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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High-Yield Bonds: Equity-Like Returns with Lower Risk

On the surface, high-yield bonds look a lot like their relatives in the fixed income world. But in some key respects, high-yield debt acts a lot more like equities than like other bonds. This has some often unappreciated implications for portfolio construction.

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The Risk in De-Risking Now

The extraordinary market volatility and poor equity returns of recent years—as well as fears about the macroeconomic outlook—have prompted many investors to contemplate de-risking their overall portfolios. Perhaps they should—but first, they should contemplate the return side of the equation.

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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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Dealing with Pension Plan Deficits

In January, it emerged that Shell UK had become the latest—and probably the last—company in the UK’s FTSE 100 Index to announce it was closing its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme to new members. The news points up a dilemma facing the trustees of many large corporate pension providers.

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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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How to Diversify When Markets Are Highly Correlated

With economic and political developments driving big gyrations in equity markets, at first blush it seems that all stocks are moving together and diversification benefits have diminished. But as my colleague Andrew Chin explained in a recent article, spreading exposures across the spectrum of equity risk and return factors is now more important than ever. 

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