Here's our weekly wide-ranging grab-bag of interesting reads from around the web:
- Hold tight or splurge? Booming retirement accounts are making that a tough question. (Washington Post). The market run-up is tempting people to raid their retirement accounts — despite the taxes, the withdrawal penalty, and the opportunity cost.
- People are bragging about becoming 401(k) millionaires — and posting their balances to social media (MarketWatch). This would seem to be another sign that a market euphoria may be taking hold.
- Amazon and Apple gush over holiday sales (New York Times). The two business behemoths, which (along with Facebook and Google) have driven much of the stock market run-up, show no signs of slowing down.
- Are deductions less valuable under the new tax laws? (Morningstar). It all depends on whether the deductions are "above the line" (such as IRA and HSA contributions) or "below the line" (items deducted on Schedule A).
- Massive cryptocurrency heist spurs call for more regulation (Bloomberg). Security failures continue to plague the cryptocurrency world.
And from the blogosphere...
- It's hard to predict how you'll respond to risk (Mogan Housel, Collaborative Fund). The distance between anticipating what a market downturn will feel like vs. actually living through one is 10 miles wide.
- Is your mortgage interest really deductible? (Hugh Chou). Can you still deduct your interest cost under the new tax law? Mr. Chou, a self-described "academic computer geek" at Washington University in St. Louis, has an online calculator that should answer the question.
- Timing tax savings with deduction lumping and charitable clumping (Michael Kitces). Bright minds are already figuring out how slight changes in timing can enable some taxpayers to continue itemizing (at least in certain years).
- Is the momentum factor relevant for bonds? (The Capital Spectator). "Suggesting that momentum strategies are irrelevant for bonds requires overlooking quite a lot of research that demonstrates an alternative conclusion." Yep. That's why we look at momentum when selecting the rotating fund in our Bond strategy.
- Do not be conformed (Howard Dayton, Compass – finances God's way). It's not easy to resist the lure of a materialistic culture, especially when bombarded by manipulative advertising. (Keep that in mind as you watch the Super Bowl!)
As always, your comments and observations are welcome! Scroll down slightly and "Join the Discussion."