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Jewish World Review Sept. 29, 1999 /19 Tishrei, 5760

Bruce Williams

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Trusting only one financial planner -- DEAR BRUCE: My wife and I are about to receive a legacy of $100,000 with no tax obligations. We currently have a personal financial planner whom we like very much and trust. However, giving the entire windfall of $100,000 to one planner makes me nervous. Should I find another broker and split the distribution 50/50, or would it behoove me to use only the investment firm that is currently managing the family estate? It is the most familiar with the estate portfolio. -- R.N., Fond-du-lac, Wis.

DEAR R.N.: The more funds you allow to be managed by one planner, the more important a client you become. If you were to split the money up, you would be reaching "ho-hum" status in terms of the amount of money invested. I would be very careful in choosing the individual, but I would give him or her the entire amount of money to handle. This way your financial planner will earn more money, and in turn, your portfolio will receive more personal attention.

DEAR BRUCE: Everything I have read about preparing for retirement indicates maxing out your 401(k). I have received different advice from a financial planner. I am a 43-year-old single mother with three children and my own home. He says that since I am in the lowest tax bracket possible -- head-of-household with children and a mortgage -- I should not be tax-deferring my money until a point when I may be in a higher bracket. He suggested that I take the little taxes now and invest my monies in avenues that grow tax-free, such as the Roth IRA and stocks. He advised that I should only invest in the 401(k) when the company's matching contribution ceases. -- D.L., El Dorado Hills, Calif.

DEAR D.L.: Hang on to this guy -- he is good at what he does! I agree with him on every point. Tax deferment is good if you are in a higher tax bracket, but if you are not it makes no sense.

DEAR BRUCE: For several years now I have been reading about people investing in Treasury Notes. Can you tell me where I can go about getting information on purchasing these notes? I have asked many people, and no one seems to know. -- B.K., Portage, Mich.

DEAR B.K.: The nearest Federal Reserve Bank in your area can tell you precisely how to go about purchasing these notes. A Treasury Note is an intermediate-length document, with the shortest being bills and the longest being bonds. Most banks offer this service for a relatively modest commission to purchase whatever treasury instrument you wish. You should know that since the purchase of these notes is done on an auction basis, the exact interest rate will not be known by you until after you have made your purchase.

Send your questions to JWR contributor Bruce Williams by clicking here. (Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.) Interested in buying or selling a house? Let Bruce Williams' "House Smart" be your guide. (Sales of the book help fund JWR).


09/27/99: Adult children should help out
09/24/99: Tips for first-time home buyers
09/21/99: Use the rule of 72s!
09/17/99: Legal strategy can be a pain
09/15/99: Teen drivers drive up insurance
09/13/99: Always use an attorney!
09/10/99: Whose taxes are they, anyway?
09/08/99: How do I roll over my 401(k)?
09/03/99: How can I work out my IRS payments?
09/01/99: When your company can't pay you
08/30/99: Beware of shady viatical investments
08/26/99: Landlords vary on security deposits
08/25/99: Educational IRAs must be spent on education
08/23/99: Finding out the value of old stocks
08/20/99: How to get an FHA refund
08/19/99: 100 percent financing is a scam
08/16/99: Will I have to pay a capital gains tax?
08/16/99: Thinking about PMI
08/13/99: Short-term mutual funds a-OK
08/11/99: It's your job to shop around
08/10/99: Sometimes, roots need to be uprooted
08/09/99: 'Pre-approved' doesn't mean a thing
08/06/99: Only you can determine your investments
08/04/99: Bank IRA the lowest-risk option
08/03/99: Reverse mortgages good for the elderly
08/02/99: Get the survey BEFORE you buy the house!
07/28/99: Get a lawyer -- it's worth it!
07/27/99: If it ain't broke...

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