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Employer Years Dates
Ber Financial Group LLC 8 years, 9 months Dec 2008 - Present
Cross Border Tax & Accounting, LLC 10 months Jan 2008 - Nov 2008
Keats Connelly & Associates Inc. 2 years Nov 2006 - Nov 2008
Park Avenue Securities 8 months Feb 2006 - Oct 2006
Uvest Financial Services Group 1 month Dec 2005 - Jan 2006
Jefferson Pilot Securities 1 year, 5 months Jun 2004 - Nov 2005

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Articles and Answers

Insights by Barry Rabinowitz

Laddering Bond Portfolios
Published 2012-05-17 18:06:07
There Are No Investment Experts
Published 2012-01-06 12:47:32
What is Your Financial Plan?
Published 2012-01-06 12:00:00
Investment Themes for 2012
Published 2012-01-06 11:53:20
Stocks After A Negative Decade
Published 2012-01-06 12:26:00
Market Timing
Published 2012-01-06 14:59:21
The Average Investor Underperforms the Market
Published 2012-01-06 11:57:14
To Roth or Not?
Published 2012-01-06 12:04:47
Buy and Hold Vs. Cash
Published 2012-01-06 12:29:15
    *Articles are published by advisors without compensation.


    Ask a financial questionAsk a question
    What is a bond ladder and how do I set one up?
    Hi: A bond ladder is used as follows: You allocate 10% of your funds to buying bonds maturing in 1 year, 10% in bonds maturing in 2 years....... the same going out to 10 years. So you have an average maturity of 5 years. This is usually a good strategy- when you are afraid of inflation and rising r...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    I was told to invest more money in emerging markets. Should I do it?
    hi: I do not know your age or your Asset Allocation to emerging markets. In general i recommend 10-15% allocation to emerging markets. I like buying what has done poorly recently, and emerging markets fell about 20% in 2011....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    On average, how much of my stock portfolio should be in international stocks?
    Depending on your age and risk tolerance, I would recommend 15-25%, divided among developed and emerging mkts....  (more)
    Answered Apr 2012
    What Do You Think About Penny Stocks?
    hi: Most penny stocks are selling for pennies for a reason. They are likely to go bankrupt....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Can someone please explain Modern Portfolio Theory to me in simple terms?
    Hi: The problem with MPT is that it assumed a normal distribution of returns. Without getting too technical-It did not provide for fat tail events: highly improbable events-that have been happening with increasing frequency. That does not mean that MPT is dead, but in a market meltdown all assets...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Is now a good time to buy a home? And how to a determine what I can "afford", eg what is the ideal mortgage payment to income ratio?
    hi: Old rules of thumb: Principal, Interest and taxes should not exceed 30-35% of income.In many areas prices are back to the levels of 2000. Only time will tell if prices stabilized in 2011-12....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Do I pay taxes on a trust fund?
    hi: Yes, the Trust should have been assigned a tax ID number. The trust gets a deduction for all income distributed, and the reciprient picks up the income, in kind: dividend, interest or capital gain.You should get a K-1 statement telling you what has been distributed to you....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    If we are within 10 years of retirement and the stock market is higher than it has been in a long time should I take it out and just put it in a CD?
    hi: Absolutely not. I assume you will be retiring in your 60's. You need to plan for a retirement that might be 30 or more years. CD's return almost Zero today on an absolute return, and negative adj for inflation. I would recommend a diversified portfolio with an asset allocation, assuming you are...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2012
    Should I invest in the stock market or mutual funds?
    Hi: I do not know where you read that and what were the credentials of the person stating that.If you want a diversified portfolio- which is the main wayto reduce risk- you need to use mutual funds or ETF's. For example- a mutual fund or ETF cannot fall to Zero, but a stock can go bankrupt and you...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    I had a 401k at an old company I worked with but haven't touched it since I left that employee five years ago, what should I do with it?
    Hi: I would suggest you consider rolling it into an Individual Retirement Account. That way you would be in charge of the assetallocation, and with an IRA you would have thousands of choices, rather than 10-20 the average 401k provide. You could roll the proceeds trustee to trustee without any inco...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    How much commission does my broker make?
    Hi: it depends on the firm. For stocks- If it is a full service or discount firm. However, for mutual funds the commission is buried and does not appear on the confirmation. Depending on the dollar investment there will be listed in the prospectus the sales charges. I would not recommend funds with...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    I am almost 60 can i take out part of my 401k if so what do i do?
    Hi: Once you are over 59 1/2 you can draw out some or all the monies-penalty free. However any monies withdrawn and not rolled into an IRA are subject to ordinary income tax. If you dont need the monies I would recommend rolling:trustee to trustee into an IRA. You would have hundreds of investment c...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    401 k Transfer from Ex-employer 401(k) plan to TDAmeritrade?
