Bank of Japan ETF Ownership

We’ve all heard about as much as we can take about the U.S. Fed’s multi-part QE program, and similar stimulus programs instituted by the European Central Bank. What they mostly have in common is the purchase of government and certain mortgage-backed bonds on the world markets, which has the effect of holding down bond rates […]

New Tax Bill- What it Means to You

The new tax law hasn’t been formally ratified by the U.S. House and Senate, but all indications are that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will be sent to the President’s desk in the next few days. As you probably know, the House and Senate versions were somewhat different. What does the new […]

Why Rebalance?

You probably know that your investment portfolio is being rebalanced on a regular basis, but you might not know why. Is it for higher returns? For maintaining the agreed-upon balance of investments that is in your risk tolerance comfort zone? Does rebalancing help manage portfolio risk?

The answer to the above is “yes,” “yes,” and […]

Tax Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives passed its proposed tax “reform” bill last month, and now the Senate has followed suit. Interestingly, the two bills are different enough that the two sides are going to have to meet and hammer out a compromise.

Here’s a quick glance at the provisions in the Senate bill and some […]

’Tis the Season

The period between Thanksgiving and the end-of-year holiday season would seen like a sleepy time for financial planners, but in fact it is anything but. You might be surprised at how much activity takes place on behalf of you and your investments in the final month of the year.

For instance? Even though this has […]

The New Tax Legislation

Chances are, you’ve heard that tax “reform” is right around the corner—that is, if you can call it “reform” when hundreds or perhaps thousands of new pages are about to be added to the tax code. First, the White House released its tax legislation wish list. Now the Republicans in the House of Representatives have […]

Tax Reform Proposal

You can be forgiven if you’re skeptical that Congress will be able to completely overhaul our tax system after failing to overhaul our health care system, but professional advisors are studying the newly-released nine-page proposal closely nonetheless. We only have the bare outlines of what the initial plan might look like before it goes through […]

Where the Money Goes

It’s nearly tax time again, and as you look over your tax payments for calendar 2016, you’re undoubtedly wondering where those dollars are being spent.

The Wall Street Journal recently published a chart which breaks down spending for every $100 of tax receipts—and concludes that the U.S. government is actually a very large insurance company […]

Taxes Up (But Not As Much As You Think)

If you think taxes are higher than their historical rates, well, it depends on how far back in history you’re comparing them to. Take a look at the accompanying chart, which shows tax revenue as a percent of total national income for four countries—France, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S.—since 1868. The chart ends […]

Roth Conversions and Mandatory Distributions

You probably know that the IRS requires you to start taking mandatory distributions from your IRA when you turn 70 1/2, even if you don’t actually need the money. But can you do a Roth conversion at that late date, and thereby defer distributions forever?

The answer is that you CAN do a Roth conversion […]