Savings Archives

Resolved: to do a better job managing investments in the New Year. So, what are the key things to keep in mind? The most important is that long-standing rules for saving and investing are probably still sound, despite bad experiences of the past decade like the drop in home prices and abysmal stock-market returns. Over the long term, stocks are likely to continue beating bonds and bonds will probably beat cash. Read more»
Well, this is a surprise. And what a mess! Back in 2001 when Washington revised the estate-tax laws, everyone figured the sunset clause restoring the old rules after 2010 were just a technicality. Surely, lawmakers would set permanent rules long before then. Read more»
With 2010 fast upon us, the option of converting a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA opens up for millions of investors no longer barred by the $100,000 income limit. Now begins the tricky process of choosing which investments to convert, and when. Read more»
There’s an old saying: Don’t wish your life away. It’s the kind of thing a parent says to a child who wishes good things like Christmas would come faster. But investors can be excused for looking forward to the end of a decade that hasn’t served them very well. The average stock has lost money over the past 10 years, thanks to the dot-com collapse early in the decade and the financial crisis of the past few years. Read more»
Roth conversion issues are complex enough, but one element is especially perplexing: the five-year rule on withdrawals. Violate the rules and you could incur a 10% penalty as well as income tax on investment gains. If you’ll need to withdraw money that could trigger these costs, a Roth conversion might not be a good idea. Read more»
As world records go, the steepest yield curve in history isn’t as easy to grasp as the world’s fastest human or the most home runs in a season. But the yield-curve record set the other day may have a bigger effect on us ordinary folk, as it influences borrowing costs and interest earnings, and may signal good times ahead. Read more»
Exchange-traded funds investing in bonds are investors’ latest darlings, drawing in more money this year than any other class of ETFs, according to fund-tracking firm Morningstar Inc. (Stock Quote: MORN) Read more»
If you haven’t been eligible for a tax deduction on contributions, you probably haven’t been keen on putting money into a traditional IRA. But it might make sense to rethink that view. By funding a traditional IRA and then quickly converting to a Roth IRA, you could sidestep rules that otherwise might prevent you from having a Roth, which shelters investment gains from tax. Read more»
With the holiday season coming to a crescendo, boring issues like taxes aren’t the first thing to come to mind. But a few tax maneuvers should be on your holiday list if you want a happy, stress-free April. Some of 2009’s tax matters can spill over to next year, like making this year’s IRA contributions. But others have to be done by Dec. 31. Here are some of the key ones: Read more»
Putting together a list of year-end financial steps? If you’re self-employed, here’s one more to consider — setting up an Individual 401(k). Also called Solo 401(k)s and Self-Employed 401(k)s, these work just like regular 401(k)s offered by many employers, except that the limit on tax-deductible contributions is much higher: $49,000 for 2009, or $54,500 for people 50 and over. For a standard 401(k), the comparable figures are $16,500 and $22,000. Read more»
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