28 December 2018 FT — Articles to Read

28 December 2018


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are the most overlooked tax breaks for retirees?


European bank stocks have worst year since Eurozone crisis as sector falls 25% – Pg. 1

–          …investors lost faith in the region’s lenders amid enduring low profitability, outdated business models, negative rates and Brexit

–          …now valued at about 0.6X their net assets, compared with ratios of 1.1 for the top six US banks and 1 for lenders on the MSCI Emerging Asia Banks index

–          Few economists now expect that interest rates – a determinant of bank earnings – will rise above negative territory any time soon.

–          Relative to the US banking industry, expenses remain stubbornly high.  The average US bank makes a return on equity of 16%.  In Europe returns come in at about half that….

–          The most drastic fall has been at Deutsche Bank, which ends the year down 53%


China’s middle class burnt by shadow banking market – Pg. 3

–          Their losses absorbed by middle-class families in a nation famous for its diligent savers have taken a quiet financial and emotional toll

–          About 169m Chinese, or about 12% of the population, have invested in wealth management products online, a rise of 66% from two years ago, …essentially, they are putting money into the shadow banking system


Gender pay gap narrows slightly – Pg. 10

–          UK gender pay gap reporting has resulted in only a tiny narrowing of the difference between what men and women are paid, …

–          All employers with 250 or more staff are required to report their gender pay gaps to the government

–          Employers are required to report their mean and median gender pay gaps, bonus pay gaps and the proportion of men and women in each pay quartile and receiving a bonus


Answer: (1) Bigger standard deduction; (2) Medicare premiums; (3) Spousal IRA contribution; (4) Timing tax payments; (5) Tax-free profit from a vacation home; (6) Give money to your family; (7) Give money to charity