AdviceIQ Articles

  • Is Smart Beta Smarter?

    The market has a new tool to supposedly boost returns using smaller companies’ stocks. Smart beta isn't necessarily small stocks, though, and figuring out how this idea works – and if it works at all – is your first step before banking on it.

    Smart beta (or whatever you want to call it) hinges on investors’ easing off the traditional market capitalization-based indexes in search of fatter returns and lower costs. On the whole, it’s a great idea – no rule says that market cap-weighted indexes are the best way to go.

  • Traditional or Roth IRA?

    Saving for retirement means you must sort out countless and confusing options from 401(k)s to individual retirement accounts. How much you make and whether you’re self-employed or have a company-sponsored retirement plan are just a few criteria to determine which to chose. One of your first questions: What’s the difference between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA?

    Many clients at our firm ask this when looking to maximize retirement savings. To understand which option may be better, let’s look at the differences and nuances between the two types of accounts.

  • Why to Review Beneficiaries

    At some point in your life you probably started a new job, applied for life insurance, started a retirement account or opened a bank account. Remember the forms asked you to name a beneficiary, both primary and contingent, telling the account custodian to whom your account passed if you died? Time’s passed and those names you scribbled now loom large in your estate plans.

  • The Dollar Is in Danger

    A reassuring sign of America’s strength and position as leader of the free world is that the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. But that privileged perch is increasingly shaky, and if it vanishes, our economy will suffer.

    Just as English is the closest we come to an internationally accepted language, the dollar is a common denominator, held in reserve by governments and institutions around the world, and used in international transactions.

    But that may be changing. And if it does, we can blame ourselves – or, more specifically, the Federal Reserve Board.

  • 5 IRA Withdrawal Mistakes

    When you put earned income into a tax-deferred account such as an individual retirement account or a 401(k), Uncle Sam eventually wants those taxes. The Internal Revenue Service requires you to take required minimum distribution (RMD) withdrawals. You must know when and how much to take, though, or you face hefty penalties.

    Here are the top five mistakes people make with RMDs and how to avoid them:

  • How to Prevent ID Theft

    With technology come the cyber criminals who steal your identity, credit card numbers and bank account information. While you can’t eliminate all identity theft threats, you can reduce the risk with extra precautions.

  • Massive Sell-Off? Unlikely

    Fewer investors own stocks these days. The upside: Lower equity ownership lessens the likelihood of a massive sell-off. This is pertinent now in light of the market’s recent dip, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 down for July.

  • Preparing for the Unexpected

    You probably go through many days feeling invincible. Bad things – or even just the weird and unexpected – happen to other people, not you. Wrong. When life throws you curves, almost always when you least expect, you need ready cash.

    One possible curve: You come home to a wild turkey in your living room. A few months ago, one of my clients took a weekend trip with her boyfriend. On Saturday, they got engaged. On Sunday, they received a call that the patio door on their apartment “blew out.”

  • Selling Your Life Policy?

    Selling your life insurance policy so that someone else can collect on it when you die? The thought of it is uncomfortable. Life settlements, formally known as viatical settlements, often elicit a great deal of emotion, but they might make sense if you can’t afford or don’t want your insurance anymore. Trouble is, the payouts usually are a fraction of the policy’s death benefit.

  • Central Banks’ Low-Rate Folly

    The folly of artificially low interest rates, courtesy of the world’s central banks, is a threat to economic well-being. When the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) calls central bank market rigging “the fairy dust of illusory riches,” it’s time to pay attention.

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