Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year new chance

New year goals—Create a tax-FREE Wealth Reserve
Pensions, 401k and paid health care benefits are decreasing
We are living longer, need income for more years
Health care costs continue to increase
Savings/investment yields may be lower
Annuities and pensions are taxed at higher income tax rates
Social Security and Medicare under attack by GOP
Volatile market requires global diversification
Fees and commissions can take 40% of earnings
Long-term care needs are unpredictable
Grandchildren need financial assistance to make it
Tax-FREE Wealth Reserve is lifestyle insurance:

Mentally ill flood ER as states cut services
Just as GOP candidate Ron Paul suggested, if people don’t have insurance, too bad. They should have thought of that before they got sick, he said. Personal responsibility is the theme of Tea Party. In the debates, Paul suggested that the charity hospitals used to treat the indigent. We all have to pick up the cost unless the 1% want to make contributions and get their names on the hospital wings. Last time I went to hospital, a local robber baron had his name-plaque on the wall of a tiny exam room in the nurses triage station.

Tax savings
Business mileage went to 55.5 cents/mile after July 1, 2011 up from 51 cents before June 30. Exemption rose to $3,700 each. Roth IRA conversions allow 2 years to pay tax on the gains—2011 and 2012. Only armed forces can claim 1st time home buyer credit. Health coverage tax credit extended. Making work pay credit expired. Efile for faster refunds. Average refund last year: $3,036.
Use your refund to fund your Wealth Reserve, it may be worth $300,000 by the time you retire in a tax-FREE account. Wealth: at Amazon.

Congress to cut Medicare doctor pay—time to shop for another doc?
According to a 2010 survey by the AMA, about one in five physicians overall, and nearly one-third of primary care physicians say they are already being forced to limit the number of Medicare patients in their practice due to the ongoing threat of cuts and inadequate Medicare rates.

Sandusky’s insurer won’t pay his legal bills for rape charges
Pennsylvania courts have found insurers shouldn't be expected to provide coverage for someone who has been found to have sexually abused a minor.

OH Gov signs law that violates OH own constitution
Ohio Governor John Kasich on Wednesday signed a law that would prohibit abortion coverage from the state insurance exchange Ohio must create under the federal health care law. The law bans Ohio citizens from being able to purchase insurance through the exchange that includes abortion coverage, even if they pay for it with their own money, said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, who criticized the bill. "It is appalling that Governor Kasich signed this bill, which clearly violates the Ohio Constitution, into law," said Copeland.

GOP future looks grim—Candidates want to:
Reduce Social Security and Medicare benefits
Continue global warming
End EPA protection of water, air, chemical spills, oil spills
Reduce voting access for minorities, union rights
Control our choice of having birth control
End regulation of bad food, bad marketing, bad financial products
Increase business freedom to sway elections with money
Bomb Iran and other countries
Continue drop of middle income in favor of wealthy
Let people die if they can't afford health care

Who Owns Your Account Now?
MetLife bank to GE

Let me know what you think.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042
Alerts available at

Friday, December 23, 2011

Give your teen a financial chance

Great gift idea for your young person
In a few short chapters your favorite teen can gain insight to the world of money. No school has this course YET. All their contributions (with your help) go toward their future financial foundation. They will have enough for their needs without TAXES, FEES, and COMMISSIONS. Set up the account in 1 hour online and manage it only once a year. “So simple yet so powerful a strategy, anyone can.” ABCs of Building Wealth

Small business helped by Obama-inspired health insurance exchanges
A vast majority of New York State's small business owners are giving two thumbs up to health insurance exchanges as a viable way to provide health insurance to their employees, according to a statewide survey commissioned by HealthPass New York, a NYC-based commercial health insurance exchange. The survey also found that exchanges have the potential to change the health care marketplace in New York at a time when many small business owners are struggling to keep afloat. The federal Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires states to create their own exchanges to give small businesses access to affordable health care coverage or be included in a federal exchange. "We believe that health insurance exchanges have the potential to stimulate economic development throughout New York State,” one observer said.

