An elderly relative of mine died recently. Her death certificate says she died from complications of an existing chronic health problem. However, I would argue that the real cause of death was entering into a late in life 2ndmarriage. Let me explain… Continue reading
Yesterday the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) experienced a technical “glitch”, and all trading was halted for a few hours. Yet to the average investor, this was a non-event. Had this happened a decade or more ago, this would have been a major disruption, as it would have brought a large part of the US financial system to a complete stop. But in the last decade, stocks and other instruments that once traded on only one exchange now trade on multiple exchanges. Stocks traded all day as if nothing had happened. That the NYSE has lost its monopoly on trading shares listed there clearly benefited the overwhelming majority of us. Yes, competing exchanges have created some issues that are anti- consumer, such as order flow payments, but on the whole, competition is a good thing. The shutdown cost the NYSE money and prestige. They will now have even more incentive to make sure their systems work properly.
The Bottom Line: Competition improves the breed.
–Michael Ross, CFP®
Conventional wisdom says that it’s best to wait until retirement to convert a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA, which allows money to grow tax free. The theory is based on the belief that most people will have lower incomes and be in lower (certainly not higher) tax brackets. And that much is usually true.
However the decision is not so simple. There are many potential benefits to conversion. Anyone can do it – there are no longer any income limitations, but choosing the right timing can be complex. Yes the marginal tax bracket the conversion income is likely to be subject to is a major factor in the decision, but the timing of the additional income generated by the conversion can create issues with other retirement programs, mainly Social Security and Medicare. Continue reading