Author: Artie

Why Unrealized Gains Do Not Equal Returns

Have you ever looked at your brokerage or IRA account statement and discovered that the unrealized gain from one of the investments you thought was doing well is negative? Does that mean you’ve been losing money on that particular investment? Not necessarily. Here is a brief explanation of why we don’t use unrealized gains to…
Read more

The Impact of War On Our Money

After living through one inconceivable event with worldwide repercussions (the COVID-19 pandemic), we now find ourselves facing another that was certainly on no one’s radar prior to 2022. How will Russia’s invasion of Ukraine impact the spending power of our dollars as well as the value of our savings in the capital markets? I had…
Read more

Useful Medicare Website For Comparing Drug Costs

One of the most frustrating experiences for seniors on original Medicare is shopping for the most beneficial Part D plan during open enrollment each year (and also on your birthday if you live in California). Medicare supplement plans (aka Medigap) are highly standardized and consequently relatively straightforward: your choice is primarily a tradeoff between premiums…
Read more

Mega and Backdoor Roth Contributions: Do You Feel Lucky?

Often politicians pass laws that have unintended consequences, making tax planning difficult. This year the uncertainty revolves around two methods to build up your tax-free savings that may go away if the Biden administration’s Build Back Better legislation passes. I’ll describe the situation and the three possible outcomes. As background, some workers have the ability…
Read more

Is 2022 Shaping Up To Be A Stock Market Disaster?

As of this writing the S&P 500 is currently down almost 6% since the start of the year, one of the worst January performances in a long time. Does this indicate 2022 is likely to be a terrible year for the stock market? Let’s start with a basic tenet: nobody can predict the future. There…
Read more

New Tax Reduction For Some IRA Owners

It’s always nice to get a tax break. Starting in 2022 required minimum distributions (RMDs) by seniors from qualified retirement plans such as IRAs and 401(k)s will be reduced, courtesy of a change to life expectancies instituted by the IRS. Here’s an example to illustrate the change. Suppose Mary Taxpayer, born on March 1, 1950,…
Read more