Would you send your son/daughter to a place where rape covered up for years?
Paterno said he did not inform police and waited at least a day to inform his boss, athletic director Tim Curley, because he "didn't want to interfere with their weekends."
McQueary testifying that he personally saw Sandusky with his arms wrapped around a boy's waist in a shower, and believed (although he was not 100 percent certain) that the boy was being sodomized. He immediately called his father, and they decided he should go to Paterno the next day.
The AG's office wrote that "there is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child who was sexually assaulted on their campus or made any follow-up effort to obtain more information," and "there was no effective change in Sandusky's status with the school and no limits on his access to the campus."
The allegations subsequently came across as "not that serious" to Curley, and that it seemed to amount to a case of "he said, she said." Who is the she here?
Sandusky had been implicated as a possible sex offender as early as 1998, when university police were involved in an investigation following "allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior involving Sandusky and young boys in the football showers."
Where are the adults here?

Advisors pushing annuities—commission up to 17% BEWARE
More and more financial advisers are recommending stock market-linked variable annuities as part of retirement planning but one of advisers' biggest objections remains the cost of these retirement savings and income products. Bank sales up 11%! Guarantees sound attractive but small print can kill. Read our Guide FIRST:

TX homeowners may not get refunds after all
State Farm Lloyds, the largest writer, has asked a Texas appeals court to reconsider an order requiring the company to refund about $350 million to consumers in the Lone Star State. Regulators had ordered the refunds because of overcharging from 2003-8. Earlier this month, State Farm Lloyds was allowed to raise deductibles for homeowners' policies in the state to 1% of the insured homes value. State Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman also approved a request by the company to raise homeowners' rates by an average of 10%.

WA drivers get refund
Geico has been ordered to refund $7.5 million by the end of the year after overcharging its Washington state customers. Geico claims it was caused by a computer glitch. Drivers will receive $300 on average.

Retirees don’t agree on working longer so plans get sidetracked
Almost half of couples — 47 percent — nearing retirement don’t agree on whether or not they’ll keep working, according to a new study.

MI health insurance buyers get rebate for overcharges
An estimated 340,000 Michigan consumers who buy their own health insurance could get as much as $89 million in rebates over the next three years following a ruling Monday by federal health regulators that turned down the state's request to be exempted from new health reform requirements.
Starting in January, insurance companies selling individual plans must spend at least 80 cents of every dollar collected from monthly premiums on medical care and no more than 20 cents on salaries and administrative costs. "Today's decision is a significant defeat for the insurance lobby and one that will allow our state's consumers to rightfully keep... their hard-earned money," said Don Hazaert, director of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare.

Do not be tricked by Wall Street ad men—Hot mutual funds deliver profit to manager NOT to investors
Most objective studies of investing style prove that chasing the hottest mutual fund over and over is a loser’s game. Note the record of top stock picker, Bill Miller at Legg Mason. Miller beat the market from 1991 to 2005 on paper. However, when real investor returns are analyzed, they earned less than a market index. Today’s winner is tomorrow’s loser. Buying and selling does not beat buy and hold over the long term. Bill Miller will retire with a TON of money—1.77% of $2.7B=$47,700,000 in just the last year—but his clents earned just 7.96%. Vanguard’s 500 Index earned 11.41%.

Smart investors don’t fall for Wall Street’s sucker bet.

