03/6/2015; Guilford County, Asheville, Greensboro and Winston Salem Retirement Plan Fee Comparisons and Rip Off

From Guilford County;

Guilford County has 65 participants in its ICMA 457 retirement plan.

$16,304 divided by 65 participants = $251 per participant per year.

The cost to each participant could be about $75 per year, or about 70% less.
The City of Asheville's $2,603,682 plan with 106 participants costs about $202 per participant per year.

The cost to each participant could be about $75 per year, or about 70% less;

The City of Greensboro, with about $87,898,314 million and 2,781 participants instead of Asheville's $2,603,682 and 106 participants, pays a much higher $266 per participant per year.

The cost to each participant should be less than $75 per year, or more than 70% less;

The City of Winston Salem, who went with ICMA in 2012 with $19,933,124 and 1,029 participants, only pays $91 each per year.

Would most employee retirement plan investors prefer $121,040 after three years or $117,068?


City of Durham VT PLUS Stable Value Fund Expense Ratio = 1.11%; Orlando, Florida, Same Fund = 0.58%


Jacksonville, North Carolina employee fees for the same 457 plan fund compared to Orlando, Florida's


Some Wells Fargo Employee 401(k) plan Fund Expense Ratios as of 3/21/2013

Wells Fargo Stable Value Fund Expense Ratio = 0.20%


On North Carolina State's 401(k) and 457 "GoalMaker" Target Date Funds


North Carolina State 401(k) replaced index funds with higher cost actively managed accounts in 2013


"Investors pay exorbitant [401k] investment fees"


North Carolina State 401(k) plan; Galliard is owned by Wells Fargo


"NC Pension Accused of Pay-to-Play Violations"


A Few Observations on Share Classes and Wells Fargo Stable Return Fund



A potential $3,200 or more in stimulus money is why many between 17 and 24 should file taxes early this year

Many taxpayers who were eligible for stimulus checks either didn't receive any or didn't get the correct amounts. 

About 13 million young people aged 17 to 24 who were listed as dependents on their family's taxes were not eligible to receive stimulus money, based on last year's tax returns for 2019.

If dependents between 17 and 24 and some older file a tax return and won't be claimed as a dependent for 2020 taxes due this year, they should receive $1,200, plus $600, plus whatever comes next, likely $1,400, for a total of $3,200.

The $1,400 may turn into $2,000 by the time the stimulus law passes, or it may be less, but political promises were made during the election which should limit lower amounts.

Filing taxes early could speed up delivery on any additional stimulus coming later.


2021 Federal Income Tax Deadlines

Important Due Dates for Filing Your 2020 Tax Return and Payments;

Monday, January 11, 2021 is the deadline for employees who earned more than $20 in tip income in December 2020 to report to their employers.

The deadline to pay tax year 2020 fourth-quarter estimated tax payments is January 15, 2021. 

Employers have until Monday, February 1, 2021 to send out W-2 forms for 2020 employee earnings as well as most 1099 forms reporting for non-employee compensation, independent contractors and distributions from retirement plans.

Financial institutions must also mail mortgage, student loan, bank interest, dividends, Form 1099-B relating to sales of stock, bonds, or mutual funds, Form 1099-S for real estate transactions and Form 1099-MISC before Monday, February 1, 2021.

Monday, February 1, 2021 is also the deadline for catching up on unpaid fourth-quarter estimated taxes without additional penalties.

Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Form 1095-A should be mailed no later than mid-February and may be available in individual accounts at HealthCare.gov as soon as mid-January.

The deadline for farmers and fishermen to file individual income tax returns is Tuesday, March 2, 2021. 

Partnership and S corporation returns (IRS Forms 1065 and 1120-S respectively) are due Monday, March 15, 2021. The extended deadline is Sept. 15, 2021.

2020's personal income tax return tax return deadline is Thursday, April 15, 2021.

C corporation income tax returns (IRS Forms 1120) operating on a calendar year are due April 15, 2021. The extended deadline is Oct. 15, 2021. 

For C and S corporations operating on a fiscal year (non-calendar), the deadline is the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the corporation's year end. (IRS Forms 1120 and 1120-S)


On FICO Scores and Building, Repairing and Maximizing Credit scores

Credit scores are designed to measure default risk.  Understanding how the lending industry determines creditworthiness can accelerate building, rebuilding or maximizing borrowing ability and financial stability.

