Tax planning is important stuff. Not as exciting as the markets, but saving money on taxes can be more exciting than you think. The beginning of October means we are in the 4th Quarter…and the countdown begins to year-end. The following is a handy Tax Planning Checklist.* Some of these items, if done now, could make a big difference to your 2017 tax situation AND add to your savings. Continue reading “Year-End Tax Planning”
One look at the headlines this week and it may leave us lamenting the end of a life “well-lived” by an American icon …or shaking our heads in disgust at a major figure in sports (and the end of a different kind of life well-lived). All this amidst US markets that continue to go UP, UP, UP leaving investors happy, perhaps carefree and with a sense of confidence in their portfolios and savings.
By now, amidst two major, debilitating hurricanes in the South and Southeastern parts of our country, most Americans also know that a major security breach occurred at Equifax, the global consumer credit reporting company.
According to news reports and press releases from Equifax the security breach — or leak of personal data — affected as many as 143 million Americans (that is more than HALF of the adults in the US with a credit history). There are numerous ways to react to this maddening occurrence. But most important, there are certain steps within your control that can be taken to defend against (while not entirely preventing) an identity theft incident happening to you. Continue reading “The Equifax Breach”
This recent series has been all about Saving Money. Just as with any task, saving money can be broken down into stages. In this case I outlined “4 Quadrants of Saving” to illustrate how each quadrant (or stage) builds on the previous one, and how the task can be made more achievable.
More on Saving. Saving is a critical subject at all ages — for the simple reason that savings and investments give people choices at various points in life. In my latest series, I have broken down the concept of Saving into “4 Quadrants”:
Last week we explored Quadrant #1 of Saving, or Personal Vision. This week we take the next step beyond vision to build a portfolio that attempts to bring the vision to life… at some point in the future.
This is what “Quadrant #2 of Saving” is all about: Building a Portfolio.
Unfortunately, this step is often mistakenly addressed first (prior to the vision step) by investors and less-qualified advisers alike. Why? Because the portfolio is the part everyone likes to talk about! Of course, the portfolio is essential; but success depends first on Quadrant #1 and addressing the “Commonly Overlooked” items (see last week’s edition). A plan must be in place to build the savings that go into the portfolio — no savings, no portfolio. Continue reading “Quadrant #2 of Saving: Personal Vision”
How about the recent article I read in The Wall Street Journal titled, “Why Do U.S. Stocks Keep Hitting Records? Here Are Five Theories.”* There are at least five reasons for the recent (mostly) strength in U.S. — and global — stocks. Based on historical returns, a nod toward cautious optimism is always healthy as well. For my long-time readers, this means I will also reference “The Greatest Chart Ever”! Read on…
For the non-golfers you may ask, “Who is Jordan Spieth?” But like Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter, Jordan Spieth is one of those characters who nearly everyone now knows, golfer or not…sports fan or not.
Jordan Spieth is, of course, the 23-year old professional golfer who is nearly topping the record books with his winning of three major professional golf tournaments before the age of 24. His win at “The Masters” back in 2015 (at age 21) was almost as publicized as the Cubs winning the World Series. At the end of that same season, he won the season-long (nearly 11 months) “FedEx Cup” which comes with a bonus of… $10 million. Continue reading “What Jordan Spieth Can Teach Us About Investing”
I received a number of inquiries regarding my comment highlighted below in green.
- The reason I said, “…I am working on ALL of them except #3 & #4…” is because I was able to achieve #3 — maxing out on retirement contributions to a 401k and IRA — long ago in my late 20’s. Being able to achieve this goal was often at great sacrifice involving less leisure travel, not owning car for the first 10 years after college, and choosing small (VERY small – and cheaper) apartments in New York City. I have remained committed to maxing out my retirement contributions over the years into the present and I pass along this advice to “max out” at every appropriate opportunity.