Small business write-off 35% of worker health care costs!
If you are a small employer who pays at least half of your employee health insurance premiums, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of the premiums paid. An employer with fewer than 25 full-time employees who pays an average wage of less than $50,000 a year may qualify. For more information see the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit page on

For more 2011 tax credits, see Publication 17 online:

A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings of Alfa Insurance Group and Alfa Life Insurance

Washington Mutual CEO wrecked the bank and got paid well. NO ACCOUNTABILITY
Largest bank failure and the officers don’t even have to pay the fine! The bank they destroyed paid for the insurance policy that paid the Feds. Actually all of us pay since insurers only raise rates to make up what they paid out. The fines are a pittance when set against the $88 million in compensation that CEO Killinger received from the bank from 2001 to 2007. Regulators will probably not prosecute the execs because they don’t have the b___s for it. Just like Countrywide and IndyMac.
LESSON: Execs are free to steal in America today.

Our “representatives” give away $ Billions to each other and friends every year. In fact, Senator Coburn (R-OK) has issued a new report, Wastebook, about giving money to China, Chimp feces study, and that “bridge to nowhere” they continue to fund.
Welfare for millionaires is explaned in this study:
We now have over 150,000 mercenaries/contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
No wonder the deficit grows every day and we can’t stop it.

Feds sue Fannie and Freddie execs—and there’s NO chance they will go to jail!
Six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were sued by U.S. regulators on charges of misleading investors about the mortgage finance companies' exposure to risky home loans in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Of course, we pay for the executives legal bills even though they cleaned out the bank on leaving—$10.6 million to Mudd and $18.3 million to Syron. Plus they paid Newt $1.6 million to help Congress “turn the other way.”

Let me know what you think.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042
Alerts available at

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Savings

What better gift to yourself than to save on insurance for the next 10 years
More than 70 million* drivers in the U.S. potentially are leaving car insurance savings on the table, according to the findings of a new survey. The survey questions, commissioned by Progressive and asked by Harris Interactive, were designed to estimate the potential number of people who could save on car insurance. Harris conducted the telephone survey among 1,003 U.S. adults in August, with results weighted to reflect the U.S. adult population. Use all the discounts and ‘tricks of the trade.’

NC homeowners see rate drop
The North Carolina Department of Insurance has issued an order lowering rates for dwelling property fire insurance, rejecting a request from the North Carolina Rate Bureau to raise dwelling extended coverage rates by 36.1%. Under the ruling, which was signed by state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, dwelling fire rates will be lowered by 7.3%, starting May 1, 2012.

Workers plan to work and retire later than age 65
In 2010, after the recession had officially ended, the percentage of American workers age 50 or older who expect to retire at age 70 increased to 14.8% from 11.2% in 2006, says EBRI. At higher ages, EBRI adds, the expected retirement age has jumped: Just 1.7% of workers age 50 or over planned to retire at age 80 in 2006, while that more than tripled to 5.2% in 2010, EBRI found. In 2008, during the recession, 22.4% of the workers age 50 or over say they plan to never retire. That declined to 16.3% in 2010. Over the 2006–2010 period, another 14-18% of workers say they don’t know when they will retire. Members have a plan to have enough:

10 million more lost health insurance—ER is full—what now?
An estimated 9.3 million American adults lost health insurance coverage as a result of increased unemployment during the recession of 2007-09, according to a newly published study by researchers at Cornell, Indiana and Carnegie Mellon universities.
GOP answer was to “let them die” and let the hospital absorb the costs of health care.

Fees on some annuities going up
Transamerica Life said “ The fee on the rider will range from 0.7% to 1.25%, depending on which funds a client selects. The earlier range was from 0.45% to 1.2%
“ Fees will rise on the Income Enhancement Benefit, which works in tandem with the Retirement Income Choice 1.2 rider and raises withdrawal percentages. As of Dec. 12, the feature will cost 0.3% for single-life coverage, up from 0.15%, and 0.50% for joint coverage, an increase from 0.3%. These fees added to existing fees of 1.5% to 2% and you could end up paying 3.75% EVERY year no matter how much the annuity crediting rate is. If your money could have earned 10%, you would actually earn 6.25%. If inflation is 3%, you are earning less than a muni bond fund pays. There are other alternatives to annuities: :

Your advisor may raise their fees soon
Many advisers are thinking about making some changes to their fee structure, with some gravitating to a minimum retainer or charging separately for financial planning and other services. When assets don’t grow, fees remain the same. Many investors, after waiting years for things to improve, are beginning to get fed up. New clients are hard to find in this economy. Clients are shellshocked by the past few years of volatility and are in no mood to pay more for mediocre returns. Advisors want more fees even though they can’t improve account balances. Members go it alone—advisors can’t beat the market so why pay them.

