Podcast Episode - Ask Suze & KT Anything: A Story of Hope, A Mini Suze School on Mutual Funds, Callable CDs, and Bad Advisors

Financial Independence, Financial Security, Investing, Podcast, Saving

October 13, 2022

Listen to Podcast Episode:

On this episode of Ask Suze & KT Anything, Suze answers questions from you all, about closing a loaded mutual fund, bad financial advisors, IRAs in bankruptcy, callable CDs and more.

Podcast Transcript:


KT: Okay. Today is October 12th and this is a new day because it's


KT: Wednesday. Tell


KT: everyone why we're changing out the show Suze.


Suze: Because I'm a Gemini and I can. And the only thing we're changing KT,


Suze: is the day we do the show and drop the show.


KT: So now you can all listen on Wednesday's and Saturday night, Saturday night. Suze owned for 14 years with the Suze Orman Show. And now, because everyone's writing to her about her Suze Orman show available on Freevee which is Amazon, it's for free.


KT: Everyone's excited. Like Suze, we're back with you Saturday night. Date night with Suze. Yeah.


Suze: Yes. So I decided well why not change the podcast to Saturday night as well as Wednesday night? All right, KT, this is Ask Suze and KT Anything. This is 2022. You know, KT, I always want people to know when we actually recorded the show.


KT: Well, it's important because then the content and the information


KT: is valid at that date.


Suze: At that date.


KT: So you can listen to these podcasts for you know, years. You can listen to them.


Suze: Yes, but if I'm giving financial advice as to buy this, sell that or whatever, please take the date in mind.


KT: Alright, so we're going to get right to it. Suze. I've got a lot of questions here. And the first one actually isn't a question.


KT: It's a "Hi Suze." Hope you and KT are doing well. We spoke via email a couple of years ago when I was really stuck and afraid of getting a divorce and selling. This is Jocelyn.


KT: So


KT: let me share this with everyone because I think they'll find it very moving.


KT: I just wanted to update you Suze that I sold the house last year and the divorce was


KT: finalized at the end


KT: of August


Suze: Because everybody, I just want to say before you go on KT. Really


Suze: this is the month of October. This is not only breast cancer awareness month, but it is also domestic violence month. And so, so there are many women and men that are in situations that are horrific that I deal with.


Suze: And so this obviously is a good ending. Go on.


KT: Okay. It's been a whirlwind of emotional and financial changes. But thanks to you, Suze and my friends and family, I got through it. Seriously. Your advice really helped me and I wanted to say thank you for your support. I haven't bought another place yet so I'm renting. I've waited a year and sat on the money from the house sale as you've suggested


KT: others should do after a big life change. Now I'm free of a house and marriage that was keeping me down in New York City. I'm considering moving out of the city since I'm older. I also want to take a look at the quality of my life where yet I'm not sure. I just reread your email and I'm crying. Crying because I am free now. Crying also because I'm reflecting on how scared I was back then


KT: and how long it took me to cut the cord and move on. Yes, I was scared to leave a man and the what ifs of life. So this is, I want to read Suze, what she wrote that you had said to her I think quite some time ago.


KT: Your thoughts create your destiny, so stop thinking thoughts of poverty. Sell the house, change your damn life. Cut it clean, get him out of your life and get on with creating and stop settling. And then Jocelyn wrote, Suze, your slap down of love was right on the money.


KT: And I see that clearly now I am ready to start my life. Thank you so much Suze for all you do to help us be safe, strong and secure, Jocelyn.


Suze: So that's very, so happy for you and KT, I love that you chose that especially for this month. I just want to say since KT chose that, there is hope


Suze: you can change your life. You don't have to stay in a situation where you are abused emotionally, physically, financially in any way.


Suze: You deserve a better life than that. And the only way that's going to change is when you have the courage to do so. So I pray for all of you that you don't settle and that you do find a way out of any situation that you should not be in. That was sweet that you picked that out.


