No doubt, you’ve been reading about the SECURE Act’s impact on retirement accounts. The SECURE Act was passed in December 2019. Regulations have not been issued as of yet, so be sure to talk with your attorney or accountant before taking any action.

Last week, we talked about the law on required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2019. As anticipated, the president signed the SECURE Act into law on Dec. 20. As a result, beginning in 2020, RMDs will be subject to some new rules. (If you would like a copy of my May 23, 2019, column on the S…

The SECURE Act, which affects retirement accounts, may be signed into law by the time you read this. I’ll update you next week. In the meantime, let’s talk about the law on required minimum distributions (RMDs) as it stands right now.

Over the past few months, we’ve talked about the major regulatory changes adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last June. These changes will impact every investor, especially next summer when a new disclosure (the CRS) will come their way. CRS stands for “Customer Relations…

If you read last week’s column about mentoring young people to save and invest, let me give you some additional points and resources on 401(k)s to continue that dialogue:

In my column of a few weeks ago, I provided historical stock market data that surprised many of you. Based on your letters, I’m pleased to hear that you want to continue our dialogue on the topic. Come to think of it, this makes a great Thanksgiving topic, much more exciting than, what, politics?

Because the 401(k) is a powerful retirement investment tool, you need to put it on track early in your career and be sure that it does not derail. Let’s talk about some common mistakes I have seen people make, so you can avoid them.

A few weeks ago, we talked about a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement initiative that required financial firms to make payments to certain customers who purchased mutual funds with 12b-1 fees. The problem the SEC was addressing was not the 12b-1 fees themselves…

Do you own mutual funds? You may be getting a check in the mail if you bought them through a certain type of financial adviser, one who is both a registered representative of a brokerage firm (for example, Wells Fargo, acting as a broker-dealer) and an investment advisory representative of a…

Have you ever received an email from yourself, only you didn’t compose or send it? You can probably guess that this is a cybersecurity issue. What better time than now to discuss how this sort of thing can happen, since it’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The goal is a safer and mor…

If you are a longtime reader of this column, you know I’m a strong supporter of financial literacy education for all, and I’m a big believer in identifying solid, unbiased resources for learning how to make good financial decisions. One of those resources is the Financial Industry Regulatory…

Have you noticed any changes with your brokerage account’s “sweep” account option? Sweep accounts are set up at the time you open your account; usually there is an option to sweep money you deposit into your brokerage account into a money market mutual fund to earn interest until you decide …

Have you ever received a notice from the IRS telling you that you owe money because of a “miscalculation” on your tax return? Millions of taxpayers receive such CP11 notices every year, according to the national taxpayer advocate’s Annual Report to Congress for 2018 (February 2019).

If you have an individual retirement account, do you recall filling out a beneficiary designation form? That’s the document that allows you to direct the IRA custodian to transfer your IRA to people you name in the form. The custodian is the institution that holds your IRA assets for you.

How do you do your taxes? Do you or your accountant use tax preparation software? Most people do. Only 10% of taxpayers don’t, according to the national taxpayer advocate’s recent report to Congress. The advocate heads the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

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