AdviceIQ Articles

  • Reporting Contractors’ Pay

    Contract work changes not only many employees’ definition of employment, it also puts new filing pressures on companies that use workers under these arrangements.

  • Why Investors Should Worry

    Bears rejoice: Investors lately have a lot of thing to worry about. Like a young child who cries one minute and is happy the next, global investors until recently saw a world full of problems – and likely will again soon. 

    What had been a fairly buoyant 2013 suddenly went sour in August, as the catalogue of woes came into focus. The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 3.1% last month. Thus far in September, there’s a relief rally due to a seeming easing of tensions over Syria. The S&P is up just over 3% this month.

  • Syria Strike: Brief Market Dip

    Will a U.S. attack on Syria, a question now before Congress, seriously harm the markets? What if the current proposal in the United Nations – that the U.N. takes over Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile – fails? The history of previous American military strikes suggests that any market decline will be temporary.

  • Don’t Rush for Investing’s Exits

    Headlines label every fall in the stock market a plunge. Interviewed analysts call every bad day – or short string of bad days – an omen of a recurrent 2008 or even 1929. No wonder investors shoot up from the finance pages on their laptops and make twitchy decisions with portfolios.

    August looked like a down month for both stocks and bonds. We haven’t had many such months lately, but don’t fret. Historically, they’re common.

  • Planning for Your Lifestyle

    How you arrange your financial life is important. But so is how you live your life. The second part is too often neglected in financial planning. Would you rather own your own business? Travel more? Write a novel?

  • Variable Annuity: Good Idea?

    A friend recently asked me a simple but thought provoking question: What type of person is a variable annuity a good product for? 

    My friend’s “financial guy” was pushing her to invest a substantial portion of her investable assets into a variable annuity that was coincidently offered by his employer. 

  • Not All Win in the Market

    If you read the financial press, you might believe that everyone makes money in the stock market when values climb and that everyone loses money when values fall.

    Makes sense, of course, because every investor can earn the returns of, say, the Standard & Poor’s 500 by snapping up a low-cost index fund that tracks the S&P 500.

  • Real-life Advisors Are Better

    Face-to-face contact is vital when you make a financial plan. Recently, several advisory firms sprang up that offer financial advice over the Web or the phone. The idea is that these robo-advisors charge less than advisors offering in-person service. Well, you get what you pay for.

    Last month’s column de-bunked the myth that advisors were only for the rich. You can get a good flesh-and-blood advisor who charges a very reasonable fee.

  • The Good Side of Getting Old

    Yes, there are good things about being old, such as increased happiness, less stress, better marriages and deeper friendships. You seldom hear that: People tend to focus on the negatives of aging.

    How old is “old”? I don't know exactly, but after my recent birthday I can say that it's much older than 58. My 12-year-old son told me, “Dad, I’ve always thought of people who are over 60 as being really old. I don’t think of you as really old, so guess I will need to redefine what is old.”

  • Start Social Security Too Soon?

    Social Security officials often encourage starting benefits as soon as you are eligible. But they can’t counsel you on filing strategies. Convenient for them but inconvenient for those who don’t know the ins and outs of filing and may file too early in life.

    If you or someone you know started benefits early, strategies exist to still enhance monthly benefit checks or even let the recipient take a job without losing benefits. Knowing the filing rules helps maximize retirement income.


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