KT: Right? Sometimes it's important to share what we hear back from those people you've helped and helped so many


KT: and and this one from Helen also put a smile on my face listen to this...


Suze: And that's not hard. You always have a smile on that little face.


KT: This is really funny. I have a loaded mutual fund and she wrote


KT: I now understand thanks to you Suze what that means. She said it has about $12,000 in it. Is there a best way to close or withdraw this money?


Suze: Now KT, do you know what a loaded mutual fund is?


KT: Not really. (Suze: Why don't you tell everybody?) Because I know I get it wrong.


Suze: Oh don't say that. But anyway when you buy a mutual fund,


Suze: there are many different types of mutual funds that all of you can buy. And a mutual fund is where you invest a particular sum of money into this fund and it's invested in a way where you mutually own a tiny bit of every stock that that fun happens to own. So it's a way for you to diversify money. Another way is through an exchange traded fund.


Suze: But with mutual funds in particular,


Suze: they are sold either with a commission which means a load. So if you're investing $10,000 and the load is 5% immediately, your money is going to be worth only $9,500 because $500 went to the broker who sold it to you. The broker by the way, the financial advisor that has absolutely nothing to do with the performance of that fund. It's like a car salesman.


Suze: They have nothing to do with the performance of the car. Neither does a financial advisor that sells you a mutual fund that has a load on it. That's just what they get paid to sell it to you for then there are no load funds where you can buy them and there is no fee to buy or sell that fund whatsoever.


Suze: So there are loaded and there are no-loaded funds. Now, I can go more into detail, but this isn't a Suze School on loaded funds. But Helen, here's the problem. Once you have purchased a loaded mutual fund, you've already paid the load.


Suze: So if you got out of the loaded mutual fund right now to buy a no load fund, I'm not sure that would make sense on any level because if this is money outside of a retirement account and now you're coming out of your loaded mutual fund to go into a no-loaded fund, you may have capital gains tax to pay and it may not even be worth it at this point. If you already have purchased a loaded mutual fund,


Suze: what you should be doing is looking at the performance of that fund. Now in comparison with other mutual funds that maybe you are interested in, you should also be looking at the expense ratio because it is the expense ratio and you can find all this information. Everybody right on CNBC.com, look up your mutual funds or you can go to Morningstar, you can find this information out.


Suze: But if your expense ratio is really above like a quarter of a percent, a half a percent you may be paying too much just to even then stay in the fund. So do a little research. But just because you're in a loaded mutual fund doesn't mean now that you should sell it.


KT: Okay. Suze, next question is from Erica. I've heard you say 1,000 times to do Roth accounts.


KT: I've heard it


KT: many more than 1,000.


Suze: You really don't like Roth anymore.


KT: No, it's just confusing. This whole roth hope we do take advantage of the backdoor Roth IRA option. Don't ask me what that is, but you'll tell them again, we've done many podcasts on the back doors.


KT: We are fortunate and we are relatively high earners and in high tax


KT: brackets.


KT: Suze. The question is, next year, should we switch to the Roth 401K knowing we are in the highest tax bracket we will ever be in?


KT: It's


KT: from Erica.


Suze: That should have been your quizzie.


KT: Um I would say go for it


Suze: Yea girl!


KT: Is that a Ding Ding Ding Ding?


Suze: Ding Ding Ding,


Suze: baby.


Suze: So Erica,


Suze: I know you're in high income tax brackets and you think now is the time to put your money in a traditional 401k so that you can in fact get a tax write off for it. But the problem is this. Later on in life you're going to have to start taking that money out,


Suze: and depending on how much money you have made within that 401k, that could be a lot of money. And that could put you in a high income tax bracket later on number one. So here's what I would tell you. Forgo the tax write off now.


Suze: Stocks are going down and down, mutual funds are going down and down. So you are investing with after-tax dollars right now because they're going down and down. Chances are years from now, they will go up and up and up and up


Suze: and therefore you probably are going to make a fortune. And I want to see you make a fortune. That's absolutely tax free, not only to you but to your beneficiaries as well.


