Equifax Security Breach

EquifaxEquifax had a data breach that potentially impacted over 143 million people. The company has offered free credit monitoring to everyone…sounds good right?!?! However, by signing up for free credit monitoring, you may be giving up your rights to participate in any class action lawsuit!

Here’s the language:

Arbitration

or check out this article: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-some-equifax-customers-have-unwittingly-waived-their-rights-to-a-class-action-lawsuit-2017-09-08

If that doesn’t make you made, what about the three Equifax executives who sold shares of their stock after the breach, but before telling the public?

Read this article from NPR: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/08/549434187/3-equifax-executives-sold-stock-days-after-hack-that-wasnt-disclosed-for-a-month

 

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Best Day to Invest…

I recently had a conversation with a client who invests her monthly contribution on the 12th of each month.  She noticed that by the 15th the market had dropped in 6 of the last 8th months.  While this is not a large enough sample set to gain any statistically significant data, it did get me wondering…What is the best day to invest?

Based on this blog post from MustardSeedMoney’s research, the answer is Monday and the 23rd of each month.  While I don’t believe in market timing, it would be fun to see what happens!  Should we double down if the 23rd falls on a Monday?

The F bomb…

I want to tell you about the “F” word.  No not that one…Fiduciary.  Fiduciary is a fancy legal term that means you LEGALLY have to do what is in the best interest for someone in your care.  For instance, attorneys to their clients, doctors to their patients, guardian to his ward, or a priest to his parishioner.

Did you know that over 90% of financial advisors are NOT Fiduciaries?!?!  This means they can put their own interest ahead of yours!  They can sell you the product that is going to get them the highest paycheck or a bonus trip to Hawaii without regard if it is best for you.

Can you imagine having cancer and your doctor telling you to take an aspirin (because the aspirin company is going to give him $100k if he gets all his patients to take it)?  You would be beside yourself!  Yet this is happening in the financial services industry to your family and friends (and maybe even you) every day!

Here is a recent article in Forbes Magazine outlining the questions you should ask your advisor.

 

The Biggest Money Mistakes We Make -Decade by Decade

No matter your age, everyone has made mistakes with money.  But what are the biggest money mistakes that others in your generation face?  This article from today’s Wall Street Journal does a good job outlining some of the common pitfalls!

  • 20s: Playing it too safe
  • 30s: Overwhelmed by Complexity
  • 40s: Misjudging big expenses
  • 50s: The difficulty of catching up
  • 60s and beyond: Not delegating

Living Wills

Got aging parents?  It can be very important to have a conversation about end of life care. So few people understand the implications of their living will.  They know they should have one, but very few understand why.  Take a look at this article by Amy Florian.

Make sure to talk to your parents and ask for a copy.  This topic has become so important that Medicare is now reimbursing doctors for talking with their clients about living wills.

A sample of the Five Wishes document that she references can be found here.

Man’s Best Friend – Roth Conversions

Okay, so maybe my two rescue dogs are my loyal companions, but in the financial planning world, Roth Conversions are “mans best friend.” If done by December 31, you have until October 15, 2013 to determine if it was a good move for you. If you decide your tax situation would have been better if you wouldn’t have converted (or only converted a portion) you have the option to undo all (or a portion) of your conversion. We call it the “undo button.”

Do it now and work with your tax preparer after New Years (perhaps after the resolution of the current tax mess) to see if it was a good move. If tax rates go up, it could be a big win!

P.S. Yes…that is my dog, Twix, in Minnie Mouse ears!

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401k Limits – Inflation Adjustment

2013 must be the year of raises…

RP-2012-41 will be published on November 5, 2012, and will contain the full details of the announced changes, but some of the changes are outlined below:

This week the Social Security Administration announced that recipients will receive a 1.7% increase…http://www.ssa.gov/cola/

And the IRS announced an increase in both the 401k contribution limits and gifting limits.  Starting in 2013, you can now add $17,500 to your 401k (plus and extra $5,500 if you are over 50).  This is a $500 increase in the contribution limit.  In 2013 you will also be able to gift up to $14,000 per year to another individual without having to file a special tax return.  You can read about these increases here… http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/18/pf/taxes/401k-contribution-limit/index.html?source=linkedin&goback=.gde_55224_member_176611264