October 30, 2014

Tax Limits: 2015 Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

2015-employer-sponosored-retirement-plans_t

It’s important to know the limits so you don’t over-contribute and incur tax penalties, but contribute just the right amount (based on your income) for your future standard of living.

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How Can I Give to My New Grandchild?

child-grandparent-hands_t

My daughter and son-in-law are expecting their first child, and my husband and I want to give some money for the child as a gift. What are my options?

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How To Divide An Inherited Account Evenly

Money Divided

There is no accounting for how many heirs an account might need to be divided among in an estate plan. Here are the best practices for how to divide the estate.

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If You Wouldn’t Buy It, Why Keep It?

Lego Shop

The stock market is one of the few places that when things go on sale we are less likely to want to buy.

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Radio: Are U.S. Markets Overvalued?

Marotta Smiling On Radio

This radio interview covers the basics of what investing is, and how to think about investing, especially in U.S. Markets with a constant stream of information available.

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Should You Be Building Bond Ladders In This Lower Rate Environment?

Ladder from above

There was an interesting article by Joseph Lisanti in Financial Planning Magazine entitled, “Should You Be Building Bond Ladders?” which read in part: As with many strategies, laddering works best for clients with sufficient assets to benefit fully from it. “It is a tried-and-true strategy,” says Morris Armstrong of Armstrong Financial Strategies, an RIA in [...]

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Which public policies help to decrease disparities in the distribution of wealth?

Be Stupid

What if only enough redistribution were applied so that the top 1% (or whatever top segment) has just 15% of all wealth instead of 40% or whatever it is now?

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Advisors Focus On Panic Prevention In Volatile Market

Panic Button

Our brains are not wired well for handling the fluctuations in the stock market. Could a financial advisor help?

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Achieving Financial Peace Of Mind

Peaceful Sleeping

One goes to bed, while the other sits down to manage the family finances.

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Active vs. Passive: Where Money’s Flowing

Fish flow

Here is the number one criteria you should use in your fund screen.

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Driving Emotions From Your Investment Process: A 12-Step Program

Brain Scan

Don’t let short term volatility ruin a brilliant long term investment strategy.

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A Complete Guide To Using A Donor Advised Account For Your Charitable Giving

Gift

A donor advised fund makes giving easier.

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AAII 2014

David John Marotta presenting

The articles associated with David John Marotta’s presentation at the DC Metro chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors.

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Style Box Annualized Returns For The Past Three Years

Morningstar 3-year stylebox returns 2014-08

Morningstar data for the 3-year annualized returns based on style boxes shows us three interesting lessons.

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Radio: More on the Economics of Healthcare

Money Pills

Individuals should be free to weight the healthcare costs and benefits, risks and savings, and make the decision that best fits their circumstances.

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Mailbag: Screenings useful in cancer fight

2014-08-27 Letter

Again, we were asking if such screening saved insurance companies money, and the answer is, “No.”

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Real Returns Favor Holding Stocks

Real returns favor holding stocks

There are several important lessons to learn from this graph.

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Most Americans Want Financial Advice From Humans

Wise Old Owl

An article title caught my eye recently: “Survey: Most Americans want financial advice from humans.” The teaser linked to an article by Lydia Saad for Gallup which found that although there is great buzz about the rise of “Robo-Advisors” a majority of Americans prefer to work with a dedicated advisor, advisory firm, or at least [...]

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Failed Experiment at the SEC

Chaos Lab

Those who don’t understand or experience regulatory capture wrongly believe in a team of angels at these federal agencies tirelessly working for the common good.

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Mailbag: What Cost Basis Method Do I Want For Vanguard Mutual Funds?

Mutual Funds Scrabble

In our example, your gain/loss could vary from -$1,000 to +$3,500 depending on the method used.

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Radio: Third Party Payer Systems

Money Pills

David John Marotta was interviewed on radio 1070 WINA’s Schilling Show discussing the economics of third party payer systems.

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Mailbag: What Is The One Fund Should I Invest In?

Rainbow Stars

Here’s how to earn a slow million.

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How Do I Find An Estate Planning Attorney In My Area?

ACTEC

What is a better starting place than advertisements and phone directories?

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How To List A Charity As Your Beneficiary

Charity

There is a tax benefit to leaving some assets to your favorite charity rather than leaving it to your heirs.

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Mailbox: How Can I Leave My Estate To A Charity?

Gift Boxes

Leaving a legacy can be a great benefit for the charity receiving the gift.