A credit report details residence, credit and payment activity for the previous seven to ten years.  A FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score is a mathematical measurement of the likelihood of debt repayment.  FICO (or ‘Beacon’) scores vary based on data from three main credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, depending on how each bureau analyzes data.

Higher scores indicate lower credit risk.  Mortgage scores are between 300 and 850, but most FICO bankcard and auto scores are between 250 and 900.   Generally, those with high FICO scores consistently pay bills on time, keep balances low on credit cards and other accounts and apply for new credit only as needed.

Collateral, Capital, Capacity and Character measure credit risk and determine credit scores;

1. Collateral:  The value of an asset which lenders can repossess in lieu of payment.

2. Capital:  Accessible financial wealth to repay debt including checking, savings accounts and equity in relatively liquid, 'sellable', available assets.

3. Capacity:  Ability to repay measured by income, banking and employment history.  Rising income and steady employment is better than higher debt and uneven work and earning histories.

4. Character:  A credit score and report review to predict trustworthiness.  Have both a savings account and pay bills with a checking account.  Have credit accounts and manage them responsibly.

FICO doesn't disclose exact credit score calculation formulas, but does disclose the following weightings:

1. Payment History = 35%;  Responsibly managing financial accounts and timely payments leads to higher scores.  Consumers without credit cards, checking and saving accounts tend to appear to be higher risk to lenders than those who've maintained assets, managed debt and dealt with the financial industry responsibly over time.  Making payments on time has the greatest effect on improving scores.  The longer bills are paid on time over time, the better the score.  

Delinquent payments negatively impact scores.  The presence of bankruptcy, liens, judgments, settlements, charge offs, repossessions, foreclosures and late payments harm scores.  

The impact of past problems fades as time passes and more recent better payment patterns appear, the higher scores should rise.  Paid off collection accounts usually stay on a report for seven years, but older problems count less than recent issues.  

Working with a retailer or business who may provide credit on a purchase regardless of credit standing can help.  Consider a secured credit card or a secured loan to repair damaged credit.  Most financial institutions will provide a credit card or a loan in exchange for a sum of money deposited with them until the loan is paid in full.  

2. Debt Burden = 30%;  A measure of a number of financial metrics; Debt to limit ratio, number of accounts with balances, amount owed across different types of accounts and amounts paid down on loans.  High outstanding debt relative to available credit can affect a report and score.

Rebuilding or increasing the ability to finance or refinance purchases with lower interest rates and payments begins with checking the data used to calculate reports.  Confirm amounts owed, interest rates charged and check for errors.  If a credit report correctly shows missed payments, get and stay current.  As long as a report is ordered from a credit agency or authorized organization, requesting credit reports won't affect scores.  Credit agencies are required to provide credit history information correctly, completely and confidentially.  Reports can be obtained without expense www.annualcreditreport.com.   Free credit reports can be reviewed three times per year if requests are alternated between www.transunion.com, www.equifax.com and www.experian.com

Apply for and open new credit accounts slowly, only as needed and responsibly pay them off.  If managing credit for a short time, don't open a lot of new accounts too rapidly.  Rapid account buildups by new credit users can be seen as risky to lenders.  New accounts lower average account age and has a larger effect on scores for those with little credit history.

As such a large part of a FICO score is determined by the ratio of credit used to credit available, one way to increase scores is to increase the credit limits on current credit card accounts.  The higher the credit limit on credit cards and revolving credit accounts, the lower the utilization ratio of total available credit.  Higher limits on existing credit lines can help a credit score.  Try to keep balances low relative to credit limits by staying at least 30% away from available limits.  When practical, pay off debt instead of moving it around.

Remove incorrect credit report information by disputing errors;  If a error is found, send requests for correction by certified mail with phone follow up to the reporting creditor and all three reporting agencies.  If a collection is paid or a debt is settled, ask the creditor to delete the credit report item, instead of a “paid collection” entry.  Document dates, phone numbers, times, names and titles of everyone spoken to etc...  Ask for written confirmation of corrections and a Universal Data Form (UDF), documents consumers and lenders can send to credit bureaus to update reports.  Also send confirmations and UDFs to all creditors, as interest rates on other accounts may have increased even if not related to erroneously reported entries.

3. Credit History = 15%;  Timely paying on credit card and installment loans raises credit scores. 

Pay bills on time by setting up payment reminders prioritizing paying down principal of the highest interest debt first while maintaining minimum payments on other accounts with lower rates.  Don't open unneeded credit cards to increase available credit.  For newer credit users, rapid account buildups can appear riskier to lenders.  Newer accounts usually lower average account age, which affects scores for consumers with little other credit history.  Lenders consider average age relative to the oldest accounts.  The older the average age of the total number of accounts, the better the score. Don't close unused credit cards or open unnecessary accounts to increase available credit, as doing so could lower credit scores.

