Welcome to my annual tax post. I’m feeling pretty confident heading into this year’s tax season as it appears the average person will pay less tax and have more credits/deductions than last year. I wish I could say that trend is likely to continue in the future but it’s quite clear at this point that tax rates will be rising in 2010. The government must take action to counter the massive spending binge it’s been on of late. With Obama in the hot seat its pretty clear tax rates will be moving up, particularly for higher income earners. Combine that with the expiration of Bush’s tax cuts and future tax seasons start to look real ugly. In light of that, let’s focus on the positive for now.
Some baby boomers still think of smart investing as buying and holding a portfolio of blue chip stocks. Such investors, lost in their memories of stable dividends and low volatility, cringe at the idea of trading in their blue chips for index investments. They also cringe at the inclusion of commodities in newer, diversified portfolio models. The reality is that the past decade, plagued by high volatility and market scandals, has changed the investment landscape, quite possibly forever. The recession of 2008-2009 has also caused a major attitude change for investors. Whereas capturing big gains was the priority during most of the past decade, many investors I’ve been speaking with are now more focused on asset conservation and risk avoidance.