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Island Investing

Riffs, rants, and the upside of investing from way off Wall Street


Category: Island Investing

Island Investing: The Question On Everyone’s Mind

Island Investing Cale Smith, MBA August 8, 2009 Q. Is the recession over? A. Lean in close. I’ve got something you should hear. There has been a recent flurry of economic data released. If there were one conclusion to be drawn regarding whether or not we’re still in a recession, it would be this: […]

Island Investing: Credit Default Swaps

Island Investing Cale Smith, MBA August 1, 2009 Q. What are credit default swaps? A. A credit default swap, or CDS, is a contract that promises to cover losses on certain securities, including corporate debt, municipal bonds, and those securitized mortgages I mentioned last week, if they default. Buyers of credit default swaps make […]

Island Investing: Derivatives Part II

Island Investing Cale Smith, MBA July 25, 2009 We’re continuing to answer the question, “What are derivatives and why should I care about them?” Last week I began to discuss the derivatives that contributed to The Great Recession we are now in. I described the entire multi-trillion dollar mortgage market as a three-story building […]

Island Investing: Derivatives Part I

Island Investing Cale Smith, MBA July 18, 2009 Q. What are derivatives and why should I care about them? A. Consider yourself warned: reading about derivatives can make you narcoleptic. Usually the phrase “collateralized debt obligation” is followed by the drool that comes only from deep REM sleep. But to understand the credit crisis […]

Island Investing: What’s a Hedge Fund?

Island Investing Cale Smith, MBA July 11, 2009 Q. What’s a hedge fund? A. Think of a hedge fund as an unregulated mutual fund. While the word “hedge” might lead you to believe these funds cautiously hedge their bets, that is rarely the case. Like a mutual fund, a hedge fund is a pool […]

Island Investing: Index Funds

Island Investing Cale Smith July 4, 2009 Q. What exactly are index funds and what’s so great about them? A. They are low-cost mutual funds built to mimic a stock market index. For instance, an S&P 500 Index fund contains stocks in the 500 companies that make up that index. Index funds are passively […]

Island Investing: Mutual Fund Fees

Today’s column for the Keys Weekly. Island Investing Cale Smith June 27, 2009 Q. Can you explain mutual fund fees? A. Let’s start with the basics. One in every two households in the Keys owns mutual funds, but many folks may not understand how they operate. A mutual fund is a giant pool of money […]

Island Investing: How Advisors Get Paid

Today’s column for the Keys Weekly. Island Investing Cale Smith June 20, 2009 Q. How does my financial advisor get paid? A. Many people have no idea how much they pay their broker, planner or advisor every year. There is no shame in asking, though. Wall Street makes it hard if not impossible for many […]

Island Investing: Reducing Risk

This week’s column for the Keys Weekly. Island Investing Cale Smith June 13, 2009 I received three questions from readers of last week’s column. I’m happy to say two of them were from people other than my mom. Don’t forget: free T-shirt. Send your investing question to csmith (at) If nothing else, you can […]

Island Investing: Intro Column

This week I started writing a new column called “Island Investing” for the Keys Weekly paper. It will be in the version that’s distributed in Homestead, Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada. Here’s my intro, out today. Island Investing Cale Smith June 6, 2009 I’d like to use this column to answer questions about investing. I […]