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Martha Myron
BUSINESS COLUMNIST
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Martha Harris Myron, CPA, PFS, JSM, Master's of Law – International Taxation and Financial Services, is a personal finance expert and offers cross-border financial planning for Bermuda residents with international connections through Bermuda, North America and Europe.

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  • Making the most of Christmas on a budget
    Dec 3, 2016 8:00 am

    Making the most of Christmas on a budget

    Christmas shopping preparations have started. Pressure is escalating for parents, relatives and friends to produce gifts that will live up to expectations.

    Not everyone has a spending nest egg this year given that here are many...

  • Making sense of cross-border financial rules
    Nov 26, 2016 8:00 am

    Making sense of cross-border financial rules

    Every month, we will answer general questions from readers about trips, traps, and tangled finances involving their international connections.

    The following case, that is actually an iteration of a number of similar cases, has been...

  • Give Auditor-General powers she needs
    Nov 19, 2016 8:00 am

    Give Auditor-General powers she needs

    Well, another year for the acclaimed Throne Speech, and the Opposition’s response has occurred, postulated, and gone. And as usual, there were optimistic visions, some more concrete than others, in each speech for us to ruminate on while hoping...

  • Ultimate protector of our country’s finances
    Nov 12, 2016 8:00 am

    Ultimate protector of our country’s finances

    Law and order are the bedrock of modern society. However, when we regard a civilised democracy, the first thought that should come to mind is what this much-overused political phrase implies: a free press, a progressive government, officials...

  • Information galore at your fingertips
    Nov 5, 2016 8:00 am

    Information galore at your fingertips

    Welcome to Guy Fawkes Day. No fireworks from me this week, at least. Readers write to me often with many queries. Often, they just want to know how on earth I manage to find anything to write about, or curious to know where I get my information.

  • Avoid cross-border investing mistakes
    Oct 29, 2016 8:00 am

    Avoid cross-border investing mistakes

    Just because you are investing abroad does not mean you will get a better deal or a higher return. In fact, keeping your money “close to your chest” in your home jurisdiction is very often the safest option.

    Our Bermuda regulatory system...

  • Risk and reward: make careful bond choices
    Oct 22, 2016 8:00 am

    Risk and reward: make careful bond choices

    Understanding bonds, part 3

    Companies, governments, individual investors need or want bonds; they are bought and sold every day by the billions of dollars.

    You now know what a bond looks like, what coupon (interest rate) it can pay,...

  • Bonds: the good, the bad and the truly junk
    Oct 15, 2016 8:00 am

    Bonds: the good, the bad and the truly junk

    This is the second part in a general overview series on bonds for the ordinary layperson.

    Those wishing to delve into the finite intricacies of bonds (and there are many) are encouraged to go to Investopedia: Bond Basics Tutorial...

  • Junk bonds and the tale of the Trump haircut
    Oct 8, 2016 8:00 am

    Junk bonds and the tale of the Trump haircut

    Understanding bonds — part 1. The Bermuda Investment Primer Series.

    The recent focus on Donald Trump’s leaked (or however the information was obtained) 1995 partial personal tax return by the New York Times brings up the...

  • The nuts and bolts of reverse mortgages
    Oct 1, 2016 8:00 am

    The nuts and bolts of reverse mortgages

    Last week we provided an overview of how reverse mortgages work. This week, we cover the nuts and bolts — meaning what is actually contained within the mortgage documents.

    So, you thought they would just give you the money because...

  • Understanding reverse mortgages
    Sep 24, 2016 8:00 am

    Understanding reverse mortgages

    Readers, this is a current update on a previous article I wrote for Moneywise in The Royal Gazette more than nine years ago.

    A few weeks ago, readers of The Royal Gazette read an incredibly sad story: “After the tragic loss of my daughter,...

  • Training Plan shows skills in demand
    Sep 17, 2016 8:00 am

    Training Plan shows skills in demand

    This is the summary of my search for some answers on the underemployment / unemployment situation in Bermuda.

    The changes in our economy continue to impact segments of society that were able to survive financially under our older employment...