Newt gives millionaires a big tax break—costs another $1.3 Trillion
Newt Gingrich’s plan would add $1.3 trillion to the U.S. budget deficit in 2015 alone, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Gingrich's plan would cut taxes for 70% of households and reduce rates for the highest earners compared with what they pay now. He would drop the corporate tax rate to 12.5% from 35%. People earning more than $1 million a year would receive an average tax cut of $613,689 in 2015, compared with what they pay now. That change would boost their after-tax income by 28.7% and put their average tax rate at 11.9%. For households earning between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, 91.3% would receive tax cuts averaging $1,847, boosting their after-tax income by 3.1%. It is the 12-12-12 plan.

Give yourself a gift this year
A Kansas City woman received $6.1 million from a Missouri unclaimed property fund consisting of a single security. No details available but it might be worth checking with your state’s unclaimed property office. Start:

Two Americas
Republican leader in the House of Representatives is now blocking progress on a bill that would definitively outlaw insider trading by federal lawmakers. The Republican sponsor of the bill in the House, Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus of Alabama, had scheduled a markup of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act for next week. But on Wednesday, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia cancelled the markup session. Cantor reportedly said he blocked the bill to give Congress more time to examine the issue. Critics of the move, however, fear that any delay could kill the bill entirely.
Studies have shown the investment portfolios of House members and Senators consistently outperform the market by significant degrees, suggesting they are either miraculously bright and lucky investors or using their access to non-public information when trading. Financial experts regard the idea that it is just luck or investing smarts as laughable. Senators outperform the market by 12%.
This is the sixth year Congress has NOT made members follow the same rule as us. “Get rich quick” law that all of us must follow except them has made them rich. Half of Congress are millionaires.

GOP to void Voting Rights Act in name rampant voter fraud--1 case
Judith Browne Dianis told CNN, “Through a spate of restrictive laws passed in Republican-led legislatures, a disproportionate number of African-Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, the elderly and the young will find voting difficult and in many cases impossible.” These statutes, she notes, “require a state photo ID to vote, limit early voting, place strict requirements on voter registration and deny voting rights to Americans with criminal records who have paid their debt to society.”
Investigations by the secretary of state and the attorney general since 2004 haven’t found any cases of voter fraud.
The one documented instance of ‘fraud’ in the last decade — a son voting in place of his father — was uncovered under the current system.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042
Alerts available at

Friday, December 2, 2011

Best holiday gift ever

Is immediate annuity right for you?
Immediate annuities convert your lump-sum cash into payments that last your lifetime. This may help you receive a guaranteed amount to pay bills when you retire. However, it is important to consider two situations that make these instruments a bad deal. 1) Periods when interest rates paid by securities are low mean you will receive lower monthly payments. Waiting a year or two until rates rise may guarantee you don’t get stuck with a low amount forever. 2) Inflation over time tends to depress the buying power of the monthly check. A monthly check of $1000 now may sound great but in 25 years, this amount will only buy $500 of goods. Conclusion: Don’t buy a life annuity during low interest periods and consider buying annuities for shorter periods of time. Alternatives exist but don’t expect your financial advisor to present them. Annuity commissions are generous and help advisors earn more than you do. Check our Guide:

Wealth begets wealth—why the 1% never pays their fair share of tax
While 44 million can’t get health insurance, one family creates its own tax loopholes to avoid paying tax. We can make up the difference.

