Global stock markets have performed strongly during 2017, pushing many broad market US and international indices to new highs. While investors welcome the performance, many also question whether they should reduce their exposure to stocks. The answer typically depends on their financial position relative to goals, investment horizon, and tradeoffs such as taxes. Investors with sufficient assets nearing retirement might consider reducing stock positions to reduce expected volatility.
Investors, both institutional and retail, often invest in alternatives in pursuit of greater diversification or risk reduction; however, alternatives might fail to reliably accomplish these goals.
For most parents, sending their child to college is at the top of the wish list. A college education can open doors to many opportunities and help your child compete in today’s competitive job market—but that diploma doesn’t come cheap.
If a child has earned income, money received from someone else can be used to fund an IRA. It doesn’t matter if the child is a teenager with some part-time income or a graduate with a full-time job. The only stipulation is that your child must have earned income — not investment income — that was at least equal to the amount of the contribution. A W-2 from an employer would show proof of income. Alternatively, if the child earned income from non-W-2 sources (babysitting, shoveling snow, etc.), be sure to keep precise records of how much they made.
Everyone likes to save on taxes. Making the most of deductions is one avenue available to taxpayers to reduce their tax bill. All taxpayers have the option to either itemize deductions or take the standard deduction, which is currently $12,700 for a married couple under age 65. If a couple’s standard and itemized deductions are close to being the same amount each year, there is an opportunity to plan these expenses in a way that may reduce the overall tax bill.