Magazine

Read Your Fund Statments


If you're rolling over an IRA or 401(k), don't miss the Internal Revenue Service's 60-day deadline for completing the transaction. In recent years, the IRS had been allowing extensions for all kinds of reasons, says Ed Slott, editor of Ed Slott's IRA Advisor Newsletter (800 663-1340; irahelp.com). But in late April, the agency signaled an end to its leniency when it denied a taxpayer's request for more time. If you miss the deadline and don't have a valid reason -- such as an inability to complete a rollover because of hospitalization or an error by a financial adviser or bank -- you'll have to pay income tax on your profits, plus a 10% penalty if you're under the age of 59 1/2.

Never mind supersizing. When it comes to dessert, the next big thing may be minimizing. Restaurateur Richard Melman is offering two-bite portions of sweets on the lunch menus of three of his Chicago eateries -- Petterino's steak house, Shaw's Crab House, and Vong's Thai Kitchen. Price: $1 apiece. Melman declares itty-bitty versions of such staples as lemon cheesecake "a smash hit." They let diners indulge -- but only a little, in keeping with today's diet-conscious times. Next, he plans to add these treats to dinner menus and introduce them in more of his Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises restaurants.

Forget about sticky, smelly bug spray. In time for insect-biting season, fly-fishing and sporting attire specialist Orvis and its sister, travel clothing company Ex Officio, have introduced insect-repellent clothing that has passed the necessary Environmental Protection Agency muster. The garments are treated to repel mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, midges (a.k.a. no-see-ums), and other things that go buzz. The active ingredient, permethrin, derived from the chrysanthemum plant, is bonded to the garment fibers and is good for 25 washings. (Do not dry-clean.)

Orvis' BUZZ OFF garments, mostly all-cotton, include shirts, pants, socks, and hats for men and women ($45 to $169, orvis.com). Its Marquesas BUZZ OFF shirt ($69) is designed specifically for fly-fishing -- with two hidden pleats in the back that allow greater mobility for casting and a strip for attaching flies of the tied variety. Ex Officio's BUZZ OFF gear for men, women, and kids, includes tops, pants, and accessories for street or trail in polyester and poly-cotton blends, some with moisture-wicking properties and added sun protection ($9 to $84, exofficio.com).

Do you throw out your mutual fund statements unopened when the market goes down? Maybe you shouldn't. If the value of your account falls below a minimum, it could cost you. Three of the five largest fund families, which manage 25% of the industry's assets, charge up to $16 annually if a retail account sinks below a minimum balance. The reason? It costs too much to service accounts that generate little in fees. Some will waive the fee if you have at least $30,000 in other accounts.


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