401k-If Ya Haven't Looked, DON'T!
Mine is down 50.25%; the "Young Miss Lovely's" is down 41.43%!! Mine is more heavily invested in common stocks than hers. For those who are interested, domestic corporate bonds and bond funds do far better in a falling market than do common stocks. Our two 401-k's are invested with American Century so I researched through them, looking into the bond funds offered. I'm sure you can do the same with whatever fund family you're invested with. I've settled on a couple of high yield bond funds; one yielding 9.76[YTD:5.12]%, the other 9.65[YTD:3.62]%.
Mind Your Asset Allocation Ratios
Whether you're discussing IRAs, 401-k's or general investments, assessing your allocations on a regular basis is a must! At the least annually, but preferably in six-month intervals. When you invested your funds several months, years or decades ago, you established a ratio you were comfortable with at that time; over some or all of the various investment vehicles readily available. To gain further information in the whys, wherefores and importance of allocation, check out this site: www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/assetallocation.htm . It's a good tutorial on allocation and diversification.
"Fluff" Alert...."FLUFF" ALERT
This alert involves fmr President Bush. Remember that $300, $600 or $1,200 check you got from the IRS last summer? It turns out, it WAS NOT a tax cut, but only wealth redistribution and has to be treated as income at taxtime by the taxpayer. It was a Nerobamanomics style wealth-transfer check!! A talkshow caller spoke of doing her taxes. She and her husband had received a $1,200 Bush wealth-transfer check. She did their taxes without considering the check and had taxes due of $23-and-change. When she redid the calculations including the wealth-transfer amount, her taxes due jumped to $1,223-and-change!! Coincidence.....??...Doubt it!!
For You "Tax-Fraud" Readers....
Oops, forgot!!! There's probably not many democrats reading this blog!! For those of you who have those "secret" Swiss numbered bank accounts, I hope your deposits were from legitimate sources.
The decision last week by UBS AG to pay fines of $780 million and to hand U.S. authorities account details of around 300 clients to settle tax-fraud charges sent shockwaves through the banking world. Back in Miami, the Internal Revenue Service has filed a lawsuit demanding that UBS also give up the names of 52,000 account holders as part of a probe into individual tax evasion-a call that the bank and Swiss authorities have vowed to resist.
The heightened focus on Switzerland's role in international financial shenanigans has been years in the making and has picked up momentum in recent months. The landlocked nation's renowned rules on bank secrecy have come in for criticism from the likes of Alistair Darling, Britain's top Treasury official, and Peer Steinbrueck, Germany's finance minister. Sensing an opening, European leaders last weekend said they would make cracking down on tax havens a focus of a summit of the leaders of the Group of 20 nations scheduled for April. Kevin Conway, a tax partner in London, discusses how American authorities' dispute with Switzerland's UBS could ultimately change the rules for disclosing information about secret Swiss bank accounts.Switzerland has drawn the resentment of tax authorities for years, said Michel Habib, a banking professor at the University of Zurich.
For generations, client confidentiality has been a hallmark of the Swiss banking business, a virtual national brand identity. But what cemented Switzerland's status as a premier safe haven was a 1934 law that made it a criminal offense-rather than a civil matter-to divulge bank-account details, according to historian Youssef Cassis, a professor at the University of Geneva. Passage of tough secrecy laws ensured neutral Switzerland was a popular refuge for capital during World War II, Cassis said. And that was followed by what Cassis terms the "golden age" of Swiss banking, which lasted from the late 1940s to the 1980s.