January 26, 2015

Radio: What Did Well in 2014 and What Might Happen in 2015

Old Radio

David John Marotta and radio host Rob Schilling discuss what did well in the market as well as the online security of investments.

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One Hidden Way the IRS Hurts the Bereaved

One Hidden Way the IRS Hurts the Bereaved

It is often said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. The IRS takes that truism to heart.

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Federal Program Inventories vs OMB: $622 Billion Missing

The Missing $622 Billion

With trillions of dollars to spend, you’d think the least the government could do is maintain consistent records.

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What Causes Jack Bogle to Shake His Head

This is What Causes Jack Bogle to Shake His Head

When this poor planning affects the investments in our 401(k) plans and the communities that we live in, we pay more and we get less.

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2015 Tax Facts

2015 Tax Tables

The tax tables have arrived! Here are some highlights to keep in mind for the 2015 tax year.

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The Success of Freedom Investing

The Success of Freedom Investing

It is a simple thought experiment. Would you rather invest in South Korea or in North Korea?

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What Is The US Dollar Index?

What Is The US Dollar Index?

How is the change in the value of the dollar computed?

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Fiduciary Fight Part 5: Lobbyists Won’t Help

Fiduciary Fight

“We’d be fools to underestimate their tenacity and creativity when it comes to protecting their executive bonus pools.”

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How Much Should I Have Saved Toward College in 2015?

How Much Should I Have Saved Toward College in 2015?

With three young energetic boys, the growing costs of college education weigh heavily on my mind. Here are the age-based benchmarks we use to ensure that our 529 college savings is on track to meet our goals.

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What is the Federal Program Inventory?

The FY 2013 Federal Program Inventory

The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 had a vision: to “provide Congress and the public a clearer picture of the programs that exist across the Federal government.” Like most things in government, it failed to live up to its goals.

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Returns from the Countries with Economic Freedom

Freedom Countries - 2014 Returns

Freedom investing beat the EAFE Foreign index by 7.92% in 2014.

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2014 Returns for Our 6 Asset Classes

6 Asset Classes - 2014 Returns

When asset classes are not correlated that means they often move in different directions.

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Understanding Cash Flow Is Critical

Understanding Cash Flow Is Critical

Regardless of income level, overspending causes poverty.

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Does Past Performance Have Anything To Do With Future Results?

Does Past Performance Have Anything To Do With Future Results?

Is there a correlation which would justify talking about “the momentum of the markets”?

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Fiduciary Fight Part 4: Fiduciary Oath

Fiduciary Fight

“Take a version of this fiduciary oath to the brokers down the street and ask them to sign it. If they refuse, ask why.”

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Trying to Talk to Government? Good Luck.

Trying to Contact Government? Good Luck.

Despite a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”, I have found myself told time-and-again, “You’re on your own”.

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One-Fund Investing

Old Globe

Either of these funds would be a good choice for a one-fund investment if you really want to keep it simple, and you could invest in both of them if you want a two-fund strategy.

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The Delirious Happiness of Free Market Choice

The Delirious Happiness of Free Market Choice

Here is one of the most brilliant breakthroughs in all of food science and how it relates to almost every aspect of life.

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Does Market Volatility Cause Post-Traumatic Stress?

Does Market Volatility Cause Post-Traumatic Stress?

The best antidote to the stress of market volatility is to understand that the markets are inherently volatile.

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Fiduciary Fight Part 3: Distinguish Between Brokers And Advisors

Fiduciary Fight

I love that Bob Veres thinks that labeling someone as a broker or advisor would help bring clarity. It shows his optimism.

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Guess What Statistic Has The Highest Correlation With The S&P 500?

Guess What Statistic Has The Highest Correlation With The S&P 500?

David Leinweber calls this technique, “torturing the data until it screams.”

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Marotta’s 2015 Gone-Fishing Portfolio

Fog Fishing

A gone-fishing portfolio keeps investing simple.

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Marotta’s 2014 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Review

The fishes

A review of last year’s 2014 gone fishing portfolio returns.

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Marotta’s 2015 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

The fishes

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation that should do well with dampened volatility.

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Why is Bob Cratchit So Poor?

Why is Bob Cratchit So Poor?

At first glance, this story fills us with pity for the Cratchit family, always struggling to make ends meet. But is that the true story?

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Jorge Posada And Jose Contreras Failed To Safeguard Their Finances

Jorge Posada And Jose Contreras Failed To Safeguard Their Finances

Their attorney, New York-based Barry Lax, says the two ballplayers are the latest professional athletes abused by predatory financial advisors.

