AdviceIQ Articles

  • Recession? Market Won’t Tell

    Once upon a time the economy seemed to drive the stock market. Now we tend to think the opposite holds true. Wall Street trading and Main Street business in fact remain disturbingly distinct – which you forget at your peril when investing.

  • Warning Sign: If Your Advisor Does Not Have a Clearinghouse

    Here’s a riddle: What did scam artist Bernard Madoff lack, other than a conscience? Answer: a clearinghouse. This little-known entity is vital to your investment portfolio. If your advisor doesn’t have one, be very afraid.

    Investors should ask their advisors about clearinghouses. Checking this is akin to what a homeowner does when hiring a roofer: Making sure that the contactor is licensed and has a surety bond. Clients must receive written information about clearinghouses, according to federal regulations. Many, unfortunately, do not pay attention to these disclosures.

  • Navigating Medicare’s Maze

    It’s amazing how many people think that Medicare is free. It is anything but: You must pay premiums for part of it, and it does not cover everything. Make sure you avoid some traps signing up for this health-care plan for older Americans.

    Here are the broad outlines. The program’s website, medicare.gov, has a lot more details.

  • Combating Financial Risks

    What are the risks you face in living a comfortable retirement? And what can you do to combat them? A single-premium annuity and wisely managed Social Security are two remedies. First, though, you need to scope out the risks that can bring you to grief.

  • What’s Buffett’s Secret, Really?

    Invest like Buffett? How many times have you heard that one? Not everyone has his billions, which allows the Oracle of Omaha to snatch up deals unavailable to most of us, like his 2009 purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad. But once again, his yearly missive to his shareholders shows how simple the keys to his success are.

  • Protecting From ID Theft

    Leave your laptop unlocked, toss a bill full of sensitive financial info into the trash un-shredded, even just hit the submit button when using your credit card to buy online: You can stumble into the identity-theft trap at any time. Protecting yourself means making basic security steps a habit.

  • 10 Best Financial Websites

    In this digital age, we’re fortunate to have a plethora of sources to find information and help order our financial lives. But amid the vast array of sites, 10 stood out. I highly recommend them.

    I weaned this list from an enormous field. According to Google Dashboard, I currently maintain 663 bookmarks in my Chrome browser, sorted among 53 different folders. All of these websites were important enough that at one point, I elected to bookmark them.

  • Corporate Bonds: Why Bother?

    A standard investing precept: Bonds add ballast to your portfolio, buffering it from harsh economic times, when stocks tank. But most don’t recognize that there are bonds and there are bonds. From a total portfolio perspective, corporate bonds don’t give you any better performance than Treasury securities, and corporate-leaning portfolios do worse in downturns than Treasury-laden ones.

  • 401(k) Education Helps Profits

    Your employees probably don’t make best use of your company’s retirement plan. Addressing this problem can boost their job performance and optimism – as well as your profits.

    What if you offer your current and future employees the possibility of a 250% larger retirement account? Such a move makes your firm a lot more attractive and your cost of losing talented people to your competitors drops dramatically.

  • Tax Breaks to Pay for College

    Going to college brings enough stress – not to mention debt. You can offset some costs of your education or your child’s with tax credits and reductions to taxable income. These credits and reductions, though, can trip you up if you’re careless.

    For starters, you can take more than one education tax benefit in one year but generally your expenses must be segregated from one another in your reporting. In other words, you usually can’t take two tax benefits based upon the same education expenses.

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