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Email: Art@ArthurSteinFinancial.com

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2014 Investment Returns

The United States emerged from 2014 as the best house on a troubled block. Internationally, a civil war in Ukraine, slowing Chinese economy, stagnant Europe worried about potential deflation, new recession in Japan, threat of a new Russian economic meltdown triggered by plummeting oil prices--it all made an improving situation in the US look brighter by comparison.
 
Even apart from the troubles overseas, the United States -- by almost any measure -- was stronger than it’s been in years.

Tax-Loss Harvesting: You Don’t Need a Plow and It Can Reduce Your Taxes

As December 31 approaches, you – or your investment advisor – should review taxable investment accounts for “tax-loss harvesting” opportunities.
 
Tax-loss harvesting is an important -- but often neglected -- year-end investment strategy. It refers to selling investments that declined in value, which generates capital losses. The IRS doesn’t recognize losses unless you sell the asset.
 
Those losses are then used to offset capital gains on your tax return. That reduces the taxes you pay and, if losses exceed capital gains, up to $3000 can be used to reduce ordinary income on your tax return.

Holiday Treasure-Hunting

This being the season of gifts and miracles, I’m delighted to direct you to a potential source for extra cash. Across the nation, billions of dollars are languishing in state custody. And some of that may be yours.

A recent New York Times article stated that state-run depositories are filled with unclaimed money: stock dividends, 401(k) retirement funds, tax refunds, bank accounts and the like.

Stay With The TSP or Transfer to An IRA -- A Key Retirement Decision for Federal Retirees

TSP.jpgThe Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) offers many benefits but flexibility of withdrawals is not one of them. Retirees often experience changes in their income needs. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) offer more flexibility for withdrawing funds and may be a better choice. Federal retirees can take advantage of that flexibility by transferring investments from the TSP to an IRA.

Is a Stock Market Correction Coming? Is It Already Here?

Recent stock market news has not been good. After declining 1.9% in the third quarter of 2014, the S&P 500 Index of US stocks declined another 2.5% from October 1 to 17. The index is down 9% since the all-time high in September. Last week was the fourth straight week of declines for US stock market indexes.
 
Stock market volatility increased and many other markets (international stocks, commodities) also fell in value.
 
It is time to worry?
 

Arthur Stein quoted in "Investment News" article about PIMCO Total Return

 

Investor News recently quoted me on PIMCO Total Return and the controversy over the resignation of long-time lead manager Bill Gross. You can read the article here.

 

PIMCO Total Return – Buy, sell or hold?

You may have heard the controversy and consternation since PIMCO Total Return lead investment manager Bill Gross resigned from the firm he helped start.
 
Should investors sell, stay or buy some more?
 

Arthur Stein is featured guest on "Your Turn with Mike Causey"

Mike Causey recently interviewed me on the Federal News Radio show “Your Turn with Mike Causey.” We discussed the Thrift Savings Plan (the 401k retirement plan for Federal Employees) and how to invest to increase potential long-term return and protect gains.
 
To listen,

Are Houses a Good Investment? Part 2.

home, women edit.jpgA recent article in the Washington Post discussed housing as an investment and whether to buy or rent. It was an excellent analysis of a complex situation.
 
The basic answer is no, houses have not been a great investment.

Will You Run Out of Money During Retirement?

4% iStock_edited-1.jpgImagine: You are 84, living on $2,500 per month in Social Security plus $5,000 per month withdrawn from your investments. One of your checks bounces. You find out it’s because your investments are exhausted. There is nothing left. No more $5,000 per month from investments, ever again.
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