    Hi: yes-it is a good idea to transfer to an IRA. There will be no tax consequence as long as it is trustee to trustee.Do not ask for a check made payable to you. With an IRA ou will have hundreds of investment choices, rather than the small menu from the 401k provider....  (more)
    Answered Feb 2012
    How do you sell certain shares when you have different strike prices?
    hi: Usually, the format is FIFO. BUT you can notify Schwab that you want to sell specified shares( cost basis). DO not enterf the order yourself, but speak to someone at the Schwab office or at Customer Service....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    If I discover my company's 401K is not performing, what steps do I take to place my money in better hands?
    Hi: all 401k plans have to give you many investment choices. I would suggest you revisit your asset allocation. Asset allocation- your mix of cash/equity and bonds, not the individual choices responsible for 90% of the returns. What was your asset allocation?...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    401K with former Company?
    Hi: since the old company is not providing matching contributions, lthe only reason to keep the funds with them would be the outstanding investment choices. Barring that,I would suggest a trustee/tustee rollover to an Individual Retiement Account. That way you would be in charge of he investments o...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    When should you lease over buying a car?
    Financially speaking- leasing is usually more expensive. However, if the lease car is used for business it might make financial sense. Most individuals lease because it gives them the opportunity to drive a new carEvery 3 years- with littleor no down payment. However-at the end of the lease there i...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Should I invest just enough in my 401k to get the match even if I have credit card debt?
    hi: Most employers match employee contributions up to a stated %, usually maxed out at 6%. Assuming youDo not pay the default rate, your credit card interest rate is probably 15-20%. I do not know of any investments that can safely earn that rate of return. Pay off your credit card debt-that is l...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    I'm retired and drawing Social Security. Can I contribute part of my Social Security benefits to a Roth IRA account?
    No-to contribute Any monies to a retirement plan-Roth or traditional IRA- you must have earned income.Earned income is income from salary or a businesss- not from soc sec, pensions or interest income....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Is it a good idea to put as much excess income into life insurance as a vehicle to transfer tax free money to my beneficiaries?
    Hi: it depends. You have to crunch the numbers and assume how long you will live. It is an IRR problem.Compare that with what you might earn from traditional investment. A life insurance agent will always Recommend life insurance as a means of creating wealth. One thing for sure- it will create a...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    How do I determine when I should start buying stocks and bonds again?
    Hi: I am sorry to hear that. NOBODY can time the market. Please read my guide: MarketTiming.Based on your risk tolerance- you set an asset allocation and stick to it. Rebalanceonce a year.Use low cost ETF or no load funds for asset allocation....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Where would you put leftover cash after you fund your 401k and if you have no debt?
    Hi: you should max out at 16,500 if you are under 50. Any other monies can be invested- after you have a rainy day fund: equal to 1 years living expense. You can open an individual brokerage account at Schwab or Fidelity and invest in low cost/expense ETF's. Your asset allocation- would depend on ...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    How does one set up a chartiable remainder trust (crt)? Once I have a CRT in my portfolio, is it always advantageous to donate appreciated stock into the CRT rather than a straight cash donation?
    hi I think you are confused. You do not put a CRT in a portfolio. You contribute appreciated securities into a CRT. That way you avoid paying the capital gains tax. You get a charitable tax deduction, and you can get the income from the portfolio during life. At death, the proceeds go to the charit...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Where does the fed expect rates to be in 5 years?
    hi: Your guess is as good as any. The Fed has said they will keep rates at Zero through 2013-14.Some say rates will stay at current levels, others are predicting big rise due to inflation.Only time will tell who was right....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    How do I know if my advisor is a Fiduciary?
    hi: A CFP, CFA, CPA and RIA are legally held to Fiduciary Standard. A stockbroker, insurance agent or a bank broker are not....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Should we buy a home or invest our cash?
    hi: You need to look at a home as a place to live: NOT an investment. Right now, with the tax deduction for mortgage interest, owning a home, in many areas is less costly than renting....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    How often should I meet with my financial advisor?
    Hi: Depending on the size of your account, I would say quarterly, or at least 1 x a year.Rebalancing should be done annually....  (more)
    Answered Mar 2012
    What percentage of my business revenue should I donate to charities?
    Hi: that is a very personal decision. I am glad to hear a question about that. Some tithe 10%-othersGive what they can afford....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Can someone please explain Modern Portfolio Theory to me in simple terms?