Billionaire Buffett admits rich don’t create jobs with lower taxes—GOP claim false
“The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you,” Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, said in the interview. “But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.”
Are we catching on? 69 percent of Americans want to let the Bush/Republican tax cuts for the rich expire. Yes, we get it! Our Congress does NOT get it!

Annuity renewal rates continue to fall
Fixed annuity renewal rates are expected to fall leaving many pre-retirees without recourse. Faced with less income and a high surrender charge, there is little that folks can do. Many variable annuities offers are being withdrawn due to low rates and market volatility. Variable annuities may have the floor rate reduced or crediting formula changed because of the current economic environment. Some insurers have had to add reserves since losing millions in this low interest rate environment. New annuities will provide fewer benefits to buyers while highlighting low risk in this high risk environment. Members explore alternatives with our Guide:

Best Holiday Gift Ever—Gift of a Lifetime
You can provide the foundation of your child or grandchild’s future this Holiday. Give them the Gift of a Lifetime—a starter account for their own $2,000,000 Wealth Reserve. Your grandchild could have a $2,000,000 Wealth Reserve providing tax-FREE income. Your monthly gift could provide your grandchild with real “social security:” their own tax-FREE money. You take advantage of the miracle of compounding. Your gift becomes a $2,000,000 Wealth Reserve. You could reduce your taxable estate by $500,000 for each grandchild. Your grandchild will NEVER have to pay taxes on the money either. Social Security will exhaust its funds in about 2037, according to 2010 projections. Start today! Every year you delay costs your favorite kid $100,000 later.

Supremes to Decide Whether Kickbacks in mortgage settlement are legal
Your title company pays kickbacks to your mortgage settlement firm for steering business to them. 1974 law says it is illegal but realtors and title firms and lawyers say it is part of business. Is there no ethical responsibility here?

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) programs across the nation continue their work fighting Medicare fraud. This is part of President Obama’s initiative to educate people with Medicare about how to protect themselves and Medicare from fraud. SMPs rely on approximately 5,000 volunteers nationwide to enhance their efforts.

Congress running away from members’ insider trading now: but OKed since 2006!
Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., has been introducing her bill to ban insider trading by lawmakers since 2006. Before the "60 Minutes" story, there were nine sponsors; now there are 118, and the House Financial Services Committee has schedule a hearing Dec. 6. What are the chances of finding fellow criminals?
"The fact that any one of us would think to personally profit off the information that's shared with us upsets me greatly. Members of Congress and their staff should be subject to the same rules as everyone else." The "60 Minutes" segment highlighted financial transactions involving Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi; Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., chairman of the Financial Services Committee; and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. All three previously denied wrongdoing—of course! Why didn’t they pass it before? And what about after they leave Congress—still have access to insider deals.

About 47 percent of Congress, or 249 current members are millionaires. … In 2010, the estimated median net worth of a current U.S. senator stood at an average of $2.56 million,” according to the Center’s research.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042
Alerts available at

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Investors do better withOUT 'professionals'

Young investors are better off WITHOUT paying “professionals”
Gen X affluent investors witnessed their investable assets grow by roughly 11% on average in 2010. Self-directed affluent Gen X (ages of 29 and 44) investors – those who do not trust any portion of their investable assets to a financial advisor – experienced 28% asset growth in 2010, while their peers who turned to a financial advisor for guidance reported that their investable assets climbed a mere 3% on average during that same time period, according to CogentResearch. A co-author of the study added, “advisors are taking a big risk of alienating a generation of investors that are already inclined to go it alone.” Investors are finding out they don’t need an advisor. Members use our Guide: Wealth Without Wall Street

Health insurance policies with price comparisons make shopping easier
A greatly expanded website to shop for coverage is result of ObamaCare. Even small business owners can see detailed review of their health insurance plan choices. You can search for the type of plan, costs and benefits that fits your budget. Small business comparisons join the options for individuals and families by ZIP code.

