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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bob Brinker's Peter Navarro Interview

Bob Brinker's guest today was Peter Navarro. Peter Navarro is a business professor at the University of California, Irvine. His latest book is "The Well-Timed Strategy: Managing the Business Cycle for Competitive Advantage." For a list of all his books, see "More about Peter Navarro."

Permabear wrote a short summary of this interview and posted it in our "Bob Brinker" discussion forum at "Investing for the long term" on facebook. I've reposted some of it here:

Peter Navarro was Brinker's guest in the third hour of Saturday's show. I am very familiar with Navarro's thinking from his contributions on bearish web sites I read as well as his regular participation on Larry Kudlow's show, which I watch religiously. Peter Navarro is a little more conservative than my tastes politically and economically, but I think his central message is very very important and no one seems to be listening. The name of his book is "The Coming China Wars". His main point, expressed well on the Brinker show, was that China is really taking advantage of the U.S., using currency manipulation and unfair trading practices, to pretty much steal America's manufacturing base away and contribute to great imbalances in the world economy. He argues that besides blatant currency manipulation, China also encourages stealing intellectual property (think Google and all the piracy of software), protects their own markets, and subsidizes their exports, basically contributing to a mercantilist economy, with America ultimately being the victim. His point is that China is surreptitiously engaged in economic warfare against the U.S. and the U.S. isn't even fighting back. We are just playing along as our manufacturing base disappears, as we go into trade debt, and as both Bernanke and our politicians encourage this trade debt by facilitating the funding of spiraling budget deficits. Navarro argues that if China floated their currency and abided by fair trading practices, that the U.S. could compete with China and take back much of our manufacturing, and thus our future. I really feel that Peter Navarro is right on these issues. China has been playing us for about 15 years, and combined with our energy imports, we are just exporting our wealth away, running up massive debts, and creating huge imbalances in the world economy which will have a very bad ending for everyone.

I sensed that Bob Brinker disagreed with much of what Navarro was preaching, but I think by the end, Navarro had made a strong case, which Brinker had to have at least taken account of. Along with an interview with doom and gloomer Ravi Batra about two years ago, I don't think I've ever sensed such irritation in Brinker's voice when interviewing a guest. But Navarro had it exactly right and Brinker was naive on these issues IMHO.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bob Brinker Bullish for 2010

In the recent article "Top Market Timers Give Their 2010 Outlooks" editor Mark Hulbert says only five market timers are still in business whom he considers worth consulting for advice.
"For guidance, I decided -- as I often do -- to turn to those investment newsletters with the best market timing records in the Hulbert Financial Digest's ranking system."
The editors Hulbert turned to are in alphabetical order

"Blue Chip Investor" editor Steven Check who is Bullish.
Based on the issue of his newsletter published earlier this week, that model currently rates the stock market as being "undervalued," though not "extremely undervalued" as it was one year ago.
"Bob Brinker's Marketimer" editor Robert Brinker who is Bullish.
"In his latest issue, published earlier this week, in which he reported that his market timing model is bullish and his model portfolios are fully invested, Brinker wrote: "Our indicators suggest that a new cyclical bear market decline in excess of 20% is not likely to begin during the winter season. While it is true that cyclical bull market corrections can occur at any time, we would regard any such pullback as a health restoring event if it were to occur in the weeks ahead. Cyclical bull market corrections are usually contained with a range of five to ten percent, and are followed by significant rallies to new cyclical bull market highs."
"The Chartist" and "The Chartist Mutual Fund Letter" editor Dan Sullivan who is bullish.
"We're betting that the bull market will remain intact over the next year. That's our best guesstimate, but in all candor, we really don't know what the market is going to do over the next 12 months or 6 months or, for that matter, 3 months; and nobody else knows either."

"Fidelity Independent Adviser" editor Donald Dion who is bullish.
Dion does not hazard a prediction about the stock market's trend for all of 2010, preferring instead to write that the year will test the stock market's "strength and stamina." In the meantime, however, Dion is keeping his equity-oriented model portfolios fully invested.
"Fidelity Sector Investor" editor James Lowell who is bullish.
"I think 2010 will be another 20% gainer."
Brinker was fully invested for the worst bear market since the Great Depression and he issued a "gift horse" near the very top yet he is one of Mark Hulbert's "top market timing newsletters."

