It’s been a few years since I last discussed Medicare, the government program that helps insure health care costs for those of us who are 65 or older. Since it recently turned 50, I thought I’d offer an update. It was conceived as a way to provide health insurance coverage for retirees and it continues to fulfill that role.
My previous newsletter kicked off the tour of our office wall which features quotations that I find helpful in various ways. We last heard from Peter Lynch, legendary manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund. Next up is the current manager of Berkshire-Hathaway’s investment portfolio, Warren Buffett.
It seems that I’m not the only one who appreciates the wisdom of philosopher and Hall of Fame catcher Lawrence Peter Berra. Yogi was named "Wisest Fool of the Past 50 Years" by The Economist and I’m going to turn to him again for the title of an article.
I think most college students will agree that going off to school may involve some fun but it’s basically going to be their job for several years. That said, borrowing today’s title from the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs seems appropriate since that’s the song the dwarfs sing as they head out to work at the mine.
Over the years I’ve been involved in the world of investments, I’ve found that my clients have been able to make money in all three of stocks, bonds and real estate, though rarely at the same time. Since no one knows the best time to invest in any one of them, we encourage most of our clients to use all of them.
I’d like to begin with a shout-out to French pilot and author Antoine de Saint-Exupery who has entertained readers from youth through adulthood with his books The Little Prince and Night Flight. He was also a poet and creator of memorable phrases including the one I’ve borrowed for today’s title.
During the past seven years or so, interest rates have fallen to generational, if not all-time, lows. Here’s a chart showing the rate of the two year Treasury Note over that period courtesy of the Department of the Treasury:
I’ve heard that you can tell whether someone is an optimist or a pessimist by their answer to the question “Which do you want first, the good news or the bad?” I’ve started a couple of businesses during my working life, something that’s almost always associated with optimism. Yet my usual response to that question is to ask for the bad news first.