Economists now fear US inequality may threaten growth
New critics of the gap between rich and poor cite lack of income for middle class as reason for lack of growth in economy. “The guys who are falling behind don’t see much hope of getting ahead and therefore are more focused on redistribution,” says an IMF economist. Ultimately, unbridled inequality threatens social stability as rich and poor nurse their mirror-image resentments.
This socioeconomic time is getting to look more like the Roman Empire at the end. Rich got richer, poor got poorer. Coliseum entertainment got more bizarre to keep crowds happy. Wars in far off countries meant little to society.

Deficits don’t matter.” Dick Cheney, v President of the United States, 2002

Banks now find criminals by tracking our transactions for patterns
Using software from the military and intelligence fields, banks are going high tech to track down the criminals who want to crack the safety of our accounts.

First law of physics was broken—could Einstein be wrong?
Scientists reported that they had clocked subatomic particles known as neutrinos going faster than the speed of light, to the astonishment and vocal disbelief of most of the world’s physicists. The same group of scientists, known as Opera, said on Friday that it had performed a second experiment that confirmed its first results and eliminated a leading criticism of the first experiment.
Einstein himself — the author of modern physics, whose theory of relativity established the speed of light as the ultimate limit — said that if you could send a message faster than light, “You could send a telegram to the past.”
“If it is true, then we truly haven’t understood anything about anything,” one observer said, adding: “It looks too big to be true. The correct attitude is to ask oneself what went wrong.”
“It could be the first hint that neutrinos can take a shortcut through space, through extra dimensions.”
Italian scientists at the receiving end of the experiment said they don’t agree. More tests to follow.

Two Americas
The top 0.1%– about 315,000 individuals out of 315 million– are making about half of all capital gains on the sale of shares or property after 1 year; and these capital gains make up 60% of the income made by the Forbes 400.

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” Justice Louis Brandeis

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042
Alerts available at

Friday, November 18, 2011

Is Vanishing Deductible right for you?

Is the Vanishing auto policy Deductible right for you?
Nationwide, Hartford and other insurers are offering to lower your deductible $100 every year you are claim-free. Sounds good except this little accounting trick costs you dearly over the long term. First, this gimmick only works if you are a safe driver. By definition, you are not going to pay the deductible any time soon because you don’t make claims. Second, this “benefit” cost you more each year. If it costs you an extra $60 to $80 a year, and you have no claim in 10 years, you are out $600 to $800. Again if you are a safe driver, you will never save on your deductible. Members use the self-insurance model. Save 30% on the cost of your coverage by making the deductible $1,000 or more. Over time you will earn more than the $1,000 on the savings. Plus you can keep your policy savings instead of giving it to the insurer. Save on all your insurance needs:

New study shows poverty increasing for Medicare recipients
Americans 65 or older sustained the largest increase in poverty under the revised formula – nearly doubling to 15.9%, or 1 in 6 – because of medical expenses that are not accounted for in the official rate. Those include rising Medicare premiums, deductibles, and expense for prescription drugs." "Increasing Medicare copayments or deductibles would be devastating for low-income seniors who are already suffering with unaffordable costs to meet basic needs, without adequate help," said Howard Bedlin, vice president of policy and advocacy at NCOA. The “supercommittee” is considering hikes in out of pocket expenses affecting low-income recipients. The agency proposes expanding Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and Senior Environmental Employment (SEE).

Bank charges vary widely so shop wisely
With the recent scare of $5 per month for using your “free” debit card, you might feel it is time to move permanently. There are several options listed in this article but it misses the savings banks and credit unions which usually pay interest and reimburse you for foreign ATM use. The downside is that they have few branches. However, if you don’t need an ATM or teller EVERY day or like doing online banking, this might save you $100 over time. Consider that the penalties for mistakes are much less with small banks.

