Deducting employee business expenses 

If you work for a business, you might incur certain expenses that are related to your job. In some cases, those expenses can be substantial. As of this writing, in late 2017, Congress is considering legislation that would eliminate miscellaneous itemized deductions, but it appears that they will be available on 2017 returns. That said,…

Weighing the risks of bond funds

Most portfolio allocations call for a mix of stocks (equities) and bonds (fixed income). The underlying theory is that stocks may deliver substantial results over the long term, whereas bonds contribute interest income and lower volatility. As we’ve seen in recent years, stocks can be extremely risky but have recovered from periodic setbacks. Bonds offer…

Investing In 2018: Dividend Stocks

As of this writing, it appears that 2018 may be a difficult year for investors. Yields on bonds, bank accounts, money market funds, and other savings vehicles are extremely low, with questionable prospects for substantial increases. Stock market indexes, on the other hand, are at or near record levels. In essence, relatively low-risk places to…

Ginnie Mae Funds for Your Retirement

Many people prefer to have some conservative holdings in their IRAs and other retirement accounts. This century has already produced two nasty bear markets (in 2000–2002 and 2007–2009). If a third downturn occurs, investors will be glad they held some defensive positions, which might minimize losses and possibly offer gains. When it comes to playing…

Asset Allocation in 529 Plans

Parents with young children have two broad choices when investing for higher education. One is to invest as you did before you had children, with assets in taxable and tax deferred accounts, under your own names. This will give you maximum flexibility in terms of investment choices and tax planning. When the time comes, you…

Start FAFSA Planning Earlier

The “new” FAFSA schedule (introduced in 2016) makes summer the time for FAFSA prep. On October 1, 2017, financial aid applications for the 2018- 19 school year can be filed. In prior years, students had to wait until January 1 to request financial aid for the coming academic year. Why is this important? Some observers…