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Martha Myron
BUSINESS COLUMNIST
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Martha Myron, JP CPA CFP (US) TEP specialises in independent fee-only cross border investment, tax, estate, and strategic retirement planning services for Bermuda residents with United States and multinational connections, and US citizens living and working abroad. She is a Master in Law candidate and the American Citizens Abroad Country Contact for Bermuda. www.americansabroad.org

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  • Why don’t private-sector pensions have the same lump-sum options as public-sector pensions?
    Apr 5, 2014 8:00 am

    Why don’t private-sector pensions have the same lump-sum options as public-sector pensions?

    This is a serious time to review the disparate differences again between the Bermuda Government employees defined benefit plan (the Public Service Superannuation Fund) and the Bermuda private business sector employee defined contribution plan (the Bermuda National Pension Scheme).

    My article today was generated by the announcement in the Bloomberg press, “Briton Eyeing Property Punches Air as Pension Limits Axed” by Svenja O’Donnell,...

  • Desperately seeking yield in a low interest environment
    Mar 29, 2014 8:00 am

    Desperately seeking yield in a low interest environment

    Part five — Bermuda fundamental financial review. Kinds, uses, and demands of debt.

    Interest rates, bond yields, and the quantitative easing era.

    The lament goes like this. When, oh when, are we going to see some decent interest rates on deposits, or bonds for that matter?

    Yearning for yield, desperately. Capital market volatility continued to wax and wane like the tide rushing in and out of Crow Lane, March 19,...

  • Home insurance: Going bare is not a good option
    Mar 22, 2014 8:00 am

    Home insurance: Going bare is not a good option

    Bermuda Fundamental Financial Review Series (BFFRS) — Property Insurance part 2

    It has been a little over ten years since Fabian trashed this tiny island. Many families suffered disasters during this time, some left with lingering painful memories of lost loved ones. “Time heels all wounds,” they say. More often, time only diminishes the importance of a serious catastrophic episode.

    Family resources are scarce and family...

  • New approach as economy ticks up
    Mar 15, 2014 8:00 am

    New approach as economy ticks up

    Spring is here! Heck, it never really left.

    Freesias are up way early. The Gibbs Hill Lighthouse plastic wrap flaps in the breeze and roars in heavy winds, the better to spruce it back to pristine grace when the cruise ships pull in.

    Easter is on its way.

    Whether you are religious or not, everywhere there are some very small fragile indications of renewal, rejuvenation, rebranding, reconciliation, and possibly economic...

  • Mar 8, 2014 8:00 am

    Paying for insurance is no fun — but you need it

    Bermuda Fundamental Financial Review Series (BFFRS) — Risk Management: Part 5

    We are taking a leap over the BFFRS series on debt, credit and mortgage issues to focus on risk this week.

    It has been a little over ten years since Fabian trashed this tiny island. “Time heels all wounds,” they say. More often, time diminishes the importance of a serious catastrophic episode. Our minds simply cannot cope otherwise.

    Thus,...

  • When the real estate is abroad —
buy cautiously, and flip with care
    Feb 22, 2014 8:00 am

    When the real estate is abroad — buy cautiously, and flip with care

    Thinking of investing in real estate abroad by flipping houses? Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, and why not? Bank deposits are paying nothing. Capital markets continue to be volatile, and not easily understood. Nothing like real estate, though. Bermudians have been obsessed with owning property, forever, it seems. So, nothing like using your business smarts and hard — sometimes back-breaking work — to earn your way to financial success.

  • Remember: A money market fund is an investment
    Feb 15, 2014 8:00 am

    Remember: A money market fund is an investment

    Bermuda Fundamental Financial Review CASH and Money Funds

    Part 4 - see bottom of page for links to Part 1-3

    This is the fourth in the new series on your Moneywise Annual Fundamental Financial Review. We are now at the category of money market mutual funds (MMMFs) that are actually investments. In our fundamental financial review, investments (and adviser recommendations) are always approached last on the list. Why should that be?...

  • Your money in Bermuda
    Feb 8, 2014 8:00 am

    Your money in Bermuda

    Bermuda Financial Fundamentals Review Part 3 – Cash, Foreign Currency, Credit, and Money Market Mutual Funds.

