What to do with your required minimum distributions (RMDs)

Required minimum distributions, better known as “RMDs,” refer to the amount of money that is required to be distributed from pre-tax retirement accounts, like IRAs, after age 70.5. If the amount is not withdrawn, a 50% penalty may be assessed. While some retirees might take the RMD for necessary personal expenses, there are other options available to those who do not need the money. Here are two simple ideas for what you can do if you don’t anticipate needing your RMD: 1)      Convert your IRA to a Roth:  The RMD itself is not available for a conversion (after all, the

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How the Fed impacts your portfolio

Since September of last year, the Federal Reserve has been buying $85 billion in bonds every month, aiming to lower long-term interest rates and boost economic growth. Overall, the U.S. central bank has bought more than $2 trillion of government bonds, private debts, agency housing debts and other bond instruments dating back to the Financial Crisis. It has paid for these purchases by crediting funds to the reserves of private banks, which is commonly referred to as “money printing.” Liquidity trap The Fed began printing money because, in its view, the crisis plunged the country into a “liquidity trap,” a situation

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Azzad creates opportunities by cutting through red tape

Opening up new markets to investors isn’t easy. If you don’t believe me, just ask Jamal Elbarmil. “No one is willing to cut through all the red tape to invest in Islamic banks,” says the longtime Azzad Wise Capital Fund portfolio manager. “No one except Azzad.” Elbarmil starts his Tuesday with a cup of coffee in one hand and a manila folder in the other. Two computer monitors glow behind him. He’ll turn his attention to those shortly. (As usual, he’s got a long day ahead of him.) Right now, what’s holding his attention is a notarized copy of Azzad

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