Monthly Archives - December 2017

house on top of cash

Trying to Prepay Your Property Taxes? Not So Fast.

With the recent passage of the tax reform bill by Congress, deductions for state and local taxes will be capped at $10,000 per year from 2018 onward. For homeowners in many wealthy areas of the country, including the Washington, DC area, that is less than the amount they pay annually on property taxes. And for those who own multiple pieces of property, their property tax bills are undoubtedly higher. The new cap has led to many homeowners trying to prepay [...]

money bag

The Hidden Tax Increase in the Tax Reform Bill

While most of the provisions of the newly-enacted tax reform bill were good ones that will help most taxpayers, there is one that has gotten less publicity that won’t benefit taxpayers. That’s the use of chained CPI rather than regular CPI. And if things continue as they have been, that could cost taxpayers down the road. Tax brackets have long been indexed to inflation to prevent “bracket creep.” If there were no inflation indexing, raises in salary that take place [...]

bursting the housing bubble

Will the Tax Reform Bill Burst the Housing Bubble?

There has been a lot of hand-wringing about the effects of the newly-enacted tax reform bill. While most households will see a significant cut in their tax payments, there will be many households who will see their taxes increase. Most of that is due to caps being placed on mortgage interest deductions and deductions for state and local taxes, including property taxes. Those who will be hit the hardest are those who own property, especially multiple houses and high-value [...]

tax reform

Most Americans Should See Gains From Tax Reform

The majority of American households should see a gain in the amount of money they’re allowed to keep under the recently passed tax reform plan. Because of the lowering of tax rates, the expanded thresholds for tax brackets, and the doubling of the standard deduction, many households can expect hundreds or even thousands of dollars in reduced taxes next year. That, in turn, means more money for people to save, invest, or consume, which should provide a nice stimulus [...]

man checking out coin with magnifying glass

How You Can Protect Yourself From the Growing Scourge of Counterfeit Coins

Counterfeit coins were once the bane of shopkeepers and their customers all across the world. There’s no worse feeling than selling your goods and suddenly realizing that the coins you’re holding in your hands aren’t really the gold or silver you thought they were. Thanks to the decreased usage of coins in commerce in recent times, it’s been mainly coin collectors who have faced the problem of counterfeit coins. But gold and silver investors are at risk of buying [...]

Janet Yellen

Yellen’s Final Press Conference Demonstrates Everything That’s Wrong With the Fed

Janet Yellen’s final press conference as Chairman of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors underscored everything that is wrong with the Fed and with the modern economics profession. Two particular examples demonstrate that, far from being able to lead the country’s economy, the Fed and modern macroeconomics is hopelessly lost and not at all able to find its way. The more immediately shocking of the two striking comments Yellen made was her assertion that stock markets are not overvalued. As [...]

Business concept, Businessman confused about two direction, between risk or safe. Vector illustration.

The 5 Top Threats to Investors

Deutsche Bank’s chief international economist recently published a list of the top 30 risks to financial markets in 2018. While many of them are only of importance to sophisticated financial investors who take positions on certain market movements, some of the bigger picture issues could cause broader risks to the market that could affect Mom & Pop investors. Here are the five most important to worry about in the coming year. 1. Increasing Volatility If you watch the volatility index, or [...]

Balanced Budget 3d words on a gold scale weighing costs against revenues in accounting or bookkeeping

Congressional Budget Drama Delayed for Two Weeks

The government shutdown drama has come to an end… for the next two weeks. Kicking the can down the road yet again, Congress has authorized a two-week spending bill, meaning that come December 22nd this whole mess will be back in the headlines yet again. The thinking behind a two-week bill is that having a deadline so close to Christmas will force concessions from lawmakers who really don’t want to be stuck working in Washington over Christmas. This doesn’t bode [...]

Empty USA Industrial stock exchange, illustration

No, This Time Is NOT Different

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has broken record after record this year. After breaking through the 20,000 point barrier in February, the Dow has been on a tear and is currently at over 24,000 points. Since February of 2016, the Dow has gained over 50% and has nearly doubled since 2012. Many market commentators have given in to stock market euphoria and are exclaiming this incredible growth as the new normal, just the beginning of a multi-year bull market [...]