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Tax Cut & Jobs Act creates winners and losers

February 5, 2018 Comments (0)

The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act has created winners and losers - sometimes on the same team.  Take Sally Beauty Holdings (ticker: SBH).  This is a company whose 37% tax rate should fall to 23% under the new law.  This should boost their after-tax profits by roughly 25% or $50 million.However, much of SBH’s rural sales reps will be on the losing side of the new tax law.  A typical SBH traveling sales rep might earn $55,000 per year, but will incur $20,000 in unreimbursed travel...

NCRS Pension and Treasurer Folwell

November 26, 2017 Comments (0)

Bottom line: NC Treasurer Dale Folwell is headed in the right direction. But, progress is never a straight line.  Treasurer Folwell impressed me by freezing new commitments to alternative investments.  He further impressed me by quickly firing a dozen active equity managers. But, I was disappointed that the $7 Billion of equities was liquidated instead of being transferred to index managers.  This lowered the equity exposure of the pension portfolio from 44% to 37% at a time that...

Picking Stocks is Hard, Picking Mutual Funds is Harder

April 2, 2017 Comments (0)

Princeton Economist Burton Malkiel, author of "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" famously pointed out, “If picking stocks is a random walk down Wall Street, picking mutual funds is an obstacle course through Hell’s Kitchen."The editors of Kiplinger's personal finance magazine have validated that statement.  Kiplinger's regularly publish "The Kiplinger 25" - a list of Kiplinger's favorite mutual funds.  I dug up a 10-year-old Kiplinger's magazine from...

Nevada Does Not Gamble With Their Public Pension

February 16, 2017 Comments (0)

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about the Nevada Public Employee Retirement System pension investments.  The entire pension investments are managed by one single person who invests 100% in passive index funds.  The entire investment process costs a paltry $18 million per year.  Compare that to North Carolina's annual costs of $595 million per year (see page 10). Now compare the investment results ending June 30, 2016:          ...

42 Years of NC Pension Investment Returns

February 16, 2017 Comments (0)

There has been a lot of hand wringing over the North Carolina Retirement System Pension Fund investment returns - as well there should be.  As I've documented previously on this blog, the returns could have been substantially higher had Richard Moore and Janet Cowell not squandered billions on a failed foray into alternative investments. In Treasurer Cowell's most recent investment performance report, the pension earned an annualized return of just 5.8% per year over the last 15 years...

North Carolina Pension Fund Sure Misses Harlan Boyles

February 16, 2017 Comments (0)

Last week North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell posted the Government Investment Operations Report for the North Carolina Retirement System Pension Fund for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016.  The report says the treasurer spent $595 Million managing the $87 Billion pension fund investment portfolio.  That's up from just $57 Million when the pension was $59 Billion when Harlan Boyles retired in 2000. NC Retirement System Pension Fund 2000...

Index Fund Returns Crush North Carolina Pension Returns (Again)

February 16, 2017 Comments (0)

North Carolina Treasurer Janet Cowell recently released investment returns for the state pension fund.  The press release touted the returns as being slightly better than average over the past 5 years (45th percentile).  However, it is important to keep in mind that the NC pension fund fails to beat a simple mix of low-cost Vanguard index funds.The table below shows the annualized returns of the NC pension fund compared to a simple portfolio of 5 Vanguard index mutual funds....

Payroll Adjustment Calculator and Take Home Pay Estimator

February 4, 2015 Comments (0)

It's tax season and many folks will realize they are getting a huge refund.  While this might be considered good news, it also means you've given the government an interest free loan all year.  Alternatively, perhaps you discover you underpaid your taxes during the year and find you even owe a penalty for underpaying during the year.  Click here for a handy payroll adjustment calculator.  Grab your latest pay stub and use this tool to help figure out what changes you need to...

The Key to Lower Healthcare Costs

January 25, 2015 Comments (0)

The key to lower healthcare costs is high-deductible health insurance plans combined with websites like this one--> (click here).  The cost-sharing aspects of high-deductible health insurance plans like those attached to healthcare savings accounts (HSA) encourage patients to shop around for the best care at the best price for non-emergency care.  The website above shines a light on certain hospitals and doctors that charge more than twice what similar hospitals and doctors charge...