What the experts say
Ignore election-related hiccups
Don’t obsess over the presidential election’s impact on your investment portfolio, said Walter Updegrave in Money.com. From a glance at the business pages, “you can easily get the impression that the person voters decide to put in the Oval Office can determine whether your investments will prosper or perish.” A University of Michigan economist, for instance, has predicted that stocks could lose 10 to 12 percent of their value if Donald Trump wins on Nov. 8. “But even if he’s right,” it will be a short-term movement. “The market has fallen plenty of times in the past by that much and more.” In the long term, stock returns appear virtually unaffected by presidential politics. Stock returns from 1853 through 2015 show that the market gained roughly 11 percent per year on average, “regardless of which party controlled the White House.”
Passing down a Roth IRA
The tax-free growth of Roth individual retirement accounts has made them a popular investment vehicle for passing money on to loved ones, said Anna Prior in The Wall Street Journal. “But heirs won’t reap the full benefit of a Roth if it isn’t passed down correctly.” Account holders must specifically name the beneficiaries of a Roth, which often requires filling out paperwork in addition to a traditional will. A spouse is often named the beneficiary, but choosing a grandchild to be an additional beneficiary “can maximize the amount of time Roth assets have to grow income tax–free.” That’s because the IRS uses a formula based on age and life expectancy to determine the account’s annual required minimum distribution. The younger a beneficiary is, and the longer their life expectancy, “the smaller the required minimum distribution is going to be.”
Protecting your child’s identity
Identity theft can happen at any age, said Geoff Williams in USNews.com. Roughly 140,000 minors have their identity stolen every year, according to risk software firm ID Analytics. Red flags include calls from collection agencies looking for your child, a minor receiving preapproved credit card offers in the mail, or a teen being rejected for a driver’s license due to accumulated tickets. The simplest way to know for sure is to request your child’s credit report. Contact local law enforcement and the three major credit-reporting agencies immediately if your child’s identity has been stolen. You can also try putting a freeze on your kid’s credit.
Charity of the week
Guatemala has the lowest literacy rate in all of Latin America, and fewer than one in 10 of the country’s indigenous students finishes high school. Since its inception in 1987, Child-Aid (child-aid.org) has sought to improve the lives of poor, rural Guatemalans through better childhood literacy and education. The organization’s “Reading for Life” program annually trains local teachers, librarians, and community leaders, who in turn engage students in year-round activities that are culturally appropriate for indigenous villages in the country’s central highlands. Today, the organization supplies Spanishlanguage books, sponsors reading programs, and trains and mentors teachers in more than 80 schools and libraries in dozens of communities, reaching more than 13,000 students.
Each charity we feature has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which rates not-for-profit organizations on the strength of their finances, their governance practices, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest rating.