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Dude, Where’s My Investment?

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After two years of relying exclusively on MUNI, BART, and my Bianchi, last year I broke down and purchased a car− my first new car in twenty years. Negotiating for a car has become much simpler. Immediate mobile phone price comparisons have squeezed dealers’ commissions and forced dealerships to rely more on volume and customer service. Similarly, internet price comparisons have reduced fees on mutual funds investing. When I purchased my car, I delivered a check and told the representative I would pick my car up the following week. The...

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Joe, Do you have the firefighters’ backs?

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

All across the country cops hear it, “If it weren’t for that gun, you wouldn’t be so tough!”   Yet, both the accusers and police know that the police officer’s gun is not their most effective tool; it’s their radio.  For all a police officer has to do is broadcast a three or four-digit code and either an entire district, an entire municipal force, or surrounding counties will respond to the officer’s request for help.  It is the principle of wave after wave of additional officers arriving that allows a force of one thousand...

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Here are The Tax Consequences for Saying “I DO”

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Married filing single (MFS) can shield you if your new spouse employs questionable filing practices or even makes unintentional mistakes on his or her return; consider this (MFS) status if you’re fuzzy on your spouse’s financial reporting habits.  I believe this has become more of an issue now that many young people are waiting a little longer before tying the knot. “Do either of you have past tax issues, a large tax balance due, college loans and or child support that might be held back when refunds come?” “Does one of you like to...

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Do SF Employees Receive Equal Protection?

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Our society relies on trust. We put our faith in restaurants to serve us the freshest food, we rely on our neighbors to watch our homes, and we trust our lives to traffic controllers and pilots when we are 30,000 feet in the air. Yet, when it comes to financial advice, too frequently financial advisors put their commissions before the interests of their clients. To address this conflict, the Department of Labor has a proposal before Congress that requires financial advisors to “act in the best interest of their clients.” Yet, while...

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Is the Stanford Marshmallow Test a Harbinger of Roth Investing?

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In the 60’s and 70’s, Stanford professor/psychologist performed an experiment on 7 to 9-year olds.  In the test, Professor Mischel offered the children one marshmallow.  If they didn’t eat the marshmallow now, they would receive two marshmallows later.  In this test of postponing instant gratification, Mischel discovered the children who were patient and waited for the larger reward, achieved more remarkable accomplishments later in life.  They tended to achieve better SAT scores, higher educational status, and a lower body mass. In...

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Do 401k’s Investors Possess A False Sense of Net Worth?

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your house might be worth one million dollars, but you don’t factor that amount into your net worth calculation. Why? Because, for example, you might have a $350,000 mortgage encumbering that million dollar property. Contrast that to an investor nearing retirement with a stock portfolio worth one million dollars and a 401k worth one million dollar. While the investor would be quick to value his home net of the mortgage, too frequently no distinction is made between the absolute value of the stock portfolio and the 401k plan. A portion of the...

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What Will Your Retirement Tax Bracket Be?

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

An Individual Retirement Account was intended to incentivize Americans to save for the future. A consequence of IRA legislation is that traditional pensions, those that paid a predictable monthly benefit, have been dying a slow death.  The theory behind an IRA contribution was that a worker would get an immediate tax deduction for contributions, and when the worker takes their funds out of their IRA, they would be retired and in a much lower tax bracket. Thus, the retiree could benefit from the spread between the high tax bracket they were in...

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Roth IRA and Roth 401k versus Traditional IRA’s and 401k’s

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The decision between funding a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA is an issue of eligibility whereas the decision between a Roth 401k and a traditional 401k depends on what tax bracket you will be in when you retire- a higher or lower tax bracket?  In general, if you are single, and earn less than $116,000; or if you are married and you and your spouse make less than $183,000, you are eligible to contribute fully to a Roth IRA.  The more common decision for taxpayers though is between 401k’s, and whether to contribute to a traditional 401k with...

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Hilary versus Donald’s Tax Proposals

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

With the Democrat and Republican frontrunners becoming more defined, it is important to start evaluating the two lead candidates’ tax proposals.      Hillary Clinton wants to raise both the capital gains tax and the dividend tax from 20% to 24%.   Donald Trump wants to leave the current ceilings of 20%.   On estate taxes, Hillary Clinton wants to lower the $5.45 million exclusion to $3.5 million and also raise the maximum estate tax rate from 40% to 45%. Mr. Trump wants to eliminate the estate tax- not an easy task in an income...

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EB-5 Visa Program and The Price of Beer

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The San Francisco Giants are second only to the Boston Red Sox in the price of beer at a ballgame. We accept this as a compromise for living in a highly desirable area of the country. But what would happen if Bill Gates decided to purchase a small-market team like the Pittsburgh Pirates? And what if Bill decided to employ his great resources to lavishly bid for players and reward the Pirate fans? This much wealth suddenly flowing into Pittsburgh would spread inflation to every corner of baseball as owners struggled to keep pace with...

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