Author - Tim Kober, CFP®

1
Don’t leave your old 401(k) on autopilot when you change jobs
2
Your 529 College Savings Strategy
3
The Fight Over Who Will Guard Your Nest Egg
4
Does the S&P outperform active funds?
5
2009 Stimulus Bill – Tax benefits

Don’t leave your old 401(k) on autopilot when you change jobs

photo by: mertesb

photo by: mertesb

A recent analysis by Charles Schwab found that 43% of the 401(k) assets held by workers who left their jobs in the first quarter of 2008 still remains in the old plans. Leaving your assets on autopilot in your old employer’s plan may not be the smart thing to do.

Assets left in an old employer’s 401(k) plan are at risk of becoming “out of sight, out of mind”. If you neglect those assets, your overall asset allocation could become out of balance.

Get educated on your options, which typically include a rollover to an IRA, move …

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Your 529 College Savings Strategy

According to a recent national survey of parents from Sallie Mae and Gallup, only 33% of parents are saving for college through a 529 plan.  The same study found that 62% of parents of college-bound children are saving for education.

Parents that aren’t using a 529 plan are not taking advantage of the tax-deferred growth and tax free withdrawals for qualified education expenses.  529 plans aren’t a panacea, and may not be the best choice if you will require a lot of need-based financial aid. If you didn’t save via a 529 plan and are going to foot the for …

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The Fight Over Who Will Guard Your Nest Egg

050 - Nest Egg

photo by: Dasroofless

Jason Zweig is a highly respected personal finance writer and editor of The Intelligent Investor column in the Wall Street Journal.  He raises the issue of a “fiduciary standard” versus a “suitability standard” in his most recent column.

One of the key differences between a NAPFA Fee-Only advisor and a broker is that NAPFA advisors serve their clients in a fiduciary capacity.  A fiduciary standard means that your advisor is putting your interests first.  Jason describes why this is important:

“A key factor still is missing from Finra’s suitability requirements: cost. Let’s say you tell your …

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Does the S&P outperform active funds?

Does the S&P outperform active funds?Standard & Poor’s Index Services released today the year-end 2008 results for its Standard & Poor’s Index Versus Active Fund Scorecard (SPIVA).  The key findings are summarized below.  SPIVA draws its underlying data from University of Chicago’s CRSP Survivor-Bias-Free U.S. Mutual Fund Database.  To view the report click here (Standard & Poor’s Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard, Year End 2008).

A summary of the results:

  • Over the five year market cycle from 2004 to 2008, S&P 500 outperformed 71.9% of actively managed large cap funds, S&P MidCap 400 outperformed 79.1% of mid cap funds and S&P SmallCap 600
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2009 Stimulus Bill – Tax benefits

CCH has published a summary of the 2009 Stimulus bill that President Obama is scheduled to sign Tuesday, February 17th.  Significant items include:

  • Making Work Pay: For 2009 and 2010, $400 per person tax credit for AGI under $75,000; phased out to $95,000 (double everything for married filing jointly).
  • One-time $250 payment to Social Security and other fixed income recipients.
  • AMT patch for 2009: increase AMT exemption amount from 2008 levels by $500 per person or $1,000 per couple. (Comment: this should have been separate legislation and didn’t need to be part of the Stimulus bill)
  • First-time home
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