On his May 31, 2008 radio show with the S&P500 in the 1400s Bob Brinker bashed those of us warning of a recession as "recession Cassandras"
  • See 5/31/08: Cassandra Bashing
  • “The stock market had a good month in the month of May, finishing at 1400.38 in the S&P 500 Index."
  • “What we have right in here now is evidence that the Cassandras, who earlier this year, were telling us we were in recession – right now they’ve basically – well I’ll be kind, basically, they look like fools right now. Because all that they’ve accomplished with their talk about recession…………all that they have to show for their efforts is that they scared the people who listened to them out of the stock market this past winter……….”
  • My March 28, 2008 article "ECRI Calls it "A Recession of Choice"
If that puts you at the top of the list for market timers, it should tell you just how poorly market timers as a whole do compared to stock pickers, asset allocators or simply buy and hold index fund investors.

Some of the comments to the article are quite telling:

January 7, 2010: Larry Merritt wrote:
Bob Brinker was fully invested during the entire bear market - all during 2007 through 2009. He has remained fully invested for years. So how can his record be considered to be better than a buy-and-hold investment approach? Hulbert is wrong about Brinker.
January 8, 2010: Ronald Blum replied:
Hulbert made the same assertion about Brinker in a MarketWatch piece a short while ago. He has chosen to ignore that criticism and repeat his mistake.
January 10, 2010: Jason Setlock wrote:
Really, as someone above posted with regard to Brinker's Market timer. I believe In 2007 the newsletter declared that a new secular Bull Market had arrived. One may say it turned absolutely bullish near the absolute top. From then on it was "buy the dip" all the way down as far as I know. I think we can all agree that 2007 did not usher in a new bull mkt for much except Tbills, greenbacks, and golden parachutes.
So, if you still care, Bob Brinker is bullish as we start 2010, but he said the same thing at the start of 2008 except then he was predicting the S&P500 would go to the 1600s rather than the 600s.

Since 12/31/98 "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is UP 159% (a double plus another 59%!!) vs. the S&P500 UP a tiny 8.6% vs. NASDAQ UP a tiny 3.5% (All through 12/31/09)

In 2009, "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" gained 33.5% vs. the DJIA up 18.8%
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Bob Brinker 2007 to 2010 Advice on a Chart
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I-Bond Update:
  • Current I Bond Earnings Rate is 3.36%, Fixed Rate 0.30%

  • You are limited to buying $5,000 a year through Treasury Direct and $5,000 in paper iBonds at your local bank for a total of $10,000 a year.

  • Earnings Rates for Older Series-I Bonds

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Support Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

Please Support the Earthquake Recovery in Haiti through the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

I verified this web site is recommended by official website such as so I used it to give.
On January 12, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti just outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The devastation – in lives lost, property destroyed, and families displaced – is immense.

At the request of President Obama, we are partnering to help the Haitian people reclaim their country and rebuild their lives.

Our immediate priority is to save lives. The critical needs in Haiti are great, but they are also simple: food, water, shelter, and first-aid supplies. The best way concerned citizens can help is to donate funds that will go directly to supplying these material needs.

Through the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, we will work to provide immediate relief and long-term support to earthquake survivors. We will channel the collective goodwill around the globe to help the people of Haiti rebuild their cities, their neighborhoods, and their families.

We ask each of you to give what you can to help ensure the people of Haiti can build back stronger and better than ever.

Both of us have personally witnessed the tremendous generosity and goodwill of the American people and of our friends around the world to help in times of great need. There is no greater rallying cry for our common humanity than witnessing our neighbors in distress. And, like any good neighbor, we have an obligation and desire to come to their aid.

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and we hope you will donate to this worthwhile cause. The people of Haiti now need our assistance more than ever.

President William J. Clinton
President George W. Bush

To contribute, visit the secure online donation page or mail a check to:

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
c/o William J. Clinton Foundation
Donations Department
610 President Clinton Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72201


The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
c/o Communities Foundation of Texas
5500 Caruth Haven Lane
Dallas, TX 75225

For additional information please see The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund FAQs.

Many of us in the Bay Area remember well our own 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake from 1989. I was lucky to be in on the second floor of my well constructed Sunnyvale town house during that quake waiting to watch the Bay Bridge World Series. (I moved to a single floor house after that... all things being equal, why press my luck?) By winning the genetic lottery, I was lucky to be in a well constructed building where all I had to do was hold up my bookshelves that wanted to fall over onto my bed. These people in Haiti are so poor their government buildings and homes have collapsed. They need our help. I've heard over 100,000 may have died. President Bush said they need money and he and President Clinton will make sure it is well spent.

