True Contrarian Investments LLC
Steven Jon Kaplan began TrueContrarian.com in August 1996 as a weekly blog and later expanded this to a daily newsletter with intraday updates in February 2006. He has been trading his own account, and those of family and close friends, since 1981, and handles separately managed accounts for qualified clients. As a registered investment advisor, Steve charges a 20 % performance fee on net profits and no management fees. He has been quoted in Barron's, Market Watch, Dow Jones Newswires, Seeking Alpha, Kitco, and elsewhere and has appeared on Market Watch cable TV with Stacey Delo.
Steven's goal is to identify those assets which are farthest away from the best estimates of their realistic fair-value levels. This is done through designing algorithms which examine the most reliable signals in the financial markets. These include insider buying relative to selling; investor inflows and outflows; media and advisors' sentiment; and intraday behavior especially near multi-decade tops and bottoms. He studies historical interrelationships to mathematically identify which divergences from typical behavior are pointing the way toward essential trend changes.
Steve enjoys running with the New York Road Runners Club, composing and performing on piano and voice, writing stories, and traveling to unique places. He enjoys hearing from anyone about a wide range of topics, so please let him know what you think about the web site or whatever is on your mind. You can find his music on ReverbNation.
BES, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The Johns Hopkins University
Assets Under Management:
20% of net profits; zero management fees.
True Contrarian Investments LLC
Steven Jon Kaplan explains why investors repeatedly fool themselves.
Steven Jon Kaplan: April 2010 conference
You are on the right track; a lot depends upon your income bracket, age, and other considerations. One very good choice today is two-year U.S. Treasuries which are paying almost 3% and where the interest is completely free of state and local income taxes. You can purchase these at treasurydirect.gov. You can also purchase shorter-dated U.S. Treasuries which pay somewhat less but the money isn't tied up for two years.
I would avoid corporate bonds, dividend stocks, and other assets with fluctuating values. Risk-averse people will tend to sell these whenever they are lowest and buy them when they are highest, so they are best avoided in favor of true risk-free assets which pay around 3%.
Your assumption is incorrect. If someone signs a loan and any of the parties on the loan do not make timely payments, then all of the parties who signed or co-signed the loan will have their credit rating affected and are each 100% liable for the total amount of the loan. That is why you should never co-sign a loan with anyone but a spouse, and sometimes not even a spouse, since if the other person doesn't pay then you are fully liable in all aspects including interest, fees, penalties, and the negative impact on your credit rating.
Sometimes you have to just say no, even to a close friend or relative.
The correct answer is that you must use a spreadsheet. Enter all the mortgage data and make sure that the calendar months properly correspond in all cases. Then you will have all the data you need until the final mortgage matures. You can find tutorials on the internet which explain this in detail.
Making contributions to a 401(k) can only reduce your taxes, not increase it, because those contributions are subtracted from your income when computing your marginal tax rate. There is an annual maximum so that contributions above that level don't further decrease your income but can later be rolled into a Roth IRA since they weren't used as a tax deduction.
If you need to access your money then a fluctuating asset of any kind is a terrible idea. You should go to treasurydirect.gov and invest in short-term U.S. government Treasuries of one month to two years in duration. The two-year notes are paying almost 3% and they are completely free of all state and local taxes. For short-term needs keep it in the short-term maturities which pay somewhat less but are easier to access. You can link these to your checking or savings accounts at your local bank for quick transfer if needed.