Month: January 2014

All S&P 500 Indices Are Not the Same

Have you ever wondered how Standard & Poor’s selects the companies whose stocks go into the S&P 500 index?  They utilize a methodology called capitalization weighting (cap weighting for short), in which inclusion is based on a company’s market capitalization.  That’s a fancy term for how much investors value the company, and it is calculated…
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Do You Need an Investment Policy Statement?

Yes, you do. How’s that for a succinct answer? But in case you don’t know what an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) is, or how it’s utilized, here’s a brief explanation. An IPS is a written document that basically describes how an investor’s money is to be managed/invested. Every publicly-traded mutual fund and ETF is required…
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Better to Keep Assets In Your Estate When You Die?

If you’re a high net worth individual or family, chances are your estate planning strategy has focused on finding ways to exclude assets from your estate in order to minimize estate transfer taxes after you pass away. Gifting low-basis property while alive together with the use of bypass trusts after death are common ways to…
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Roth Conversions Take Off

Richard Rubin and Margaret Collins at Bloomberg News recently reported that conversions from traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs increased more than nine times in 2010, according to the Internal Revenue Service.  Taxpayers converted $64.8 billion in 2010, as compared to $6.8 billion in 2009. This was the first year that Roth conversions were greater than…
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