Should I Buy Muni Bonds ?

Should I Buy Muni Bonds ?

Q: I make enough money to where I am getting tired of paying taxes. Since the so-called tax reform was passed, I have fewer deductions to take. Should I start investing in municipal bonds?

A: Municipal bonds can be a great source of tax-free income when they are used correctly. However, whether or not muni bonds make sense for you depends on several things, including your overall investment objectives and your personal marginal tax rate.

Before you buy muni bonds, consider carefully if bonds generally should be part of your portfolio. Bonds might fit for several reasons.

Are you to focused on money ?

Are you to focused on money ?

Several years ago, I read a fascinating paper by a couple of psychology professors, Ed Diener and Martin Seligman. Their essay, “Beyond Money: Toward an Economy of Well-Being,” explores the complex relationship between income and happiness. It was originally targeted at policy-makers in government, corporations and other organizations, but I have found that their ideas apply directly to the work we do in families.   

Can I trust my Broker ?

Can I trust my Broker ?

Q: I’ve been working with the same stock broker for the past several years. My performance wasn’t very good last year and this year isn’t looking any better.  I’m starting to wonder if the arrangement is as good for me as it is for him. How do I know if I can trust my stock broker?

A: I’m not sure if your real concern is your broker’s trustworthiness or the quality of advice you are getting. Either one would be ample reason to look for a new financial advisor, but

Are you caught in the VUL death spiral ?

Are you caught in the VUL death spiral ?

Q: Several years ago, my mother purchased a variable universal life insurance policy to help defer estate taxes when she dies. Fortunately, she has lived much longer than she would ever have expected (she is now 92 years old.) Unfortunately, the cash value of her policy has evaporated and we face the prospect of having to pay the annual premium out of pocket. The death benefit is worth several hundred thousand dollars, but the upcoming premium will cost more than $75,000 and next year it will be even more. Should we keep paying the premium, or should we let the policy lapse?

Making your 401k Plan Work for You

Making your 401k Plan Work for You

Over the past two weeks we have looked at the expenses associated with 401k plans and the role of the trustees who oversee your plan. Today we are going to focus on how to make your plan work for you.

As you consider your plan, pay attention to the quality and breadth of your investment choices. The menu of possible investments should be broad enough to give you the building blocks you need to create a resilient and well-diversified portfolio.