More information on

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Moneytalk Guests and Books

"Moneytalk Hosted by Bob Brinker" Guests and Books For January 2009

Bob Brinker, host of Moneytalk, usually interviews a guest in the final hour of his three hour weekend radio show. These guests usually have a new book to promote. Bob has become good at interviewing his guests to let them express their opinions. This has become the favorite segment of the show for many of us. Below is a list of the guests for this month with links to buy their books to support this site.

Sunday January 10, 2010: Erwann Michel-Kerjan, co-editor of "The Irrational Economist: Making Decisions in a Dangerous World"

Saturday January 9, 2010: Matthew Richardson, editor of "Restoring Financial Stability: How to Repair a Failed System (Wiley Finance)"

Sunday January 3, 2010: Guest Host Lynn Jimenez: author of the book ¿Se Habla Dinero? The Everyday Guide to Financial Success (English and Spanish Edition)
A bilingual guide to the basics of financial success walks readers through the fundamentals of personal finance and money management and explains how to open and use bank accounts; establish and manage credit; save and borrow money for education; and master basic investing techniques. This bilingual guide makes intimidating topics easy and gives readers the confidence they need to move forward. Lynn Jimenez Fan Club

Saturday January 2, 2010: Joseph F. Hurley, author of "The Best Way To Save for College --- a Complete Guide to 529 Plans"

Favorite guests from past months:

Saturday November 21, 2009: Barbara Weltman, contributing editor to "J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2010: For Preparing Your 2009 Tax Return"

America's number one bestselling tax guide offers the best balance of thoroughness, organization, and usability. For over half a century, more than 39 million Americans have turned to J.K. Lasser for easy-to-follow, expert advice and guidance on planning and filing their taxes. Written by a team of tax specialists, J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2010 includes all the outstanding features that have made this book the nation's all-time top-selling tax guide.
  • Over 2,500 easy-to-use tax planning tips and strategies
  • Easy-to-understand coverage of the year's tax law changes
  • Filing tips and instructions to help you prepare your 2009 return
  • Quick reference section that highlights what's new for 2009
  • Quick topic index to help pinpoint the biggest money-saving deductions
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Saturday November 14, 2009: Jim Lebenthal: Lebenthal On Munis: Straight Talk About Tax-Free Municipal Bonds for the Troubled Investor Deciding

Saturday October 31, 2009: David L. Scott: "The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms"

Sunday October 25, 2009: Dale Robyn Siegel: "The New Rules for Mortgages"
Bob said the switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree with a record number of callers wanting to ask Ms. Siegel questions.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Bob Brinker Outlook Moneytalk Summary

Below is David Korns "interpretation" of the January 2 and 3, 2010 Moneytalk (Bob Brinker Host) shows. You can read more about David Korn here.

Background: David Korn and I have been writing about Bob Brinker since the 1990s. I also write about other financial pundits such as Jim Cramer, Bill Flanagan, Sy Harding, Lynn Jimenez and Suze Orman.

It became clear to us that many of the popular TV, internet and radio pundits were too aggressive for those in or about to enter retirement. For example, Bob Brinker had is conservative "balanced model portfolio #3" at nearly two thirds equities when the market peaked and he told a caller on the radio it was not his advice to rebalance the portfolio back to 50% equities and 50% fixed income. David and I formed a partnership and at the start of 2007 we began offering The Retirement Advisor newsletter with our model portfolios that we felt subscribers could "sleep well at night with."

Contrary to Brinker's advice, we rebalanced our portfolios by selling equities and adding to fixed income after a good year for equities in 2007. Thus our losses at the end of 2008 were much less than Brinker's losses from the top so our subscribers could sleep better at night. Then at the start of 2009 we rebalanced again buying equities considerably lower then were we sold at the end of 2007.
As it turns out, our timing could not have been any better as all three portfolios are up over the past three years. Performance Data.

David Korn's Moneytalk Interpretation

Time to check in with Bob Brinker’s Moneytalk radio show along with editorial comments and web site links that hopefully will benefit you. Bob hosted Saturday, but on Sunday KGO Business Reporter Lynn Jimenez was guest host. I covered all of Saturday’s show below.


