Change Your Cost Basis Method From Average Cost To Specific Identification

If you have a "regular" taxable investment account (anything other than your tax advantaged accounts such as your 401k, 403b, IRA, Roth etc.), you should understand the different cost basis tracking methods and how they affect your taxes when you sell. Fidelity has a good article describing the background. If you only have tax advantaged accounts at this time, this doesn't apply to you yet. It's still good to know for the future. When I looked at my taxable account at Fidelity to see whether [...]

Rebalancing: Sell High, Buy Higher

Rebalancing is considered a key element of buy-and-hold, to the point that buy-and-hold has become a shorthand for buy, hold, and rebalance. Investment advisor Rick Ferri made this clear in his interview with Morningstar: Buy, Hold, and Rebalance [...]

2015 Social Security COLA

The official announcement for 2015 Social Security COLA will come in October. With two out of three Consumer Price Index monthly numbers required for the calculation, I can estimate what it will come out to be. Inflation was still low so far this [...]

Retiring Early: Effect On Social Security Benefits

Social Security has a flat 6.2% tax rate, up to the maximum wages covered by Social Security ($117k in 2014). Social Security benefits bear some positive relationship with your covered wages and the amount of taxes you paid on those wages. The higher [...]

2015 401k 403b IRA Contribution Limits

The government released the Consumer Price Index for August 2014. Inflation is higher this year but still low by historical standard. Although we don't have all the necessary numbers yet, because the way rounding works, I'm able to comfortably [...]

Stop Using Vanguard Money Market Fund

The SEC released news rules on money market funds last week. Money market funds for retail investors will still keep the $1 fixed NAV. They can impose fees and restrictions when they face liquidity problems. I don't think Vanguard's money market [...]

Social Security Claiming Strategy Calculators Compared

Financial Engines was founded by Nobel laureate William Sharpe. It offers investment advice primarily through workplace retirement plans. Recently Financial Engines launched a free Social Security planner. I test-drove it with some hypothetical [...]