How Smart is Warren Buffet?

If you know who Warren Buffet is, great. If you don’t, you probably should. Warren Buffet is called by many; “The Oracle of Omaha” for his long-term investing viewpoint and his even longer-term success as an investor. He is the CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (which owns GEICO among other insurance holdings) and through that insurance company owns significant interests in some of the biggest and most successful companies in the market today.

Stressed About Tax Reform?

I have been speaking with a lot of folks who are worried about how the tax law changes will affect their situation. This is causing a lot of folks to stress out a bit, so I thought I should offer a few suggestions and recommendations.


How Do Financial Advisors Help With Tax Planning?

About 10 years ago I was having a first meeting with a person who was referred to me. It was our normal “get to know each other” first appointment. At one point she pulled out an account statement summarizing most of her investments. I asked her how she decided what investments to buy and she said she had an investment manager “back east” that she really liked. I asked what she liked about her and the response was, “she returns my calls” and “”She doesn’t charge me that much”. Well, I took a look and her account was being traded like crazy. Her portfolio was being turned over more than 100% per year. I took a look at her tax return and there were a lot of gains listed attributable to this trading. That was the good news.

Latest IRS Scam

As the April 15 tax deadline approaches the frequency and variety of scams relating to taxes are picking up. A few weeks ago, when I walked into our house after work, Davi (my wife) had a very worried look on her face. “Are we in trouble with the IRS?” she asked. “We got this message and I am nervous.” So I listened to the message and I could understand her concern. The voice, with a thick Indian accent, said that we owed taxes and if we didn’t pay right away there would be serious consequences, even jail and forfeiture of our home and other assets. The caller ID identified the number as the IRS and was from the 703 area code. I told her that the IRS doesn’t call people and demand payment. They send letters before any phone conversations take place. A couple of days later, I read an article in the local paper about this scam and a few days after that, we received 5 more threatening messages, all left one after another, each more ominous than the last.