Monthly Archive: November 2011

Nov 16

Some Major Tax Breaks Expiring in 2011 and 2012

Below are the major tax benefits ending this year and next.  Unless Congress does something to make some of the temporary reductions permanent, many of us could be facing a higher tax bill in 2012 and a much higher one in 2013.  The following may help spark some preemptive tax planning.  The topics below were …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.com/2011/11/some-major-tax-breaks-expiring-in-2011-and-2012/

Nov 15

For good reason, ETFs continue their popularity increase

Some recent press reports highlighted the large outflows from mutual funds. In the five weeks that roughly corresponded with October, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI), $20.4 billion was removed from U.S. stock mutual funds.  According to ICI  data, in the related 12 months period (ending November. 2, 2011), investors removed $124.3 billion from mutual funds that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.com/2011/11/for-good-reason-etfs-continue-their-popularity-increase/

Nov 14

The plot thickens – Theft at MF Global

MF Global customers had their accounts frozen after the October 31, 2011 bankruptcy filing. The freezing occurred because, shortly after the bankruptcy filing, MF Global reported that over $600 million of what should have been client-segregated funds were missing. Like the 2008 failures of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and Merrill Lynch, MF Global fell shockingly …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.com/2011/11/the-plot-thickens-%e2%80%93-theft-at-mf-global/

Nov 13

Quit Whining: A (Former) Fan’s Perspective of the NBA Lockout

I’m a sports fan, but I stopped following the NBA years ago.  Even as a resident of Los Angeles, home of the perennial powerhouse Lakers and the incomparable Kobe Bryant, I can’t remember the last time I watched a full NBA game on television, be it regular season or the playoffs. This was not always …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.com/2011/11/quit-whining-a-former-fan%e2%80%99s-perspective-of-the-nba-lockout/

Nov 12

The iPhone 4s and Conformity

The iPhone 4s with the Siri voice command system has been out for a while.  As expected there are now several examples available of how well it works with real people using real accents.  Here is one with a Scottish Accent. And cnet did a methodical test with several East Asian accents. With the technical …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.com/2011/11/the-iphone-4s-and-conformity/

Nov 11

Madoff victims still far from full recovery

Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was estimated to be $64.8 billion.  These are amounts that customers supposedly held at his investment firm as of November 30, 2008.  However, the $64.8 billion does not reflect actual customer losses.  That number is estimated to be $17.3 billion.  The trustee, Irving Picard, has already recovered $8.7 billion.  A majority …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.com/2011/11/madoff-victims-may-get-full-recovery/

Nov 10

NBC phone poll is a disgrace

An NBC poll that was released on Monday received lots of attention but no meaningful analysis. The headline and initial sentence that first led me to this “news” read: Americans think economy is rigged to favor rich, poll finds U.S. voters are overwhelmingly convinced that the economy is structured to favor the rich.” With this …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.com/2011/11/nbc-phone-poll-is-a-disgrace/

Nov 09

How to Choose a Financial Planner?

As of January 2010, according to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc (CFPB) there are approximately 61,000 Certified Financial Planners (CFP) in the United States. California has the most CFP professionals with 6,805. So, then how do you choose the Financial Planner that is right for YOU?  Here are my recommendations: First, you …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.com/2011/11/how-to-choose-a-financial-planner/

Nov 09

Groupon: Valuation Pluses and Minuses.

The Groupon IPO finally occurred.  At least for the moment, the insiders are looking smart for rejecting Google’s six billion dollar offer for the local deals coupon site.  The initial day’s trading set the market capitalization of the firm at over twice that. So it is either going to be the next Amazon or the next …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.com/2011/11/groupon-valuation-pluses-and-minuses/

Nov 08

Scienter (almost) required for 1933 act securities suits

It just got a lot harder to successfully sue preparers of financial statements and their auditors under the 1933 Securities Act. In Fait v. Regions Financial Corporation, et al., the Second Circuit upheld a District Court ruling that threw out a case having remarkably common facts. The case involves allegations that financial statements were not …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.com/2011/11/scienter-almost-required-for-1933-act-securities-suits/

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