4. Credit Type = 10%;  Financial institutions look for a positive history of managing different types of installment, revolving, consumer finance and mortgage accounts. 

5. Recent Credit Search History = 10%;  Too many recent 'hard' credit inquiries, when consumers apply for credit or a loan, especially if done in large numbers over too long of a time frame can hurt scores.  

Search for credit in a relatively short time frame.  Looking for mortgage, auto or student loans may cause multiple lenders to request reports for only one loan.  Credit Bureaus consider inquiries falling in a typical shopping period as just one inquiry.  FICO's model considers auto loan inquiries within two weeks as only one and will likely not meaningfully decrease scores.  Generally, most scoring systems ignore credit inquiries within thirty days while shopping and don’t consider multiple inquiries a negative after 12 months.

Have as much fun as soon as possible, with the least amount of risk for as long as you can.


Links etc...



Hartzman's Inquisition; Links etc... and Commentary

The genesis of the global Covid and post 2008 'economic recovery', hence Bitcoin, Gold, financial and housing market pops;

This kind of correlation may not matter anymore, as financial market price discovery has been altered by Central Bank and Fiscal Intervention;

Whole lot of borrowing what likely won't be repaid, other than currency inflation;


Guilford County Covid Charts as of 11/24/2020; Highest Seven Day Average New Cases, Hospitalizations and Positive Tests by Age and Death

 Highest Seven Day Average New Cases;


New Cases per day;



Most Positive Tests are Low Risk Individuals;


Death by Age is skewed to those getting infected less, relative to the rates of younger individuals, but that may change after Thanksgiving congregations;


10/30/20; Guilford County, North Carolina Covid-19 Cases Spiking

10/16/20; Guilford County and North Carolina Total Covid-19 Cases and Deaths YTD; What may likely happen next

4/29/2020 Links etc...; COVID-19, Social Unrest, Central Banks, Demand Shift, Bailouts etc...

April 15, 2020; COVID-19 severity thoughts based on monthly global temperatures compared to 1918-1919

4/11/20; COVID-19; Homeowners with federally backed loans can skip mortgage payments for up to a year, regardless of what their banks say"

Monday, March 23, 2020; High blood pressure and Covid-19 with links etc... Guilford County NC at 11 cases

Tuesday, February 25, 2020; February 2020 Stuff; Corona Virus, Bloomberg, Covid-19 Economics, Healthcare, Bernie Sanders and some fun etc...


Soybean Pop = Food Price Inflation; Lumber, Corn, Beef, Milk and Rhodium up Big



The soybean or soya bean (Glycine max)[3] is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses.

Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tofu and tofu skin are made. Fermented soy foods include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, nattō, and tempeh. Fat-free (defatted) soybean meal is a significant and cheap source of protein for animal feeds and many packaged meals. For example, soybean products, such as textured vegetable protein (TVP), are ingredients in many meat and dairy substitutes.

...Soybean is the most important protein source for feed farm animals (that in turn yields animal protein for human consumption).

...Soybeans are a globally important crop, providing oil and protein. In the United States, the bulk of the harvest is solvent-extracted with hexane, and the "toasted" defatted soymeal (50% protein) then makes possible the raising of farm animals (e.g. chicken, hog, turkey) on a large industrial scale.

...Soybeans are the most valuable agricultural export of the United States.

Thursday, December 1, 2016; Toblerone chocolate bars are now 10% smaller, comment and links


When the US dollar goes up, the price of oil goes down, as oil is priced in US dollars...



Can stability destabilize?



Excerpt excerpt of what our future holds




8/3/14; "Chaos is breaking out simultaneously in many regions"


5/24/14; "The Math That Predicted The Revolutions Sweeping The Globe"


3/28/14; "The Government Inflation Scam"


The Taylor rule and how out of whack the Federal Reserve made our economy


"...The US is spiraling down into financial, economic and political collapse...,"


"Helicopter money" = Default


"We are heading for a crisis that will be exponentially worse than 2008"


"The Keynesians Stole The Jobs"


The only way a system that looks like this could be kept running is by issuing more debt.



A fiduciary relationship requires an advisor to act in a client's best interest.


Links etc... 11/17/2020