Editorial Comment ("EC"): Here is how the major market indexes have performed (excluding dividends) since Bob Brinker's timing model turned "favorable" based on the S&P 500 Index's close on March 10, 2003, and he recommended investors redeploy their cash reserves into a fully invested position by bulletin issued at 2:00 a.m. on March 11, 2003:

S&P 500 Index: Up 40.31%
Dow Jones Industrial Average: Up 39.84%
Nasdaq Composite: Up 80.57%



Brinker Comment: The markets put in substantial gains in 2009. The S&P 500 put in a total return of 26.5% including dividends. Historically, that is a big number. The Total Stock Market Index put in a total return of 28.7%. The S&P 500 closed 1015.1 and the Dow closed at 10,428. The Dow had a lagging performance in 2009. But the Dow is peculiar and is not a market capitalization index and only has 30 stocks and can be a misleading barometer of what is going on.

EC: I noted earlier how the S&P 500 has had a negative decade. The Dow has done even worse. When you consider inflation-adjusted returns, the Dow would have to rise another 28% from these levels just to get to the 1999 level. The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled, “Adjusted for Inflation, Dow’s Gains Are Puny” which you can read at this url:

Brinker Comment: Over the course of the show, Bob plugged his investment letter and referred listeners to the returns on his web site at

EC: Bob’s Model Portfolios I and II which are 100% stocks outperformed the market in 2009 and he has posted those returns as well as 5, 10, 15 & 20 year returns. This is a departure from last year when he did not publish his annual returns.

Kirk Comment: Note Brinker does not give his returns by year where you would learn he is still down significantly since the 2007 peak. Brinker shows his returns when they are good and doesn't disclose the years they are poor. I wish he was more like me where I disclose my returns by year here and here. Brinker has a newsletter called "Marketimer" which implies he can time the stock market. Disclosing data that shows he was advising 100% in equities at the very top in 2007 with a "gift horse buy" in the mid 1400s and "bashing recession Cassandras" like me (ECRI Calls it "A Recession of Choice") would not be good for his "market timing" business.


Brinker Comment: On the fixed income side, we are still seeing low rates because the Federal Reserve is sticking with its policy of maintaining low interest rates to help the economy. Three-month Treasury Bill is paying just 6 basis points annually. Just one-sixteenth of one percent. The six-month Treasury Bill is paying 19 basis points annually. The one-year Treasury is yielding 44 basis points. The two-year Treasury Note is yielding 1.14%. The Five-year Note is yielding 2.70%. The 10-year Note is yielding 3.83%. The 30-year Bond is yielding 4.63%
EC: Rates in all categories have all gone up a bit in the last few weeks. The Economic Cycle Research Institute’s weekly gauge of future U.S. Economic growth said its Weekly Leading Index rose to a 77-week high of 131.2 for the week ended December 25th. According to Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of ECRI, the recent growth in this leading index “points to continuing improvement in economic activity and the jobs market in coming months.” Read more at this URL:


Brinker Comment: In order to get a handle on inflation, Bob said he compares the Treasury Inflation Protected Securities versus regular Treasuries. Currently, the 10-year Treasury Note is yielding about 3.83% and the 10-year Treasury Inflation Protected Security is yielding 1.40% which gets us an annual implied inflation rate of 2.4% over the next ten years. The current CPI is 1.8% and so these are getting close. We went through a period of deflation where there was a much bigger gap. But now that gap is closing. Looking at a longer time frame, the 20-year TIPS (longest maturity out there) is yielding 2.0% versus the 30-year Treasury Bond which is yielding 4.6% which prices in annual implied inflation rate of 2.6% over the next couple of decades.

Caller: A caller told Bob he was fully expecting higher inflation and interest rates and wanted to position his portfolio of Certificates of Deposit accordingly. Bob said if you are expecting that to happen, best thing to do is to create a ladder of CDs so that you can reinvest the proceeds as maturities occur.

EC: Check out this article entitled, “FED FOCUS — The coming Great Inflation, real or imagined” at this url:


Caller: This 60-year old caller has a credit card with a $19,000 balance with a 9% interest rate. Should she cash in her 401(k), pay the taxes and pay off the credit card debt? The caller said she and her husband made $75,000. Bob said she would be paying 25% for the top marginal bracket, so 25 cents on the dollar plus her state income tax might mean that 30% of what she takes out is paid in taxes. And you would also be blowing up your retirement account. Bob said he didn’t like the idea and suggested she try to come up with other ways to pay off the credit card balance. Tighten up your budget, get another job, cut up the credit card, etc. Paying 9% is an extremely high rate to pay on credit, especially when you consider how low interest rates are right now.

