Senior Personal Finance Correspondent
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Jan 8, 2014

Five ways to hack your 401(k) in 2014

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Don’t look now, but your 401(k) retirement account is probably humming along nicely. Not only did the investments in it do extraordinarily well in 2013, but the folks who run those accounts made considerable improvements.

Employers got more generous with their contributions and plan managers added some new and better investment choices and recommitted themselves to holding down fees.

Jan 8, 2014

Stern Advice – 5 ways to hack your 401(k) in 2014

NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Don’t look now, but your 401(k)
retirement account is probably humming along nicely. Not only
did the investments in it do extraordinarily well in 2013, but
the folks who run those accounts made considerable improvements.

Employers got more generous with their contributions and
plan managers added some new and better investment choices and
recommitted themselves to holding down fees.

Dec 30, 2013

Financial resolutions for a prosperous 2014

NEW YORK, Dec 30 (Reuters) – Resolutions don’t work -
behavioral experts know that. When you wake up on Jan. 1 and
emphatically say something vague like “This year, I am going to
get my finances under control – I really mean it!” there’s a
good chance your budget will end up where all those good
intentions usually lead.

That’s why it’s better to make to-do lists instead. Each of
the activities on my 2014 list are discrete and actionable, and
don’t take very long. Tick them off, one by one, and you’ll
dramatically improve your finances.

Dec 18, 2013

Should you be running to or from munis?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – I’m a contrarian. So when I see investors fleeing municipal bond mutual funds at a record pace, and when I hear that it is nothing but risk, risk, risk for munis, I start looking for that silver lining.

After all, the secret of successful investing is to “buy when there’s blood on the street,” as Baron Rothschild liked to say.

Dec 18, 2013

Stern Advice-Should you be running to or from munis?

NEW YORK, Dec 18 (Reuters) – I’m a contrarian. So when I see
investors fleeing municipal bond mutual funds at a record pace,
and when I hear that it is nothing but risk, risk, risk for
munis, I start looking for that silver lining.

After all, the secret of successful investing is to “buy
when there’s blood on the street,” as Baron Rothschild liked to
say.

Dec 4, 2013

Stern Advice – That retirement crisis? Not so bad, after all

NEW YORK, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Don’t look now, but some of the same folks who have been spreading fear about the woeful lack of retirement readiness among American workers have something new to say on the subject: a financial industry study that asserts that we’re doing a lot better than we think.

“Americans’ retirement well-being has improved over time, as successive generations of retirees have been better off than previous generations,” says the study, “Our Strong Retirement System: An American Success Story,” being released on Wednesday.

Nov 20, 2013

A good year to get your year-end tax moves right

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Taxpayers, check your calendars: There are 41 tax-planning days before the books close on 2013. With new tax provisions in place and several benefits expiring at the end of the year, now is the time to plot your year-end financial strategy.

Here are year-end moves that will make that April tax deadline less painful.

- First, check your income and your expected marginal tax rate for the year, so you can avoid surprises. If you’re a high earner – or have special income coming this year – that’s especially important because a variety of new taxes kick in this year at various income levels. Single taxpayers earning more than $200,000 and joint filers earning more than $250,000 will have a new 0.9 percent Medicare tax on wages exceeding that amount.

Nov 20, 2013

Stern Advice-A good year to get your year-end tax moves right

NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Taxpayers, check your
calendars: There are 41 tax-planning days before the books close
on 2013. With new tax provisions in place and several benefits
expiring at the end of the year, now is the time to plot your
year-end financial strategy.

Here are year-end moves that will make that April tax
deadline less painful.

- First, check your income and your expected marginal tax
rate for the year, so you can avoid surprises. If you’re a high
earner – or have special income coming this year – that’s
especially important because a variety of new taxes kick in this
year at various income levels. Single taxpayers earning more
than $200,000 and joint filers earning more than $250,000 will
have a new 0.9 percent Medicare tax on wages exceeding that
amount.

Nov 13, 2013

How to make sure your adviser really puts you first

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The brokerage industry is reaching out to consumers with a new “Investors First” initiative designed to win the hearts and minds of those who are skeptical of Wall Street advisers.

The initiative, unveiled last week in Washington by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade group representing the nation’s largest brokerage firms, currently consists of a pamphlet for consumers encouraging them to work closely with their investment professionals. But it’s just the first of a series of steps that SIFMA says it will be rolling out to “demonstrate our commitment to putting customers first.”

Nov 13, 2013

Stern Advice-How to make sure your adviser really puts you first

NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) – The brokerage industry is
reaching out to consumers with a new “Investors First”
initiative designed to win the hearts and minds of those who are
skeptical of Wall Street advisers.

The initiative, unveiled last week in Washington by the
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade
group representing the nation’s largest brokerage firms,
currently consists of a pamphlet for consumers encouraging them
to work closely with their investment professionals. But it’s
just the first of a series of steps that SIFMA says it will be
rolling out to “demonstrate our commitment to putting customers
first.”

    • About Linda

      "Linda Stern is an award-winning personal finance journalist who loves to write about how the big picture affects your pocketbook. A former contributing editor at Newsweek magazine and a long-time Reuters columnist, Stern covers everything from credit cards to retirement planning to investing. As a Washington-based correspondent, she sneaks in as much tax and economic policy as her editors will allow. She tweets at www.twitter.com/LindaStern. And when she expresses opinions, they are her own and not those of her employer."
      Joined Reuters:
      October 2010
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