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.

On a recent trip, I spent some time at the airport bookstore while waiting for my flight. Browsing through magazines at the newsstand, I could not help noticing how frequently the topic of retirement investing came up. It does not seem that long ago when investing was primarily an issue for …

Last month, we talked about new regulations that will impact your relationship with your financial adviser, whether he or she works for a broker-dealer, a registered investment advisory firm or a dually registered firm like UBS or Merrill Lynch.

If you have a 401(k) at work, you are one of more than 100 million Americans covered by a defined contribution (DC) plan. Those assets, along with IRAs, make up 33 percent of all household financial assets in the U.S., according to the Investment Company Institute.

On June 5, Jay Clayton, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, announced regulatory changes that “Enhance and Clarify the Obligations Financial Professionals Owe to our Main Street Investors.”

Last week’s column on the SECURE Act (H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act) generated letters from readers, especially about the RMDs, or required minimum distributions, that kick in at age 70 1/2. (If you missed the column, email me at readers@juliejason.…

On May 23, the House of Representatives passed a bill that, if adopted by the Senate and signed into law by the president, will mean major changes for retirement plan participants.

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