The Benefit of Transferring Wealth by Year End

With US gift- and estate-tax rates slated to rise on January 1, it may be wise to gift assets before year-end. As my colleague Andrew Auchincloss explains below, you still have a rare (but fleeting) opportunity to transfer wealth tax efficiently.

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Minimizing Taxes on Your Executive Compensation

Given the likelihood of higher US tax rates starting in January 2013, you’ll want to review the way you manage your compensation. Your cash bonus, executive stock options and large holdings of company stocks deserve careful review, as my colleague Richard Weaver explains below.

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Selling Your Business Before Taxes Rise

Planning to sell your business? Try to wrap up the deal before year end, when today’s highly favorable US capital gains tax rate is scheduled to expire.

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Making Forecasts Reliable—and Useful

If there’s one thing you know about capital-market forecasts, it’s that they’re usually wrong. So why bother forecasting—or paying attention to forecasts?

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Working Past 66: The Impact on Social Security Benefits

A reader of my recent article on when to take Social Security benefits asked whether my analysis would change if a person does not retire at age 66 and plans to work until age 70—and is earning more now than he expects to earn at retirement. That’s a good question.

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Foundation Strategies for an Era of Sub-Par Investment Returns

In my last post I argued that today’s unusually low prospective returns for bonds and near-normal prospective returns for equities will make it very difficult for foundations and endowments to achieve their long-term goals. Here’s our take on the alternative strategies that foundations and endowments should consider.

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When Should You Take Your Social Security Benefits?

Determining when to start receiving Social Security benefits can present a dilemma: Should you wait and receive higher annual benefits, or would you be better off receiving smaller payouts over a longer period?

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Inflation Plus 5%: Still a Reasonable Goal?

Many US endowments and foundations plan to give 5% of assets annually, while seeking to preserve the inflation-adjusted value of their assets. That’s become a very challenging goal.

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Is Dollar-Cost Averaging a Good Way to Enter the Market?

The Wall Street Journal this week confirmed what investors feel in their gut: Stock market volatility is intense. Between September 21 and October 10, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved more than 1% on 11 of 13 trading days, and five of those moves exceeded 2%, the Journal article said. This creates a dilemma if [...]

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As the Fed Twists, Seize Opportunity to Transfer Wealth

It remains to be seen whether the Federal Reserve can stimulate the economy with its latest “twist” strategy for lowering interest rates, but today’s ultralow rates create one clear opportunity: if you have personal wealth that you intend to leave to family or charity, now is the best time in decades to initiate certain wealth-transfer [...]

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