Category - Investing

1
Are your monthly statements helpful?
2
Five Easy Pieces of Investment Advice
3
The 3 Main Investment Styles: Pros and Cons
4
After-Tax Investment Considerations
5
How to Make Your Saving Automatic

Are your monthly statements helpful?

You may receive portfolio performance reports every three months or so—a form of transparency that financial planning professionals introduced at a time when the typical brokerage statement was impossible to decipher. It might surprise you to know that most professionals think there is actually little value to any quarterly performance information, other than to reassure you that you actually do own a diversified portfolio of investments. It’s very difficult to know if you’re staying abreast of the market, and for most of us, that’s not really relevant anyway.

Why?

The only way to know if your investments are “beating the …

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Five Easy Pieces of Investment Advice

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional

Here are Five Easy Pieces of Investment Advice that can s-t-r-e-t-c-h your investment dollars. The first 3 “Pieces of Advice” are connected. It’s a good practice to verify if your broker or advisor is following these tips or not (I’m always amazed to see how many money managers disregard these commonsense ideas and cost their clients more money):

  1. Location, Location, Location

Different types of investments fit better in taxable accounts (funded with after-tax money) vs.  tax-deferred accounts (e.g. IRAs, 401ks) vs. accounts that never will be taxed (Roth IRAs or Roth 401ks). While one investor …

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The 3 Main Investment Styles: Pros and Cons

By Eve Kaplan, CFP®

There are pros and cons to investing in the three main investment styles: active, passive and “evidence-based investing.” The benefits of “evidence-based investing” will be clearer after reviewing “active” vs. “passive” investing styles.

1. Active Investing through Mutual Funds: “Active” investors aim to “beat the market” (or a portion of a market) by investing in a large number of holdings through mutual funds and some Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). The theory of doing better than the market sounds great but does it work well in practice? As a former active mutual fund manager, I can say: …

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After-Tax Investment Considerations

Some individuals have the ability to contribute after-tax amounts to their employer-sponsored plans such as a tax-deferred 401k or a defined benefit pension. Generally, since these amounts are after-tax, the contributions start adding up to a sizable amount known as basis. Basis is simply the amount of after-tax money put into these accounts that is not taxed when it’s withdrawn. However, any earnings on the basis are taxable.

Individuals considering contributing after-tax amounts to the above plans may also consider if it makes sense to contribute to a non-qualified brokerage account. Like the aforementioned employer-sponsored plans, contributions to a non-qualified …

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How to Make Your Saving Automatic

Sometimes it can be difficult to save for emergencies or for retirement. While physically not demanding, the mental strain can be a hump that is hard to get over. In other words, we experience a little bit of “pain” or mental anguish if we have to physically hand over money or write a check.

So how can we overcome this anguish? Automate.

First, determine how much you need for an emergency. This can either be to start the fund or to replenish amounts that have been used. Generally, it’s a good idea to have 3 to 6 months of non-discretionary …

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