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Third-Party-Payer Markets

Economics by Colander, Seventh Edition

Anytime a third-party-payer system exists market forces will not hold down costs as much as they would otherwise.

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Radio: The Potential for Government Thought Control

Marotta on the Radio

How much do the political parties agree that the government should be nudging people in as many ways as possible? What is the social cost of such nudging? Does it do more harm than good?

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Why a Monkey Throwing Darts Could Boost Your Returns

Mandrills are the world's largest monkey.

Not aiming for where the money is should boost returns.

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The Efficient Frontier Of Investing

Blended Efficient Frontier

Many investors don’t appreciate asset allocation or understand intuitively how a diversified portfolio can exceed the sum of its parts.

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Misleading Statistics About Pharmaceutical Companies

We have charts and graphs to back us up.

It is difficult to reason with people who lie and mislead in their statistics because they believe that they have the moral high ground.

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Radio: Beware of Government Regulation Intended to Quell Competition

Marotta on the Radio

Listen to David Marotta discuss the dangers of government regulation, especially when invited by an industry to suppress competition in the name of “safety.”

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SEC Q&A: What should I do if the financial professional claims that he or she is “certified”?

Golden Champaign Glass

We believe that NAPFA advisors are a well sought minority of financial advisors.

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What Is The Most Important Attribute When Hiring An Investment Manager?

Mercat

Do you want to trust your advisor is acting in your best interests or do you want them to have the legal obligation and be free of commission-based conflicts of interest?

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Newlywed To Do List

Rush Hour

While you know about the duplicate wedding gifts to exchange or return, and your mother is reminding you to finish writing Thank You notes, you might not remember all the other things you need to do.

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Is AmazonSmile Good For Charities?

AmazonSmile: You shop. Amazon gives.

There is no reason why charities should not be thankful.

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SEC Q&A: How do I find out whether an investment adviser ever had problems with a government regulator or has a disciplinary history?

Golden Glasses

You can get copies of Form ADV by accessing the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) website.

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Freedom Investing Since 2000

Freedom Investing 2000-2016-06

Recently we did an analysis of the returns of the MSCI Country Specific Indexes

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Freedom Investing Beats EAFE Index by 3.92% Annualized Over Past Decade

Freedom Investing 2014-06

Over the past decade the economically free countries have an annualized return of 11.34%. The S&P 500′s annualized return was 7.78%.

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SEC Q&A: How do investment advisers get paid?

Three Glasses

How your advisor is compensated matters. Make sure you can follow the money and know how they are getting paid.

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How Can I Tell Who Is Associated With A Broker-Dealer?

Pigs

If your advisor is on one of these lists you should be aware of how they are paid.

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Facebook’s And Your Negative Feelings

Thumbs Down

In truth, the best way to mollify negative feelings might be to give up your Facebook account entirely.

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Radio: Financial Planning in Your 40s and Early 50s

Marotta Smiling On Radio

Here is a list of seven things which are important to ensure during these years

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Should I Tender My Allergan Shares To Valeant Pharmaceuticals?

Allergan

Perhaps they should make this into a mini-series.

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SEC Q&A: What questions should I ask when choosing an investment adviser or financial planner?

Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

Here are our answers and comments to the SEC’s eight suggested questions.

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How to Open a Roth for Your Child

Open a Roth for Your Child

Someone has to be proactive about your child’s retirement and every year you don’t open a retirement account is another year you’re holding back compound interest.

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Don’t Do Something. Just Stand There!

Sisters Forever

You learn a lot by the discipline of reading old news.

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Video: Virginia’s Neighborhood Assistance Program Tax Credits

Early Bird Gets the Worm

This video discusses Neighborhood Assistance Programs, and how donating to a local charity can both help people in your area and help you with your Virginia tax bill.

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The Economics Of Healthcare

Injured piggy bank with crutches

Michael Kirsch, a practicing physician and newspaper columnist, laments that there are questions he can never answer satisfactorily for his patients. His questions are central to the public policy debate increasingly being decided by voters and politicians rather than physicians and economists. Here are our answers to his questions and other articles on the economics [...]

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Mailbag: How Do I Open A Vanguard Trust Account?

Vanguard Personal Investors

I am the trustee for my mother’s living trust and I am trying to help her open an investment account at Vanguard. How do I go about opening a Trust account at Vanguard? – Trustee in Cville Most regular brokerage accounts can be opened online. Trust accounts need to use the paper form and provide [...]

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Time to Give Annuities a Second Look?

Two Giraffes

No. I thought we’d decided not to give them a first look.

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