Friday, December 28, 2018

3 days to save $4,000 on taxes

ALERT: We have 3 days to save $4,000 on taxes
December 31 is last day to invest in your retirement account and claim a $4,000 tax credit. The amount of the credit is 50%, 20% or 10% of your retirement contributions depending on their adjusted gross income. The Saver’s Credit can be taken for your contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA; your 401(k), SIMPLE IRA, SARSEP, 403(b), 501(c)(18) or governmental 457(b) plan; and your voluntary after-tax employee contributions to your qualified retirement and 403(b) plans. Uncle Sam gives you money to enhance your retirement fund. And you can use Warren Buffett’s investing strategy so you accumulate a $ ½ million over time. Look at how you can make saving and investing easy for the rest of your life: The electronic book is available 24/7!

Is your advisor’s model portfolio right for you?
You are paying your advisor, their firm and the firm that actually does the portfolio creation and their back office and compliance departments for your fancy asset management advisory platform. Some extremely-well paid person is making up the securities in your ‘model’ portfolio. They decide what is right for you—not the person you speak to or meet with. They put you in index funds—the expensive ones called ETF. You or they just fill in a form about ‘risk and reward’ available at any vendor, and vaole, your asset management plan is ‘personalized.’ What a B.S. game—an expensive game. As guru Bill Gross said: “Professional money management is a gigantic rip-off.”  You pay 1-2% of your money every year even when they lose your money. 1-2% over time adds up to 63% of your potential earnings you are giving to make others rich. You would have done better just buying the index yourself for 0.04% a year. Dalbar study.

Vanguard cuts fees again
Vanguard eliminated commissions on 1,720 ETFs. That creates a huge new marketplace for ETFs trading at no cost - far bigger than any of its rivals. Schwab offers 265 commission-free ETFs from 15 providers, and Fidelity offers 95. TD Ameritrade tripled the number of commission-free ETFs on its platform last October, now offering nearly 300. “Vanguard has been very transparent for a long time that they won’t pay for eye-level shelf space on any third-party platform,” says Morningstar. “They’re practicing what they’re preaching here.” “Their message is that pay to play is not in best interest of investors, and it will create pressure on the other brokerage platforms.” “Vanguard doesn’t want or need to do the service-and-technology-intensive RIA custody business.” Vanguard already has low personal advice management fees starting at 30 basis points, much less than the 100-150 basis points at other firms. If you trade frequently, Vanguard offers all the ETFs you could possibly use. If no ETFs, you get low-cost for life. You get the best without having to give up 63% of your potential nest egg anymore.

Another way wealthy Americans avoid their fair share of taxes
A dynasty trust — to take advantage of the law doubling the amount that can be passed to heirs without being subject to estate and gift taxes. The new threshold of $22 million for married couples means the trusts can be funded tax-free. They can leave $22 million to the kids Tax-Free. The wealthy look to capitalize on the additional $11 million they can now easily shift over. Some families want to transfer money out of their estates into the trusts in case Democrats take back control of Congress and pull the limits back down. Moving assets before they appreciate even more provides even less tax in the future. Trump’s IRS said in November that it won't seek retroactive taxes when this Trump bonus for the rich expires in 2016. The wealthy will never pay tax on gains either.

American socialism: giving business our tax revenue does not help us
Wealthy businesses would have built that factory or hired workers without giving them tax money according to various studies. In other words, giving our tax revenue to businesses just makes the owners richer and us poorer. The authors found “little evidence that the [subsidies] generate new jobs or other direct economic benefits to the states that employ them.” Results show incentivized firms “would have made a similar decision location/expansion/retention decision without the incentive.” In MI for instance, for every $500,000 in subsidies paid out through 2016, there was an associated loss of some 600 jobs in the county. Another study found “little evidence to suggest that the subsidy creates significant job and establishment growth.” In fact in many cases, the larger firms out maneuvered the targeted small entrepreneurs receiving subsidies. So the wealthy elect state lawmakers to use tax money to make them richer--cutting out new firms. Amazon in Queens is an example of wasting $3 billion in tax money.

Is giving discretionary trading authority to your broker right for you?
This retired person had $1 million in their IRA. She lived frugally but her account balance was losing big chunks and was down $500,000 in 7 years. Her relatives asked for help from their own broker. Searching her statements, they found out that her broker was writing options on oil. Of course, the brokerage firm was not checking compliance to her trading profile. Her broker was making money for the firm but losing the client’s life savings left and right. No red flag. No review by her broker’s manager. Her relatives wanted to bring in securities officials. Her broker agreed to give back $80,000 if they dropped the case. This retiree did not want to go thru a prolonged fight so she settled. Giving up control is dangerous especially when you know nothing about securities. Like putting all your money in an expensive variable annuity—you have no recourse. Beware.  

Hope you didn’t dump your stocks because you just miss biggest gain.
As Warren Buffett wrote in his 2017 letter to shareholders, investors should do two things when stocks are falling: Stay in the market and buy at a bargain. "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful." One day jump 5%-- the biggest rally in American equities since 2009. Anything can happen in the day you are out of the market. You don’t have to keep your marketing people happy with gains every month like ‘professional’ money managers. Hold for the next wave up or down. Over time investors have been rewarded for every period of at least 5 years. For 30 years ended 2014, you earned 11% a year. Apple Microsoft Amazon Google Berkshire Hathaway Johnson & Johnson JPMorgan Chase Facebook Exxon Mobil Pfizer still makes money. Get them on sale:

Medical expenses are deductible?
Trump’s new tax breaks kept this deduction for his wealthy friends who seem to have large medical bills (custom surgery in world resorts that can handle their yachts). If you itemize, the list of deductions is fairly long: Air conditioners, contacts, special diet, exercise programs, etc are now deductible. Transportation for medicals is also deductible. If you don’t have enough this year—postpone expenses you can until next year. Find your tax credits and pay Zero tax like Jared. One year, The Don had $916 million tax loss so NO taxes for up to 18 years.


Make America, “The Don”, Great Again
Truth isn’t truth, his lawyer

Two Americas: A Banana Republic? Do we really want an infant king? Daddy Putin!


How Govt wastes our money: Congress spends $1.3 Trillion we don’t have! 
Trump cut from Syria because Turkey wanted it. Dictator Erdogan became a hero.
Coulter Limbaugh intimidated The Don into $24 billion gov shutdown; terrorists?
Trump buys up all his own calendars for all the leaders of the world.

Tariff’s war on Poplar Bluff MO my friend’s home town is trade war victim.
Trump’s lies hurt: 6 new steel plants were just lies to get political support.

Trump tells 7 yr old his belief in Santa is ‘marginal’ –devil undermines child’s beliefs.
The Don becomes a security risk by divulging SEAL team in tweet: dictators do this.
The Don’s deal with Apple Foxconn shifts to Indiafrom WI 25,000 jobs $3 billion lost.

PA public pension losing $1 billion in fees for poor performance. ‘gigantic rip-off’.
GOP to workers: you signed up for no pay with The Don but Congress still gets paid. 

Morgan Stanley caught allowing clients to launder money. Fine but no jail time.

BEWARE: Advisors paying for your dinner can cost you more than the meal.
Nice guy advisor can cost more than you earn: always compare to your benchmark.

The Mob Boss can never go to jail: Trump has Kava as Supreme so no indictment.
‘No man is above the law’ … well up till now. Dictators nullify courts first, then votes.

WellsFargo hurt customers, laid off workers; rehires oversees workers—follow money.

Who owns your account now?

Got a phishing email: Netflix account suspended: ‘change payment’ Netflix said not ours


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