    Bermuda is a small island, 21 square miles, with a resident/ guest worker population of approximately 60,000. Insignificant in size, significant in global financial stature, Bermuda has had its own coinage for more than four hundred years, then paper money evolving for daily use. Cash can appreciate in value (or depreciate) in...

  • The challenges of family finances
    Jan 25, 2014 8:00 am

    The challenges of family finances

    Part I of a two-part Series on Families, Financial support, sharing and in some cases, financial sabotage.

    There is no disputing that this is a difficult time for many individuals and their families in Bermuda. Everyone in a family, I have no doubt, is being called to step up to the plate for assistance.

    Families in Financial Motion involve emotional allegiances, turmoil, frustrations, disagreements, and the ultimate caring that...

  • Do’s and don’ts for the independent you in 2014
    Dec 28, 2013 8:00 am

    Do’s and don’ts for the independent you in 2014

    LEARN. LIVE. LOVE. There is one important NEW Year’s wish today that I have for the readers of Moneywise. And it is, that everyone learns to become independent and technically proficient in the new electronic age, and in the process, loves taking care of their financial security. Some of you, sitting off having that steaming cup of tea or coffee, having a read of the “daily blatt” are now thinking, “what a dumb statement. I’ve got a cell...

  • Is Bermuda missing an opportunity with the uber-wealthy?
    Dec 7, 2013 8:00 am

    Is Bermuda missing an opportunity with the uber-wealthy?

    Numerous jurisdictions are aggressively promoting their natural product — investor immigration programmes — to appeal to very wealthy individuals: protection and privacy, light tax and infrastructure, sophisticated and democratic societies, wonderful scenic co-operative surroundings, and often accompanied by various friends and business associates who have also emigrated. Other welcoming jurisdictions have acquired wealthy individuals and...

  • Anti-foreigner rhetoric will not help — rival islands get it and so should we
    Nov 30, 2013 8:00 am

    Anti-foreigner rhetoric will not help — rival islands get it and so should we

    While Bermuda government coffer revenues continue to inexorably decrease, the rhetoric here grows increasingly shrill. Paraphrasing headlines and various individual statements regarding proposals to open our doors wider to foreign investments, we witness constant mantras: “Bermuda for Bermudians”, “taking away our birth right”, “allowing foreigners in to dilute our votes and occupy our real estate”, “it’s not fair”, “we deserve more”, and on...

  • Summonses show that US authorities are stepping up search for tax dodgers
    Nov 16, 2013 8:00 am

    Summonses show that US authorities are stepping up search for tax dodgers

    Oh, oh — another tax article that RG readers tell me they hate because, as we Bermudians love to say, “it’s got nothin’ to do with me”.

    I will unequivocally state right now that United States tax compliance has everything to do with us.

    On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, The Royal Gazette reported that the US Department of Justice in conjunction with its revenue collecting (and tax fraud enforcement...

  • Bitcoin: an alternative, digital cryptocurrency
    Nov 9, 2013 8:00 am

    Bitcoin: an alternative, digital cryptocurrency

    Tired of banking transactions? There’s a new money concept out there.

    Bermuda is a complex financial environment. We tend to forget this fact, until we have to trudge down to a bank teller for travelling money, or negotiate a foreign currency transaction online with our computer. Once in an FX menu, have you ever clicked on the wrong currency, and ended up with say Australian dollars when you wanted something completely...

  • A great time to invest?
    Nov 2, 2013 8:00 am

    A great time to invest?

    MONEYWISE November 1, 2013

    Bermuda Investment Primer Chp1 part 2

    Another segment in the Bermuda Investment Primer Series.

    The United States capital market S&P Index* reached an all-time high last week then settled back by Thursday, o’Halloween Day, 31 October 2013 as this article went to press. The S&P index value has grown by an almost 25 percent appreciation in one year. Investment returns at this...

  • Big Payday: Bermuda can’t afford to continue on this path
    Oct 26, 2013 8:00 am

    Big Payday: Bermuda can’t afford to continue on this path

    In 2011, when our economists were still telling Bermuda residents that Bermuda was recovering from the recession, Moneywise saw things very differently — having lived (and painfully observed friends, neighbours, and clients’ difficult financial struggles) though an earlier recession in the United States.

    The cost drag of a lengthy recession on Government coffers coupled with impending civil service underfunded pension liabilities...

