Good News for a Change

 

One leading candidate for the “most under-reported story” of 2014 is the remarkable drop in the U.S. government’s budget shortfall. The final numbers announced by the U.S. Treasury for fiscal 2014 (ending September 30) shows a $483 billion deficit. That’s about $1 trillion lower than the record $1.4 trillion deficit recorded in 2009. As […]

Relax on Ebola

Omigosh! There are cases of Ebola in the United States! Someone with Ebola has flown on a domestic airplane! Schools are closing in Texas! Let’s show photos of healthcare workers in Hazmat suits who look like they’re dressed for the Moon, and report on anyone who might have been exposed, whether or not they’ve […]

Bond King’s Messy Exit

 

Financial advisors and the investment community were shocked this past Friday when Bill Gross, sometimes referred to as “the bond king” resigned from Pimco, a firm he founded in 1971 that rose to become one of the largest mutual fund management firms in the world. Gross also served as fund manager for the $221.6 […]

Third Quarter Investment Report: Moving Into Choppy Waters

 

You could say that the markets took a breather in the third quarter of 2014, but you would come to that conclusion only if you looked at the overall returns and ignored the drama of the past 30 days. The markets experienced a difficult month of September, giving up some of the gains from […]

Powerful Compounding

 

Your teenager is in the last month of his or her summer job, and chances are the wages have been collecting in a bank account. What should happen with that money when your child goes back to school?

One possibility is to start a custodial Roth Individual Retirement Account, owned by your teenager. All […]

Impulse Travel Apps

 

If you make your travel plans at the last minute, you’ll pay a lot for the privilege. Right?

Not necessarily. A new, free iPhone app called Flight Tonight identifies all plane flights leaving within 24 hours from your home city, and shows you which airlines are willing to sell the unfilled seats at significant […]

Good News or Bad News?

 

July joined January as the only two down months for the U.S. investment markets, and the month’s last week (down 3%) provided yet another exciting lurch of the roller coaster. But if you put it all in perspective, July’s overall 1.5% decline is relatively small and has since been mitigated somewhat by rising stock […]

Hiding Profits From the Tax Man

 

On July 14, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act became effective, and instantly virtually all foreign banks were required to keep track of, and report on, all assets held by U.S. citizens. Individuals who don’t report income on those assets and pay taxes to Uncle Sam face draconian penalties in excess of the actual […]

Secession Out of the Bottle?

 

Scotland has voted–for now–to remain a part of the United Kingdom, a move which avoids such huge and thorny decisions as: how much of Britain’s national debt would belong to the newly-independent Scottish nation? Would Scotland have to create its own army and navy, or enter into a contract with the UK for mutual […]

Providing for Pets

 

This summer, the entertainment world lost one of its most prominent and popular figures: Joan Rivers. When her estate planning documents were unveiled, it became clear that she was a careful planner of her legacy–and also a devoted pet owner. One of the most interesting details of her estate plan was the careful provisions […]