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New tax law may push billions into Roth IRAs

May 22, 2006

WASHINGTON - Billions of dollars are likely to be transferred into Roth individual retirement accounts as a result of the $70 billion tax bill signed last week by President Bush. While most of the attention has been focused on the extension...

Talk of sole Canadian regulator begins to heat up

May 15, 2006

OTTAWA - Tantalized by Canadian opportunities, U.S. and Canadian investors alike have been paralyzed by concerns about the adequacy of securities regulation here. Apparently, politicians and the industry have been listening. The first Conservative...

Hedging play faces potential blowup

May 8, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. - A popular strategy used by brokerage firms to hedge clients' concentrated stock positions has come under attack from the Internal Revenue Service, sources say. Billions of dollars' worth of "prepaid variable forward contracts,"...

Tax climate brightens for fund investors

April 24, 2006

WASHINGTON - New evidence of high taxes on mutual funds looks likely to spur congressional action on legislation that provides tax relief for fund holders. Taxes paid on mutual funds skyrocketed by 58% from 2004 to 2005, according to a report...

Tax parity for 529s moves to the forefront

April 24, 2006

NEW YORK - Tax parity, a long-simmering issue in the Section 529 college savings plan industry, appears to be coming to a boil. A number of states give upfront state tax deductions or credits to residents who enroll in state-sponsored 529 plans....

Smith Barney rolls out new MDA program

April 24, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. - Smith Barney, the brokerage division of Citigroup Inc. in New York, has begun a firmwide rollout of a multidiscipline separate-account program that uses outside managers. Like other multidiscipline accounts, the program, Consulting...

Advisers play it safe and avoid exposure to AMT muni funds

March 20, 2006

DETROIT - As the number of U.S. taxpayers subject to the alternative minimum tax continues to swell, it is becoming clear that all tax-free municipal bond funds are not created equal. At issue is the muni funds' exposure to private-activity...

Roth workplace plans require distributions

March 6, 2006

WASHINGTON - The Roth 401(k)/Roth 403(b) workplace retirement accounts that start this year require minimum distributions from accounts at age 70%BD;. The Roth Individual Retirement Account, by contrast, doesn't have a similar withdrawal provision....

Complex structured products are a tough sell to advisers

February 27, 2006

DETROIT - The makers and marketers of an increasingly diverse and complex assortment of structured products have set their sights on independent financial advisers as the next untapped distribution channel. The problem is, somebody forgot to...

Mounties' leak probe may have strayed off course

February 27, 2006

OTTAWA - Launched with much fanfare in the midst of the recent election campaign, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's criminal investigation into whether a tax ruling on income trusts was leaked apparently is meandering. On Sept. 19, the Canadian...

Ditching of small fry by brokers trickles down

February 21, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. - The days of bringing Wall Street to Main Street may be over. While the big brokerage firms for some time have been actively discouraging small investors in order to boost profits, smaller firms now are also cutting these investors...

A commodity fund opens door to new investment options

February 13, 2006

NEW YORK - A new exchange-traded commodities pool has opened the floodgates to a new universe of ETF products, according to industry experts. The DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund, launched Feb. 3 and advised by New York-based DB Commodity Services...

Future tax-exempt status of 529 plans in jeopardy

February 13, 2006

NEW YORK - The 529 plan industry long has assumed that eventual congressional repeal of the 2010 sunset provision of the college savings vehicles' federal-tax-exempt status was a slam-dunk. Not so fast. The exemption from federal tax has been...

Medicaid restrictions aim to prevent abuses

February 13, 2006

WASHINGTON - A little-noticed provision in the Deficit Reduction Act, signed by President Bush on Feb. 8, will prohibit people from getting Medicaid coverage if they give money away to qualify for the coverage within five years of incurring...

IRS to scrutinize small, midsize firms

February 6, 2006

NEW YORK - Beware, small- and midsize-business owners: The Internal Revenue Service soon may be knocking on your door. That is likely bad news for business owners but good news for financial advisers and pension experts hoping to increase their...

Tories in Canada aim to cut capital gains

February 6, 2006

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a minority government Jan. 23 partly due to a platform, called Stand Up for Canada, which included a promise to cut taxes on capital gains for individuals and companies that reinvest the money within...

Arguments to be heard in Chawla case

January 23, 2006

CHICAGO - Oral arguments in a key insurable-interest case are to be heard next week in federal appeals court in Baltimore. The case, Chawla v. Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Co., involves the late Harald Giesinger, who set up a life...

Cost of fixing IRA errors rising; savvy advisers needed

January 23, 2006

NEW YORK - If they aren't already well versed in tax law, advisers had better bone up on the ins and outs of certain retirement tax rules, accountants say. Asking for individual consideration from the Internal Revenue Service to correct some...

Dividends pivotal to investment decisions

January 23, 2006

NEW YORK - A large number of investors select stocks because they generate dividends, according to a study released last week by Eaton Vance Corp. It is a somewhat surprising finding, given the belief that value stocks, which throw off the biggest...

As Canadians vote, Mounties, income trusts play a role

January 23, 2006

OTTAWA - Conservative leader Stephen Harper will be anointed as the next Canadian prime minister when polls close today, according to SES Research, a Toronto polling company, and he might have the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and an insider-trading...

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