Suze: Like just forgo the tax write off now to get total tax-free income and the ability to take whatever money you want out tax-free after the age of 59 a half. Just don't miss that opportunity. Roth 401k, Roth


Suze: 401k, Roth 401K. Next one, KT.


KT: Next question is from Norah. Suze, I am retired and I have $2 million


KT: between my social security annuities and rental income. I am comfortable with my monthly income. I don't plan to use my retirement account until I'm 72 which is about five years from now.


KT: Suze. The two million is now down by about half a million dollars in less than a year. Should I do anything differently? Be more


KT: conservative? I


KT: am in a 60/40 position as per my financial advisor’s advice.


KT: Your


KT: thoughts would be much appreciated.


Suze: So so in sync KT, because as you were just saying that whenever I see somebody asked me for my opinion, what that says to me Norah,


Suze: is you do not trust your financial advisor totally.


KT: Yes.


Suze: But trust, confidence, you have to have total faith in the person who's managing your money because it is your money and your life, they're both identical. You know they're the most precious thing that keeps your life going, that keeps your family going. So what concerns me here is that number one, you're down about 25%.


Suze: And you're down at a time where you're already in your 60s, you're five years away from 72. Why were you down so much? Your advisor had you 60% in stocks or bonds? I'm not exactly sure which one. And 40% in stocks or bonds?


Suze: Right because at this point he could have had you or she could have had you in 60% in bonds, but a good financial advisor would have known over the past year or so


Suze: that bonds were absolutely going to go down. Haven't you heard me say over the past year, get out of bonds, specifically get out of bond mutual funds, get out of long term mutual funds that are made up of bonds? I was like, get out, get out, get out. This advisor did not get you out.


Suze: Because there is no way that you should be down 25% at this point. If you had true diversification,


Suze: if the advisor really knew that you were maybe afraid and you wanted to keep your money safe, then the advisor would have probably sold because again you're in a retirement account, there's absolutely no tax ramifications for doing so and just kept your money safe and sound. But that's not what happened.


Suze: So when you asked me, should I do anything differently? Be more conservative? Not at this point. Because now I've changed my mind where it's like, okay, now interest rates have gone up. Now isn't a bad time to start getting into bonds and bond funds. Again, little by little what you might want to do differently is you might want to get a different financial advisor,


Suze: somebody who you have total confidence in. But Norah, there's something that I'm picking up here


Suze: that you're not quite settled with this person. Just something to think about.


KT: Suze, the next question is from Danielle.


KT: After several years of financial mismanagement, my best friend is moving toward bankruptcy. A few years ago I set her up with a Roth IRA. She's been putting $40 per month into the account in talking to her about her bankruptcy plans. I'm concerned that her IRA will somehow affect


KT: her process of bankruptcy, or worse will they force her to settle some of her debt with what she has saved in the IRA.


Suze: The reason why...


KT: Can they touch her IRA?


Suze: No they cannot.


KT: Yeah, I was going to say that should have been my quizzie.


Suze: Yeah,


Suze: I knew you probably would have known that right everybody. The reason why you hear me saying all the time contribute to your 401k plan, especially up to the match, contribute to a Roth IRA, put as much money in retirement accounts as you can,


Suze: is because 401ks and IRAs are protected against the bankruptcy. 401ks. You could have $10 million in there and claim bankruptcy, and they won't be able to touch it in an IRA. It's up to about 1.1 million you could have in there and they can't touch it.


Suze: So that's why it's so sad when you take money out of a retirement account to catch up on your bills, and then you end up claiming bankruptcy and then you have nothing. So you are never to take money out of a retirement account to get yourself out of debt. Do you hear me?


KT: Good. And Danielle, just from me, from KT, thank you so much for your service in the navy.


