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Investing Blog Roundup: Retirement Savings Contribution Credit

There are a handful of tax-planning topics that get quite a bit of coverage (e.g., Roth conversions, whether to contribute to Roth or tax-deferred accounts, backdoor Roth strategies). Morningstar’s Christine Benz recently took a look at two important topics that don’t get very much attention.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Fiduciary Duty Rule

With the GOP now in control of the executive and legislative branches, the Department of Labor “fiduciary rule” is in peril of being eliminated before it goes into effect. This week Michael Kitces provides an update on what, exactly, is going on with the rule right now. And Jack Bogle makes the case that elimination of the fiduciary rule would be “a step backward for our nation.”

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Investing Blog Roundup: Hierarchy of Retirement Needs

It’s common for retirees — even well informed retirees — to make financial decisions that, from a purely economic perspective, don’t make sense. People like to hold much more cash than they actually need. People with no bequest motive and long life expectancies still tend to claim Social Security early and avoid annuitizing their portfolios. People prefer variable annuities to basic immediate lifetime annuities, even though they’re usually an inferior tool for satisfying an income need. The list goes on and on.

This week, Michael Kitces provides an interesting discussion of a psychological “hierarchy of retirement needs” that seems to be informing these decisions.

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Investing Blog Roundup: A Two-Dimensional Assessment of Risk Tolerance

When it comes to assessing how much risk you can handle with your portfolio, there are two things to consider: how much risk you can handle mentally, and how much risk you can handle financially. Many financial institutions attempt to provide one combined measurement of the two to get a sense of your overall risk tolerance. This week, Michael Kitces makes the case for assessing the two things separately, and allowing whichever aspect of risk tolerance is lower to control the decision:

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Investing Blog Roundup: T-Shares for Mutual Funds

In recent decades, investors have been putting considerable pressure on mutual fund companies to lower their costs. Morningstar’s John Rekenthaler argues that the same thing is beginning to happen with the cost of advisory services. The new “T” share class for advisor-sold mutual funds is one example of such pressures.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Opening, Middle Game and Endgame of Retirement Planning

Retirement can last quite a long time. And, as Dirk Cotton points out this week, the risks facing you and strategies available to you are different from one stage of retirement to another. And it would be wise to explicitly account for such changes when crafting a retirement plan.

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