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Highlights of House Tax Proposal

Yesterday members of the House of Representatives announced their version of income tax reform.  The Senate is expected to offer its own version as early as next week. Assuming each passes without changes (and that’s a big assumption) there will still likely be changes as the legislation moves through the reconciliation process before being presented [...]

IRS To Reject Returns That Do Not Address Health Insurance Coverage

The IRS has announced it will no longer accept electronically filed returns where the taxpayer does not address the reporting requirements of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).  In addition returns filed on paper that don’t address the reporting requirements may be suspended pending receipt of additional information and any refunds may be delayed. This marks [...]

Tell Them What They Want To Hear

Should a financial relationship be about doing what’s right or feeling good?  The former, right?  Not so fast. A survey by index zealots DFA found the #1 thing valued in receiving financial guidance is a “sense of security / peace of mind.”  Not that that’s a bad thing of course but at 35% of respondents [...]

Boosting FICO Scores by Eliminating Negative Information from Credit Reports

In response to regulatory pressure and settlement of lawsuits with 32 states the Big Three of credit reporting – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – have decided to omit certain negative items from the credit reports of consumers. Examples include: Tax-lien and civil-judgment data that don’t include a complete list of at least three data points [...]

If You Don’t Have a Plan the Government Has One for You

According to a recent study by just 40% of U.S. adults have a will (including only 36% of U.S. adults who have children under the age of 18). What’s more only 53% of U.S. adults have a healthcare power of attorney (“POA”). What’s the big deal? Without a will or similar trust agreement decisions [...]

Revisiting Decision-Making Biases

Our caveman ancestors had a simple test for survival – Fight or Flight. In our modern world money is the source of survival. As a result every primitive survival and pleasure-seeking drive is intensely focused on capturing and guarding money. These drives are involuntary and highly emotional emerging more quickly and forcefully than logical analysis. [...]

DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Helps Wall Street – Not Consumers

The recent release of the “fiduciary rule” from the Department of Labor is being hailed as a boon to consumers. Conflicts of interest in the retirement advice industry are supposed to be a thing of the best. But will they be? Many consumers seek guidance from a brokerage firm. You know them well – Morgan [...]