We get just one shot at making the journey from birth to retirement. Flirting with financial disaster is not advisable.
FREEZE YOUR CREDIT. This will prevent data thieves from taking out loans and credit cards using your identity. But it also means you’ll need to contact the three credit bureaus and unfreeze your credit temporarily whenever applying for credit. Sound like a hassle? As an alternative, consider setting up an initial fraud alert and then renewing it every 90 days.
SEVERAL OF MY CLIENTS took advantage of low interest rates earlier this year and refinanced their home mortgages for the second or third time. I alerted them to the tricky tax rules on deducting mortgage interest. Here’s the gist of what I told them.
Let’s say Amy Brown owns a personal residence. Her lender is willing to let her refinance for more than the balance on her existing mortgage. Under the tax rules, she’s allowed to deduct interest payments on the refinanced loan,
STOCK BUYBACKS are here to stay. The Securities and Exchange Commission opened the door in 1982, when it ruled that companies could repurchase their own stock without triggering accusations of share price manipulation. Ever since, more and more companies have taken advantage. Indeed, in recent years, U.S. corporations have spent more money buying back their own shares than paying out dividends.
Good news? I see both plusses and minuses. Here are the plusses:
Once you figure in buybacks,
THE BOGLEHEADS had their annual conference this week in the Philadelphia area, where Vanguard Group’s headquarters is located. Devotees of Vanguard’s 88-year-old founder John C. Bogle, the Bogleheads usually meet online at what’s probably the world’s best investment forum.
The star of their annual meeting was, of course, Jack himself. His latest book, an extensive revision of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, just came out. What was on Jack’s mind?
“WHEN YOU’VE WON THE GAME, stop playing with the money you really need.” That’s something my longtime friend and fellow author William Bernstein is fond of saying—and lately it’s been on my mind.
There’s been much handwringing over 2017’s stock market rally. Looked at objectively, it hasn’t been that startling. As of Sept. 29, the S&P 500 was up 14.2% for the year-to-date, with dividends reinvested—a good year, but nothing compared to the 25%-plus years we saw in 1991,
Jonathan Clements is the founder and editor of HumbleDollar. He spent almost two decades at The Wall Street Journal, where he was the personal finance columnist. His latest book: How to Think About Money.