Thursday, May 02, 2013

STFU, Vanguard

Everyone else charges higher fees, so it's not like I'm going to put my retirement money anywhere else, but I really wish Vanguard would shut the hell up with their bond vigilantism and deficit scolding (to steal a pair of phrases from Master PKrug).
. Why isn't "putting people back to work" the defining economic issue of our generation?

It's pretty simple math, actually. As long as the economy is growing faster, the US can continue to run defecits forever, and yet the total debt will decrease. I think this happened for years after WWII. We didn't run surpluses, yet the total outstanding debt got smaller, because the economy was growing. (Yglesias mentions this all the time.) The recovery is quite weak. Austerity won't help. Getting people working again would.

Oh, and this episode of Frontline might be useful. Economists, my dad, and Vanguard agree: on average, you won't beat the market, and you definitely won't after taxes and fees, so just buy index funds.

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