DEAR BRUCE: In a recent column, you referred to "well-established, large firms that have continuously been paying dividends for a good many years and showing 2 percent to 4 percent growth a year on average." My question is, would you consider Vanguard a good example of that? -- E.R.
DEAR E.R.: Unfortunately, I cannot endorse any specific company, and that includes the one you mentioned in your letter. You have to take a look at each individual company you're considering investing in carefully. Look at the history for the last 20 years or more, and then you can make a decision.
I know that's not the answer you wanted, but it's the only one I can give you in good conscience.
DEAR BRUCE: My wife and I are retired, over 65, with all debts paid off, including our home. We have held a credit score averaging about 825 for some time now, as reported by my credit card company. We do not carry over credit card balances. If I make a major purchase (auto, vacation), I can pay in cash outside of any IRA withdrawal.
How can we actively take advantage of our excellent credit score in our situation? What advantages could I be receiving that I don't know about through not actively using credit. -- W.J.
DEAR W.J.: It sounds to me like you have things well in hand. As to having some advantages with a credit score of 825, I don't know what that might be.
Mine is in the same range, but I haven't used credit for a good many years, and I can't see any reason in the foreseeable future for having to use it. Therefore, I am delighted that my credit score is in the 800s, as you should be, too. But in terms of profiting from it, I don't know any legitimate way to do that.
(Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.)
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