Sound Asset Management Inc.
Russell Wayne is a Certified Financial Planner and President and Chief Investment Officer of Sound Asset Management, Inc., an independent financial advisor based in Weston, Connecticut primarily serving clients in the greater New York tristate region and throughout New England.
Russell began his career with Arnold Bernhard & Co., Inc., the parent company of Value Line, Inc. Positions he held while associated with Value Line included Managing Editor, The Value Line Investment Survey; Portfolio Adviser, The Value Line Mutual Funds; Executive Editor, The Value Line OTC Special Situations Service; Business Manager, Value Line, Inc.; Portfolio Manager, Value Line Asset Management; and Director of Investment Software, Value Line Software.
From 1991 to 1995, Russell was Vice-President and Chief Investment Officer with Heine Management Group. He was also Vice-President and Secretary of the LMH Fund, Ltd. Clients for whom he has managed portfolios include Xerox, Texas Utilities, National Maritime Union, and United Cerebral Palsy Association.
Russell has been a featured guest on television, including CNN and the Bloomberg Network. He has been quoted in leading business print periodicals and well-known websites, including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Transcript, The New York Times, Investment News, MSNBC, Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, and Facebook.
Russell earned his B.A. and M.B.A. at Hofstra University. He earned his Certificate in Financial Planning from Florida State University and has pursued postgraduate studies at New York University School of Law. He is listed in Who's Who In The East, Who's Who In Finance and Industry, Who's Who In America, and Who's Who in the World. Russell has contributed to a number of published works. His own published works include Markets, Myths, and Memories (2010) and Live Well and Sleep Well With Your Investments Now and When You Retire (2016).
Russell is a proud member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
M.B.A. (Finance and Investments). B.A., N.Y.U. Law, Hofstra University
Certified Financial Planner, Florida State University
Assets Under Management:
With a six-month time frame, your possibilities for reasonable investment should be focused on opportunities where the likelihood of gain substantially outweighs the risk of loss. With that said, you may want to consider issues focused on floating interest rates and/or short-term debt securities.. Floating rate issues have periodic adjustments to take account of changes in interest rates, which in the next year or so will almost certainly be going up. Short-term securities mature in the next couple of years, so there's much less risk. Two to look at are FLOT (iShares Floating Rate Bond ETF) and MINT (PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active ETF)
You can open either a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA if your spouse doesn't work. There are several requirements for doing so. You must be married and file a joint tax return. And you must have earned income equal to or more than the amount you are contributing to the IRAs. The total annual contribution to each IRA is $5,500 ($6,500 if you are over 50).
Contributions to traditional IRAs may be made up to the age of 70 1/2. That's the age when Required Minimum Distributions begin. There is no age limit for Roth IRAs, but no withdrawals are allowed until five years after January 1st of the year in which the first contribution was made. There are no required minimum distributions from Roth IRAs.
Withdrawals from traditional IRAs are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. Withdrawals from Roth IRAs are tax-free.
Keep in mind that Roth IRAs are funded by aftertax money so the actual pretax cost will be higher than that of a traditional IRA.
So the answer to your question is Yes and your "real" contributions will actually be higher if you choose to open a Roth IRA for your wife.
Excellent question. One of the key steps folks should take in improving their financial health is paying down and eliminating credit card debt. The interest rate on your outstanding credit card balance is more than three times the rate of your mortgage, so it would certainly be beneficial for you to reduce your credit card balance first from whatever extra funds you available each month. As I'm sure you know, much of the income for the credit card companies comes from interest on outstanding balances, so they're only too happy to allow you to make only a small monthly payment, which means that those payments will be coming in for extended periods unless folks make efforts to pay off their balances. But paying no more than the minimum is an expensive trap. Don't fall into it. Pay off as much as you can and look forward to the day when you no longer have to shoulder this burden. Once it's paid off, make sure to pay the balance in full each month.
It would be helpful to learn how many years you have left to pay off your student loans. If it's only a couple of years, I'd lean in the direction of using the proceeds from your mutual fund investments to pay them down now. With that said, however, I suspect that you have gains in the funds, which means that the net available, after taxes, will be significantly less than the current value. You need to keep that in mind before going ahead on this route.
On the other hand, if you have three to five years or more, I would be more inclined to let the funds grow. Although the stock market is quite richly valued now and may well have a correction (or two) in the period just ahead, it seems probable that even with a pullback overall prices will be higher by the early part of the next decade.
You would have to sell the securities first and pay the taxes on whatever gains have accumulated. Thereafter, you can use the proceeds to fund a new Roth IRA.
As you are probably aware, a Roth IRA is funded with aftertax money. One of the main advantages of a Roth IRA is that it grows tax-free until funds are withdrawn. When they are withdrawn, no further tax is payable. When you open a Roth IRA, the funds have to remain in place until five years after January 1st of the year in which the Roth IRA was established. Once five years have passed, all withdrawals (both contributions and earnings) are tax-free. If withdrawals are made before the five-year period has passed, that would be considered an unqualified distribution. Unqualified distributions will trigger ordinary tax rates plus a 10% penalty on the earnings withdrawn. The reason for this strict rule is that Roth IRAs were created as long-term savings accounts, not for short-term investing.
Unlike traditional IRAs, there are no required minimum distributions starting at the age of 70 1/2. So by starting a Roth, you would be able to shelter the funds from further taxes on the earnings.