October  2015

Employee Benefit Alert -


If you work for a company or organization that provides employee benefits, please take special note of this.
Sometime in the next month or two, you may receive a letter, email or booklet outlining the different benefit OPTIONS available to you. Please do not ignore this. Call me. They often CONTAIN some great opportunities but also, occasionally, some costly and wasteful traps.
You may be offered various supplementary insurance plans. Some may be priceless and others worthless. There may be other pre-tax healthcare or childcare plans available to you. You must plan carefully here as these are "use it or lose it" benefits and can actually COST you money if you don't handle it properly. On the other hand, there may thousands in tax savings available to you. There are also often choices to be made on the health and dental benefits offered.
Remember, the offerings are usually available within a small window of opportunity which, if missed, typically does not come around again until next year. I'm here, with the complete objectivity you need, to help you. Write or call as soon as you get the information.
As always, whether you are a client or not, always feel free to give me a call. If I can help you make an Intelligent Decision about employee benefits, it would be my pleasure.


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Look for future issues with discussions of Quantitative Easing, liability insurance, the Alternative Minimum Tax and more.

Harvest Time!!!
No folks, I haven't left the Big City for a farm somewhere. (Say, remember that old TV show, "Green Acres", from a simpler time? But I digress....)
The harvesting I am talking about is "Tax Loss Harvesting"; all about a different kind of green! We are now in the midst of a global stock market and commodities correction and, while we know they will always come from time to time (and are actually a good thing - more on that soon), we still never like it when they are upon us.
Corrections do present opportunities, however, and one of them is "Tax Loss Harvesting". As you know, when you sell a security in a regular taxable account for less than you paid, even if you have made money on it all along from dividends and distributions, you get a tax deduction.
You have to be cautious, of course. The major risk is that when that particular security or market segment recovers, you could miss out on the gain. (And NO, you may not sell it and buy it back the next day; the IRS wasn't born yesterday!) What you can do, however, is sell it, lock in the tax deduction, and buy something else which you believe will recover just as well, or even better, than what you sold.

For many of you who have been with me for a long time, of course, even with the correction, your holdings have all appreciated so much over time that there are no losses to harvest. That is a good problem to have. 
This tax deduction, by the way, is a unique and special one. First, it offsets any capital gains you may have that year. Whatever is left over, up to $3,000, can be used to offset earned income (generally taxed at a higher rate), including IRA and Pension withdrawals, AND Social Security benefits. THEN, whatever is still unused gets carried forward year after year until it is used up, with no time limit. Of course there are details regarding long and short term gains and losses, filing status and other things. If you like that kind of nitty-gritty, please give me a call and I am happy to discuss all that with you.
If you have given me the privilege and responsibility of looking after your money, there is absolutely nothing you need to do. What I described above is exactly what I am doing for you right now, where appropriate. Further, with the Institutional custodian we use, the trading costs are minimal and even zero in many cases.
Now, if your investments are NOT under my supervision, please GIVE ME A CALL ANYWAY. I am always happy to help people make an Intelligent Decision about their money.

Yogi Berra, RIP 

We recently lost this great character from the American scene. 

Here are my favorite "Yogisms": 
  • "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!"
  • "That place is too crowded; nobody goes there anymore."
  • "Half of this game is 90% mental." 
We're gonna miss you buddy boy.

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 Email or call me at any time: 212-315-0345.