In no particular order, here’s a few interesting things I heard and read recently that I wanted to share:
How Could a Tax Change Affect You? This Is What the Senate and House Propose (NY Times, by Ron Lieber and Tara Siegel Bernard)
Much discussion of late regarding the Trump Presidency looking to amend the current tax structure. Most would agree that the current tax code is complicated, but most disagree on how to simplify it. This article does a great job comparing the current structure to the proposals from both the Senate and the House. Although unlikely to happen – I would actually be interested in a flat tax, or some type of a consumption tax… but I will leave it up to the politicians to hash that out. What is likely is a reduction in the number of brackets (currently 7), coupled with the top bracket rate being lowered (currently 39.6%) and/or the income level for the top bracket being raised (currently $417k for singles, $470k for couples). Also in play are limits to how much you can deduct from home property interest or on the sale of a home, as well as possibly doing away with moving expense deductions. Another thing I am keeping an eye on is if they raise the “standard deduction”. Any substantial raise in the standard deduction will cause less people to itemize their deductions… therefore place less of a value on charitable giving. In other words, billions of dollars could be taken from charities if less than the current one-third of Americans itemize (obviously a crushing blow to non-profits). It will be interesting to see where the changes actually occur, so for now “it’s all talk”.
15 Reasons Why Gen Xers Are Smarter With Their Money Than Millennials (Entrepreneur.com, content provided by Due)
If you are between the ages of 34 and 54, you will feel really good about reading this article. I highlight it because most of my clients are between these ages, and these are many of the reasons why I love working with this demographic. And shall I mention, I am a Gen Xer myself! Nothing against millennials – in fact, I could have done without the comparison – but this article could very well be titled “15 Reasons why Gen Xers are Great!”. Gen Xers (those born between 1964 and 1983) are somehow the forgotten generation, sandwiched between Millennials and Baby Boomers. I find them to be very astute and dedicated towards making a plan, and know what it takes to make sound and realistic financial decisions. Since most of the people reading this blog right now are in this age range, please read this…and feel good about yourself!
Warren Buffett: The Three Things I Look For in a Person (Farnam Street blog)
When Warren Buffet speaks, Brandon listens! Here’s another gem from the Oracle of Omaha, this one I hadn’t heard previously and is magically summed up in this 2 minute blog post by Farnam. Here’e the gist of it: “You’re looking for three things, generally, in a person,” says Buffett. “Intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two. I tell them, ‘Everyone here has the intelligence and energy—you wouldn’t be here otherwise. But the integrity is up to you.” Take 120 seconds and read if you want a quick leadership tip.
Enjoy the light reading!