Archive - November 2010

1
Should You Make Non-Deductible IRA Contributions?
2
How To Tell If Your Advisor Has Your Best Interests In Mind
3
How To Create A Budget That Works
4
What To Do With Your Finances Before The End of The Year
5
When NYC Hipsters Start Buying Gold…

Should You Make Non-Deductible IRA Contributions?

While many folks would tell you that it can be a good idea to make non-deductible contributions to your traditional IRA, I believe it’s in the “Bad Idea” category.  This is primarily due to the way the tax law works for IRA and non-IRA money.

IRA Taxation

As you may be aware, distributions from your IRA are generally subject to taxation.  Of course, your non-deductible contributions are not taxed, but any growth in your account and any deductible contributions will be taxed at the ordinary income tax rate.

And since non-deductible contributions (typically) make up a small amount of your …

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How To Tell If Your Advisor Has Your Best Interests In Mind

Much has been said and written in the past year about standards to which advisors are held.  This has been primarily due to the recent passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which included a provision requiring the SEC to study the oversight of brokers and Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs).

While there are many nuances to the oversight differential, it really boils down to one thing:  RIAs are held to a fiduciary standard; brokers are held to a suitability standard.  Briefly, a fiduciary advisor is required to act with undivided loyalty to the client, …

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How To Create A Budget That Works

It’s not hard to create a budget or allocate particular sums of money to various things.

What is hard is subsequently tracking spending. Very few people have the discipline to write down all their expenditures or enter purchases into financial software every week.  But if you don’t track what you spend, you won’t know if you’re achieving your spending goals.

There is a solution to this dilemma: simplify the process. Instead of tracking every single expense, monitor your budget busters. You know what they are. Perhaps you go a little overboard at the farmer’s market and fill your basket with …

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What To Do With Your Finances Before The End of The Year

What has changed for you in 2010? Did you start a new job – or leave a job behind? Did you retire? Did you start a family? If some notable changes occurred in your personal or professional life, then you will want to review your finances before this year ends and the next one begins.

Even if your 2010 has been comparatively uneventful, the end of the year is still a good time to get cracking and see where you can plan to save some taxes and/or build a little more wealth.

Do you practice tax loss harvesting? That is …

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When NYC Hipsters Start Buying Gold…

There is a presumably apocryphal story about Henry Ford that goes something like this: One day the elevator operator in his building told Ford that he had just bought all kinds of stocks. Ford went up to his penthouse, picked up the phone and told his broker to sell his entire stock portfolio on the theory that things have gone too far when the elevator guy starts buying stocks on margin. The great depression followed shortly.

Gold seems to be taking the place of stocks in the ’20s. Everybody wants some, even people who aren’t part of the normal investing …

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