  • Uncovering real numbers and facts about jobs
    Sep 10, 2016 8:00 am

    Uncovering real numbers and facts about jobs

    This is part two of an article looking at questions associated with Bermuda jobs, availability, skills, and experience.

    Last week’s article understandably received a great deal of attention. Our current employment environment is a...

  • Statistics show where the jobs are
    Sep 3, 2016 8:00 am

    Statistics show where the jobs are

    Questions on Bermuda jobs, including availability, skills and experience — Part One.

    The annual Labour Day weekend is here, including a day when Bermudians reflect upon equality in trade and employment in Bermuda.

    I’m still feeling...

  • Time for financial backstop programmes
    Aug 27, 2016 8:00 am

    Time for financial backstop programmes

    Last week, readers responded in great sympathy to the account of the grandmother who spent her lump sum retirement pension to care for her dying daughter.

    To lose a child that you have born, cared for, loved with all your being since...

  • A back-to-basics approach to retirement
    Aug 20, 2016 8:00 am

    A back-to-basics approach to retirement

    This is part seven of the new retirement series for Bermuda and looks at finalising your retirement savings and the need to get back to basics.

    In the professional retirement planning world, there are two ways to figure out...

  • Stay alert to money market risks and changes
    Aug 13, 2016 8:00 am

    Stay alert to money market risks and changes

    This is the evolution of money market mutual funds, part two.

    A little over two years ago, the US Securities and Exchange Commission adopted significant amendments to the rules that govern money market mutual funds under the US...

  • When money market funds teetered
    Aug 6, 2016 8:00 am

    When money market funds teetered

    This is chapter five of the New Bermuda Investment Series. This week we discuss the evolution of money market mutual funds. Please note, this information is general in nature. It is not intended as a detailed analysis of the US sub-prime mortgage...

  • Owning a slice of a company
    Jul 30, 2016 8:00 am

    Owning a slice of a company

    Part 2 — the New Bermuda Investment Primer Series: the Concept Of Capital Equity, following a successful mom-and-pop pizza business.

    Stocks constitute equity in a company. The shareholders of the company are owners of these shares,...

  • Know the real odds before you gamble
    Jul 23, 2016 8:00 am

    Know the real odds before you gamble

    Gambling: The sure way of getting nothing for something — Wilson Mizner.

    Gambling is public, or often, privately conducted. It is confusing to us personally to understand the reasoning and motivation behind gambling itself. We will...

  • Making a will with assets in three countries
    Jul 16, 2016 8:00 am

    Making a will with assets in three countries

    Marriage and estate planning for a multinational couple with multijurisdictional assets in three countries.

    A reader writes (Note: this is a composite case, all personal information has been changed or omitted), “I’m a Bermudian resident...

  • Introducing a new series on investing
    Jul 9, 2016 8:00 am

    Introducing a new series on investing

    Overview to the New Bermuda Investment Primer Series — Part 1

    With the ongoing upheaval of the UK political scene, the still unknown final effects (devastating or euphoric depending upon the viewpoints of who voted Bremain or Brexit) on the...

  • Calculating your future retirement finances
    Jul 2, 2016 8:00 am

    Calculating your future retirement finances

    Part 6 of the New Bermuda Retirement series. The Next Step: Setting up projections to calculate future retirement savings and expenses

    On May 21, Moneywise launched the first of two simplified retirement projection...

  • Do global economics impact Bermuda?
    Jun 25, 2016 8:00 am

    Do global economics impact Bermuda?

    Of course, but far too often we are so wrapped up in our own political and financial infighting that we not only don’t understand or assess the impact, but we don’t even realise our financial world is changing rapidly, both for good and bad...

  • Thankful for fathers that guide so well
    Jun 18, 2016 8:00 am

    Thankful for fathers that guide so well

    There is a detective series called Foyle’s War set in late 1930s as Great Britain is called to war yet again, with barely a recovery from the First World War. The pastoral scenery, the English countryside, those quaint rural villages and towns...

  • What is your personal inflation rate?
    Jun 11, 2016 8:00 am

    What is your personal inflation rate?

