Archive - August 30, 2011

1
Understanding the European Debt Crisis – Part Two
2
When to Walk Away From Your Mortgage
3
When Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?
4
How to Protect Your Investments From Inflation
5
Why You Are Earning a Negative Yield on Your Accounts

Understanding the European Debt Crisis – Part Two

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 sovereign (i.e. independent) member countries located primarily in Europe. The EU was created after World War II with the goal of fostering peace, economic cooperation and prosperity for its member countries. The EU has a combined population of over 500 million people and comprises about 25% of the world economy. The Council of the European Union is the EU’s main decision-making body, and each EU member country takes a turn to hold the Council Presidency for a six-month period. Every Council meeting is attended by one minister from

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When to Walk Away From Your Mortgage

Today, millions are deep under water on their homes and the probability of getting back out of this whole for many seems highly unlikely.  In this scenario, when does it make sense to just “walk away”?

Cathy Curtis, CFP® says it may make sense to walk away from your mortgage when one or more of the following are true:

  • The value of your home is way less than the mortgage balance
  • You do not have sufficient equity in the house to refinance to lower rates
  • The rent you receive does not cover your mortgage expenses
  • Selling is not a viable
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When Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?

Here’s what you need to know about IRA’s:

A traditional IRA allows you to invest pre-tax money today, but requires you pay taxes when you withdraw the money in the future (like a 401k).

A Roth IRA means you are investing after-tax dollars today, but do not have to pay taxes when you withdraw the money in retirement.

According to James A. Daniel, CFP®, You should consider a Roth IRA conversion if:

  • You expect your tax rate to be higher when you retire
  • You have enough time to let your investments grow before you withdraw any money
  • You have enough
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How to Protect Your Investments From Inflation

If the Federal Reserve has its way, the U.S. will experience rapid inflation in the coming months/years. The Fed believes it’s easier to tame inflation rather than try and control the consequences of deflation. Historically low interest rates, quantitative easing 1 and 2, and a firm commitment to keep interest rates low for an extended period are all fuel for inflation, and a subsequent debasing of the U.S. dollar.

While a weak U.S. dollar helps manage America’s burgeoning trade deficit and benefits American exporters, it makes foreign goods more expensive. Although inflation is perceived as negative, investors should know that …

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Why You Are Earning a Negative Yield on Your Accounts

Since the onset of the financial crisis in late 2007, the Federal Reserve has used interest-rate cuts and other policy tools in an effort to fuel economic growth. Economists can debate the effectiveness of these policies, but everyone can agree that today’s low interest rates are a two-sided coin.

Low Borrowing Costs:

Consumers, businesses, and government all benefit from low borrowing costs. But on the other side, savers and investors earn almost nothing on their cash balances. This has been the case in most months since 2008, when the Fed cut short-term interest rates to near zero. Worse yet, investors …

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