Inherited IRAs: Know the Rules

The traditional Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) was established in the US in 1974.  Today, many IRA account assets are being passed to beneficiaries, most often as inherited IRA accounts.  Inherited IRAs come with their own rules, which differ from traditional IRA accounts.  Those rules dictate how inherited assets can be titled, and how and when they can be distributed to each beneficiary.

Memorizing the entire list of rules is extensive. We summarized some of the finer points that impact how the rules apply when inheriting IRA assets.  They include:

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Don’t Fear the End of the Current Bull Market

Investors of a certain age recall all too well the end of the last bull market. From late 2007 to early 2009, the S&P 500 Index fell 56% and lost a staggering $11 trillion in market value. That painful memory has many of today’s investors wondering how long the current bull market will last and how they can protect their portfolios from its eventual, inevitable demise. The simple answer, surprising as it may sound, is “don’t worry about it.” Rest assured, I have not lost my mind.

Study after study shows that most investors buy-high and sell-low. This is because they’re convinced they can correctly identify the beginnings and endings of bull and bear markets when, in fact, they can’t… no one can. As a result, the millions of Americans who sold in 2008 when stocks were low missed out on the extraordinary gains that began in early 2009 and persist today.

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A Hazard to Your Wealth

When I was an undergraduate studying finance, the idea of buying and selling common stocks sounded thrilling. It captivated me. I read accounts of day traders making millions, supposedly, by just sitting at their computers and buying low and selling high. How easy does that sound!? All I needed was a handful of well-placed trades each day and I was sure to be retired by age 30. Yet, as I delved deeper into the world of finance, and subsequently began my career as a professional portfolio manager, I learned those day trading stories were far from the reality of successful long-term investing.

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How Much Will I Need to Retire?

Almost everyone has wondered, or will wonder, about this question as they progress through their careers and, especially, as they approach retirement.  After working most of their lives, this is understandably a million (or multi-million) dollar question that weighs on people’s minds as they prepare to spend more of their time finally doing exactly what they want.

Retirement Savings

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The Path to Maximizing Your 401(k) Benefit

It is common to hear adages like, ‘Max out your 401(k),’ or ‘Make sure you contribute as much as your employer will match,’ and it is wise to follow these pieces of advice.  However, a less commonly heard, but equally important question to consider is, “How will my 401(k) benefit be maximized during my tenure at my job?”  To ensure you take full advantage of your employer sponsored retirement plan benefit, begin by understanding the details of your plan, and asking questions, specifically:

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The Portfolio Diversification Fallacy

One of the most widely recognized investing principles is portfolio diversification. Surprisingly, novice and seasoned investors alike often misinterpret the true meaning of diversification. A common misconception is that diversification means no more than investing in many different companies. Subscribers to this fallacy may fill their portfolio with high profile glamour stocks, for example, that appear in the headlines day after day. Akin to a collection of unrelated shiny objects, these investments typically offer few of the benefits of diversification. A well-diversified portfolio bears little resemblance to a random collection of shiny objects.

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Ode to Anderson

Forbes Magazine’s 2016 list of Best Cities for Young Professionals ranks Cincinnati a very respectable #15 in the nation, even among hot-spot regions like San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Denver. As a young professional, this is exciting confirmation of what I already knew. But as Cincinnatian’s know, each neighborhood here is its own organism and some areas are more attractive to young professionals than others.

When I was nearing graduation from Xavier University, many of my peers were clamoring for job offers in the popular and trendy Over-The-Rhine (OTR) neighborhood. OTR is charming with lots of character and is within easy walking distance of a multitude of unique restaurants, clubs, and bars that draw crowds of young professionals at lunchtime and after work. Other XU grads opted for jobs in the central business district at one of Cincinnati’s 10 Fortune 500 companies. I was an outlier (I prefer to think trendsetter) when I accepted a position in the suburbs, namely Anderson Township.

My decision to work in Anderson proved to be an excellent choice. On the surface, there are obvious positive attributes — beautiful parks, close proximity to highways, and a pleasing mix of city and rural life, to name a few. Once I started working here, though, I learned Anderson has even more to offer those who dig below the surface.

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Small but Mighty: How Individual Investors Can Compete With Large Institutions

Institutional Investors.  These are the big wigs as far as investors go.  They invest money for themselves, for other institutions (e.g. endowments, pension funds, etc.), and typically have billions of dollars at their disposal.  This enables them to buy a majority stake in any S&P 500 company, and if they feel like having a chat with the CEO, or commanding a seat on the Board, both are just a quick phone call away.

How are individual investors supposed compete with these guys?  Continue reading “Small but Mighty: How Individual Investors Can Compete With Large Institutions”