June 2012

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Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened. 


Thomas Hardy




The financial advice business is regulated by a number of different regulators - both federal and state. There is a bill (HR4264) in Congress right now to have financial advisors regulated by FINRA - the Financial Industry Regulatory Association. This is a terrible idea for several reasons not the least of which is it may make it much more difficult for small advisory firms to exist - but I will simply encourage you to read the article at this link:

http://tinyurl.com/cvxbmse

It is a contribution to Forbes by Bill Singer and he covers the topic very well. 

 

Market-Moving Indicators for Monitoring Europe
If you've struggled to make sense of the ongoing European debt debacle, you're not alone. Though new aspects of the situation seem to crop up every month, here are some of the most common factors that either reflect or affect sentiment about what's happening in Europe.  More Details

Retirement Rules of Thumb
Because retirement rules of thumb are guidelines designed for the average situation, they'll tend to be "wrong" for a particular retiree as often as they're "right." However, they can provide a good starting point for assessing your retirement needs.

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Of Taxes Past, Present, and Future
Several key federal income tax provisions expired at the end of 2011, with additional provisions, including the "Bush tax cuts" scheduled to expire at the end of 2012; new Medicare-related taxes are also on the horizon.

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What happens to my retirement benefits if my employer goes out of business?If a defined benefit plan doesn't have enough money to pay all promised benefits accrued up until plan termination (that is, the plan is "underfunded"), the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will take over the plan as trustee in a "distress termination," and assume the obligation to pay basic plan benefits up to legal limits.  More Details

What is the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation?

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal agency created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") to encourage employers to adopt and maintain private-sector defined benefit pension plans, and to protect plan participants by taking over the obligation to pay pension payments when a plan ends without enough money to pay all benefits owed to participants.

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