AdviceIQ Articles

  • Tax-Efficient Investing (Pt.1)

    Investing just became a lot more complicated – and expensive – especially if you make a good living. You must squeeze every last advantage out of our tax system.

  • How to Manage Risk Now

    Many investors have skewed ideas about risk. Even after 2013’s stock market run-up, they fear losing money more than they wish to make more. That could be a mistake. What’s the best way to handle risk?

    Investment advisors and financial planners are getting more and more statements of this ilk: “I would like to invest to make more money but I don’t want to take a risk.” Or: “I want an investment more rewarding than a bank account but I want it to be safe.”

  • Net Worth Nonsense

    What is the net worth of U.S. households? You can cut the statistics any number of ways, but the right answer is: low. A recent report would have us believe the number is rosy. It isn’t.

    The dubious report, from the American Enterprise Institute think tank, claims that the net worth of the average American household is now $700,000 – up from $406,000 just 10 years ago.

    Average? Of $700,000? I don’t think so.

  • IRA or 401(k): Which Is Better?

    Which is the better choice for retirement saving, an IRA or a 401(k)? A lot of people don’t appreciate the differences between the two, which go beyond where they are available – the 401(k) is workplace-based. You can put more money into a 401(k), but typically have more investment choices with an IRA.

    Either an individual retirement account or a 401(k) plan is a great place to start investing for retirement. They are more alike than different, and which one to choose depends on your particular circumstances. Here are some of the basics you need to know.

  • Maximizing Social Security

    As you examine financial risks to your retirement, there is a right away and a wrong way to look at Social Security. The wrong way: I need to get the money as soon as I can because I paid into the system and deserve it. The right way: I need to get the most over the long haul. Here’s how to receive the maximum from Social Security.

  • 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.

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