Let’s Play an Annuity Game, Payout Start Date Edition

Tyler Linsten Investing, Personal Finance

Not to be confused with Let’s Needlessly Tinker with and Damage the Global Economy with Random Tariffs game.  QUICK: You have 20 seconds to read the Payout Start Date description below while assuming you yourself have owned the annuity since the 1990s. QUESTION: Can you begin payout now? 3… 2… 1… Pencils Down. Stumped, like I was? Now, maybe I’m just a little dense, but this passage seems extremely confusing and hard to understand. I had to read it multiple times to get a handle on what was possible. To be honest, I’m still only about 95% sure what it’s saying. I can’t get over how hilariously sad (sadly hilarious?) the phrase “on or before the later of” is. How …

Let’s Critique Another Seattle Times Money Makeover

Tyler Linsten Investing, Personal Finance

The Bad CD Advice Edition. This violation isn’t as bad as the last one, so it’s got that going for it (which is nice).  This week’s “Money Makeover” in the Seattle Times is, overall, pretty harmless. I think the planners provided reasonable recommendations and the subject will likely be better off if she abides by the prescription. But there’s just that one part. It’s like when you see a single small chunk of your car that you missed when you washed it in the driveway. Once you notice it you can’t look away, and you must blog about it. This week’s subject was Morgan, a unicorn, er, a Millennial with no debt, no credit card, and lives within her means. …

When Does Portfolio Management Become Portfolio Mismanagement?

Tyler Linsten Investing, Personal Finance

“I know it when I see it,” and I’ve seen it in The Seattle Times. Let’s start with some background. Portfolio management is not a science, despite the profession’s diligent and extremely lucrative attempt to prove otherwise. In fact, “portfolio management as a science” has probably been the driving factor behind the biggest transfer of wealth known to mankind; the flow of money from ignorant investors to the pockets of high-fee fund managers. Can you really blame either party? For decades, we’ve seen the brightest minds of graduating classes across the country make their pilgrimage to Wall Street to reap the benefits of sitting behind very expensive desks, pretending to apply scientific rigor and a repeatable process to what is actually …

Tax Overhaul: One Thing to Do Now

Tyler Linsten Personal Finance

No, it’s not to move to Canada. Yet. The end of 2017 brought a massive overhaul to federal tax law. There are numerous implications, complications and very few simplifications. You won’t be able to do your taxes on a post card. Sorry, Ivanka. I’m not going to provide a detailed write-up of changes, or offer up any unsolicited Hot Tax Tips for 2018 and Beyond. That’s been done elsewhere by specialists, and to view all of the changes you have Google. I can’t one-up the work that’s already out there. (Shoutout to clients: Obviously, I’m going to reach out if there’s something I think will need attention in your personal situation) What I am going to do is suggest you …

Fine, Let’s Talk about Bitcoin

Tyler Linsten Investing, Personal Finance

Not to be confused with my Fine, Let’s Talk about Trump post. I’ve held off on writing about this one for quite a while now. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading/listening up on the topic. Cryptocurrency has taken the financial world by storm and it’s THE topic of the day. If you haven’t heard of it then I salute you, because I, too, would love to live in the mountains with zero contact from the outside world. That said, people hire me to tell them what to do with their money so it’s my obligation to be in the know about what does or doesn’t make sense for their portfolios. Most is garbage to be sidestepped (hint, hint). Let’s …