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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...

Treasury Dept. to scrutinize indies' tax status

February 21, 2006

NEW YORK - Department of the Treasury plans to scrutinize the tax status of independent-contractor workers, including about 120,000 independent registered representatives, have left some industry executives and observers dismayed. Over the past...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

White House spotlights retaining tax cuts

January 16, 2006

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's focus on making its tax cuts permanent has hurt the chances for fixing the increasingly prevalent alternative minimum tax, advisers say. The fight to make the tax cuts permanent has stalled efforts to reconcile...

Roye urges fund boards to stop monitoring fees

November 28, 2005

NEW YORK - A radical idea calling for fund boards to get out of the business of overseeing fund fees got some unexpected support this month. Paul Roye, former director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's division of investment management,...

Block stems tide by adding pros

November 28, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO - H&R Block Inc.'s long-beleaguered brokerage division may have turned the corner. On the strength of skyrocketing referrals from tax offices and a resolve to insist on high production from its financial advisers, the Kansas City,...

Congress moves to spur pension growth, advice

November 21, 2005

WASHINGTON - As the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. last week announced a $23 billion shortfall, Congress began moving on pension legislation that would ease the way to providing investment advice and automatically enrolling employees in 401(k)...

Canada's election sharpens financial issues

November 21, 2005

OTTAWA - How will the upcoming Canadian election affect the financial services industry? It is a truism that business detests uncertainty. And true to form, the Canadian dollar fell last Monday as currency traders responded to the increasing...

Thankful for booming biz, aging boomers

November 21, 2005

WASHINGTON - As the nation prepares for its annual autumnal feast, financial advisers are thankful for having had a prosperous year and are salivating over the crop of baby boomers who begin turning 60 next year. Many advisers said they've seen...

Details impede disbursements of settlement cash

November 21, 2005

NEW YORK - The billions in mutual fund settlement cash that resulted from the fund trading scandals should make its way into investors' pockets by the summer, but not before a few wrinkles are ironed out with two federal agencies. The U.S. Department...

Some reps see changes to marketing, sales fees

November 7, 2005

NEW YORK - Some registered representatives are seeing losses or gains to their incomes as mutual fund companies jockey to pay reps for selling funds amid an ever-shifting regulatory landscape. A variety of brokers have seen recent changes from...

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