Monday, November 27, 2006

529 College Savings Plans

A friend of mine was bemoaning the cost of college these days and how bad his investing has been going. Not everybody knows this, but there is a college savings plan called 529, which are created to help families save for college tax free. It can be used to pay for tuition, room and board, text books and required supplies at accredited colleges, universities and vocational schools.

Earnings on the 529 are tax deferred, which is always helplful. The 529 allows asset allocation funds. You are in charge of the assets and can contribute up to $12,000 a year, $24,000 for married couples, per student without any federal gift-tax consequences. That's pretty sweet, considering you get nailed for anything over $10,000 normally.

By the way, my recommendation of Mastercard(MA) continues to play out as it hit a high of $105 a share. I would really like to see it go down a little before buying more shares however.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

US Dollar Falls

The Dollar plunged against major currencies on Friday and the Euro soared. What this means for your investments is that we will likely see a lot of volatility for the next couple of months. I see a correction coming since stocks have been rising for quite a while now. For short term investors, this may mean a run for safe havens. For short term investors, this may mean a buy on great stocks that have been beyond reach.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Stock-picking behind Bill Gates' Charitable Efforts

From the article, "For Cascade Investment LLC and manager Michael Larson, the road to overseeing the personal wealth of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates got off to a bumpy start. "Read more

A good read.