Casey Smith

What Happens When You Inherit an IRA

What happens to a Traditional IRA when the owner has passed and a non-spouse is inheriting? A non-spouse beneficiary has two choices. One choice is to take a lump-sum distribution. In this case, even if you, as the beneficiary, are under age 59 ½, the 10% early withdrawal penalty is waived. To do this, you would need to transfer the assets into an account in your name, and then distribute the assets in a lump sum. All the funds are distributed at once, and all […]
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Pay Yourself First

A recent survey by the American Savings Education Council indicated that Americans of all wage levels are having a hard time saving. Its seems that the old saying “you grow into your income” just might be true. The recent study as reported by CNBC shows that 31% of consumers have $0 non-retirement savings. As adults there are so many things that we are suppose to save for. College, retirement, emergency fund, and other goal oriented funds all while being drawn in by 0% interest inpulse […]
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Your Advisors Interest May Not Align With Yours

When individuals are choosing an investment advisor, it can be a very confusing process. After all, to most people, we all look the same, just different firm names; however, there are many differences. At the core, there are advisors that are legally bound to work in the best interest of their clients. These are fiduciary advisors and usually work at independent firms that hold client assets at custodians like TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and Schwab. The other side is a suitability advisor. These advisors work at […]
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2014 – Interview with SeekingAlpha.com

This is the fourth piece in Seeking Alpha's Positioning for 2014 series. This year we have once again asked experts on a range of different asset classes and investing strategies to offer their vision for the coming year and beyond. As always, the focus is on an overall approach to portfolio construction.
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2013 in Review

The US stock market produced a record year in terms of performance, increasing over 34%. This was all despite some market headlines that seemed to be doom and gloom. The key events were as follows: Looking back at 2013 through key market indicators we see that there was relatively low volatility in 2013, a continued improvement in the housing market, very low inflation, and continued steady economic recovery. Corporate debt levels continued to decrease, consumer spending was up and the unemployment rate continued to show […]
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Retooling Your Bond Portfolio

Many investors, especially retirees and conservative investors are investing in bonds either individually, through a bond mutual fund or a bond exchange traded fund (ETF). Investors seem to associate bonds with safety, but this may not be the case going forward. How can you protect your bond portfolio in these uncertain times?
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Don’t Chase Returns

Very often individual investors choose mutual funds based on the historical performance of the fund. To many individual investors it seems logical that past great performance would only indicate a tendency for future great performance. According to a July 2013 report from S&P, this may not be the case. Twice a year S&P Dow Jones Indices releases its Persistence Score Card. This reports tracks the consistency of top mutual fund performers over yearly consecutive periods asking the question, does past performance really matter? The latest […]
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Giving to Your Children

Can a husband and wife give their daughter and son-in-law separate cash gifts?. Suchas; 14K from the wife and another 14K from the husband to each of the newlyweds, totaling 28K to each for a total of 56K as a couple? Yes. You are allowed to give $14,000 to any individual per year without having to worry about the gift tax. Married couples can combine this annual exclusion to jointly give $28,000, tax-free. For example, a couple with an adult child who is married and […]
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Payoff that Mortgage Prior to Retirement

If your house was paid for, would you take out a loan to invest it in the stock market? Amazingly many people reading this would actually pause to think about it. The answer should be no.
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Foreign Currency Tax Question

I’ve been into a foreign currency investment for less than one year and I’m trying to prepare for exchanging currency at the bank. I’m trying to find out about tax obligations, legal forms, and the best way to deposit the initial funds (into different banks or different accounts). In addition to tax prep advice, I would also be interested in investment advice assuming this investment pays off. Thank you Money made on currency exchange is taxable at capital gains rates above $200. Maybe 15% depending on […]
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