Suze: Oh, you're crying. I know why you're crying because we're in October and we're literally only a week away.


KT: Days away from when we lost my dad. But so many years ago.


Suze: Yeah. 20. The year 2000 right is when he died, because I never got to meet him. But KT's a little sentimental when she thinks about her daddy.


KT: Yeah. But look, Daniels from the Nurse Corps that I love that you are helping your friend. You're helping people stay healthy, safe. I love that. And you're serving your country. Love that even more. Okay, moving on with happy thoughts. This is from Heidi.


KT: I just wanted to say Suze. I've changed diversification on my 401K. And purchased my first ever Series I bonds. I'm a little freaked and a lot proud and very excited. Thanks for giving me the courage to trust you and in myself a little bit more each day. I'm 62 about to be divorced, pissed off I didn't plan better earlier.


KT: I'm the breadwinner but not a


KT: saver.


KT: But I bought some I bonds. Hell yeah.


KT: Heidi sounds like quite the pistol. But no, but I have a question because we've been, people have been writing in about November is coming up and as you know, that's when they set the new rates for I bonds. I've been getting some questions in these emails saying Suze, so what do you think the interest rates going to be? Everyone's asking. And they're guessing all over the place.


Suze: The


Suze: answer, because just the other day, KT, I said I thought it was going to be about 6%. I literally think it could be


Suze: between yeah


Suze: six, maybe 7.13. But we won't know until actually tomorrow.


Suze: It's


Suze: the twelfth today, October 13 - that is tomorrow. They will announce the CPIU and then we'll know for sure. The consumer price index for urban,


Suze: right? We'll know for sure what it will be in November. But as I've been telling everybody, it is not going to be 9.62%. It's not going to be 12 point whatever. Somebody said it was going to be 12% a few months ago. And so now you're all thinking that. I have just we'll know what it's going to be literally tomorrow. And then we'll tell everybody. Alright, but I expect it's going to be


Suze: around


Suze: six or seven


Suze: percent or could even be under 6%. We'll see.


KT: Our next question is from James. Hi Suze and KT. Recently I saw that Robinhood is offering a savings opportunity that resembles a high yield


KT: savings account at a 3% return for a $5 monthly fee. They call it a cash sweep much for what you're going to call this Suze. Do you think this is a safe and secure option to place money into? Thank you so much for the great podcast advice. Alright. So tell James what that's about.


Suze: I don't know. James 3% depends how much money you are putting in. So for instance, let's say you're depositing well guess $5,000 and you're going to get 3% for the year. That's $150 of interest. But if they're charging you $5 a month that's $60 a year minus, then that's $60 from 150. You're only


Suze: going to be making $90 a year. After all those fees you would be better off taking that money and putting it in Alliant Credit Union at the current 2% because a year from now 2% on $5,000 would be $100. So you would actually be $10 a head and in a lot safer institution just so you know, so I wouldn't be doing it wrong. I just wouldn't touch it.


KT: Okay.


Suze: Why should I pay somebody KT to save my money? They should be paying me.


Suze: Because Robin Hood needs money. I'm... just listen, I'm sorry Robin Hood, I'm just not a fan.


KT: Alright.


Suze: Never have been. Never will be. Go on.


KT: Okay this is from Roberta. Dear Suze. I'm considering buying CDs through my Vanguard brokerage account. I see there's an option for callable CDs that bear a higher interest rate, wondering what your thoughts are about a call CD.


KT: Or a callable CD as she calls it.


Suze: I'm not gonna ask you KT because I can see on your face you don't know about it. Nor should you really because whoever talks about


KT: Is this is what it means? "CD - C. D.!!"


Suze: Are you calling a C.D.?


KT: CD. C. D.


KT: C. D. Come back to


KT: me?


Suze: Well it's kind of like that,


KT: Tell me what it means.


Suze: No it's kind of like that. A callable cd means that you can call it back to you.