    Bermuda has one of highest per capita gross domestic product* numbers in the world. It is a laudable achievement of Bermuda’s international financial reputation.

    There is a downside to that statistic, however. We all know what it is — the...

  • Retirement and investment returns
    Jun 4, 2016 8:00 am

    Retirement and investment returns

    A reader asks: “Is it possible to get a 10 per cent return in a balanced fund [see last week’s article] in this environment? I once read that using the Rule of 72, with a 10 per cent return, my retirement portfolio would double in value in a...

  • Weighing up retirement investments
    May 28, 2016 8:00 am

    Weighing up retirement investments

    Here are two questions that we will cover today.

    “I’m relatively conservative and have stuck to the balanced fund concept for the last ten years. Balanced fund meaning 60 per cent stocks / 40 per cent bonds. I don’t have the expertise or...

  • Getting your retirement timeline right
    May 21, 2016 8:00 am

    Getting your retirement timeline right

    This is part five of the New Bermuda Retirement series

    WHAT IS YOUR TIMELINE?

    There are three serious phases in retirement planning:

    1. Fifteen to five years away from the accepted community retirement age (this...

  • Retirement: so much to consider
    May 14, 2016 8:00 am

    Retirement: so much to consider

    This is part 4 of the New Bermuda Retirement series.

    Retirement impacts you in three major ways. You are affected, personally. Your family is affected. Your environment affects you.

    You, individually are affected: you must...

  • Celebrating the evolution of moms
    May 7, 2016 8:00 am

    Celebrating the evolution of moms

    On the eve of Mothering Sunday here is a look at, and a celebration of, what motherhood means today and in the past, beginning with the poignant discovery of a 4,800-year-old fossilised mother and child found by archeologists in Taiwan last...

  • Let the world know Bermuda is no tax haven
    Apr 30, 2016 8:00 am

    Let the world know Bermuda is no tax haven

    Bravo! The Premier of Bermuda last Thursday sent an aggressive, masterly detailed, but polite letter to Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party, defending Bermuda’s international reputation.

    After years of infuriating...

  • Financial steps for planning your retirement
    Apr 23, 2016 8:00 am

    Financial steps for planning your retirement

    This is an introduction and overview to a new retirement series. The series will be extensive. It has to be.

    Retirement readiness is not just about “how much do I need” or “five tips to a complete retirement,” rather, individuals will...

  • Strive to pay off mortgage before retirement
    Apr 16, 2016 8:00 am

    Strive to pay off mortgage before retirement

    This the third part in the New Retirement series.

    Should you pay off your mortgage before you retire? This is probably the most common question posed to me (along with “will we run out of money”) in the many years of my retirement...

  • Panama Papers fallout: a voter’s checklist
    Apr 9, 2016 8:00 am

    Panama Papers fallout: a voter’s checklist

    The latest data dump leaks, the largest in history, were released this week by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

    The Panama Papers, so called as the leaks came from a Panamanian law firm, implicated 140 very...

  • We can learn from Faroes’ story
    Apr 2, 2016 8:00 am

    We can learn from Faroes’ story

    Already we have passed the first day of spring, April Fools’ Day and are headed into an early summer.

    Last week’s article was a story about an island, the Acqua Isle, a small island with a small population trying to stay afloat in the sea...

  • A tale of an island in economic trouble
    Mar 26, 2016 8:00 am

    A tale of an island in economic trouble

    This is the story of an island, the Acqua Isle. Idyllic in nature, hardy in purpose, the remote island has survived global forces of nature. It has existed as a comforting habitat for many hundreds of years.

    Its people are a hardy, serious...

  • How long will my retirement money last?
    Mar 19, 2016 8:00 am

    How long will my retirement money last?

    The Bermuda Retirement Primer — part 2A: managing for a comfortable retirement

    The number one documented concern for retirees the world over is outliving retirement savings. The reason: the income from jobs they have relied...

  • Wise steps when planning for your retirement
    Mar 12, 2016 8:00 am

    Wise steps when planning for your retirement

    Welcome to the New Bermuda Resident Retirement Primer, a series of articles to be featured in The Royal Gazette every month, or more often, on demand.

