Permanent Value

Week In Review – 09/26/2016

Bruce Doole
September 26th, 2016

Top 5 Money Habits of Happy Couples: Ameriprise Study

Majority of couples in Ameriprise study say communications about money are good

Most couples disagree about money from time to time, but the happiest ones know how to work through their differences, Ameriprise Financial reported Wednesday.

Three-quarters of participants in a recent Ameriprise study on couples and money said they agreed on most financial matters, while more than a third also said there was room for improvement.

The study found that 88% of couples were happy with how they had divided up financial responsibilities in their relationship, and 68% said they communicated well about their financial situation. Both individuals in the pair rated themselves as engaged, responsible and confident in managing their money.

“Money doesn’t have to be a deal breaker for couples,” Marcy Keckler, Ameriprise’s vice president of financial advice strategy, said in a statement. “Instead, it provides them with the opportunity to work as a team to create a strong financial foundation built on communication, planning and shared responsibilities.”

The Ameriprise study was conducted online this summer by Artemis Strategy Group among 1,514 U.S. opposite and same-sex couples (married or living together for at least six months with shared financial responsibility), ages 25 to 70 with at least $25,000 in investable assets.

Following are the top five money habits of happy couples in the Ameriprise study.

1. They make money a priority

Half of survey respondents believed that money was an important factor in their relationship, and only 15% said it was not important.

2. Most talk about and agree on financial goals and shared responsibilities

Sixty-eight percent of couples rated their communication on financial matters as good or perfect, and 82% said they had discussed retirement and had similar views on how to approach it.

3. They set spending limits

Any purchases over $400 on average need to be discussed.

4. The majority have joint banking accounts

If one partner keeps money separate from the joint account, the other is typically aware of it.

5. They share the responsibility for retirement planning and investment decisions

Ninety-two percent said they agreed on their target retirement savings goals

 

Source: Michael Fischer

THIS WEEK’S ECONOMIC DATA

  • U.S. housing starts fell 5.8% in August, but permits for future single-family homes surged 3.7%.
  • U.S. jobless claims fell to a two-month low in the week ended Sept. 17.
  • Existing home sales fell 0.9% in August, hindered by a shortage of inventory.
  • U.S. leading economic indicators fell 0.2% in August but still show a trend of moderate growth ahead, The Conference Board said.

Source: Ivy Weekly

 

 

Week in Review 2/8/2016

Bruce Doole
February 8th, 2016
Tax Deduction Rules For Charitable DonationsIf efforts to sell your unwanted stuff are unsuccessful, you can take a tax deduction for donations of used clothing and household items that are in good or better condition. You must be giving to an IRS-qualified organization. See IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, for rules on what constitutes a qualified organization.

You’ll have to do a little legwork to figure out how much you should deduct. The IRS says that the fair-market value of used clothing and household goods is the price that buyers would pay for them in a consignment or thrift shop. Some charities provide valuation guides on their websites to help you figure out how big a deduction you should claim. Choose an amount that makes sense given the garment’s age and quality. Tax preparation software, such as TurboTax and H&R Block, also includes valuation guides.
It’s important to maintain a paper trail of your contributions in case the IRS audits you. Different rules apply, depending on the value of your gifts. If you claim a tax deduction for a noncash contribution worth less than $250, the charity should give you a written acknowledgment that includes its name, the date and location of your donation, and a description of your gift. If the value of your donation falls between $250 and $500, the acknowledgment must also say whether you received goods or services in return (and if you did, an estimate of the value).The more generous you are, the more paperwork you’ll have to fill out. If your gift is worth more than $500, you must attach Form 8283 to your tax return. For donations valued at more than $5,000, you must also send the IRS a written appraisal of your gift. But you can deduct the cost of the appraisal subject to the 2 percent limit for miscellaneous itemized deductions.

Source: by Mandy Walker, Yahoo Finance 

This Week’s Economic Data

  • France PMI Manufacturing Index was 50.0, down from 51.4 in December and at a 5-month low.
  • Germany PMI Manufacturing Index was 52.3, which was higher than its estimate, but still down nearly a point from December.
  • Japan PMI Composite was 52.6 in January, up from 52.2 in December.
  • Germany PMI Composite was 54.4, just 0.1 points short of its flash reading but 1.1 points down from year-end.
  • European Union PMI Composite was 53.6, up just 0.1 points from its flash estimate but down 0.7 points from its final mark at the end of 2015.
  • U.S. Jobless Claims rose 8,000 to 285,000 – 5,000 above consensus estimates.
  • U.S. Employment Situation: Nonfarm payrolls rose 151,000 vs. expectations for 188,000.
  • U.S. International Trade widened in December to $43.4 billion from a revised $42.2 billion in November. 

– Source: Ivy Funds

Recovery, Now What?

Bruce Doole
October 13th, 2009

WE’VE HAD SOME RECOVERY IN THE MARKETS,  NOW WHAT?….Last year at this time, we were writing about the extraordinary market conditions we were facing and that the hurricane force winds that were driving the economy down would eventually subside and we would have a recovery at the end of this year.  It turns out that the economic recovery started earlier than was expected, albeit slowly and as they usually do, the markets anticipated the recovery by a few months and started moving back up the second week of March.   Our patience in holding on to our investments has paid off and we have started to sell some of our investments that are back in profits.  As we have been reading, the Federal government and the Federal Reserve have taken significant measures to add liquidity to the markets (put more money into the banking system) and keep interest rates at an all-time low.   In addition, the Federal deficit has increased dramatically as has the issuance of new Federal debt.  This will have to lead to inflation which will mean higher interest rates in the next few years.  We are thus starting to prepare for this eventuality by investing in stable short term and inflation protected government bonds, natural resource funds, and international funds that are based on non-dollar denominated currencies.   We will also be looking at companies that make products that tend to keep pace or even stay ahead of inflation like consumer staples, drugs, medical devices, and energy – especially renewable energy.

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