AdviceIQ Articles

  • Why a Second Opinion Is Vital

    Getting a second opinion is easy, but many fail to seek one, to their detriment. This is true for medical patients, as well as financial advisors’s clients.

  • Taperphobia

    A taperphobia epidemic has Wall Street in a panic yet again. Taperphobia – the unease over the Federal Reserve’s possibly ending its bond-buying campaign – is an irrational fear of common sense. 

    Symptoms include a falling stock market (when we first heard about the taper), soaring bond yields and ongoing anxiety attacks. There is a cure, although it’s expensive. It costs at least $85 billion, the central bank’s outlay each month, yet that’s enough to cure all of Wall Street and send the stock market soaring.

  • Know Retirement Plan Limits

    Before you feed your retirement accounts next year, here’s a look at contribution-limit changes big and small.

    The IRS recently published contribution limits for various retirement plans for 2014. Indexed to inflation, these new limits sometimes do not increase much year over year and sometimes not at all.

    This year saw virtually no increases for most contribution amounts. As usual, income limits did increase for most types of accounts.

  • Buying Life Policies: Complex

    When I got into financial services, I worked for a well-respected life insurance company. I believed people saw the need for and details of life insurance clearly, and that it sells easily. Wrong, and here’s why it’s hard for you to decide on this insurance.

    Life insurance is complicated. Most people misunderstand life policies. They don’t understand how it works or why some types are darned expensive and others look cheap.

  • Is Wealthy U.S. Exceptional?

    The U.S. stock market hit a record high, real estate values are recovering and the world’s largest economy is expanding, albeit slowly. Nearing year-end is a good time to ask: Does all this wealth make America exceptional?

  • Your Age and Stock Leeriness

    The ancients spoke of three ages of man. In modern times, we call them demographic cohorts. For financial advisors, they require different kinds of advice, but they lately share a common – and self-defeating – aversion to risk.

    They don’t have enough in stock, which is the key to growth. We see this in the constant exodus of all age groups from equity mutual funds.

  • Warning: Tax Sticker Shock

    Numerous tax law changes came throughout 2013 and, as we get closer to when they take effect, some taxpayers stand to suffer sticker shock after completing their next returns.

    A recent article from Forbes says independent tax specialists predict that most Americans stand to pay less tax. They cite an example of a married couple filing jointly with a total taxable income of $100,000 paying $145 less in income taxes in 2014 than in 2013.

  • How to Save on Gift-Buying

    This time of year brings you enough stress without overspending on gifts and ending up in debt. Here’s how to avoid giving until it really hurts.

    The money spent on the holidays staggers the imagination of even the most rabid gift-giver. This year on the four-day Black Weekend (formerly confined to just Black Friday), American shoppers dropped an estimated $22.2 billion. Cyber Monday, the biggest day of the year for e-commerce in the U.S., saw record sales of almost $1.74 billion.

  • The Job Growth Conundrum

    Jobs, jobs, jobs. We need to create higher-paying jobs – but not at the risk of squelching business starts or business expansion, which, after all, fuels job growth. How do we solve this puzzle? Boost the minimum wage, be careful not to over-regulate companies and increase taxes on high-income Americans.

    The 2009 recession’s job recovery is the worst since the Great Depression. Why are we not creating enough jobs? Five years and counting and we are still not back to the same level of jobs we had prior to the 2008 recession.

  • Know How to Give to Charity

    Contributing to charities comes with a load of tax tricks. Here’s how to take advantage.

    Another year’s end brings everyone’s favorite season – tax-planning time. Keep many tax tactics in mind when preparing this year’s return, especially if you lessen your taxes and itemize deductions on Schedule A. These deductions include medical and dental expenses and unreimbursed employee business expenses, amounts you paid for certain taxes and interest – and amounts given to charities.

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