EC: The Federal Trade Commission has a good resource entitled, “Knee Deep in Debt” at this url:


Brinker Comment: The Municipal Bond Market and the fixed income market have both had good years. Ten-year AAA Municipal Bond General Obligations are currently yielding 3.25%. If you adjust that for a 35% top federal tax bracket, that would equate to a 5% taxable equivalent. The 30-year AAA Municipal Bond security is yielding 4.47% and that equates 6-7/8ths% for the top bracket.

EC: Tax-exempt bonds are expected to return more than Treasuries for the second straight year. The average extra yield investors are demanding to buy tax-exempt bonds rated BBB instead of AAA is 270 points, compared to 50 basis points in June 2007 before the financial meltdown. Still, that is much lower than in January 2009 when the spread was 440 basis points. Check out the article entitled, “Tax-Free Shortage May Repeat Muni debt Outperforming Treasuries.”


Brinker Comment: In 2010, the top federal tax bracket will stay at 35%, however, don’t expect that to last. Under current law, the top brackets will go up in 2011. The 35% bracket will go up to at least 39.6% in 2011. Whether it goes higher remains to be seen. Several tax increase proposals are being proposed in Washington. In the Senate version of the healthcare bill, they came up with the idea to increase the uncapped Medicare payroll tax which will go from 2.9% to 4.7% if you are self-employed.

Bob said there is no doubt that taxes are on the rise and we are headed for a period of higher income taxes in our country. The House version of the Bill is proposing a surtax on high earners of about 5.4%. If you live in a state like California, the top state income tax bracket is close to 10.5%. Add on to that the federal tax bracket that is most likely going to 39.6% at a minimum in January 2011, along with the new proposals and you could be looking at close to 60% taxation living in California! Bob cautioned listeners that there is a general tax tsunami heading toward the people in the United States. There are proposals for taxes on stock transactions, a war tax, and the list is only getting bigger. The reason for this is because the out-of-control spending is forcing the hand of politicians to raise revenue.

EC: I haven’t seen much written yet about the implications of higher taxes beginning in 2011 on the stock market but I am going to do some research on it. Presumably, individuals will make decisions toward the end of the year as people position themselves to try and be hurt as least as possible by higher taxes.


Caller: This caller bas bought some I-Bonds at different times and noticed that some of them paid nice yields, but there were some that paid virtually nothing. How can that be? Bob noted that there was a period of time between for six months that ended October 31st where the interest was zero because we hade deflation. That ended on November 1st. The I-Bonds are earning an annual rate of interest of 3.36% for the six month period ending April 30th. And on top of that you would add the base rate which would depend on when you purchased it.

EC: The Bureau of the Public Debt today announced November 2, 2009 an earnings rate of 3.36% for Series I Savings Bonds, and a fixed rate of 1.20 % for Series EE bonds, issued from November 2009 through April 2010. Earnings rates for I bonds and fixed rates for EE bonds are set each May 1 and November 1. Interest accrues monthly and compounds semiannually. Bonds held less than five years are subject to a three-month interest penalty. Both series have an interest-bearing life of 30 years; the EE bond fixed rate applies to a bond’s 20-year original maturity.


Caller: This caller is 2-years away from retirement and about 12 years away from needing to withdraw money. He has been advised to stop funding the 401(k) for the next couple of years because of the big tax liability he could face when he starts withdrawing. Bob said the problem with that recommendation is you are going to increase your tax liability today if you stop contributing to the 401(k) and you don’t get the opportunity to grow the money in the 401(k) tax deferred over the next 12 years. Also, many people when they withdraw are in a lower tax bracket so that is something to consider as well. Bob said if it were him he would continue to make regular contributions into the 401(k) account because of that great advantage of reducing the upfront tax liability. And since you have that money you did not pay up front to Uncle Sam, you can use it to invest.

EC: The IRS recently announced that the cost-of-living adjustments for pension plans and other retirement plans for tax year 2010 will remain unchanged. This means that the contribution limits for 401(k) plans in 2010 will remain at $16,500 and for individuals over the age of 50, their catch-up contribution will remain unchanged at $5,500. That means you could put $22,000 or a $423 weekly contribution. Your company match, if any, is not counted toward these limits.


