Lynn O'Shaughnessy

Posted January 29, 2007

The nation's inventory of mutual funds exceeds 8,100, and if you multiply that number a few times, you'll get some idea of the staggering number of people trying to make a living in the advice business.

Posted January 23, 2007

About a year ago, Smith Barney, the brokerage giant, announced that it would start calling its stockbrokers "financial advisers." Most Smith Barney clients, if they heard this pronouncement, probably greeted it with some variation of "duh." These investors already assume that the brokers, who handle their accounts, are advisers.

Posted January 16, 2007

I've received thousands of e-mails since I began writing this column 2 1/2 years ago and, by far, the most frequent SOS I get is from readers who want to know where they should turn for financial help.

Posted January 09, 2007

Instead of preaching to people about what kind of financial resolutions they should be embracing for the New Year, I decided to ask people to share their own financial goals.

Posted January 02, 2007

Even though the holidays have just passed, I'd like to share an inspirational tale that I've been sitting on for several months.

Posted December 26, 2006

Many so-called financial experts, who want to sell investment products, see charities as irresistible suckers. Charities have cash and don't possess investment moxie.

Posted December 19, 2006

Investors think they know when to dash in and out of the market, but they don't. Not even the experts know.

Posted December 12, 2006

If you spend much time in bookstores, you'll appreciate that the nation is in no danger of running out of personal finance books. Most of these books are written by financial personalities with mediocre results. But crammed on the shelves along with these clunkers are some jewels.

Posted December 05, 2006

When should you begin taking Social Security payments?

Posted November 28, 2006

As it turned out, my mom was a master at motivating fourth-graders, but she knew less than a dilettante about what was inside her retirement account.

Posted November 21, 2006

If you own a cash-value life insurance policy, you could have insurance agents pestering you to sell it.

Posted November 06, 2006

During the past 16 months, this reader figures he's paid close to $7,000 in 401(k) fees. When he complained to his company about what he considered to be a bloated tab, here's the response he got: "Suck it up. There is nothing you can do about it."

Posted October 31, 2006

My column last week probably prompted many readers to panic when I asked a simple question: Do you know how much your mutual funds cost? I should have mentioned that this is a two-part quiz. And here's the second question: How much are you paying for your 401(k)?

Posted October 24, 2006

Many investors are blithely sitting on a portfolio of expensive funds because they don't know they're being gouged.

Posted October 17, 2006

A year ago, a popular financial magazine featured a story about an enterprising fellow who purchased a fixer-upper and then sold the house for a quick profit after remodeling it. The story would have been unremarkable except for a couple of important details.

Posted October 10, 2006

How would you react if some guys with impressive credentials approached you with this financial pitch:

Posted October 02, 2006

What's particularly disquieting about this rite of financial passage is this reality: By the time the typical American teenager turns 18, he or she has seen more than 10 million ads. Combine young adults' easy credit with their craving to be "merchants of cool," a term used by a PBS documentary, and you've got the ingredient for a perfect credit storm.

Posted September 19, 2006

As I mentioned last week, millions of people don't enroll in 401(k) plans because it seems like a hassle.

Posted September 12, 2006

Last month, Congress passed the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which supporters called the most sweeping pension reform in 30 years.