Annuity sales hit new highs—insurers limit supply
Your advisor has probably told you that some annuity benefits are being limited because insurers cannot afford to pay for them in the future. Your advisor may have pushed the panic button—“You better get it now before they are withdrawn.” Don’t fall for that false urgency. The insurers are changing some of the benefits because they are trying to gain market share, as they always do. But when you buy this line, you are locking your money into their insurer’s timetable. Our members consider the downside and consider all the alternatives. They use this Guide: Do Not Buy That Annuity: Create a Guaranteed Income plus Build your Wealth ReserveTM

Supremes consider what kind of health car we have in American—5 guys for 307 Million!
The Supreme Court will take up legal challenges, including one from Florida, to the 2010 health care reform law. The decision could change the face of health care in America.
"However the court rules, it's going to have enormous consequences on who has health insurance and how much you're paying for that health insurance," said Bob Jarvis , a law professor at Nova Southeastern University who regularly provides legal analysis. None of the Supremes has ever had to buy his own health insurance, even with a big salary.

Washington State to ban Medicaid from going to ER for non-emergencies
Washington court halted implementation of the state's controversial three emergency room visit benefit limit for Medicaid enrollees on a technicality. The State’s limit is being challenged by doctors and hospitals that fear patients will not seek help when their condition is truly life-threatening.

Our tax dollars pay for Defense contractor’s pensions for their workers
Even though many taxpayers have lost $ thousands from their pensions and 401ks, our taxes are used to pay for the loses of workers’ pensions and health care at Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Since these companies are already making $ billions, why should we have to pay for their workers’ benefits. Most American companies can’t bill us for their workers’ benefits. Is this fair?

Bank America caught in overdraft fee scam
If you had a Bank of America account and paid an overdraft fee between Jan. 1, 2001 and May 24, 2011 you may be eligible for a payment. If you still have the account, you'll receive an automatic credit while those who changed banks will get a check in the mail.
It's estimated the average award will be $27.

Paterno “sells” his home to wife for $1
Joe Paterno's recent real estate transaction, reported by Mark Viera and Pete Thamel of the New York Times, has led some to speculate he knew his world was going to come crumbling down around him at Penn State. The winningest coach in major college football history quietly transferred complete ownership of his house to his wife for $1 less than four months before the bombshell sex abuse scandal erupted. Some legal experts believe the move was made to financially shield the Pennsylvania pigskin legend. The house is worth $600,000. Joe’s annual pension of more than $500,000 a year will start soon. What do you think:

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042
Alerts available at

Friday, November 4, 2011

Your broker may get fired soon

Your broker may get fired soon
The larger brokerage firms have decided they only want big money. According to one guru, “The wirehouses see themselves better off with one $1 million producer than four $250,000 producers.” James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley, for example, is determined to raise pretax profit margins in the firm's wealth management operations from the current 11% toward his target of 20%. This week, the firm made changes to its adviser compensation grid — raising the penalty box threshold from $250,000 to $300,000 for lower-producing advisers. Those who don't meet the new production targets will see their payouts drop to 20%. That means that your broker must sell more than $1 million of products every year to survive. Brokers earn 25%-33% of the $300,000 revenue target or about $75,000 gross. You may be better off on your own since the pressure to sell you may become greater. The best investors say: “Snoring is the best way to create wealth.”

MetLife is cutting the benefits of its annuity
Insurers are selling to investors’ fears by promising to pay a minimum monthly benefit sometime in the future: Talk of ending Social Security/pensions with market volitility.
Much of insurer’s cuts have been driven by big sales of the Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit Max living-benefits rider, which has prompted MetLife to reduce the payout twice since launching the product in May. The GMIB Max, first released in May, provided a 6% income benefit and quickly became a favorite of advisers. Historically, this rate beats most conservative investments. However, when inflation goes back to the 3% norm, investors will be paying the annuity surrender charge to get out of the GMIB. Members take a planning approach to higher future retirement income rates using our help: Do Not Buy That Annuity: Create a Guaranteed Income plus Build your Wealth Reserve

