5 Really Dumb Ways to Save Money on Your Taxes

The Hartford recently posted this click bait in one of their newsletters, which led to a web post which begins with this warning:  "Unfortunately, some business owners I know have tried to cut their tax bills by doing illegitimate things. These people are dumb. Don’t be dumb like them. Sleep soundly. Don’t do these five things."   I'm not sure one should really refer to these as "ways to save money on your taxes."   But a little levity is rarely a bad thing, so here's th...
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Wall Street Journal Article Misses the Mark on Payment for Investment Advice

Today’s Wall Street Journal article on the different ways to pay for advice offers a reasonable perspective on the state of the market. However, Micah Hauptman, a financial-services counsel at the Consumer Federation of America, does a significant disservice to fee-only advisors when he says:  "Every model can have conflicts of interest… The fee-only adviser has an interest in capturing assets. They might recommend rolling 401(K) assets into an IRA that they would manage. Doing that may not...
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Young and Dumb?

by Devin Frampton   How can you intelligently save for retirement? Most young adults (myself included) are early in their careers, with relatively low incomes compared to lifetime averages, and growing financial obligations. This causes young investors to 1). Place investing for the future on the back burner; and 2). Feel very conservative about the the investments that they make.   They’re not thinking about retirement; they’re worried about paying rent, setting aside an emerge...
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“Let’s Not Talk About That” – Never A Good Idea

by Devin Frampton   Your financial advisor should always have your best interest in mind ~ that’s a hallmark of a fiduciary. Your best interest includes a proper understanding of risk in your investment portfolio. According to a study commissioned by FinMason, a provider of institutional-grade analytics and one of North Capital’s strategic partners, too many advisors either don’t understand or are not telling their clients about the risk in their portfolios. http://www.fa-mag.com/news/ad...
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Financial Planning Pitfalls

Many people focus on a single indicator, such as whether they are saving enough for retirement or carrying too much student-loan debt, writes financial literacy expert Annamaria Lusardi for the WSJ’s Experts blog.  The problem with such an approach is that planning must be multifaceted to be effective.   Ms. Lusardi, the Denit Trust Chair of Economics and Accountancy at the George Washington University School of Business, writes that there is a short financial checkup to effectively pr...
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Fund Management Fees Generally not Falling, Despite the Growth of Index Funds and ETFs

Brian Herschberg writes in the Wall Street Journal that annual fees charged by active managers are not falling as one might expect, given competitive pressures from index funds and exchange traded strategies (ETFs and ETNs).  The Journal cites Morningstar research that more funds’ annual expenses went up than down between 2015 and 2016:  fees stayed the same at 2,853 U.S. stock funds, fell at 1,607 and rose at 2,306.  Annual expenses on U.S. stock funds dropped slightly, from...
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Start Planning for Retirement in Your 20s

Guest post from TheLifeBlogger, an events professional by day and a passionate blogger by night.  She loves writing about financial planning and other tips she has tried and tested to improve lifestyle.  Watch out for her blog soon!   The earlier you think about retirement, the sooner you will be able to enjoy a life free of financial stress. While you are in your 20s, you can already begin to plan your retirement and save up for your future. Apparently, it’s not that easy...
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Teaching Money Sense to Children

The WSJ today reports on academic studies that address the most effective ways to teach children about money.  The results might surprise some.   Read the full article here.  Some key take aways:  (1)  teach math, not finance.   (2)  teach particular financial facts when it's timely to do so.  Since retention rates are low, "just in time" teaching is more effective than trying to cram a young mind full of facts.  ...
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Planning Tips from Natalie Choate

Natalie Choate discusses three planning ideas offered by planners who work with retirement benefits. 1)  Avoiding early retirement penalties; 2)  Rolling over qualified life insurance proceeds to create an inherited ROTH; 3)  Using IRA proceeds to purchase an annuity; Read her analysis here....
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