  • Oct 19, 2013 12:00 pm

    After the gridlock, counting the cost

    Bermuda Investment Primer Chapter 2 Part 3
    Low cost stock index mutuals, the Nobel Prize winner in economics, Eugene Fama (the father of the efficient market hypothesis), and investors held hostage to the US budget impasse.

  • Investing in capital markets not what it used to be
    Oct 12, 2013 8:00 am

    Investing in capital markets not what it used to be

    Dear Readers,
    One reader wrote in with the following suggestions for additional articles. I thank this individual for following the Moneywise column and providing this feedback. As always, I am very grateful to receive comments and inquiries on a reader’s interests or financial situations. All personal inquiries are entirely confidential.

  • A look at the collapse of British American
    Sep 28, 2013 8:00 am

    A look at the collapse of British American

    The default of an insurance company has been in the headlines for the last couple of weeks.
    Emotions are high. Thoughts of policies lost, and monies out of pocket — never to be recovered, are angrily listed again and again.
    This is a just such a sorry state of affairs.
    It is very understandable that individuals who invested are confused, angry, and disillusioned.

  • The craft of creating a lasting reputation
    Sep 21, 2013 8:00 am

    The craft of creating a lasting reputation

    Reputation, reputation, reputation is the mantra for countries seeking high-grade foreign investment. We, in Bermuda, want to do business with the best of the best: countries and companies with impeccable reputations for transparency, fiscal solvency, rigorous enforcement of compliance measures, and legislation to combat corruption and financial crimes.

  • Do you have a financial safety net?
    Sep 14, 2013 8:00 am

    Do you have a financial safety net?

    We are told to expect flat Bermuda economic performance for this year. Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as reported last week, has shrunk for the fourth straight year — the cumulative effect of increasing prior year’s expenditures and decreased revenues.
    For those tired of acronyms, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a fancy term for some common sense math.

  • Moneywise: A bolt from the bleu: France’s bewildering decision to put Bermuda on tax haven list
    Sep 7, 2013 8:00 am

    Moneywise: A bolt from the bleu: France’s bewildering decision to put Bermuda on tax haven list

    It was more than a little disconcerting to see the announcement that Bermuda was placed on France’s tax haven list. One would think that there had to be a substantive reason for this pre-emptive label-tarnishing directly before the G20 meeting that just took place in St Petersburg, September 05, and 06, 2013, but none seems to be forthcoming.

  • Aug 31, 2013 8:00 am

    Those US ties - and why anyone could have them

    Bermuda residents and their connectivity to the United States.

  • The human turmoil behind insurance
    Aug 24, 2013 8:00 am

    The human turmoil behind insurance

    By Martha Myron
    Murder has been committed for it, in the worst of human tragedies due to selfishness, total greed, and vicious disregard for the human suffering of the victim(s).
    Suicide has been enacted in the name of “caring for the remaining family members”.
    Larceny in the heart, then implemented through deception (and hired criminals) has resulted in phoney claims and catastrophic property damage.

  • Moneywise: Smart advice for the small investor
    Aug 17, 2013 8:00 am

    Moneywise: Smart advice for the small investor

    Should you be watching your investment portfolio? Reuters and several other business media reported last week that the S&P market index was less than a percentage point away from its all–time high. Even with that assessment, trading market volume is low, as it appears that investors are unwilling to place more cash into a market that may change at any time. Additionally, many indicators that investors and analysts use to monitor market activity...

  • Moneywise:
    Aug 10, 2013 8:00 am

    Moneywise:

    Make your university degree count, financially! Bermuda island students are readying their itineraries for the giant step of a first year in university, or returning to fully complete their degrees. Some may have already chosen a major, while some are ambivalent, taking a wait-and-see attitude.

  • Jul 27, 2013 8:00 am

    Bankruptcy and its consequences

    It is a horrible business for those companies and individuals who after valiantly, in most cases, attempting to keep their finances above water, now must face the realisation that all efforts were for naught. They are insolvent, and must begin the long navigational swim back to financial security.

  • Understanding re/insurance, the lifeblood of Bermuda’s revenue
  • Jul 13, 2013 8:00 am

    Protecting our reputation

    Empowering the ordinary citizen to expose corruption. A Report on the work of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ).

