April 25, 2015

Can I Contribute to a Roth IRA?

Fountain in Springtime

How do you know if you can contribute to a Roth IRA? See this flowchart for answers.

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Why Liberals Should Hate Real Estate Taxes

Why Liberals Should Hate Real Estate Taxes

Taxes hurt ordinary folks before the extraordinary ones, and it can hurt them badly.

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Three Insights About Bad 401(k) Plans From Recent Lawsuit

Three Insights About Bad 401(k) Plans From Recent Lawsuit

“America’s leader in financial planning” is ill-serving its own employees.

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Branding, Marketing, and Selling: An Interview with Scott Deming

Branding, Marketing, and Selling: An Interview with Scott Deming

Branding is so much more important than advertising.

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Cost-Benefit Analysis for Financial Planning

Cost-Benefit Analysis for Financial Planning

The cost of commission-based advisors are so hidden that you may be paying more than you realize.

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Giving to a Charity to Receive an Annuity

Giving To Charity In Order to Receive An Annuity

Every nonprofit needs to keep an up-to-date list of the types of assets that they will accept as donations.

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First Quarter 2015 Returns: Our 6 Asset Classes

Q1 2015 6 Asset Class Returns

Each quarter brings a different set of returns for each asset class and subcategory.

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Best Credit Card for 2015

Best Credit Card for 2015

We are not normally fans of credit card offerings, but this one might be worth using as your primary card.

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How to Be a Good Executor

boxwood hedge maze

You’ve been named the executor of a relative’s will – now what?

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Investors Greatly Undervalue Safeguarding Their Money

Investors Greatly Undervalue Safeguarding Their Money

Ten principles of safeguarding your money applied to the latest investment scandal.

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Nobel Prize Worthy Advice On Investing

Nobel Prize Worthy Advice On Investing

Here’s how a good advisor should respond when you call about losses in your account.

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Is Lawsuit Funding A Good Investment?

Is Lawsuit Funding A Good Investment?

“Lawsuit lenders do not advertise prices; they advertise convenience.”

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Services Not Provided

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Services Not Provided

A computer algorithm cannot help you with these things.

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How Do I Structure My Accounts for Automatic Savings?

Inside Umbrella

Often the needs and wants of the present take our attention at the expense of the future. You want a system that will prioritize saving without needing your constant attention.

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Investment Strategies That Do Not Make Our Cut: Low Volatility

Investment Strategies That Do Not Make Our Cut: Low Volatility

There are three rules that we follow when looking for an investment strategy and the low volatility strategy fails two.

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Tax by Fiat: Legacy of Alexander Hamilton

Tax by Fiat: Legacy of Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton, like our current president, sees people as temporary holders of wealth until such time as the government decides to expand.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Incomplete Rebalancing Algorithm

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

See our review of the two pros and nine cons of how Schwab monitors and rebalances portfolios.

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Radio: Twelve Tax Planning Agenda Items To Do Before April 15

birds in snowstorm

It is better to do tax planning all throughout the year, but here are 12 things to do (or plan to do in the coming year) before April 15.

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Investing Lessons from the Birth and Death of the Virginia Company

Investing Lessons from the Birth and Death of the Virginia Company

Investing in America began with the bankruptcy of the hottest stock in England.

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Tax by Fiat: Legacy of James Wilson

Tax by Fiat: Legacy of James Wilson

The arguments for greater government power have always been the same.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise

It is a great marketing campaign, and the service is a wonderful idea, but the asset allocations of SIPs aren’t actually that intelligent.

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Preparing Your “Digital Estate” – Hardware and Digital Property

Preparing Your "Digital Estate:" Hardware and Digital Property

You probably have dozens of online accounts and possibly hundreds of dollars of digital property. What happens to it when you die?

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Vanguard Sends A Letter To Directors, Will A Stick Follow?

Vanguard Sends A Letter To Directors, Will A Stick Follow?

A board of directors is supposed to be accountable to the shareholders but sometimes they need a reminder.

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Are Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Funds Better Investments?

Are Socially Responsible Investing Funds Better Investments?

“What do you think of the idea of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) implemented simply by investing in something like the Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)?”

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Stock Ownership Is a Bad Strategy for Social Change

Stock Ownership Is a Bad Strategy for Social Change

You cannot help a company by buying its stock.

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Jack Bogle: The Value Of An Advisor Who Sticks To A Long Term Plan

Jack Bogle: The Value Of An Advisor Who Sticks To A Long Term Plan

“Advisers need to sell their value as keeping their clients from doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.”

