• Letters to the Editor
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    Best Websites for Investors

    To the Editor:

    The November 2011 issue arrived yesterday, and I am puzzled as to why there is no mention of QuantumOnline.com in “AAII’s Best of the Net 2011.”

    As a retiree for over 20 years, I have found the website to be at or near the top of my short list of most-frequented sites. It has been an extremely helpful resource on income-producing securities such as preferred stocks and other debt securities. AAII’s list includes three or so sites about bonds, and I suspect many of AAII’s retired members would welcome additional high-quality sites offering income possibilities. QuantumOnline.com has a good screener, summarizes critical aspects of the securities and provides helpful links for further investigation. It is well done and easy to navigate.

    Jimmy R. Kirk, Spring, Texas

    Handling Retirement Issues

    Comments posted to “Retired Investor: Getting Through Difficult Markets,” in the November 2011 AAII Journal:

    I’ve been retired from my career for over 17 years, but I still have a full-time job managing my portfolio. It has done well over the years, but it was managed by the one person most affected by the outcome: me.

    Samuel from South Dakota

    For me, the challenge in retirement this past year has been maintaining my net worth and generating enough returns to supplement and maintain my desired lifestyle. This looks like it will continue to be a real challenge over the next five to 10 years. With current interest rates and dividend returns, the squeeze is on. Whoever thought that it would be this difficult for retirees to maintain a 3%–4% return on their overall portfolio?

    Douglas from California

    Interest in Mobile Financial Apps

    Comment posted to “CI in the Journal: Top Financial Apps,” by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, in the November 2011 AAII Journal:

    I would like to see this section expanded, especially regarding Android apps. There are MANY more good financial apps available, and iPhone is losing its market share.

    George from California

    Wayne Thorp responds:

    Subscribers to Computerized Investing get financial app reviews in our weekly CI email. These reviews cover both iOS and Android apps.

    MLP Stories

    Comments posted to “Master Limited Partnerships: Income From a Unique Structure and Industry,” an interview with Kenny Feng, CFA, in the November 2011 AAII Journal:

    When I sold units in two master limited partnerships (MLPs) in 2010, part of the gain was ordinary income. The K-1s had worksheets that told me how much was ordinary income and how to calculate the capital gain. However, I had suspended losses (from the same MLPs) carried over and was able to use them to offset the ordinary gain on sale (they have to be from same MLP). The IRS instructions are confusing on this offset provision: Some CPAs appear to have interpreted it to mean that you have to sell all units of a given MLP to be able to use any of the suspended losses from that MLP. It appears to me that if you had a situation where you sold all units in a MLP and the suspended losses exceeded the ordinary gain on the sale, then you could use the remaining loss against other ordinary income. TurboTax basic did not handle this for me (I had to override it).

    Bruce from North Dakota

    I have invested in MLPs in my taxable account since 2008. They provide a high level of current cash flow, and many have raised their dividend rates frequently since my initial investment. Since most of the dividends are not taxable on a current basis, MLPs reduced my federal income tax liabilities while I was working, and now that I am retired they reduce my modified adjusted gross income, which is used to adjust my Medicare premiums.

    Roger from Texas


    Al from AZ posted over 4 years ago:

    Bankrate.com has a more comprehensive income tax forecaster than the AAII worksheet. The Bankrate forecaster will also calculate the tax that is due.

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