, prevents them from growing too large, enhances their beauty, and improves the quality and quantity of their flowers, leaves and fruits. Not only that, but pruning can be fun, he says. Really? The oblivious among us know that nothing feels better than to whack away at an overgrown anything, but that's not the kind of fun Reich is talking about.
May 28, 2010
Reading Marta Teegen's new book, Homegrown: A Growing Guide for Creating a Cook's Garden in Raised Beds, Containers, and Small Spaces, I sensed that something was missing. Then it dawned on me. This may be the only gardening book around that doesn't have vivid illustrations. These are a pale, pale green, a curious and unsatisfying choice for a book about growing your own vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers. That said, Teegen has a pretty nice book here from Rodale ($19.99)
April 11, 2008
If you're a gardener, run, don't walk, to your nearest laptop or bookstore to buy The Truth About Organic Gardening: Benefits, Drawbacks and the Bottom Line by Jeff Gillman. If you think you already know this stuff, trust me. You don't. Not unless, like Gillman, you're an ornamental-plant specialist with a master's degree in entomology, a doctorate in horticulture, and a resume that includes extensive research on pesticides and a tenured teaching gig in horticultural science at the University of Minnesota.
July 22, 2011
The name Allan Armitage is a big draw for plant people, which means his updated edition of the 2000 classic Armitage's Garden Perennials is destined to sell well. Armitage is a horticulture professor at the University of Georgia, Athens, but more importantly, he does research on new garden plants and runs the university's trial gardens. In other words, he's the man - educated and horticulturally famous, with an endearing credo: "This is gardening, not brain surgery.