Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mitt Romney's Tax Return

A few weeks ago, Gov. Mitt Romney released his latest tax return. People who follow politics might be interested in some of the details, but that's not our main purpose here -- instead it's to consider his tax strategies.

But aren't those things just for rich people? Hey, remember the saying: If you want to be rich, do what the rich people do! (I want to be rich; don't you?) Of course not everything he does is applicable to "ordinary" folks like you and me, but there are some lessons to be gained.

Bob Green, a CPA specializing in tax issues for active traders (I highly recommend his site's free information and webinars, plus his paid publications and services), wrote an excellent article on Romney's tax return. He certainly benefits from favorable tax rates because of the way most of his income is structured (i.e, from income taxed as capital gains rather than personal services or wages). But Romney actually was not quite as aggressive on some aspects as he could have been, including certain deductions. He left some money on the table. Read the article and see how. Then learn, and try to do the good stuff he does, and don't miss the stuff he missed (you can't afford to miss it as much as he can afford to).


Friday, February 03, 2012

Three Extra Days to Do Taxes In 2012

You may (or may not) have read there are two extra days to do your income taxes this year. Actually, it turns out there are three.

Normally the U.S. income tax return must be postmarked (or electronically submitted) by April 15. However in 2012 April 15 occurs on a Sunday, so the date is pushed forward one day.

But April 16 is Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C., a holiday. So the due date is moved forward one more day, to April 17.

So what's the third extra day? Well, it's February 29 -- because 2012 is a leap year!

So you have even less excuse than usual for not getting your taxes in early. But I know many of you will still wait till the last minute. Some post offices will even stay open till midnight to handle the final rush. Not that I've ever done that, you understand ...            :-)


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Seasonal Patterns Are Favorable for the Market

Last time I promised to say more about seasonal patterns, as pointed out by further articles from Alpha Investment Management.

I've written about seasonal tendencies before, for instance here. At that time we were headed into the historically worst part of the 4-year election cycle for stocks, on average. Well, now the situation is reversed.

As explained in the Experts and Human Nature article, we're in the best six months of the year (November through May). Combine that with political considerations, and it turns out we're in the early stages of the best 15 months of the 4-year election cycle. That favorable period consists of the 4th quarter of last year, and all this year, as discussed in The Next 10 Years.

Again, all seasonal patterns are "on average," and any year can vary. (In particular, indications are likely that over the last 3 days, we have already started a correction, of unknown duration.) Seasonality is not a guarantee the market will go up for the entire year, but it makes it more likely. Any given cycle can vary, but over time, this is the pattern.

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Current Market Outlook from Mike Burk

There's a free weekly newsletter I like from Mike Burk at Alpha Investment Management. Here's a short excerpt from the latest edition, which basically agrees with my own opinion:
The good news is: The small and mid cap indices as well as the NASDAQ composite (OTC) closed at multi year highs Friday.

The small caps hitting multi year highs is an intermediate term positive implying higher highs for all of the major indices in the next few months. [However,] most of the breadth indicators did not confirm Friday's highs and that, along with the seasonal pattern, suggests short term weakness.
The newsletter also has charts showing you the technical indicators he's talking about.

Next time, more about those seasonal patterns. Meanwhile, you can subscribe to the newsletter free.

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