    We will cover the gamut of retirement planning issues: retirement cost of living,...

  • Budget shows how debt ties you down
    Mar 5, 2016 8:00 am

    Budget shows how debt ties you down

    Part two of lowlights in the 2016-2017 Bermuda Government Budget, a 54-page, meticulously prepared document containing shrewd observations on our local environment: finances, investments, government infrastructure and assets, impact on...

  • Highlights and lowlights of the Budget
    Feb 27, 2016 8:00 am

    Highlights and lowlights of the Budget

    Meticulously prepared, the Budget is 54 pages long, replete with charts, statistics, analogies, historical data, and some very cautious optimism. It contains shrewd observations on our Bermuda financial environment: investments, government...

  • Romance and taxes — not a good mix
    Feb 20, 2016 8:00 am

    Romance and taxes — not a good mix

    Romance is a spontaneous, glorious happening, but as a foreign national, immigration into, and taxation within another country (in our composite case, the United States) requires pre-border crossing planning, too. The two thought processes are...

  • Meticulous planning is wise before a US move
    Feb 13, 2016 8:00 am

    Meticulous planning is wise before a US move

    Last week we wrote about our happy Valentine fellow blissfully leaving the Rock and heading to America to be with the perfect lady in the land of opportunity with its fabled streets of gold and bluer skies.

    Destiny is so full of promise,...

  • Watch out for cross-border tax traps
    Feb 6, 2016 8:00 am

    Watch out for cross-border tax traps

    Author’s note: This composite case is purely hypothetical in nature and is not intended to resemble any actual persons’ individual circumstances.

    Love in the air. The perfect Valentine romance! They met on a flight to Australia. Lots of...

  • Time to boost the Auditor-General’s powers
    Jan 30, 2016 8:00 am

    Time to boost the Auditor-General’s powers

    A review by a former auditor of the Bermuda Auditor-General’s Report on the Consolidated Funds of the Government of Bermuda for the years 2010, 2011, 2012. This is the fourth and final part of the series.

    Reviewing a financial...

  • AG’s report: why are we not more concerned?
    Jan 23, 2016 8:00 am

    AG’s report: why are we not more concerned?

    This is the third part of a review of the Bermuda consolidated fund audit report for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 by a former auditor. The first two parts were published on December 19 and January 16.>In part 3, we focus on some of the serious...

  • Appalling items in Consolidated Fund report
    Jan 16, 2016 8:00 am

    Appalling items in Consolidated Fund report

    This is part two of a commentary by a former auditor on the Bermuda Auditor-General’s report on the Consolidated Fund of the Government of Bermuda for 2010, 2011, 2012 released to Parliament in December 2014.

    Have...

  • Plan for financial success in this new year
    Jan 2, 2016 8:00 am

    Plan for financial success in this new year

    Today is the start of the new year. That means new beginnings and a new outlook on the first day of the rest of your life.

    It is a time for great inspiration and great learning.

    The inspiration holidays are over. Everyone had a...

  • Avoid the debt-fuelled materialism trap
    Dec 28, 2015 8:00 am

    Avoid the debt-fuelled materialism trap

    The Christmas holidays are trailing right into this week. After the crazy crush to satisfy every person’s wish list in the family, there is plenty of time to think about yourself, your future direction in life, or just comfortable easy things —...

  • Understanding the audit process
    Dec 19, 2015 8:00 am

    Understanding the audit process

    This is part one of an analysis of the Audit of the Consolidated Fund of the Government of Bermuda for financial years 2010, 2011, 2012 by a former auditor.

    This holiday season has arrived at the end of another year of a (hopefully)...

  • Understanding the concept of Bitcoin
    Dec 12, 2015 8:00 am

    Understanding the concept of Bitcoin

    Introducing Bitcoin, the new, newest thing in the global medium of exchange. We know our current mediums as variously, cash in hand, stock values on a piece of paper, gold bars in a vault, sterling silver on our wrists, real property immovable on...

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