Archive for 'March 2016'

    Using IRAs for College

    April 1, 2016 12:45 PM by Brian Dobbis

    With college costs reaching all-time highs, the IRS now allows IRA owners under age 59½ to tap their accounts for higher education expenses without penalty.


    Of all the material challenges facing American families these days, saving for retirement while at the same time helping their children pay for college must rank fairly high. Imagine, for example, the number of pre-retirees with two or more children in college.

    Read More »

    March Madness in the IRA World

    March 28, 2016 11:00 AM by Brian Dobbis

    With retirement savings still playing catch-up, opportunities to grab a piece of the $7.6 trillion IRA market should be a slam dunk for advisors. A recent webinar scored from all over.


    College basketball games may garner a lot of attention this time of year, but that didn’t prevent more than 1,500 financial advisors from tuning into my recent webcast designed to help them grow their IRA business.  After all, many eligible individuals still haven’t jumped on the chance to build tax-advantaged nest eggs, and the rollover market alone is expected to rise, from $350 billion in 2014 to an estimated $500 billion in 2019, according to Cerulli Associates.

    Read More »

    The Growth Investor: Lessons from the Valeant Struggle

    March 24, 2016 11:10 AM by Brian Foerster

    Astute technical analysis could have saved some investors in this former high-flyer a lot of pain.

    (The first in a periodic series of blogs on growth investing.)

    For many investors, nothing captures their imagination like growth stocks, especially those of companies that disrupt the established order with transformative innovation the world has never seen before, or simply products, services, or technologies that are faster, better, and cheaper.

    Read More »

    Be Sure to Report Aftertax IRA Contributions to the IRS

    March 18, 2016 9:38 AM by Brian Dobbis

    Don’t forget IRS Form 8606! Besides being the most talked about, least understood form regarding IRA reporting, it could save you from being taxed twice on your retirement savings.


    ’Tis the season to make IRA contributions. But some clients, in their haste to use such tax-advantaged savings vehicle before deadline, may forget to tell Uncle Sam about aftertax contributions.

    Read More »

    The Fed Thinks Global

    March 16, 2016 4:45 PM by Zane Brown

    The central bank's concern for developments overseas may have informed its decision, on March 16, to scale back rate-hike projections.

    The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) has made a point of emphasizing that it will be “data dependent” in formulating any future policy moves. However, the Fed threw markets a curve on March 16 by citing recent turmoil in global markets, as it held the fed funds target rate steady at 0.25–0.50%—and scaled back projections for additional rate hikes in 2016 and beyond.

    Read More »

    FAQs on QCDs: A Popular IRA-Gifting Option Is Finally Permanent

    March 11, 2016 9:12 AM by Brian Dobbis

    Want to donate your IRA? Ten years after qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) became available, Congress has given seniors who are 70½ and older greater flexibility to do so.


    What’s the latest action from Congress on QCDs?
    Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) were first made available in 2006 as part of the Pension Protection Act. Although QCDs were popular, they were not made permanent. As a result, their first trial run ended at the end of 2007. But they weren’t about to expire.

    Read More »

    ECB: Draghi Drops the Big One

    March 10, 2016 2:52 PM by Zane Brown

    Here’s a look at the investment implications of the European Central Bank’s massive new stimulus effort.

    European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi has said he would do “whatever it takes” to boost a stagnant eurozone economy. On March 10, global investors learned that in this context, “whatever” means “more than you can imagine.”

    Read More »

    SIMPLE IRAs: Now Even Simpler

    March 3, 2016 4:45 PM by Brian Dobbis

    Rollovers are now easier under recent legislation that gives SIMPLE IRAs full portability.


    When it comes to acronyms and alphanumeric abbreviations for retirement plans, nothing is as simple as SIMPLE IRAs. That’s because “SIMPLE,” in government-speak, is short for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employer. And Congress has made the advantages of SIMPLE IRAs, well, simpler.

    Read More »