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Obama Acts Like a Mob Boss, But There Is a Solution

Obama Like a Mob Boss

A mob boss exercises absolute control over his many followers and profits from the often criminal activities of his organization.

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Radio: The Rising Debt of College Education

Grad in Green

David John Marotta and Rob Schilling discussed the ways current policy makes college more unaffordable, and what students and parents can do about it.

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Fiduciary Fight Part 2: Additional Congressional Regulatory Oversight Can’t Be Trusted

Fiduciary Fight

Congress cannot protect you from the financial sharks who contribute to their campaigns, but they may protect the sharks.

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Will Roth Conversion Affect My Estimated Tax Payments?

Will Roth Conversion Affect My Estimated Tax Payments?

Roth conversions are a great way to save money and if you have a good financial planner, they need not be a headache.

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Ken Elzinga

Ken Elzinga

Kenneth G. Elzinga. Ken is both a nationally renowned economist as well as a locally celebrated professor here in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia.

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Contact Lens Regulations Cost Consumers Billions

Contact Lens Regulations Cost Consumers Billions

It is illegal to sell contacts in the United States without requiring a prescription. A Federal Trade Commission regulation provides penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.

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Inversion Is The Latest Corporate Tax-Cutting Strategy

Inversion Is The Latest Corporate Tax-Cutting Strategy

The United States is the only country that imposes a tax on all income the company makes whether it is earned within or outside the country.

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Interviews And Articles With Ken Elzinga

Ken Elzinga

“Markets have made possible the prospect of the bulk of an economy’s population not being poor and oppressed.”

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Fiduciary Fight Part 1: The Fight Over The Fiduciary Label

Fiduciary Fight

The fight is on! Everyone wants to be known as a fiduciary, but not everyone deserves the title.

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The Segregated Joint Economic Committee

Joint Economic Committee

Does the Joint Economic Committee live up to anything in its name?

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Interview with Ken Elzinga by Marotta On Money

Ken Elzinga

Ken Elzinga writes the popular Henry Spearman mystery novels under the pen name of Marshal Jevons. We caught up with Professor Elzinga for the following interview.

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How Not to Promote College Innovation

How Not To Promote College Innovation

These noble-sounding goals intuitively appear useful, but the federal government has only two ways to encourage change and neither of them helps in this case.

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The Mystery Of The Invisible Hand

The Mystery of the Invisible Hand

Read an excerpt from Ken Elzinga’s latest Henry Spearman mystery novel.

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November 2014 Returns for Our 6 Asset Classes

November 2014 Returns -6 Asset Classes

Here are the returns for our six Asset Classes from November 2014.

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August – October 2014 Returns for Our 6 Asset Classes

6 Asset Classes - 8-10-14

Here are the returns for our six Asset Classes from August 2014 – October 2014.

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Stop Borrowing From Yourself

Stop Borrowing From Yourself

Stop borrowing from your future self. Each day you fail to save is another day where you tighten the ball and chain around your ankle. You deserve better than that.

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Radio: Charlottesville Real Estate

Beach Cottage

David John Marotta appeared on the radio discussing Charlottesville real estate, interest rates, and how you should not let a daunting pile of mortgage paperwork stop you from purchasing a home.

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How To Buy A College Degree

How to Buy a College Degree

Unfortunately, Obama’s good intentions are thwarted by the economic principle formulated by banker Charles Goodhart.

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Cheating Isn’t Just For Students

Cheating

Increased pressure will only force more teachers to choose between their integrity and their salaries.

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Financial Willpower

Financial Willpower

The amount of energy available in the brain to exercise self-regulation and resist temptation is a limited resource. When the account runs out, well… you know the kind of decisions you make.

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What Investors Really Want

What Investors Want

“In reflecting on our experiences as advisers and investors, we’ve come up with what we believe are the key and often unspoken wants and needs of our investors.”

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The Economics of a Thanksgiving Turkey

The Economics of a Thanksgiving Turkey

The average factory-farmed frozen turkey from a grocery story is sold for as little as $0.67 per pound. Economics can offer five explanations.

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2015 IRA and Roth Contribution Limits

Retirement Plan Contrib Income Limits 2015_t

Here are the 2015 contribution limits and income phaseouts for contributions to Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs for retirement saving planning.

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Five Principles Of Spending

Principles of Spending

How to judge if your money was well spent.

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