Brinker Comment: For 2010, if you are under age 50, you can put up to $5,000 in a traditional IRA account and if over age 50 you can put in another $1,000. Same applies to the Roth IRA. There are income requirements that apply to how much you are able to put in, but if you are eligible these are good accounts. Bob said he likes the Roth IRA very very much if you are eligible. Everyone is eligible for the traditional IRA. You can fund the 2009 IRA up until April 15, 2010.

EC: Consult the Infernal Revenue Service’s web page on 2010 Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits at this url:


Caller: This caller is in a high tax bracket and has been funding a self-directed IRA. He has the opportunity to convert to the Roth IRA but he would have to pay taxes. Bob said he is not a big fan of converting to a Roth when you are in a high tax bracket. Bob said he has an IRA and he has not converted. Bob said he would rather have the money working for you. If you were in a zero or really low bracket that might be a different story.

EC: Check out this article entitled, “Roth IRA conversion not worth the taxes”:


Caller: This caller wanted Bob’s opinion on the additional funding by the government to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and GMAC. Bob said there is a big difference between the two. The $3.5 billion additional pledge to GMAC is a relatively small development to the trillions on the line. The unlimited Fed backstop to Fannie and Freddie, however, is going to be a lot of money. Bob said the government has been on a campaign over the last decade encouraging people to buy their own house and this is where it has taken us. The government is trying to provide liquidity and stability to the mortgage market through their backing of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. But it is taxpayer money make no mistake.

EC: Here is a link to the Treasury Announcement on the Restructuring of Commitment to GMAC:

EC: Here is a link to the Treasury Update on the Status of Support for Housing Programs:


Caller: Can we trust the Fed will eventually be able to tighten and pull back stimulus when the time comes? Bob said this will be one of the biggest challenges Ben Bernanke will face in 2010 and forward — getting the excess liquidity out of the system while not hurting it. It is a huge challenge. A lot of that excess liquidity is not doing anything for the economy, it is just sitting on deposit at the Federal Reserve. It is not really developing anything in terms of the monetary multiplier. It is just idle money sitting at the Fed. But eventually this will have to be resolved with an orderly withdrawal.

EC: In a speech last month to the Economic Club, Ben Bernanke framed his remarks as answers to frequently asked questions at this url:

EC#2: And just yesterday, hot off the presses, Bernanke gave a speech entitled, “Monetary Policy and the Housing Bubble” which makes for good reading if you want to ran out of Tylenol PM. Check it out at this url:


Caller: This caller asked Bob his opinion on Health Savings Accounts. Bob said he likes them and if you are in a position to do it you should. In fact, you can still fund your 2009 tax amount. For single coverage, you can put up to $3,000 of $5,950 for a family. If you are over age 55, you can put in another $1,000. You can do that up until April 15, 2010. Bob said you can set up an Health Savings Account through your financial institution. This is a terrific way to put some money away, take advantage of the tax privileges and have the ability to pay medical expenses.

EC: A Health Savings Account is an alternative to traditional health insurance; it is a savings product that offers a different way for consumers to pay for their health care. HSAs enable you to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis. You must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to be able to take advantage of HSAs. An HDHP generally costs less than what traditional health care coverage costs, so the money that you save on insurance can therefore be put into the Health Savings Account. Also, you own and you control the money in your HSA. Decisions on how to spend the money are made by you without relying on a third party or a health insurer. You will also decide what types of investments to make with the money in the account in order to make it grow. Consumers can sign up for HSAs with banks, credit unions, insurance companies and other approved companies. Your employer may also set up a plan for employees as well. An HSA is not something you purchase; it’s a savings account into which you can deposit money on a tax-preferred basis. The only product you purchase with an HSA is a High Deductible Health Plan, an inexpensive plan that will cover you should your medical expenses exceed the funds you have in your HSA. However, HSA trustees often will charge fees for their services. To learn more, go to this url:


On Saturday, Bob had on Joseph F. Hurley, author of “The Best Way To Save for College --- a Complete Guide to 529 Plans”

As noted earlier, Bob did not host Sunday's show and the substitute host, Lynn Jimenez, isn't worth summarizing.

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As noted earlier, Bob did not host Sunday's show and the substitute host, Lynn Jimenez, isn't worth summarizing.

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