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Government & Regulatory

Governmental activities, including laws and regulation, have a significant influence on financial matters.  Alerts and no and notices generally provide helpful information.

IL 2016 Tax Handbook 201603

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015
Social Security, Medicare Part B and other provisions unrelated to the impending default on U.S. debt.

Ex-Im Bank Dispute Threatens G.E. Factory That Obama Praised” 20151025 NYT
There have been other large companies the are considering or have decided to move operations out of the U.S. for the same reason.

Billionaires’ Bluff” 20150625 PC

Why Tax Brackets Aren’t the Key to Simplifying the Tax Code”  20150514 B

The Day That Changed Wall Street Forever” 20150430.WSJ
May 1,1975 Contrary to concern that it would be harmful,

The Real Internal Revenue Scandal“20140705NYT
The sam applies to the VA and the SEC.

“Look Who’s Locking Horns Over Retirement Accounts” 20130809WSJ
Stockbrokers and insurance agents flex their political muscle to avoid being required to act in the best interest of their clients and avoid conflicts.

“Dodd-Frank reforms for savers, at a glance” 20120810
Janet Kidd Stewart summarizes some of the results of the laws that are in place.

FINRA Questioned as Appropriate & Efficient regulator. 20120711NAPFA
NAPFA  continues to stress the need for a regulator to protect investors.

“SEC Investor Alert: Self-Directed IRAs and the Risk of Fraud”
This alert discusses among other topics: why these and similar retirement accounts are targets of fraudulent schemes, ways to avoid such schemes, recent cases and resources.

“Growing Income Gap May Leave U.S. Vulnerable” 20111013B
This subject is getting increasing attention.  This article will be of interest whether or not you agree that there is an increasing gap between the rich and the rest of the population and whether or not you think this is bad. schemes, recent cases and resources.  It does not discuss the income tax issues. fraudulent types of accounts.  The alert discusses the investment risks associated with investing through self-directed Individual Retirement Plans and  schemes, ways to avoid such schemes, recent cases and resources.fraudulent. Among the subjects covered by the alerts are: why Self-Directed IRAs and related vehicles are targets.

FHA Enhanced HARP 20111024
The enhancements make it easier for the with mortgage balances higher than the value of their homes the ability to refinance.

“Troubled home owners get a lifeline” 20111024CNNMoney
A new program may provide relief for those with home values lower than their mortgage balances.

IRS announces the 2012 retirement-related limitations and phase outs
These and the annual inflation adjustments should be considered in your 2011 year-end tax planning.

IRS announce the 2012 amounts for items that are adjusted annually for inflation
These items include: tax-brackets, personal and dependent exemptions, stand deduction and estate and gift tax exclusions.

“Public Non-Traded REITs – Perform a Careful Review Before Investing”
FINRA
Balance selling points with the complexities and risk of these investments.  Understand the impact of their liquidity and generally higher expenses.

The Budget Control Act of 2011Summary posted August 3, 2011

“How to Check Out Your Stock Broker” 20110705F
This article also provides a description of designations used by “Brokers” and “Advisers”

FINRA issues investor alert about investments with higher returns.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued an Investor Alert that investors that are reaching for higher returns are often increasing their risks.  An explanation of the products is followed by questions for investors to make sure they understand the investment BEFORE they invest.

“The U.S. Debt Limit Questions and Answers”
Overview of the debit limit.

“Find The Taxes That Do double Duty” 20110220 NYT
“Taxes levied on harmful activities kill two birds with one stone.”

“SEC Study Lifts Bar for Brokers” 20110124 WSJ
Investment advisers are held to a “fiduciary duty” standard, compelling them to put the interest of their clients first.  Brokers are required to only requited that the products they sell are “suitable” for their clients.

“Rand Report” published in 2008 studied the investor and industry perspectives.  Their finding included:
there is much confusion by consumers between the differences between Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers. The differences in their roles and responsibility for their services are nut understood.  Most did not realize Investment e fiduciary responsibility is higher than the suitability standard of Broker-Dealers.  The insurance industry is regulated by the individual states as is not subject to either of the laws covering Investor Advisers and Broker-Dealers.

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