Who are the 1% class that protestors are talking about?
Anyone reporting $343,927 as AGI income according to the IRS. There were fewer than 1.4 million households that qualified for entry. They earned nearly 17% of the nation's income and paid roughly 37% of its income tax. Most of the top 1-percenters made over $1 million: $960,000, on average. Financial professionals made up about 14% of the top rank. Executives, managers and supervisors working outside of finance accounted for 31%. Medical professionals came in at 15.7%, while lawyers made up 8.4%. The problem is that this group’s income has doubled while the rest of us had no real increase. With so many descent jobs disappearing, there is no hope for improvement. Productivity gains have gone to the top. Workers do more for less. Their pensions have been stolen, according to

Is Auto insurance rate shopping worth it?
Dan of NJ just saved over $400 a year. He got a notice from his insurer last June that it was raising his rates through no fault of his own. In fact he had just completed the AARP safe driving course for another discount. The insurer was raising rates about $80 a year for his 2 older cars with full coverage for 2 older drivers. Recently, his college alum association sent a letter offering to cut rates with a new carrier. Dan’s wife had received a letter last month from her professional association offering to cut rates. Dan took one hour to shop both alternatives for exactly the same coverage. He then called his present carrier to see if they could beat the new rates from his alum’s company. No, they couldn’t. Dan signed up with the new carrier and saw his costs drop to $1,220 a year. He also learned that his old policy had a higher PIP benefit than he needed. PIP coverage pays his doctor bills AFTER his comprehensive health insurance reaches its max. But Dan has great coverage and will never have to use the small auto policy amount. He was wasted premiums every year for over 20 years. Dan used our Guide to buy only what he needed:

Do you wonder why the Occupy Wall Streeters are angry?
Your favorite companies like GE are making record profits AND getting a refund from your federal withholding tax payments. What is wrong with this picture. 30 companies paid nothing and some got refunds. 280 paid less than 10% of their profits. Wells Fargo had $49 billion in profits in 2008 through 2010, yet received a tax benefit of $651 million.


Follow up on Bank America putting our money at risk AGAIN!
Two Democratic members of Congress on Thursday sent letters to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and other regulators expressing concern that Bank of America Corp had transferred derivatives from its Merrill Lynch subsidiary to its banking unit. If the brokerage bets go bad, we taxpayers would have to bailout the FDIC banking unit. The Fed gave BOA a pass to do this despite the new law. Have we not learned?

Debit fee issue becomes marketing tool--BoA gives in for now
Some large banks have withdrawn plans to raise fees in light of opposition to Bank American’s threat of $5 a month. Chase and Wells Fargo are joining the list of banks that won’t be charging customers to use their debit cards, as the backlash over Bank of America’s planned $5 monthly fee continues. Signs like, “I bailed out the banks and all I got was a $5 debit card fee” have been spotted the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York. Credit unions and community banks nationwide are reporting huge spikes in new accounts as consumers seek no-fee options. BoA gave up raising fee.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Banks using our money to speculate--Again!

Here we go again—using our money to speculate!
Bank of America, hit by a credit downgrade last month, has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to the bank subsidiary flush with insured deposits, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation. The Fed has signaled that it favors moving the derivatives to give relief to the bank holding company, while the FDIC, which would have to pay off depositors in the event of a bank failure, is objecting.
The Moody's downgrade spurred some of Merrill's bank partners to ask that contracts be moved to the retail unit, which has a higher credit rating. Transferring derivatives also can help the parent company minimize the collateral it must post on contracts and the potential costs to terminate trades after Moody's decision, said a person familiar with the matter. BOA held almost $75 trillion of derivatives at the end of June, according to data compiled by the OCC. Derivatives have been removed from the books. This allowed Merrill Lynch fee-based revenue to reach record highs this period.
Congress passed the Dodd-Frank to stop this kind of game but the Fed gave BOA an exemption in Sept 2010.