Lee Munson On The Short Volatility Crash Of 2018

I absolutely love going on with Jennifer Rogers and talking markets. After covering the crash from Monday - I make some pot shots at Carl Icahn. But let’s be honest, he has some good points and billion dollars in the bank. 

“Taking some profits from the last year on Monday and investing new cash."

“Wait a little bit, see what happens, nobody knows, but when volatility is this high, relax and see where things go.”

“I was there for the dot.com crash, don’t be so convinced we are fine, but know I’m still overall bullish.”

“Dips are healthy, and I like the pause, but I want to see more pause, more blood-letting, and I want to see three good down days.” 


End Of Year Wrapup 2018 - Bitcoin Is Dot.com Redux

I love to do end of year shows when not enjoying the holidays with my family. While Liz Clamen was on break, Cheryl Casone got the interview rolling. My take is simple, a chart is a chart, and bubbles are best played on breakouts and momentum. But if you want my opinion about buying this stuff, the answer is no. Fox Biz wanted me to give an end of year price for Bitcoin in 2018, and nobody really knows. I guessed $2000, but let me tell you, this could get more out of hand before reality sets in.

Munson on 2018 rally, FAANG rally, Bitcoin Bubble

Jen Rogers and I spent some time together in the Yahoo Finance NYC studio. We covered everything that was rattling around in my head that cold Manhattan afternoon. I said I would fly back once the yield curve inverted . . .

Dark Side Of Cryptocurrencies: Making Criminals Rich

Over the past few months I’ve taken a deep dive into cryptocurrencies beyond simply trading an asset. Earlier in 2017 my interest was in how the mechanics worked. Clunky, high transaction charges, foreign banks in very foreign countries, and zero investor protection or oversight. Hey, I never got past the poor transaction framework. As time went by and the prices went up it became clear on top of all of this – the so-called currency was nothing but ether, hot air, and no better than gold. At least gold is shinny and you can wear it. Since I don’t invest directly in gold (it has no actual value, pays no dividends, and it can be easily stolen), cryptocurrencies didn’t have any more appeal. And no, just because the price of something goes up doesn’t mean, well, anything.

Now that I’ve had time to travel to New York City, talk to people in the know and vet out how many people out there had no idea what was going on, the real issues started to come out.

Rather than keep typing, I include this interview I was quoted in by Ethan Wolff-Mann from Yahoo Finance. He’s a talented writer that isn’t quick to print things without some real research. While I love when I get a quote – keep reading the whole article as he spells out the core issue: criminals are the ones that profit. This may seem obvious once you see it, but it wasn’t in the most recent past


Charles Payne Asks Munson About Tax Reform On Fox Business

I was in New York all day seeing a few clients, meeting up with some old friends, and keeping my ear to the ground. I was invited to come on Making Money with Charles Payne. I've known him for many years and always love the opportunity to hang out and talk about the topics of the day.

I wasn't going anywhere and, since I had a late redeye that evening, I told the producers to put me any place they wanted and I can stay the whole hour, and they did. In the first block, they were covering all the news about tax reform, but the only thing Charles really wanted to ask me point blank prior to going live was Lee, do you really think 20 versus 22% for corporate tax rate is going to make or break this market? My response, as you can imagine, was no it really doesn't make any difference. The issue is whether or not smaller US based versus large multinationals (that have armies of advisors to dodge tax) are going to do better on their balance sheet than paying 30% to the US Treasury, and the answer is of course they will.

What Skills Do You Need To Be A Forensic Investigator

In part 3 of Financial Times’ Financial Advisor IQ’s interview by Bruce Love, Lee Munson discusses the skills needed to become an expert witness for securities litigation cases. Also, there is no better way of staying up to date on compliance. Over the last 10 years Lee Munson has assisted Clinton Marrs in going after the bad actors that plague our industry.

How You Can Be a Forensic Investigator

Lee Munson is interviewed by Bruce Love from Financial Times’ Financial Advisor IQ. This is the second installment of a long form interview in which Munson explains his last 10 years working with Clinton Marrs going after bad actors in the investment industry. 

Tax Efficient Savings for your Children

Is your money working as hard as it could be?

Are you earning too little and giving too much of the earnings to Uncle Sam?

Then it might be time to revisit the ROTH IRA.  In particular Roth IRA’s for children. 


Recently a client asked me this question: Does parental income affect a dependent child's Roth IRA contributions? 

I thought it would be a good time to explore some of the rules. 

Many times a grandparent or family relative wants to set up a Roth IRA for his grandchildren or niece/nephews.  The family relative might provide the funds to deposit to a Roth IRA account either by directly gifting the funds or by initiating a “matching” program (great idea!!)  So, the question is, does the parent’s income, as the parent claiming the child as a dependent, affect the dependent child's eligibility?

The answer is, a child must have his or her own earned income to qualify for a Roth IRA contribution in the year for which the contribution is made. But, he or she does not have to have a W-2 to justify opening the IRA.  Many children do informal jobs for which they are paid and the total of this income can be used as a contribution.  The parent or grandparent can provide funds for the child to contribute.  If the IRS ever asks about this income (which is unlikely) be prepared to show a journal of the income received to document the amount.  It's a good idea to do this at any rate and to keep an ongoing journal record.  The child needs to know the amount of income they earned even if they are not required to make a tax return for the year they make the contribution. This record ensures they contributed only up to the amount earned or the IRA contribution limit for the year (whichever is less).  Roth contributions are not reported on the tax return, but in the long run it is best to know the full amount of actual contributions versus earnings from investments. This is important in the event the money is used before the child’s retirement as Roth withdrawals are potentially taxed if the rules are not followed.

The difference between the old fashioned savings bonds and the tax free savings growth in a Roth IRA can be staggering when you consider the length of time of the investment.  Add to that the potential growth of a well balanced mutual fund investment and your child can have a well planned retirement no matter what the future tax policies might look like. 


Lee Munson Helps Victims Fight Back Against Bad Brokers


When I traveled to NYC in August, Bruce Love, Financial Times journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Financial Advisor IQ, wanted to sit down and talk to me about being a forensic investigator. While it’s a small part of what I do, it gives me incredible insights into how the industry is changing, and what effects client’s the most.

This is a three part series, and I’m grateful that Financial Times dedicated so much time and effort for a rare long-form interview.

Stay tuned for part 2 and 3.