  • High debt, slowing sales: Lessons learned from Twinkies demise
    Jul 6, 2013 8:00 am

    High debt, slowing sales: Lessons learned from Twinkies demise

    Will the Twinkle return to Twinkies? After several weeks of heavy taxing (in more ways than one) discussions regarding the perception and direction of the country, it is time to look at some lighter matters. Thing is, in our rapidly changing world, few topics ever stay light for long. They either morph into something more, possibly life changing, or dwindle away into inconsequentiality.

  • Jun 29, 2013 8:00 am

    Moneywise: Preventing ‘taxpatriation’: US citizens who renounce their citizenship for tax purposes could face obstacles

    US Expatriates have additional worries. On the week before the 4th of July celebrations in the United States, the land of the free and the home of the brave, I write concerning relevant events for former United States citizens who have relinquished their US citizenship in the last ten years (and are now considered covered expatriates or non-resident aliens), and for those United States citizens and long-term permanent residents (aka green card...

  • So what did the G8 Summit accomplish on tax transparency?
    Jun 22, 2013 8:00 am

    So what did the G8 Summit accomplish on tax transparency?

    By Martha Harris Myron
    When the G8 Heads of State Summit meeting in Northern Island convened amid urgent, rampant press releases last week, the OECD world waited to see the results of the three point agenda proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron: advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance and promoting greater transparency.

  • Bad press about our Country is unearned and unwarranted
    Jun 15, 2013 2:13 pm

    Bad press about our Country is unearned and unwarranted

    Building talking points for Bermuda as the premier offshore financial centre. This column has been in existence for more than 13 years; almost never are there comments or feedback made. That is because finance and economics are of great interest for finance people as these are always evolving, never static, and sometimes completely unpredictable topics. For many people, however, in spite of the importance, finance discussions are still perceived...

  • ‘We’re tired of being called a tax haven’
    Jun 8, 2013 8:00 am

    ‘We’re tired of being called a tax haven’

    Bermuda is tired. We are tired of being called a tax haven nation. We are tired of watching partisan politicians imperiously attack Bermuda for so-called underhanded tactics while they are focused on their political future career prospects and surrounded by conflicted interests and highly paid lobbyist agendas.

  • Moneywise: Getting it together: Marriage is a financial commitment as well as a personal one
    Jun 1, 2013 8:22 am

    Moneywise: Getting it together: Marriage is a financial commitment as well as a personal one

    Part One in updated series on money and relationships: Sharing households; legalising relationships through marriage or civil unions; dissonance, divorce, and equitable asset distribution; and truncated or extended families moving forward.
    The composite case illustrations are not intended to resemble, nor should they be interpreted to describe any individual or family, living or deceased.

  • May 25, 2013 8:00 am

    Saving for the future: Men, money and work


    Are Young Men More Irresponsible Financially Than Young Women? We heard from old men and their opinion of young women and their finances in the Royal Gazette article of April 06, 2013. http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20130406/COLUMN07/704069989
    Older men — who just happened to be financial advisers — were rather blunt in their opinion of whether young women handled their finances in an appropriate manner.

  • The secret shame of elder abuse: No easy solution to a cruel and silent problem
    May 18, 2013 7:38 am

    The secret shame of elder abuse: No easy solution to a cruel and silent problem

    Further commentary on elderly exploitation articles featured last week in The Royal Gazette.

  • May 11, 2013 8:00 am

    What should a 30-year-old’s portfolio look like?

    Last in the series of young women and their money — that is, unless we receive more letters from readers.
    And, now as promised, back to the last question from our young professional career woman.
    Apologies for the sidetracking with other pressing commentary in the last few weeks. I hope this last article is worth waiting for.

  • FATCA: The large, unfriendly elephant in the room
    May 4, 2013 8:00 am

    FATCA: The large, unfriendly elephant in the room

    The Elephant called FATCA is now in the room. This elephant is large, unfriendly, and will brook no dissent. The FATCA programme* and the accompanying US tax compliance issues have been discussed on many occasions over the last few years in Moneywise, some references below.

  • Apr 27, 2013 8:00 am

    Financial implications of moving abroad

    Part 3 in the series on moving to the United States. Please see Part 1 Options for those who dream of settling in the US, March 23, 2013 and Part 2 The pondstraddlers dilemma, March 30, 2013. Part 4 will be directed to the investor treaty programme.

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