If you go to cocktail parties or meet regularly with colleagues for a few years, then you almost certainly witness people speaking without knowing what they’re talking about. Humans are generally overconfident about their knowledge of everything, including personal finance. To help assess your personal financial IQ, here’s a 30-second quiz.
In an era of financial titans like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett, it's hard to imagine that, at the turn of the 19th century, one of America's dominant investors was a woman. But it's true.
Big declines in the stock market are associated with recessions, and stocks often bottom months before recession-end.
Let's talk about stock market volatility because we have seen some extraordinary volatility lately. Let's start by recalling the basic axiom of investing in common stocks: If you want the so-called equity risk premium, then you should expect stock market volatility and, in fact, welcome it. It’s completely counterintuitive.
Stocks have been in a bear market since June 13, 2022. The decline began on January 3rd, worsened in February when Russia invaded Ukraine, and sunk further after the Federal Reserve in March began an aggressive series of interest rate hikes to fight inflation.
The Federal Reserve System, the nation's central bank has a dual mandate to pursue maximum employment and maintain price stability. These two priorities are currently treated equally, but this was not always the case. In fact, the Fed's bias toward maximum employment in the late 1960s and 1970s was a critical driver of the Great Inflation.
The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index fell into a bear market on June 13, 2022, rebounded in the summer, and then tanked again as summer ended; autumn is beginning with the fall continuing. This morning's higher than expected inflation number may make you wonder when the post-Covid financial pain will stop.
Everyone says trying to get in and out of the stock market is unwise, but this bar chart makes clear why.
Last week, we provided 10 year-end tax reminders. In case you missed it, it's on our website.
This is an unusual year-end tax planning season. The pace of federal tax law reform has increased in the four decades and accelerated since the pandemic.
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Relying On An IRA Custodian For Advice
Published Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at: 9:34 AM EDT
This is a heads up for anyone deciding on how to designate beneficiaries of an IRA based on advice from an IRA custodian call-center employee.
When you call your IRA custodian, checking your account balance or requesting paperwork for a transaction is straightforward, but designating beneficiaries, paying an IRA to a trust, or leaving someone other than your spouse your IRA is an entirely different matter.
Even if the service from your IRA custodian receives high ratings from consumers, calling in with a question about the disposition of an IRA upon your death may be placing faith in the advice of a recent college graduate new to financial and tax planning. Relying on advice from a custodian call center employee about your IRA beneficiary designations is a gamble unless you’re an expert on IRAs. Please also keep in mind:
- Even if you have a will, your beneficiary designations probably will override it.
- You can name different beneficiaries on each IRA account you own, and designations made years ago at old IRA accounts should be confirmed as correct and in accordance with your wishes.
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