Wash sale was defined incorrectly
I support the position on health care laid out in the Just Thinking column "I repeat, mend the health care system" that appeared in the Oct. 27 issue.
This supposedly civilized country should be ashamed of itself for not adopting a health care program that encompasses the entire legal population (citizens and legal resident aliens) in a standardized way.
Health care is a right, not an option. I grew up in Europe and experienced the health care systems in England, the Netherlands, France and Spain. They are caring and compassionate systems that work.
I have lived in the United States for more than 40 years. I have paid a fortune in health insurance premiums and had the worst care of my entire life.
Fortunately, I am pretty healthy. God help me if I wasn't.
This country needs a national plan that is uniform across all states. It probably means it is time to create a federal insurance license and prevent insurers from taking advantage of people just because they move.
I agree that health care for everyone is job one for our next president.
H.D. Vest Investment Services
Young advisers need help from veterans
When investing, it is critical to have an accurate understanding of tax consequences.
The article "Rescue law requires cost basis reporting," in the Oct. 13 issue, gave an incorrect definition of a wash sale. It was reported that "wash sales are sales of securities at a loss in one year, followed by repurchasing the same security the following year."
The years in which these events take place are irrelevant. The two transactions that make up a wash sale could take place in the same year.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, a wash sale occurs when one sells or trades stock or securities at a loss and within 30 days before or after the sale buys substantially identical stock or securities, acquires substantially identical stock or securities in a fully taxable trade or acquires a contract or option to buy substantially identical stock or securities.
Thank you for a very informative (and usually accurate) publication.
M. Lauree Hanson
Eagle Point Asset Management Inc.
I enjoyed the article "Market mess greets stunned new advisers" that appeared in the Nov. 3 issue.
I am a 24-year-old adviser who has been out of college for a year and a half. I was given an extraordinary opportunity to begin my career while studying at the University of Florida in Gainesville and have worked with Ameriprise Financial Inc. of Minneapolis for four and a half years.
Just last month, I decided to move from Boca Raton, Fla., to New York.
I agree with the comment made by J. Charles Pawlik, an associate financial planner at Lassus Wherley & Associates of New Providence, N.J., about gaining a "lifetime of experience in just a few months' time."
The reality is that all around us, firms are cutting jobs. In an industry where the twentysomethings pretty much have no place, it will be interesting to see how many of us remain next year, if not by the end of 2008.
Maybe as a follow-up, you can tap into another interesting angle regarding the young financial professional. The likelihood of graduating from college and building a successful book in a year or two in our industry and in this environment is a difficult proposition unless you have a niche to call your own or a family and friends with enough money to back you from the start.
The trend I hope to see is veteran advisers taking young college graduates or seniors under their wings and teaching them the business of personal finance. Not only does this allow young advisers the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the industry, but it allows them to build confidence and personal value faster than in any traditional recruitment models that I have seen so far.
Veterans, meanwhile, get to give back what they have learned by leaving a legacy in young minds as well as create viable succession plans for their businesses or the ability to add valuable staff/producers to their practices.
Douglas A. Boneparth
Associate financial adviser
Practice of Joseph Candela
Ameriprise Platinum Financial Services