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Tag Archives: Personal finance

New Health Care Insurance Subsidies in the USA

The $1.9 trillion covid19 relief law (American Rescue Plan Act) includes large increases in health insurance subsidies in addition to the $1,400 per person payments to individuals. The law increases subsidies for 2 years. Under the new law, nobody will have to pay more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance. The government will also pick up 100% of COBRA premiums through September. COBRA is health insurance for people who’ve lost their jobs. “Probably about three-quarters of...

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Individual Stock Portfolio Investment Planning

Early last year when studying my portfolio I decided my two biggest positions (Apple and Google – those ready the blog won’t be surprised due to my 10 stocks for 10 years posts) continued to warrant the large portion of the portfolio they held. I also decided that I would systemically sell say 1% of Apple and 2% of Alphabet a year (the Apple dividend was also paying about 1% – actually it was more then but is much less now). That was just a long term plan that helped me think about the...

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Finding Great Investments Keeps Getting Harder

In some ways investing recently has been pretty easy, anything you have bought (almost) goes up – and usually goes up a lot. But when looking for bargains to invest in, it just keeps getting more and more difficult in my opinion. Apple’s most recent earnings report was spectacular. However, unlike when similar things happened 8 years ago, when such great news allowed you to buy a great company cheaply even after great news now Apple went from an already pricy level and added 10% to...

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Retirement Portfolio Allocation for 2020

The markets continue to provide difficult options to investors. In the typical market conditions of the last 50 years I think a sensible portfolio allocation was not that challenging to pick. I would choose a bit more in stocks than bonds than the commonly accepted strategy. And I would choose to put a bit more overseas and in real estate. But if that wasn’t done and even something like 60% stocks and 40% bonds were chosen it would seem reasonable (or 60% stocks 25% bonds and 15%...

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Real Estate Investing: Amazon’s Regional Office in Arlington, Virginia

Amazon announced they are opening major new offices in Arlington, Virginia and New York City. Each site will hold 25,000 new Amazon employees at an average salary above $150,000. Getting to that level with take many years, next year under 1,000 employees will be at each site. I lived in Arlington for many years and own rental property there. The Amazon decision is likely to catalyze a much more rapid ascent of the technology sector in the DC area. The DC area has a strong...

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Only 28% Of Americans Are “Financially Healthy” During The Largest Wealth Bubble

MarketWatch published a piece today called “Here is the ‘true state’ of Americans’ financial lives,” which stated that 42% of Americans have no retirement savings at all and that only 28% of Americans are considered “financially healthy”: The finances of Americans may not be as good as they look from the outside. Despite optimistic metrics like a nine-year-long bullish, if volatile, stock market, low unemployment levels, and consumer confidence levels nearing record highs, millions of...

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Improvements to Credit Collection Requirements Have Had an Positive Impact

Abuse of the credit system by 3rd party collection agencies (and credit reporting agencies) in the USA has been a long term problem. An attempt to partially address some of the abuses was a change in the required reporting practices that impacted collections accounts specifically, known as the National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP), which rolled into effect during the second half of 2017. The plan has many components, including: (1) a requirement for more frequent, detailed, and...

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USA Household Debt Jumps to Record $13.15 Trillion

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, which reported that total household debt increased by $193 billion (1.5%) to $13.15 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2017. This report marks the fifth consecutive year of positive annual household debt growth. There were increases in mortgage, student, auto, and credit card debt (increasing by 1.6%, 1.5%, 0.7% and 3.2% respectively) and another modest...

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“Explaining” Random Variation

Apple analysts are of no value to investors When I was a reporter covering Cisco Systems Inc. in the late 1990s, it was my job to talk to several analysts a day to find out the latest bit of news that might move the networking company’s share price. If the stock moved more than 2% on any uptick in volume, I had to write a story explaining why. After dealing with that every day for about three years, I realized the overwhelming majority of analysts had no better clue than I did about...

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Here Is The Full Text Of The Final Republican Tax Bill

Update: in addition to the previously leaked highlights (see below), Republicans on Friday evening released the final version of their legislation to slash tax rates for corporations and individuals. The 1,097 page document, containing the bill and an explanatory statement, was crafted by the House-Senate conference committee. The bill is expected to come up for votes in Congress next week. Read the bill below, courtesy of The Hill: The "shorter" - only 570 page long - explanatory...

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