Home » Columnists » Martha Myron

Moneywise

Martha Myron
BUSINESS COLUMNIST
Profile

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

RSS Feed of stories
  • How to use a mortgage calculator
    Jul 26, 2014 8:00 am

    How to use a mortgage calculator

    Last week in Moneywise, we covered the basics of math calculations for mortgage principal and interest when reviewing your mortgage payments*. This week, we start the review with:

    • Irregular payment intervals. Some banks charge mortgage interest by the day so you need to calculate carefully the number of days in the billing cycle.

    • Adjustable interest rate mortgages. The interest rate is not locked in at closing and will...

  • Why would you want to accelerate the principal payments on your mortgage?
    Jul 12, 2014 8:00 am

    Why would you want to accelerate the principal payments on your mortgage?

    This week, we focus on managing your money to benefit you. In Bermuda’s current economic environment, keeping up with the home mortgage payment is probably the number one challenge for every Bermuda homeowner.

    The last several years of the Bermuda Monetary Authority Quarterly Banking Digests (2008 of 2.3 percent to 2013 of 12 percent of non-performing loans to total loans) indicated, too, a steady increase in the number of property...

  • Fatca deadline is upon us — will you be affected?
    Jun 28, 2014 8:00 am

    Fatca deadline is upon us — will you be affected?

    Fatca finale — the deadline is in three days. July 1, 2014, precisely, is when foreign banks and foreign financial institutions in more than 100 countries, Bermuda included, having registered and entered into agreements with US Internal Revenue Service will start reporting data on foreign financial accounts held by US taxpayers or foreign entities in which US taxpayers have control or hold substantial ownership.

    Who will this effect?...

  • A parent left alone — a Moneywise family plan
    Jun 14, 2014 8:00 am

    A parent left alone — a Moneywise family plan

    This week, Moneywise features a new monthly series on financial planning and investing advice. We want to make managing finances much more applicable to personal circumstances by using real stories from real people. The first financial planning story features one of our readers who has written to me seeking help and has agreed to allow a discussion of the composite situation.* If readers would like to participate in future financial planning...

  • Navigating the pension rules
    Jun 7, 2014 8:00 am

    Navigating the pension rules

    Part 2: Do you know where all of your pensions are?

    Many residents of Bermuda, such as native-born individuals, multinationals integrated into the Bermuda family culture, and globally mobile guest workers have rights to foreign pensions in other countries. Often, they are not aware of these pensions, or have (surprise) completely forgotten the factual circumstances.

    You may have accrued enough foreign employment earnings...

  • Forgotten what assets you have overseas?
    May 31, 2014 8:00 am

    Forgotten what assets you have overseas?

    Attention! Do you know where all of your assets are?

    Many residents of Bermuda, such as native-born individuals, multinationals integrated into the Bermuda family culture, and globally mobile guest workers have rights to foreign pensions in other countries. Often, they are not aware of these pensions, or have (surprise!) completely forgotten the factual circumstances.

    In presenting many international financial planning workshops...

  • What it takes to start up a business
    May 17, 2014 8:00 am

    What it takes to start up a business

    The refrain is constant. Bermuda needs new business. Bermuda needs jobs.

    It takes a unique individual to start a business anywhere, but it can be particularly challenging in Bermuda. The business start-up checklist is long, as you will have noted from last week’s article with references to StartupNation’s “10 Point Business Plan.”

    There are several predominant personal traits that are absolutely crucial to the success of a...

  • Managing financially into retirement is a challenge for many
    May 3, 2014 8:00 am

    Managing financially into retirement is a challenge for many

    Last week’s article about the differences in pensions available to Bermuda residents generated more interesting responses from Moneywise readers. Serious concerns were expressed about how to manage financially into retirement, now exacerbated by the tougher job environment in our almost six-year Bermuda economic recession.

    Retirement anxiety crosses borders. Even though the economy of our neighbours to the West is deemed to be...

  • 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.

Search

Take Our Poll

  • Will Cup Match end in a draw again this year?
  • Yes
  • 38%
  • No
  • 52%
  • Don't know
  • 9%
  • Total Votes: 2998
  • Poll Archive

Today's Obituaries

View all Obituaries Place an obituary

Facebook Activity