April 4, 2014

The Wall Street Journal’s two top personal finance journalists, Jonathan Clements and Jason Zweig, both now at The Wall Street Journal tackle the three greatest financial challenges facing Americans.

WEALTHTRACK Episode #1041; Originally Broadcast on April 4, 2014

Listen to the audio only version here: Clements & Zweig


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We have compiled additional information and content related to this episode. JONATHAN CLEMENTS


The Wall Street Journal Sunday


“The Intelligent Investor” Columnist
Consuelo MackA constant theme on WEALTHTRACK in recent years is how income starved most investors are feeling. According to recent Financial Well-Being surveys of American workers done for Principal Financial Group, 63% of employees are concerned about having a financially comfortable retirement. They will need income! And 36% fear the rising costs of inflation, which of course cuts into their purchasing power big time. These fears are justified.

In the last decade, the yield on high quality short-term bonds has dropped from 2.4% to under one percent. On government bonds, including treasuries and agency bonds, yields fell from above 3% to under two percent and investment–grade corporate bond yields have fallen from four and a half percent to close to 3 percent.

And even with relatively benign inflation, the loss of purchasing power over the last decade has been significant. With annual inflation averaging less than two and a half percent, the cumulative effect is a loss of about 25% in purchasing power over the last ten years!

Low income streams and creeping inflation are just two of the major financial challenges facing American citizens. They are concerns that this week’s guests have researched and written about extensively. They are columnists and authors who as of this week are both working at the Wall Street Journal.

Jonathan Clements just returned to the paper to write a weekly column for The Wall Street Journal Sunday, having spent the last five years as Director of Financial Education for Citigroup’s Personal Wealth Management business. Before that Jonathan spent 18 years at the Journal where he wrote the  “Getting Going” personal finance column. He is the author of several books including The Little Book of Main Street Money.

Jason Zweig has written The “Intelligent Investor” column for the Journal since 2008. It is considered a must read by many WEALTHTRACK guests. Prior to that Jason was a Senior Writer for Money magazine. He is particularly well known for his research on the neuroscience of investing and how the brain can sabotage our financial judgment! He wrote one of the first books on the subject, titled Your Money & Your Brain. He is also the author of The Little Book of Safe Money.

On EXTRA this week, we will have an extended interview with Clements and Zweig about the fees investors are charged for financial advice. Are you getting your money’s worth? They doubt it. What should you pay? They will tell us.

Also please take a look at a new section on our website that we are just introducing. It is called WEALTHTRACK WOMEN. We have interviewed a group of experienced women advisors who specialize in helping women plan their financial futures. This week we are focusing on tax advice for women in different situations, including widows, business owners and same sex couples. We will address women’s financial fears, challenges and issues specifically every week on WEALTHTRACK WOMEN. We hope you get a chance to look at it and look forward to your comments.

Have a great weekend and make the week ahead a profitable and productive one!

Best Regards,


Mathews Asia

Treat Your Social Security As A Bond Holding

For instance $21,000 of Social Security income a year is equal to holding a $700,000 portfolio of 10 Year Treasury bonds yielding 3 percent.


Jason Zweig

Your Money and Your Brain; The Little Book of Safe Money


WisdomTree DEFA Equity Income (DTH)

Price: $47.94 on 4/2/14 52-week range: $38.51 – $48.97

DTH Chart

DTH data by YCharts


TIPS, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.
Or I Savings Bonds
Both available at:
No stock mentions in this episode.
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August 02, 2013


Personal Finance Columnist, “The Intelligent Investor”
The Wall Street Journal

“There’s no doubt that the pursuit of yield is bordering on a mania” says Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal‘s Personal Finance Columnist. Don’t miss Consuelo’s discussion when she asks Zweig about dangerous investor behavior and why he is concerned as investors are abandoning bonds and flocking to dividend-paying stocks.


October 3, 2008


The steep decline in U.S. home prices and sales is at the heart of the financial crisis. When will the housing markets stabilize? We’ll ask Yale Professor of Economics Robert Shiller, the man who predicted the bursting of the housing bubble and co-created the widely followed Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Plus, we’ll take the pulse of opportunities in foreign markets with global portfolio manager David Antonelli of MFS International, and discuss what to do and not to do during this market stress with The Wall Street Journal’s “The Intelligent Investor” columnist Jason Zweig.


Getting Good Financial Advice

What do you need to be aware of when you are choosing a financial advisor? What are the hidden costs? Is it better to pay a commission or a percentage of your assets? Two top personal finance journalists, Jason Zweig and Jonathan Clements, both now at The Wall Street Journal, discuss getting good financial advice.

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