    Hi: MPT was developed by Harry Markowitz- who assumed that all investors were rational and risk adverse.Therefore the job of an invesment mgr was to maximize return per unit of risk. This was done throughDiversification: having different asset classes, not highly correlated. When some zigged, othe...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    What does a CFA designation mean for a Financial Advisor and is it important?
    Hi: In my opinion when considering a financial advisor: look for one of these designations:CFA or CFP. Unlike other designations which can be had on the internet in 1 day or less:Both require a college degree-a minimum number years of experience- completion of a 2-3 year program and Passing of a c...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    I have an old CD with a bank that I forgot about and the bank is no longer in existence. How can I get my money?
    Hi: I would contact the FDIC. They should be able to help you...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2012
    Assuming same expense ratio and zero commission, ETF or index fund to start an IRA?
    hi: Since you are getting started: I would recommend ETF index funds rather then mutual funds.Unlike mutual funds- ETFs trade like a stock and can be bought and sold all day. Mutual funds price after 4pm.You have more flexability with ETFs. The only negative is thst dividends cannot be reinvested ...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2012
    How often should I review my portfolio?
    Hi: Based on your risk tolerance and time horizon- I would pick an asset allocation and stick to it unless something changed in your personal situation.Timing the market does not workand that is why the average investor does alot worse than the markets over time. I would review my asset allocation ...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2012
    Does making money in today's volatile market require risk taking investment? ent and alert buying and selling?
    Hi: for a 85 year old I do not think gold is an appropriate allocation for you. It does not generate income.I would recommend dividend paying stocks and bonds. No advisor can time the market-know when to buy and when to sell. Bernie Madoff also had impeccable credentials. I would suggest that you g...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Pre-tax/Roth 401k and Traditional/Roth IRA, what should I enroll?
    hi: Despite all the hoopla about Roth IRAs- unless you are certain that you will be in a higher tax bracket at retirement, or if you are interested in leaving a legacy , they do not make sense for most individuals. Assuming the same rate of return and taxes, there will be no difference in the endin...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2012
    What is an RIA?
    A RIA is someone or a firm that is registered with a state or the SEC. They must agree to be a Fiduciary-Must consider what is in the client's interest First- before thinking about fees or commissions.It is the highest standard of care. An Attorney and a CPA are Fiduciaries and they hold themselv...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Which financial planner designations are meaningful?
    According to all objective 3rd parties: CFP, CPA, CFA, RIA are the professional designations that are recognized as being meaningful, and that require some minimum level of education, experience and require upholding of the Fiduciary Standard of Care. Most of the other alphabet soup of designatio...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Why dont advisors get paid by performance and not a fixed percentge of assets?
    The only advisors that get paid on performance are hedge fund managers. They charge a 2% management fee and share in 20% of the profits....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Who do i get ahold of to inquire about my 401-k?
    Hi: if you do not have online access- I would contact HR dept. They could help you and tell you if there is a 401k account. If there is an account: you can contact the company admin- that set it up to check the balances-if any....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    I was let go from a company i would like to get my 401-k?
    Hi: if you are under 59 1/2 any amounts withdrawn are subject to 10% penalty and ord incom tax.If you dont need the monies:I would rec trustee to trustee transfer into an IRA. There would be no taxable event and you would have many more invest choices....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Is it better to have a C-Corp or LLC for your consulting company?
    I would suggest an LLC. This is alot simpler and less reporting . For taxes you can elect to be taxed as a partnership: take all income and expenses on schedule C. No corp taxes to pay. No corp tax return to file....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    Is standard deviation of portfolio returns the best way to think of "risk" of a portfolio?
    hi: Yes, all academics view standard deviation as the best measure of risk....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2012
    What is the better strategy: A Roth 401k or a Regular 401k?
    Hi: there has been alot of hype about Roth accounts and the advantage they have: the main advantage being the tax free withdrawal feature, since they represent after tax contributions.However, unless you are sure that you will be in a higher tax bracket in retirement, there is no tax benefit. Many ...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2012
      *Answers are submitted by advisors without compensation.

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        Nov 9, 2016
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      Ber Financial Group LLC

      Last updated on April 1, 2011
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