It’s typically cheaper to buy than to rent when the median home price is less than 15 times the current median annual rent. (In Trulia’s parlance that would be a price/rent ratio of 15.) Put another way, 15 years or less of stable rent payments would cover the purchase price of a house in the vast majority of the cities studied by Trulia.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Investors who rely on professional advice will not see any immediate impact from the Security and Exchange Commission’s weekend recommendations that brokers be subject to the same fiduciary standard as investment advisers.
That is because the study, written by staff and opposed by two of the SEC’s five commissioners, faces a long and uncertain road to implementation and enforcement. Even if the SEC were to impose the fiduciary standard on brokers, there is enough ambiguity in the recommendations to leave advisers and their clients confused about how it will play out with respect to commission-earning brokers.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Bob VanSickle was a lifelong New Jersey resident, but when he left after 52 years for what he calls “kinder, gentler” New Hampshire, he never looked back.
It wasn’t the warm fuzzies that won him over; it was the lower taxes on income, property and purchases.
It’s opening day on what could be a long tax reform season, with the House Ways and Means Committee holding its first hearings on the topic on Thursday. The witness list is somewhat stacked with reform advocates –- like Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, and Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute –- and corporate types who are likely to say they’ve been beleaguered by tax complexity.
“It is clear that the tax code is too complex, too time-consuming and too costly,” said the committee chairman, Dave Camp, in announcing the hearing. The committee is encouraging anyone who wants to vent about the tax code to submit remarks through its website.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Wall Street hotshots have long disparaged money market mutual funds with a “cash is trash” epithet. Their point: Money invested in these funds earned low returns and wasn’t being put to use in more rewarding stocks and bonds.
Money funds have seemed even less appealing in recent years. Their long-cherished and promoted practice of holding their share price steady at $1 got blown at the end of 2008, when the Reserve Primary Fund’s inability to meet redemptions in a dysfunctional credit market caused it to drop the price to 97 cents a share.
WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Children often have it rough
when their parents divorce, but grown up “kids” may have it
Adult offspring whose parents split up later in life face
the usual and expected psychological issues: “They may feel
like ‘everything I thought was real, isn’t,’” says Diana
Mercer, an attorney-mediator and author of several books on
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Children often have it rough when their parents divorce, but grown up “kids” may have it even rougher.
Adult offspring whose parents split up later in life face the usual and expected psychological issues: “They may feel like ‘everything I thought was real, isn’t,’” says Diana Mercer, an attorney-mediator and author of several books on divorce.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The government is intensify its use of consumer complaint websites with two new outlets for customer gripes that have trade groups for manufacturers and financial firms concerned about smear campaigns and lawsuits.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission plans to go public on March 11 with a searchable database of consumer complaints about specific products. The agency unveiled the project on Tuesday at its www.saferproducts.gov/ website.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Want to talk about tax reform? President Obama does. He’s slated 2011 for a year-long conversation about the increasingly complex income tax code, aimed at eliminating some of that complexity (read: deductions) and lowering the income tax rates.
But that conversation may go on longer than he would like. “It’s mainly going to be a lot of talk for the next two years,” said Bob McIntyre of the Tax Policy Center, voicing the most commonly held view of political analysts. It would be politically impossible for President Obama to get enough votes to pass tax reform before 2013, goes that conventional wisdom. (The alternative, that pressure to cut deficits will push Congress into a pre-2013 tax reform bill that raises revenue, is a minority view.)
WASHINGTON, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Worried about inflation?
Neither Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke nor all those
traders currently dumping gold seem to be, but that may be the
best time to make sure you’re covered if prices go haywire.
Some people think the combination of an expansive Fed
policy and an expansive fiscal policy make that inevitable. Oh,
and as I’m writing this, the United Nations is announcing that
world food prices are at an all-time high.