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Our Articles

Self-Employed Retirement Plans: Solo 401(k) versus SEP IRA (2012)
with 2 Comments

The SEP IRA and solo/individual 401(k) are the two most common retirement plans chosen by successful self-employed people due to their high contribution limits.

Our Highest Value to Clients
with No Comments

Wisdom is the ability to exercise good judgement in the fact of imperfect knowledge. Sometimes that means reframing the question.

Most Commission-Based Advisors Caught Failing Clients in Research Sting
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Study in Boston area, with undercover actors posing as clients, showed commission-based advisors putting their own interests first

Securing Your Credit
with 2 Comments

A U.S. Public Interest Research Group report in 2004 found that one in four credit reports have serious errors that could significantly lower your chances of being approved.

The IRA Charitable Donation in 2012
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The tax code provision that allowed IRA owners to contribute up to $100,000 directly from their IRA to the qualified charity of their choice–without recognizing the donation as income–expired at the end of 2011, but what if it is reinstated?

Aiming For Advisors
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I read a number of articles touting the growth and “advantages” of annuities. Personally, I’ve never met an annuity I liked.

$ ?s: Three Reasons to Be Thankful You Avoided the Facebook IPO
with 1 Comment

Huge financial incentives motivate a newly minted public stock to attempt to keep their best foot forward just long enough for the early investors to maximize their profits.

What Does Clark Howard Really Think of Variable Annuities?
with 13 Comments

“Variable annuities are garbage. They have huge expenses; big fees if you try to bag out before a certain point; and massive tax problems compared to other ways you can invest. But that’s what you’ll probably be steered to by a commissioned insurance salesperson.”

How Does Marital Status Affect Your Federal Taxes?
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Laws have always regulated who may marry, the obligations related to marriage and children and whether and how a marriage can be ended. Governments have always put their own social agenda above the pluralism of personal choice.

How Have Emerging Market Equities Performed?
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I was on the radio today and someone called in claiming that Vanguard Emerging Market ETF (VWO) had done nothing but go down in value.

Investing in Gold and Silver Coins
with 1 Comment

A large number of people in the United States are worried about our profligate spending and the resulting devaluation of our currency. They are worried about politics and socialism and the economy.

The 85% College Savings Plan
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To assess our progress toward funding all three children, I have created age-based benchmarks that I share here.

Mailbag: I’d Like to Withdraw Money from My IRA to Purchase Physical Silver
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Precious metals will, on average, just keep up with inflation, but your after tax return would mean you fell behind inflation by the 28% tax you must pay.

Marotta’s 2012 Gone-Fishing Portfolio
with 5 Comments

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation that should do well with dampened volatility. Its primary appeal is simplicity. As a secondary virtue, it avoids the worst mistakes of the financial services industry.

Marotta’s 2012 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator
with No Comments

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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