Are you ready to ride in a driver-less taxi? Uber thinks you are. After raising $5 billion from investors, the ride sharing juggernaut now wants to dump the taxi drivers and go driverless. In a mad dash to be the firstest with the mostest in driverless taxi's, Uber hired away the top robotics scientists from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Steve and Sinclair review the controversy reported in the Wall Street Journal. CFP® Murray Titterington with IQ Wealth joins the A-Team to talk about Social Security strategies and using software to arrive at the optimal approach.
Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. The debate rages on whether California should invest the billion dollars per plant it will take to provide drinking water from the Pacific. IDE Technologies of Israel has built 400 plants over four decades and has refined the techniques, lowered the cost per gallon, and reduced environmental impact. Carlsbad and San Diego are now players, will LA and San Francisco follow suit? Critics site the cost as being high, yet Californians are ready to build a football stadium to attract an NFL team. The last one built, Dallas Cowboy Stadium (AT&T) cost $1.2 billion. You can build a plant that will cover the water needs for a city the size of Los Angeles with that kind of money. Matt Griffin of Payson Petroleum joins us for the Q & A on Mastering Money.
Buying a home this summer or know someone who is? You might want to close prior to August 1, when a new batch of red tape arrives, courtesy of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It could affect the length of time it takes to close by up to 10 days, lock expirations, and more. Steve and Sinclair review an update by Daniel Goldstein of MarketWatch. In the Q & A segment, Sinclair quizzes Steve on an annuity that offers a 20% bonus to the income and death benefit base.
Have you heard about the retirement programs known as the "770 Account" or "Bank on Yourself", which can result in tax free income in retirement that may rival many other investments? They are heavily marketed on the internet, yet are simply marketing nicknames for what is known as "Overfunded" or "Max Funded" cash value life insurance. IQ Wealth is an authority and primary resource for these types of policies. Many U.S. banks utilize max funded life policies for a part of their cash reserves. In fact, American banks like Bank of American, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Citi owned a combined $130 billion in this asset which is secure, safe, and can be used for cash access with tax deferral when not taking withdrawals. Steve and Sinclair review it in Segment 2. In segment 3, the Q & A segment, gold expert Nick Grovich of American Federated joins the A-Team.
History can mess up your investments, according to Morgan Housel of the Motley Fool. Using history as your only screen for investments is dangerous, and dangerous is expensive in the investment world. What starts as an honest attempt to objectively study the past quickly becomes a field day of confirming your existing beliefs. Psychologists call it Confirmation Bias, and we all suffer from it. Think stocks are expensive? History agrees. Think stocks are cheap? History agrees. Think tax cuts spur economic growth? History agrees. You can win any economic argument you want using a version of history, written somewhere. You just need to be the last person on the podium. Interesting insights on Mastering Money today. In the Q & A segment, IQ Wealth CFP® Murray Titterington, formerly with Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, joins the A-Team to talk Social Security.
The global bond market is estimated at well over $60 trillion dollars nearly twice the size of the global stock markets. If you've been trying to figure out why US Treasury bonds have been rising in rate (and falling in value, causing losses in bond funds), guess what? It has to do with an unprecedented intrusion into world wide bond trading by automated hedge funds known as CTAs. They are algorithmically set, and when the setting is wrong, an mass covering of position is required. Steve and Sinclair review information from several sources reported in the Wall Street Journal. Matt Griffin of Payson Petroleum joins the A-Team for the Q & A on world oil prices.
Is there a difference in the amount of wealth that can be created by reinvesting dividends versus spending dividends? Yes, and it is substantial--IF--you give it 20 to 50 years. Steve and Sinclair break down and analyze the outcomes of two investors who bought Coca Cola in 1962 to 1965 when Coke was trading at $80 a share with $10,000. One of the investors spent all dividends. The other reinvested dividends. Who came out better? You will want to review the difference from several points of view in both the Getting Smart segment and the Q & A session.
Is Saudi Arabia setting things up for a big oil spike? Some experts who follow supply and demand within the oil industry believe so. SA has exceeded all records of production in an attempt to crush the shale industry, and in so doing, their reserve spare supply is now dwindling. Steve and Sinclair review an article by oil commentator Nick Cunningham who points out that Saudi Arabia wins either way--a low price or a high price, and at some point, demand and supply will change equilibrium. Meanwhile, big private equity investors are moving into oil and gas as a contrarian investment reports the Wall Street Journal.
Today on Mastering Money, Steve and Sinclair review the rising costs of Obama Care--those under Medicare age can expect increases in premiums of 20% to 40% as insurers discover how many claims are coming in. Could be a shocker for many people making more than $75k a year. The penalty for not having Obama Care is in full effect and can be as much as 2% of a person's AGI. In segment 3, Steve reviews capital gains brackets for various types of assets and income levels. Don't forget, if you sell that property outright, your AGI can skyrocket, putting you in the highest bracket and under the shadow of the Pease provision, where your deductions are reduced by 3%. The Obamacare Tax of 3.8% is a reality, and exposure to the Alternative Minimum Tax can also enter in. Listen in.
This year, institutional managers have pulled $3.5 billion from REITs and utilities funds, according to Morningstar. The retreat has persisted even as soft U.S. economic data raise increasing questions about how soon the Fed will raise rates. Utilities and MLPs had big years last year, but are down over five percent this year. Steve and Sinclair review a Wall Street Journal article on the risks in high dividend stocks and High Yield Bonds (aka Junk bonds). In the Q & A, Steve reveals several advanced estate and tax planning strategies.