Five Steps Toward a Smarter Retirement

    May 19, 2016 4:25 PM by Brian Dobbis

    In case you missed it, here’s a handy summary of our most popular blogs among readers. 


    Of all the conundrums facing financial advisors, none compare with clients’ worries about retirement. After all, many clients have not saved enough for their golden years, and there’s a growing need for income, owing to longer lifespans, low interest rates, rising health costs, and inadequate support from Social Security and pension plans (if your clients even have one.)

    Read More »

    How Spousal IRAs Can Build Nest Eggs

    May 13, 2016 11:46 AM by Brian Dobbis

    Often overlooked by couples caring for children and/or elderly parents, spousal IRAs can be a valuable tool to save for retirement.


    A common misconception I often hear is that you must have taxable compensation to fund an IRA, as though not having earned income meant that you were out of luck either beginning or further building a nest egg. This is a very costly myth.

    Read More »

    Drilling for Oil Bonds

    May 13, 2016 11:33 AM by Lord Abbett Editorial Staff

    While overleveraged exploration and production (E&P) companies most exposed to the shale boom remain pressured, some investment opportunities have arisen.

    While many actively managed fixed-income strategies were underweight the oil sector through most of the commodities correction, some shifted to an overweight of E&P in early winter of 2016, as companies with substantial high-yield debt but solid long-term fundamentals (and no trigger for default) appeared attractive.

    Read More »

    State-Run Retirement Plans: Ready for Prime Time?

    May 9, 2016 3:15 PM by Brian Dobbis

    While industry critics worry about the practical aspects, state-run retirement plans for private-sector workers have gained momentum. Whether the details bedevil them is another matter.  


    Now that the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its final version of the “conflict of interest” rule, we can turn our collective attention to another important happening that is presently taking place in the retirement world, one in which the DOL again finds itself spearheading efforts to expand access to retirement plans to private-sector workers.

    Read More »

    Cautious Optimism on Oil Stocks

    May 6, 2016 11:50 AM by Yoginder Kak

    With oil prices recently up nearly two-thirds from their 13-year low in February, bullish sentiment has increased, despite concerns about near-record stockpiles.

    Has oil finally turned a corner? Recent market developments are encouraging, but this is no time for complacency.

    Read More »

    Argentina and Brazil: Lessons Learned the Hard Way

    May 6, 2016 11:25 AM by Lord Abbett Editorial Staff

    Argentina’s successful return to the capital markets is a reminder that elections matter. Can Brazil turn things around as well?

    It’s been four months since Argentina’s voters ousted former president Cristina de Kirchner’s populist government and replaced it with the business-friendly administration of Mauricio Macri. And the result has been little short of miraculous. Last week, Argentina returned to the international capital markets with the largest ever bond issue from an emerging market economy—its first sovereign sale in more than 15 years—and global bond investors clamored for a share. In the end, the Argentinian issue was four times oversubscribed, and $16.5 billion of sovereign bonds had been sold.

    Read More »

    Puerto Rico: Nine Key Points for Muni Investors

    May 4, 2016 3:50 PM by Daniel S. Solender, CFA

    News of a May 1st default on $400 million in debt has put the commonwealth’s fiscal situation back in the spotlight. Here’s what investors need to know.

    Puerto Rico returned to the headlines on May 1 after the commonwealth announced that it would default on $400 million in debt of its Government Development Bank (GDB). (The GDB did reach a tentative agreement with a group of investors to extend some of the bond maturities, though the complete details of the deal are not yet clear.) 

    Read More »

    IRA Alert: Remember Those RMD Rules

    April 28, 2016 1:41 PM by Brian Dobbis

    With so much confusion about required minimum distributions from IRAs, here are some key points on how and when people age 70 1/2 and older must begin their withdrawal.


    "Spend it—or else." That essentially is Uncle Sam’s warning—and the rules are clear: Investors must take required minimum distributions (RMD) from all their IRAs, including SEP and SIMPLE, but not Roth, after reaching age 70½.

    Read More »

    How to Correct IRA Mistakes

    April 22, 2016 9:47 AM by Brian Dobbis

    The good news: there’s a road map. The bad news: it generally leads to a penalty.


    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is probably the last place you’d look for motivational quotes about coping with mistakes.

    Mistakes may be steps up the proverbial ladder. They may be how you learn. They may be forgivable. But the operative view at the IRS is the simple adage that mistakes happen and you had better own up to them.

    Read More »

    Last-Minute Tax Tip: Mind Your IRA Contributions on Form 5498

    April 15, 2016 3:48 PM by Brian Dobbis

    You don’t have to send this form to the IRS because they get a copy as well. But be sure to review it for errors and file with your records.


    Building a retirement nest egg takes a concerted effort, especially when it comes to the assortment of government paperwork for IRA compliance. Several weeks ago, we covered the often overlooked Form 8606, which reports nondeductible contributions. Now it’s time to explain Form 5498, which is all about reporting IRA contributions, including SEP and SIMPLE accounts.

    Read More »