Archive - 2011

1
Here’s How You Should Be Investing in Bonds Right Now
2
How to Double Your Money Guaranteed With Series EE Bonds
3
Here is the Good News About What You Can Do With Your Money in 2012
4
This is Your Last Chance to Save With Home Energy Credits
5
This is How You Convert An Inherited 401(k) to a Roth IRA

Here’s How You Should Be Investing in Bonds Right Now

In last week's Wall Street Journal Burton Malkiel writes that investors should refuse to buy U.S. Treasuries and instead should buy Muni bonds, foreign bonds in countries like Australia that have better finances, and dividend paying stocks.

The reason I disagree with his recommendation to buy Munis is because they have credit quality risk that does not make them comparable to Treasuries. Also they have the risk of being refinanced into lower rates whereas Treasuries are non-callable (no prepayment allowed). Munis are thinly traded and subject to expensive Broker-Dealer markup-Markdown costs that are opaque and difficult to judge.

Australian bonds …

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How to Double Your Money Guaranteed With Series EE Bonds

A lot of grandpas and grandmas—and a few parents, too—have been buying Series EE government bonds over the years to send kids to college. It’s a pretty good deal; you plunk down $50 today and in 20 years it’s worth $100—guaranteed.

The problem is that too many bond holders want to redeem those bonds when the kids start college at age 18.

The bonds are guaranteed to double at 20 years, but if you want to cash them in before then you will only get the value of the bond at that time. For instance, if the bonds are earning …

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Here is the Good News About What You Can Do With Your Money in 2012

The end of another year is upon us.  With so much volatility over the last six months and still much uncertainty surrounding issues of debt, taxes and political leadership, it’s easy to become cynical and focus on what’s not working in your financial plan or investment portfolio.  But with Thanksgiving having just passed and the holiday season only beginning, it’s a good time to highlight some positive aspects as we conclude the year and look ahead to 2012.

Good News for Seniors

There are a few of bright spots for seniors.  Recently, it was announced that Medicare’s premium increase for …

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This is Your Last Chance to Save With Home Energy Credits

For the foreseeable future, a number of tax credits for home energy efficiency improvements will go away at the end of 2011. Here are some credits that apply to improvements made to a taxpayer’s principal residence.

Generally speaking, the credit is for 10% of the improvement cost, up to a lifetime credit of as much as $500. A tax credit is a direct reduction of tax liability, unlike a deduction.

For Energy-Star qualified windows and doors, 10% of the materials cost (not including installation) qualifies, up to $500 for doors or $200 for windows.

Insulation, metal and asphalt heat-resistant roof …

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This is How You Convert An Inherited 401(k) to a Roth IRA

One of the provisions that is available to the individual who inherits a 401(k) or other Qualified Retirement Plan (QRP) is the ability to convert the fund to a Roth IRA.

This gives the beneficiary of the original QRP the option of having all of the tax paid up front on the account, and then all growth in the account in the future is tax free, as with all Roth IRA accounts.

What’s a bit different about this kind of conversion is that, since it came from an inherited account, the beneficiary must take distribution of the account over his …

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