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End of the Stretch IRA?

The powerful tax-deferral tool is likely nearing its end. WHAT IS STRETCHING: Sustaining and maximizing the tax-deferred status of an IRA when the beneficiary is a non-spouse such as a child. WHO LIKES IT: Beneficiaries who accrue years of compounded, tax-deferred growth while minimizing the Present Value of the liability (i.e. $1 in the future [...]

Interest Rates on Federal Student Loans Heading Higher

Interest rates on new federal student loans change each year based upon results of the May 10-year Treasury auction.  The 2017 auction closed last week.  Although the Department of Education has yet to officially announce the new rates expectations are: The rate on federal Stafford Loans for undergraduates will likely rise from 3.76% to 4.45%. [...]

One Chart – 120 Years of the Dow Jones Industrial Average

As one of the oldest and best-known indexes the DJIA is not only a benchmark for the world’s largest stock market but, also, a barometer of global confidence.  This chart details the DJIA’s performance since 1896.     It’s interesting to note how the highs and lows have reflected the U.S. economy. Greater still is [...]

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 [...]

JPMorgan Chase Latest to Choose Themselves over Customers

Yesterday JPMorgan Chase & Co announced it sent some wealth management customers letters notifying them that they will be moved to the firm’s self-directed platform ahead of a pending Labor Department retirement regulation. Following their product-pushing brethren (banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies) it’s the latest move that puts themselves ahead of their customers. For [...]

Brokers Market Themselves as “Advisors” to the Public But “Sales Reps” to the Department of Labor

Many brokerage firms and insurance companies speak from both sides of their mouths. Surprised? We shouldn’t be. The marketing departments of these firms promote the idea that employees are trusted advisors providing personalized investment advice. Conversely in an attempt to avoid complying with the upcoming fiduciary rule (i.e. doing what’s in the best interest of [...]