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Warren Buffett Extends His Lead in Hedge Fund Wager

Warren Buffett Extends His Lead in Hedge Fund Wager

With three years remaining on a ten year $1 million bet, Buffett is sitting pretty to win it.

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Sordid History of the Income Tax: from 3% to 39.6%

Sordid History of the Income Tax: from 3% to 39.6%

The only time the original terms of the Constitution have been explicitly rejected and changed was to give the government the right to tax people unequally.

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Did Obama Violate an SEC Regulation?

Did Obama Violate an SEC Regulation?

From the blind eye of the law, this seems like a violation of SEC regulation.

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Garrett Planning Network SEC Anti-Testimonial Violation

Garrett Planning Network

We expect the Garrett Planning Network to quickly take down these SEC violations from their website in response.

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Sheryl Garrett Should Have Distanced Herself From Obama Like The AARP

Sheryl Garrett Should Have Distanced Herself From Obama Like The AARP

It isn’t too late to print a retraction.

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There Are No Such Things As “Fiduciary Rules”

There Are No Such Things As "Fiduciary Rules"

The principles of a fiduciary cannot be condensed into a set of rules.

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Jack Bogle: Investing Outside The United States

Jack Bogle: Investing Outside The United States

“We still have plenty of problems, but we’re much better than France, Britain and Germany.”

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Are CEOs Talented or Just Lucky?

Are CEOs Talented or Just Lucky?

The legal defense of Harold Hamm hinged on the belief that his wealth was the result of happenstance.

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Rethinking Government Spending

Rethinking Government Spending

In 2013, Nancy Pelosi said “there’s no cuts to make,” but that’s ridiculous.

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What Does It Mean To Be A Fee-Only Fiduciary?

What Does It Mean To Be A Fee-Only Fiduciary?

Most investors are not aware of an important separation in the professionals of the financial services industry.

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Twitter’s Reign of Terror

Twitter's Reign of Terror

“They find whatever is different and peck it to death.”

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Preparing Your “Digital Estate” – Social Media Edition

Preparing Your Digital Estate

What happens to my Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, and other online accounts when I die? Could I decide?

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Mailbag: Is There An Advantage For Me To Do A Roth Conversion?

Is There An Advantage For Me To Do A Roth Conversion?

My wife and I are 65 years old and I am newly retired. Is there any advantage in doing a Roth conversion this year?

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Social Security for 70′s Child

Social Security for 70's Child

“I’m 58 and I’ve been married and divorced twice. …I realize this is complicated, but you gotta love the 70′s!”

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How Much Does the Government Cost?

How Much Does the Government Cost?

Is it fair for the government to confiscate a full quarter of the average person’s earnings every year? Where does it all go?

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Oil Price Predictions Are Essentially Meaningless

Oil Price Predictions Are Essentially Meaningless

“The most important thing I learned from my research was never to attempt to forecast the price of oil.”

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“Citizenfour” Reminds Us We Should Still Be Outraged

"Citizenfour" Reminds Us We Should Still Be Outraged

The domestic spying of the executive branch deserves our outrage. Efforts like “Citizenfour” that keep the issue in the public eye deserve our support.

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Get Your Estate in Order, Pt. 3: Choose an Executor

Abandoned Plane

Who do I choose to be the executor of my estate? What will their basic duties be?

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What Happened To The Australian Dollar?

What Happened To The Australian Dollar?

At first glance, AUNZ did not have great returns in 2014. But is that the whole story?

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Taxed Enough Already?

Taxed Enough Already?

An unlimited power to tax necessarily involves a power to destroy.

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Mailbag: Confused by Google And Yahoo Finance

Mailbag: Confused by Google And Yahoo Finance

Q&A: “I don’t understand how to explain what happened to the share price. What was going on in the fund?”

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Three Reasons To Engage In Gift Giving

Gift Giving

The new holiday cliché is to complain about hyper-materialism, but gifts and gift giving help shape our identities.

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Get Your Estate In Order, Pt. 2: Physical Assets

Man in Ocean

Today’s question: What do I want to happen to my physical belongings and assets after my death?

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Dr. Seuss to Zombie Directors – Will You Please Go Now!

Dr. Suess to Zombie Directors

In theory, the directors of a corporation are hired to provide independent oversight and protect shareholder interests. In practice, they’ve developed a reputation as country club chums with the executive managers.

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