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A dynasty trust that requires a family chat

August 22, 2005

CHICAGO - Discussing one's future inheritance with parents may be awkward, but such a conversation is something more estate and financial planners are likely to start recommending. The reason: increased attention on a relatively unused estate-planning...

Merrill exit program: Four years of trails

August 22, 2005

IRVINE, Calif. - Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. next January will be rolling out a plan to let brokers earn an income for four years after they retire. Merrill reps were given a heads-up on the plan, called the Client Transition Program, this month...

Ventura highway to Social Security reform?

August 15, 2005

WASHINGTON - As Washington lobbyists ponder upcoming Social Security and pension bills, one California chapter of the Financial Planning Association isn't waiting for its national organization to act. The Ventura County chapter of the FPA has...

LTC holders could catch a Medicaid break

August 8, 2005

WASHINGTON - Americans may soon have a new incentive to buy long-term-care insurance. Two bills introduced the day before the August congressional recess would encourage the purchase of LTC insurance by allowing policyholders to bypass rules...

Advisers enlisted for IRA 'boot camp'

July 18, 2005

CHICAGO - Concerned about the average adviser's botching distributions from individual retirement accounts, Ed Slott is on a mission to create the Green Berets of IRAs. Mr. Slott, a certified public accountant and editor of Ed Slott's IRA Advisor...

Tax-loss harvesting gaining steadily in separate accounts

July 18, 2005

DETROIT -Tax-loss harvesting, no longer just part of the sales pitch, appears to be catching on at a steady clip within the fast-moving separately managed accounts industry. That practice for individual accounts is becoming a regular part of...

IRA may be disclaimed even after one payout

July 11, 2005

CHICAGO - An Internal Revenue Service revenue ruling last month has clarified an area of confusion over a spouse's ability to disclaim an inherited individual retirement account. It stated that a beneficiary may disclaim an IRA, even after taking...

Private firms to take on 40,000 tax cases in '06

June 27, 2005

WASHINGTON - The three private collection agencies that will soon help Uncle Sam capture what is due from individual taxpayers are expected to take on about 40,000 cases during the first year, according to the Internal Revenue Service. There...

Advisers slow to grasp retiring-boomer market

June 27, 2005

CHICAGO - On Friday, the first baby boomers born in 1946 will turn 59½ - a milestone that leads some industry executives to question just how prepared financial advisers are for what is to come. "Officially, the baby boom generation has arrived,"...

Snowbirds need guidance for sound financial path

June 27, 2005

NEW YORK - Snowbirds, those retired folks who shuttle between warm and temperate climates, shouldn't forget to fly right financially, planners caution. "Living in two different states raises numerous complex financial issues that must be addressed,"...

IRS has a heart when it comes to IRA missteps

June 20, 2005

CHICAGO - The Internal Revenue Service can be forgiving of mistakes made with rollovers from an individual retirement account - sometimes, anyway. A recent spate of private-letter rulings are helping clarify for advisers and estate planners...

Calamos public now but still bound by family ties

June 20, 2005

CHICAGO - At Calamos Asset Management Inc., business is all in the family. Though the Naperville, Ill., money manager went public in October, raising $360 million, it's still acting like its old privately held self. The company will pay $2.8...

Advisers: Beware of hedge funds, foreign stocks

June 13, 2005

NEW YORK - It isn't just real estate. Although investors and financial advisers have heard a steady drumbeat of warnings about the potential perils of an overheated housing market, principals of the Zero Alpha Group, a network of independent...

Fidelity reduces bond fund expenses

June 13, 2005

NEW YORK - To some investors, Fidelity Investments' recent lowering of expenses on 12 taxable-investment-grade-bond funds may not seem like that big a deal. After all, dropping expenses to 0.45%, from a range of 0.50% to 0.65%, doesn't appear...

Barclays considers global-dividend ETF launch

May 30, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO - Barclays Global Investors is considering launching a global-dividend exchange traded fund, and financial advisers say it can't happen soon enough. The San Francisco-based money manager is contemplating the move as a means to...

Bill would curb corporate-owned life insurance

May 23, 2005

WASHINGTON - Legislation that would ensure that corporate-owned life insurance is sold only to top employees was introduced in the House May 11 with the sponsorship of more than two-thirds of the members of the Ways and Means Committee. The...

Bill would make 529 exemption permanent

May 23, 2005

WASHINGTON - A long-sought-after goal of the Section 529 college savings plan industry - to make permanent the federal tax-exempt status of 529 withdrawals - received a major boost from two members of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee...

MUTUAL FUND REPORT: Putnam fee case could have big consequences

May 9, 2005

NEW YORK - Lawsuits brought against mutual fund companies for charging "excessive fees" in violation of their fiduciary duty are usually tossed out before they ever get off the ground, according to some securities lawyers. But a federal court...

Progressive indexing' Social Security plan wins advisers' kudos

May 2, 2005

WASHINGTON - Of the three plans for personal Social Security accounts put forward at an April 26 Senate Finance Committee hearing, advisers tend to favor one advanced by Robert Pozen, chairman of MFS Investment Management in Boston. That plan...

Death-tax repeal could be deadly, some fear

April 25, 2005

WASHINGTON - As Senate negotiations over permanent estate tax repeal get under way following approval by the House for the second time, estate planners and some financial planners are growing more concerned over the loss of stepped-up capital...

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