Tag: alternative investments

  • August 23, 2016

    Economic Policy Risk and Financial Markets

    Much is being said about the potential effects of the U.S. Presidential election this fall. Concerns abound about the potentially devastating effects of “higher taxes and bigger government” if Clinton wins or “trade wars” if Trump wins. I think we have little to worry about. I believe that our only ...

  • August 16, 2016

    State Income Tax Savings

    State Income Tax Savings:  Investors who live in states with high state income tax rates may find retirement saving to be especially valuable if they retire to a state with little or no income taxation on retirement income. For example, a worker placing $100 into a retirement plan may lower ...

  • August 9, 2016

    A Less-Known Federal Investment Income Tax Break

    A Less-Known Federal Investment Income Tax Break:  One of the least understood breaks on Federal taxation of investment income occurs when investors use Section 1256 contracts such as futures contracts for short-term trading. A potential advantage to using Section 1256 contracts is that net gains from trading are taxed 60% ...

  • August 2, 2016

    Federal Income Taxation of Municipal Bond Interest

    Federal Income Taxation of Municipal Bond Interest: Interest income on municipal bonds is not always free of Federal income taxation. There are three primary ways that municipal bond interest income is taxed at the Federal level. First, the interest on some municipal bonds may be deemed as being taxable by ...

  • July 26, 2016

    Taxes on Investment Income and the 3.8% Tax Surcharge

    Marginal Federal Income Taxes on Investment Income and the 3.8% Tax Surcharge: As a result of legislation regarding ObamaCare, Federal income taxes now include a 3.8% surcharge on investment income for couples who earn more than $250,000 total. Thus, at these income levels qualified dividends and long-term capital gains are ...

  • July 19, 2016

    Taxes on Investment Income and Social Security

    Perhaps the most highly taxed US citizens are middle-income social security recipients. Consider a retired couple earning $32,000 per year before including investment income. For each dollar of investment income the couple is taxed not only on the investment income but also an additional 50% on their social security income. ...

  • July 12, 2016

    Market Volatility can be Predictable

    Market volatility, often measured as the standard deviation of stock market returns, varies from low levels during calm economic times to high levels during periods of great economic uncertainty or market distress. Volatility can be predicted even in an informationally efficient market. For example, a corporation’s stock should be expected ...

  • July 5, 2016

    Optimal Diversification

    Diversification is one of the most important and reliable methods of enhancing risk-adjusted investment performance. Diversification occurs when assets with imperfectly correlated returns are combined into a portfolio. Diversification reduces risk and can do so without reducing expected returns. Three critical questions arise in trying to diversify optimally or ideally: how ...

  • June 28, 2016

    Tail Risk Matters

    Tail risk is the chance of extremely large losses. Systematic tail risk is the chance of extremely large portfolio losses due to large declines in one or more major financial markets, especially equity markets. Recent advances in finance research are revealing the importance of tail risk in pricing assets and ...

  • June 21, 2016

    Risk when Correlations Go to One

    A popular expression after the financial crisis of 2007-2009 was “correlations go to one”. What that means is that, in periods of great financial distress, many securities fall dramatically in price at the same time even when their returns were not highly correlated in normal market conditions. Some securities, such ...

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