Suze: So if I issue you a certificate of deposit and I have the right to say you know what, I don't want to pay you 4% anymore. I have the right to call that back from you, take it back from you. So I'm willing to give you a little more interest rate for the ability to take it back.


Suze: And a regular certificate of deposit that isn't callable means they have to pay you possibly that three or 4% until that CD actually matures. So if interest rates start to go down and there's a certificate of deposit out there that is paying you a higher interest rate than what new certificates of deposit have to pay, they would call that from you.


KT: Is it good to do it?


Suze: It's good if you know interest rates are going to continue up. And how often do they have the ability to call it from you? The truth of the matter is rather than doing a callable cd for a little bit higher interest rate, my dear Roberta, you would probably be better off simply


Suze: doing what? A Treasury bill or note where you could lock in for one year, 4% or two years, 4.15% or whatever it may be.


KT: We just did that.


Suze: We've been doing that.


KT: Yeah, but we just did it big time again.


Suze: I know she opened one of the statements...


KT: Whoa! I said Suze. I said did you do that for me too? She said I did it for both of us.


Suze: Yeah but, I told everybody, KT a little bit ago that I put a sizable sum of money into the two-year treasury. Why not? I'm getting 4.15%


Suze: but you know, guaranteed to me by the authority of the United States government


Suze: for


Suze: two years. You know what? I'll take it.


KT: Okay, next question's from,


Suze: Wait, wait. I just have to say this. Why will I take it? Because it makes me feel what? Secure. And that's all that matters because that is the goal of money.


KT: All right. Next question is from Patty.


KT: Hi Suze. I need to make a decision about where to invest my IRA. It's not making so much money these days in Charles Schwab. I am divorced and 61 years old. I may need this money within 5 to 10 years. I'm thinking about Treasury bonds. So here's another one that I remember. I told you I'm getting these


KT: emails, and even Patty. Why doesn't she just go and talk to Charles Schwab about this? No, she's talking to Suze first.


Suze: Right. You just handed me the email. And what's interesting is Patty ends this question and she says, I know I will have to pay taxes if I take the money out to buy bonds, but it may be worth doing. So


Suze: Patty. Listen closely. You can leave your money right at Charles Schwab in the IRA, and you could buy Treasury bills, bonds or notes within your IRA at Charles


Suze: Schwab. Right.


Suze: You could do that there. You could do that in Fidelity. So you don't have to take money out to buy one. You don't have to pay taxes on it


Suze: to take money out to buy one. You can do it within your IRA. And by the way, I just have to say this. Everybody that's the main difference between buying a Treasury at a brokerage firm versus buying a Treasury through treasurydirect.gov. That's one of the differences at Treasurydirect.gov. You can buy treasuries within a retirement account at a brokerage firm. You most certainly can.


Suze: And you probably should. Alright.


KT: Next question's from Tony. This is again from about my friend Roth. Ready? I'm currently 56 years old. Is it true, Suze, that rollovers from a traditional IRA to a Roth account are taxable as income but are not considered early distributions and therefore will not incur the 10% additional tax penalty?


KT: I hope this is true because the balance in my traditional IRA is currently down 25% and I would love to transfer some of those stocks into my Roth IRA to take advantage of the market low. What do you think? What should we tell her?


Suze: This one's really simple. Tony.


Suze: You're not rolling over. You are converting and when you convert money that's pretax from an IRA to a Roth IRA, you only have to pay income tax on it. You do not pay the 10% penalty. Just that simple. Next question, KT.


KT: It's not a next question. It's quizzie time.


Suze: It's quizzie time already? Oh that was fast. So


Suze: This quizzie is an interesting one.


Suze: Right. Now for all of you who don't know what is quizzie time is, quizzie time


Suze: why are you laughing?


KT: It's when KT, most of the time gets it wrong. So don't feel bad everybody, if you don't know the answer, guess what, join KT’s club. The quizzie club.


