Archive for 'April 2016'

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Emerging Markets Are Looking Attractive Again

    April 13, 2016 9:46 AM by Leah G. Traub, Ph.D.

    Emerging market asset classes rallied sharply in the first quarter.

    After a challenging 2015, emerging market (EM) asset classes—including foreign exchange, local- and hard- currency sovereign and corporate bonds, and equities—received a substantial boost in February and March 2016 due to a number of supportive factors.

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    The Contrarian Investor: How E-commerce Hurts the Retail Sector

    April 11, 2016 11:07 AM by Anthony Attardo

    Online shopping has been a boon to consumers, but contrary to widespread belief, it is expensive to pursue in a highly competitive marketplace and diluting many retailers’ margins.

    Is the evolution of e-commerce good or bad for retail? For many investors, the natural perception is that the evolution of e-commerce is a highly-profitable, incremental revenue stream for retailers. But that’s the trouble with conventional wisdom. As the late economist and public official John Kenneth Galbraith put it, “The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.”

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    Tax Season: Seize the IRA Day

    April 8, 2016 3:45 PM by Brian Dobbis

    With this year’s tax deadline pushed to April 18, now is the time for advisors to focus on opportunities to capture both 2015 and 2016 IRA contributions.


    As IRA season winds down, investors and advisors alike may want to refer to the following compendium, which includes pointers on both IRA limits and business-building ideas. Remember that nearly anyone with a reportable earned income is eligible to fund an IRA. Earned income is the sole requirement. Also remember that through April 18, 2016, investors can still fund IRAs for 2016.

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    Will the Inflation Force Awaken?

    April 1, 2016 2:15 PM by Timothy Paulson

    Investors should take note that the aggressive efforts by central banks worldwide to spark growth could instead rouse inflation from its dormancy.

    Never mind the old saying about how March comes “in like a lion, out like a lamb.” For the world’s central bankers this year, March was the month of the dove. 

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