Author - Sam Fawaz, CPA, CFP®

1
Shouldn’t gas prices be going up?
2
Are Daughters a Better “Investment?”
3
Retirement Spending Revisited
4
Understanding The Fees Associated With Your Retirement Plan
5
Bond Market Outlook: Points to Ponder

Shouldn’t gas prices be going up?

Iraq is one of the world’s largest oil producers, so when the ISIS militants rolled in from Syria and took over Iraq’s largest oil refinery, global oil traders and gas companies braced for a sharp spike in prices.  Consumers expected to see higher prices at the pump in short order.

Instead, oil and gasoline prices are lower than they were a year ago.  As you can see from the chart below, “regular” grade gasoline prices in different parts of the U.S. fell during the winter and have risen again in the summer months.  If you happen to live on the …

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Are Daughters a Better “Investment?”

As Father’s Day has now passed for this year, a new survey from the online account aggregation firm Yodlee.com and Harris Interactive tells us that the financial relationship between fathers (and parents) can be very different for their sons vs. their daughters.  The survey found that an astonishing 75% of young adult men (age 18-34) are receiving financial aid from their parents, compared with 59% for comparable age daughters.  The financial dependency extends deep into adulthood; among sons aged 35-44, fully 32% are still living at home, while only 9% of women in that age bracket sleep in their former …

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Retirement Spending Revisited

How much are you going to spend in retirement?  What once seemed like a simple question has become incredibly complicated in recent years.
 
Why?  First of all, a diminishing number of people actually plan to leave work and embrace leisure on a full-time basis, and those who do, seem to be doing it later than people from earlier generations.  Of the oldest baby boomers, who are now age 68, only 52% are actually retired;  21% are still working full-time.   According to a Gallup survey, 37% of Americans say they plan to work full-time past the age of 65, but that …

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Understanding The Fees Associated With Your Retirement Plan

There’s a little secret associated with your workplace-sponsored retirement plan. Most participants think their plan is free — that it doesn’t cost them anything to join, contribute, and invest. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely true.

While employees typically aren’t charged any out-of-pocket costs to participate in their plans, participants do pay expenses, many of which are difficult to find and even more difficult to calculate. New regulations from the Department of Labor (DOL), which oversees qualified workplace retirement plans, should make it easier for participants to locate and comprehend how much they are paying for the services and benefits they receive.…

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Bond Market Outlook: Points to Ponder

During the past decade, many long-term fundamentals of investing have been turned upside down and one example is the performance of U.S. stocks compared with bonds. Over longer time periods, such as 20 or 30 years, stocks exhibited higher average annual returns along with greater volatility.Bonds, in contrast, presented lower long-term returns along with fewer ups and downs.

But the 10-year period ending December 31, 2011, has shown the opposite, with the average annual return of investment-grade bonds exceeding stocks by a margin of 5.8% compared with 2.9%.1 No one knows for sure whether the recent outperformance …

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