Suze: The quizzieclub. You're all quizzies. So quizzie time is where I not only ask KT a question,


Suze: but I ask all of you the same question as well because part of the Women & Money Podcast is I want you to be able to think, I want you to be able to evaluate a situation because maybe one day you might be in that same situation and I want you to have the tools to be able to think about, oh no this is what I should do, this is what I should not do and this is why.


Suze: Alright are you ready?


KT: I'm ready. G.


Suze: For this is from Susan. And Susan says hi Suze and KT, thank you for providing sound financial advice and especially for remembering the many single older women . That's easy to remember since we are older women.


KT: Speak for yourself, Suze!


Suze: You don't feel old do you?


KT: No! Never!


Suze: Alright I'm ready to do my first Roth conversion but I have a question that I have not heard discussed on the podcast. I have a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. Remember everybody a traditional IRA is money that you have invested


Suze: with pretax dollars. You have never paid taxes on those dollars and a Roth IRA which is you funded it with after tax dollars. So everything in there then is tax-free,


Suze: both with diversified holdings and cash.


Suze: So KT in these retirement accounts, she not only owns stock but she also has cash invested just sitting there as well. I plan to convert $26,000. So the question everybody is Susan wants to take $26,000 from her traditional IRA,


Suze: convert it to a Roth IRA and she will owe taxes on the $26,000. But here is her question.


Suze: Would it be better to convert cash or convert one of my holdings? Thank you for considering my question. I will follow whatever guidance you provide.


Suze: So she has money, she has stocks, ETFs, she has all kinds of things in this IRA. She wants to convert it from a pretax situation to an after tax going to a Roth. She will owe taxes on that money, but she has a choice. Should she convert just cash right now


Suze: that's probably making very little in her account, or should she convert stock or ETF or something that she's invested in? Which one? Everybody think about it if this is you, what would you do, KT?


KT: I think I would do the cash. I'll tell you why since the stock values are probably down instead


KT: of


KT: the


KT: stock values being down and $26,000 worth of those positions, I'd rather the cash is um I'd rather do the cash.


KT: (Suze makes the wrong answer sound) Wait a minute why?


KT: She said


KT: which one's easier.


Suze: No she said which one should she do right there. Easy. The reason why Susan, and everybody you are to be converting stocks, ETF, right now is because the price is so low they have gone down and therefore when you convert


Suze: you won't owe as much taxes on those stocks. These stocks Susan that possibly you own may very well go up in value over the next 2, 3, 4 years. Whatever it may be. Then if you convert them, you'll owe more taxes when they're at a higher value than you would right now.


Suze: So one of the great things for those people who want to convert with the stock market having gone down and probably will go down a lot further after maybe a slight rise the next week or two,


Suze: is you can take advantage of the low stock prices, convert now,


Suze: and therefore pay less income taxes than if you waited. And those prices went up a year or two from now. Cash is always going to be cash. So it's never going to cost you more or less when you convert. You convert stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds when they are down when they are low over cash.


Suze: So KT once again the only thing I have to say to you is (the wrong answer sound)


Suze: She


Suze: is so upset that she is wrong.


KT: I was going to go with that.


Suze: Then what stopped you?




KT: think that I wasn't sure. So I went with cash.


Suze: Whatever KT! All right...


KT: Wednesday


KT: Wednesday. Doesn't


KT: it feel great that we're doing this like at a normal hour instead of like at the crack of dawn?


Suze: Yeah. This also by the way one of the reasons we've changed is that I think we may start traveling a little bit and not be places necessarily on a Sunday or a Thursday or whatever.


Suze: So this works far better for our schedule. I hope it works far better for years as well. But KT, what's the most important thing we want to tell everybody?


KT: We want everyone to feel safe,


Suze: strong


KT: and secure.


Suze: Alright, everybody


KT: Saturday night


KT: date


KT: night with Suze, Saturday night.


Suze: Alright, take care and see you soon. Bye bye.

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