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Some think tax reform will be done and hence boost the market. Profits are what boost the market. And they’re ebbing.

Some think tax reform will be done.

Tax reform means removing tax breaks.

Good luck with that one. Here are key tax breaks:

+ Long-term capital gains. Long-term is one year. In other countries it’s much longer.

+ The estate tax — also called The Death Tax.

+ State and local taxes can be deducted.

+ Mortgage interest can be deducted.

+ Medical expenses and medical insurance premiums (if you’re self-employed) can be deducted.

+ 1031 real estate exchanges. Really super way of never paying tax on your buildings’ appreciation.

+ Carried interest is deducted at much lower rate than ordinary income. Hedgies love this.

+ Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

+ Lower tax on profits repatriated from overseas.

My friend James Stewart did a piece in today’s New York Times,

Tax Reform for the Rich: Reduce the Rates but Lose the Breaks

Click here.

AAPL is falling because of telecom problems

Its new Apple Watch got a lousy review in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. The problem? Lousy cell phone reception. Dropped calls. Dropped connections. Same old stuff.

This is not difficult to understand. Computer companies like Apple and Microsoft believe in software code like it was infallible. Or, if not immediately infallible, they can fix it with a patch.

But then they make gadgets — like phones, tablets, watches and laptops — that connect to an inherently unreliable, fallible thing called a telecom network — cell service and/or the Internet — and they run up against something they can’t control.

All the cell carriers do their best. But they have limited funds. The country is very large. There are mountains and concrete buildings. And too many users clogging up the airwaves with tweeting and social media like Facebook and Tinder.

I wouldn’t sell Apple.

You should upgrade to IOS 11 — in the middle of the night and on a fast Internet connection. You should expect the upgrade to be frustratingly slow.

I would not upgrade to Windows 10. Nothing it offers enhances your life. And learning to live with its idiocy wastes a lot of the time you could be playing tennis.

Useful stuff

+ Get two-factor authentication for your online financial accounts. It’s safer than what you’re doing now.

+ Close your credit cards. You don’t need them. The more you have, the more you have to monitor in today’s uncertain world. you want a simple life. I use two — a MasterCard and Visa Debit card.

+ You need to freeze your accounts at the four credit reporting agencies. For more, click here. Don’t call me in jubilation. I’ll be fast asleep. I’ve already done mine.

+ Friday is the cheapest day to fly. Monday the most expensive. That’s what some dumb survey found.

+ Download Apple’s IOS 11 upgrade for your iPhone. Do it in the middle of night, when the cloud is less crazy. It’s Apple’s biggest upgrade. It feels faster and better.

+ A small USB power adapter will still charge your gadgetry. It will just take longer — sometimes hours longer.

+ Uber may be closed in London. But it’s still the best and cheapest way around any major city in the world, including New York. Taxis in New York are pricey, filthy and cramped. The subway is better and faster, most of the time.

+ You don’t want the Republican’s latest version of Obamacare replacement. And you should tell your senators and congressmen that you don’t want it. It’s even worse than previous versions.

+ Check. Check. Check. When our building didn’t officially renew its CD, the bank renewed the CD and cut its interest from 1.2% to 0.05% — without telling us. My favorite dishonest bank is Wells Fargo. Why are they still in business? Why is their stock going up? Why do they still have customers?

The next episode is Sunday night at 8 PM

VietnamWarSmall

For the full TV schedule, click here. 

Good Looks

A middle-aged woman has a heart attack and is taken to the hospital.  On the operating table, she has a near-death experience.

Seeing God, she asked, “Is my time up?”

God said, “No, you have another 30 years, two months and eight days to live”

Hearing the good news, the woman decides to stay in the hospital and have a facelift, liposuction and tummy tuck. She should look her best. She is in for the long haul.

Finally, she is released from the hospital. Crossing the street, she gets hit by a bus and is killed.

Arriving in front of God, she demands, “You said I had another 30 years? Why didn’t you pull me out from that bus?”

God replied, “Girl, I didn’t recognize you!”

HarryNewton
Harry Newton, who is eyeing a lousy day for technology stocks, insurers (like Berkshire Hathaway) and United Health. But, good news, I just received a distribution from a 12-year old ailing fund; my favorite bank startup is being sold and a couple of my real estate syndications paid a dividend. Long live diversification.

I’d still prefer to be running my own company. But my tennis is improving. Check out my down the line backhand. And Amazon — God bless its little heart — just delivered more goodies I absolutely don’t need. My doormen have been trained to tell me that all my Amazon boxes contain gold bullion. Have a great weekend.