I read Stable value funds: they look good until you look closer from The Investment Fiduciary. Stable value funds look like money market funds, until there are systematic withdrawals. When that happens, the insurance company can make a negative "market value adjustment" to the fund. If you invest in a stable value fund, make sure you are not among the last ones out.
Speaking of money market funds, Marketplace Money Economic Editor Chris Farrell declared in Fall of the Money Market
"[M]oney market funds are no longer a safe enough parking place for cash."
I still don’t understand why safety must be measured in nominal dollars. My arguments are in my previous post Breaking The Buck Is Not a Big Deal. Both bank accounts and money market funds can and do lose money after-tax, after-inflation. You can only spend after-tax, after-inflation dollars.
Right now reward checking and online savings accounts happen to pay higher interest than money money funds, with FDIC or NCUA insurance to boot. But that’s a separate issue.
There is a allegation floating around saying the financial service industry misleads Americans into saving too much, just so the industry can have more assets to manage and charge fees on. I was going to write something about it, but Penelope Wang from CNNMoney said all what I wanted to say in Can you live on less in retirement?
The bottom line is that it’s a lot easier to deal with money issues when you are working than when you are not. It’s also a lot easier to deal with too much money than not enough money.
Professor Kotlikoff of the Saving Too Much fame sells a financial planning software called ESPlanner. I may have to shell out $199 someday to see if it’s really revolutionary. I’m skeptical because there is simply too much unknown for the future. Garbage In Garbage Out is a serious problem for any software that involves projecting into the future.
Too bad ESPlanner doesn’t offer a free trial. Otherwise I’d be happy to do a thorough review. I know there is a free ESPlannerBasic, but it’s not the same.