Ask Doc

Four More Ways to Ward off Burglars

We struck a nerve again…

After Tuesday’s essay – “Seven Tips to Protect Your Home From Burglars” – our inbox was flooded with people sharing their own experiences and tips.

How to Kill This Dangerous Pest

The other day, I got one of the most interesting e-mails we’ve seen in a while…

I have a very bad allergy to a yellow jacket sting/bite, I carry in all my vehicles and at home and when traveling Epi. Pens. I cannot always identify where the nest of these monsters are, nor do I feel they are worth trying to save.

On Your Mind: Potatoes, Puts, and Pills

“Don’t change the Friday issues!”

We’ve gotten a lot of feedback on whether readers like our Friday Q&A issues. The response was an overwhelming “yes.”

Why Haven’t You Answered My Question?

I love to teach…

My family, friends, and colleagues all know that I love helping them find the answers to their questions.

Are Food Prices Really Falling?

“Where are you shopping?”

That was the No. 1 question we got in response to our article on food-price deflation. (And some folks expressed their disbelief in far harsher words…)

In our article, we looked at food prices across the entire U.S., not prices specific to regions or states. And, as we detailed, food prices in the U.S. are falling.

But prices can vary from state to state, town to town, and store to store.

Hawaii and Alaska, for instance, are notorious for high food prices.

So while average food prices across the U.S. have fallen, depending on where you live, that might not be your experience.

But there are easy ways to compare food prices in your area to make sure you’re getting the best deals.

MyGroceryDeals.com allows you to compare items at different stores. Just type in your zip code and the item, and you’ll see prices in your area.

You can also compare prices use the app OurCart. This app allows you to create a shopping list and compares prices in your area. (You do need to create an account to use it.) Keep in mind that the app is fairly new and relies on user-submitted prices.

Let’s take a look at some other e-mails we got this week…

Q: Hi Doc – love the updates. Wondering if you have any information on female hair loss? My wife has had blood tests and only thing [out] of ordinary ranges is her iron levels. She is 45 and not yet to menopause. Any thoughts? – P.R.

A: Hair loss, unfortunately, often hits women in their 40s and 50s. While we can’t get into specific medical advice, it’s a good chance to cover some of the main reasons women lose their hair.

First, women in their 40s and 50s often experience changes in hormone levels thanks to pre-menopause and then menopause. In fact, nearly every woman in this age range will have some degree of hair loss, according to Harvard Health.

If hormones aren’t to blame, it could be a sign of other health concerns. For example, one of the symptoms of thyroid problems is hair loss. Women in particular have a higher risk for thyroid issues, and the risk only increases with age. You can read more about thyroid problems and other symptoms in our issue here.

Similarly, iron deficiency is also a cause of hair loss. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology covered the connection in a 2006 article (which you can read here). The writers explain that the best way to treat the condition is to eat enough whole foods to get iron naturally.

Third, some research suggests that taking too much vitamin A is connected to hair loss. We addressed this in our issue on “The Dangers of Fat-Soluble Vitamins,” which you can read here.

Even things like stress or genetic predisposition could play a role. Remember to keep your stress in check with exercise and meditation. And a chat with other women in the family could help find a common pattern.

Why I’m Not ‘Doom and Gloom’

No matter how well the economy is doing, there are plenty of talking heads out there telling you the next disaster isn’t far off.

The questions I receive most often are asking when I see the next market collapse coming or why I’m still bullish on the economy.

That’s why a recent e-mail from a subscriber grabbed my attention. I’ve highlighted some of the most important parts below:

Everything you write makes perfect sense to me. And what I like the most about you is that you don’t pretend to have a custom made crystal ball…

Think Skeptically

Several hundred folks watched me give a presentation this week in Las Vegas…

I opened up my “Think Skeptically” speech with a magic trick (that fooled no one)… And I told the audience that I hoped they would be skeptical of me as well.

This Income Strategy Keeps Working, Trade After Trade…

Today, we’re talking options.

Even for experienced traders, the term “options” is scary.

There’s a long-standing belief among investors that options are risky. They can be, if you do it wrong…

But when you trade options the right way, they reduce your risk – giving you huge amounts of downside protection on blue-chip stocks. That’s why I’ve written about the safety of trading options several times in Retirement Millionaire Daily.

Lately, lots of readers have e-mailed asking more about my option-trading strategy.

So today, I’m answering some of the most recent questions I’ve received…

Q: Doc… I am interested in how you “work” the weak or bear markets with this service. Do you recommend more puts? What is [the] range of the number of trades that you recommend each month? And how long are they in play? – M.T.

A: It doesn’t change much whether we’re in a bull market or a bear market…

If you can tell me exactly when bull and bear markets start and stop, please come over and we’ll let you take over my newsletters. I can’t – and don’t – invest for catastrophic losses. It doesn’t work… and it never will.

Instead, I recommend you keep plugging away, saving and investing your money, and diversifying your risk across many asset classes. Your wealth is nearly guaranteed to grow, and you can sleep well at night.

I’ve stuck to my strategy of selling puts and calls for more than six years. And it continues to work, trade after trade…

In fact, just this week we closed out a trade for a 10% return in less than a month. If you like to annualize figures to compare between track records, that’s a triple-digit annualized gain… something that even the most volatile and risky trading strategies have a tough time finding. And we only trade the best and safest blue chips.

In Retirement Trader, I give recommendations for selling uncovered puts, and I also provide what I call “IRA Alternatives.” These are covered-call trades for subscribers who can’t, or don’t feel comfortable, selling puts. Some months, I might recommend one trade, other months, I might recommend a half-dozen trades. It just depends on the opportunities I see that work for subscribers.

Typically, I recommend options that are about two months away from expiration. This is when you typically see options with the most value.

The ability to trade options for consistent income in retirement is a skill set that I sincerely believe every single investor should understand… In fact, I save every thankful e-mail from a reader who discovered how to successfully and safely trade options. It’s a huge reason why I continue to write my research services.

An Easy Way to Bond With Your Kids

About 32 years ago, my dad gave me my first newsletter subscription – one I still receive today.

It started a passion for newsletter reading that eventually led to me writing Retirement Millionaire. More than that, I was able to share this passion with my dad. We could talk for hours over the phone discussing the different topics in the newsletters we read, even though we lived in different cities.

The Tools You Need for Your Best Retirement

I don’t know you.

So that means I can’t tell you precisely which credit card, stock recommendation, or diet is best for you.