Billy Writes to Santa Late

Posted: Dec 27, 2011 12:01 AM

Dear Santa:

I know this letter is rather late, however, I thought if this were sent earlier, it would get lost amongst all the requests for iPads, HDTVs, and Legos. 

Santa, my request is simple.

But, please, please, please, give it some serious thought.  Where do I invest my allowance for the coming year?  I know, I know, if we could talk, you’d say “what are your goals and objectives” (whatever that means). 

Well, Santa, what I’d like is more money next year than I had this year.  I’m not sure if there will be an allowance next year, so the money I’ve got now has to do. 

I thought I’d put my money with Mr. Bill Miller, cause after all, he was a superstar that beat the S&P all those years. 

Then, I found out that he’s retiring cause he’s not done so well lately.  I also thought about John Paulson, but my allowance doesn’t quite meet his minimums, and he lost half of his fund’s money this year. 

Hmmm, not so good. 

I looked into other hedge funds, and they did bad in 2008 and bad this year, also.  It seems when the market goes up, they do good, but not so good when it goes down. 

A 2% fee is OK, but 20% of the profits?  Naaa.  It seems the best thing would be to use index funds if the fund managers can’t do any better. 

I thought about following Mr. Bogle’s advice of Vanguard fame, and just tuck it away in a good S&P Index mutual fund. 

But Santa, is it true the S&P is the same now as it was in 1998?  Stocks sometimes scare me, but Santa, I hope that you recommend that TCTNX.  It looks interesting. 

I like the glitter of gold and silver, but I just don’t know how to spend it.  Maybe Coca-Cola could make a machine that takes those coins. 

I heard about bonds, Santa.  Like corporate, munis, and high yields, but what confuses me is that most of those companies, states, and towns don’t have much money coming in. 

At least not enough to pay me back.  So, how does it work?  The President just says one day “be a good citizen, and let them keep your allowance?” 

The President wouldn’t do that, would he Santa?  Oh, by the way, everybody says that we shouldn’t put any money with the government in those treasury things or the dollar. 

But, they seem to have been the best place to invest for the last year.  What do you think of those?  So, Santa, you can see why I’m confused.  My allowance means everything to me. 

After all, who do think paid for the pasta primavera and Chianti wine instead of the milk and cookies. 

Please give me an answer as soon as possible.  The New Year is right around the corner.

Sincerely Your Friend and Still True Believer,

Little Billy Tatro

P.S. – I’ve heard annuities are good.  Is that why Snoopy is riding in your sleigh?