Make Informed Vehicle Purchase Decisions

In 1996, Thomas Stanley and William Danko co-wrote The Millionaire Next Door – an examination of millionaires in America and the common qualities that continuously appear among this demographic.  They spent nearly 20 years interviewing Americans with a net worth of at least $1 million and compared the behavior of what they termed “UAWs” (Under [...]

3 Suggestions for Purchasing 2019 Private Health Insurance

An estimated 20 million Americans do not have access to Medicare, Medicaid, or employer provided insurance and will be left to purchase their own health insurance in 2019.  If you’re among that 20 million, the news is relatively good.  In most states, premiums next year will be relatively flat (or even down in some states), [...]

Control the Controllables

Paul Azinger is described by many as the best Ryder Cup captain ever.  In 2008, he led what was arguably the least accomplished, least experienced, and least talented team of American golfers in the history of the Ryder Cup event – a 12-person team, missing the injured Tiger Woods and lacking a single player with [...]

Outcomes and Probabilities

German, Brazilian, English, Argentine, and Spanish football fans, take heart.  Football (or in American vernacular - soccer) is quantifiably the least predictable major sport.  In no other sport is luck such a critical determinant of the outcome.  So you have that going for you the next time you sit down with a Frenchman to discuss [...]

The Astute Angle Turns 100

On October 1, 2013, the United States government officially ran out of money and was forced to shutdown all non-essential operations as the result of a budget impasse.  For the next 16 days, national parks closed, 800,000 federal workers were furloughed without pay, and Veterans Affairs stopped sending benefit checks. In the less historically significant [...]

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Why You Should Not Own Your Best Investment Idea in a Tax-Deferred IRA

The following paraphrases a conversation that I have had many times before with friends and clients.  It is obviously never the same dialogue but the underlying advice is the same - that you should generally not own your favorite investment or can't-miss stock idea in a traditional IRA.   Me: Did you buy this stock because [...]

Your Brokerage Statement is Terrible

Brokerage statements are almost universally uninformative, misleading, and confusing.  They are largely a means for custodians to fulfill their legal reporting requirements as well as a legacy of yesteryear when we didn't have access to real-time data.  They often neglect important information that would be helpful for investors.  In many ways, these statements do far [...]

Should I Use a 529 College Savings Plan to Pay for Private K-12 Expenses?

When qualified state tuition programs (QSTPs) were first introduced in 1996 and Section 529 was added to the Internal Revenue Code, the intent of Congress was to create a create a tax-friendly way for families to save for college costs.  At that time, the law provided that any earnings in a QSTP would be tax [...]

The Newly Expanded Tax Credit That Every Georgia Taxpayer Should Understand

Last week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 769, expanding a Georgia tax credit that supports rural hospital organizations across Georgia.  We explained the value of the rural hospital tax credit in this 2017 Astute Angle post but the recently expanded tax credit under HB 769 combined with provisions of the Tax Cuts and [...]