Friday, September 9, 2022

Short Takes: Microsoft Class Action, New Tontine Products, and more

I finally got my $84 from the Microsoft software class action settlement.  As I predicted 19 months ago, I had forgotten about this lawsuit, and when the money arrived, it brightened my day (at least until I had to fight with Tangerine’s user interface to figure out how to deposit a paper cheque).  I’m not sure why it pleases me so much to get these small sums from class actions, but I’ll keep putting in claims when it’s convenient to do so.

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Jonathan Chevreau describes Moshe Milevsky’s latest work on tontines to solve the difficult problem of decumulation for retirees.  Milevsky says “until now it’s all been academic theory and published books, but I finally managed to convince a (Canadian) company [Guardian Capital] to get behind the idea.”  Guardian Capital offers 3 solutions based on Milevsky’s ideas.  I’ve complained in the past that academic experts such as Moshe Milevsky and Wade Pfau write about the benefits of idealized products, such as fairly-priced annuities, but that these products don’t exist in the real world.  Every time I dig into the details of existing products, I find some combination of excessive fees and poor inflation protection.  Perhaps these experts feel the same frustration.  Hopefully, these latest products from Guardian are better.

Robb Engen at Boomer and Echo takes an interesting look back at what would have happened if he had invested differently back in 2015.  He tried several alternate investing strategies.  His actual investing approach fared well compared to what would have happened if he had stuck with dividend investing.  However, shifting to a U.S. stock index would have given the best outcome.  This kind of thinking is harmless as long as you treat it as just fun as Robb does, and you don’t get upset over what might have been.  There’s always going to be some choice you could have made differently that would have worked out better.

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