Mitchell S. Ostwald Blog

New 401(k) Tax Break is Just Around the Corner

Published on October 26, 2010

As reported on by Susie Poppick on October 24, 2010. People with 401(k) plans got a nice tax break last month, but they’ll have to wait for some red tape to be cleared out of the way before they can actually take advantage of it. Thanks to a provision in the Small Business Jobs Act, which  ... More »

Probate & Trusts – Care Custodian

Published on October 7, 2010

Person is not ‘care custodian’ under Probate Code by providing limited assistance services to decedent before he was placed in nursing home. A California Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s decision in DAWN AUSTIN V. DEBRA SIMPSON.  Appellant claimed that respondent was a care custodian for  ... More »

IMF Says Double-Dip Recession Unlikely

Published on October 6, 2010

As reported on by Ben Rooney, October 6, 2010. The International Monetary Fund said a double dip recession is unlikely, but it expects growth in developed economies to be outpaced by emerging powerhouses. In the first two chapters of its World Economic Outlook, the IMF estimated that global  ... More »

SEC Charges Bay Area Investment Adviser for Not Disclosing Conflict of Interest to Investors

Published on September 29, 2010

As reported on, in Press Release 2010-174, September 29, 2010. The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Bay Area investment adviser with securities law violations for switching his clients between two related investments without informing them that the switch would boost the commissions  ... More »

Corporations – Investment Company Act of 1940

Published on September 29, 2010

Private party may not bring action for violation of Section 13(a) of Investment Company Act of 1940. A California Court of Appeal reversed the lower court’s decision in NORTHSTAR FINANCIAL ADVISORS, INC v. SCHWAB INVESTMENTS.  The district court held that Congress intended private enforcement of §13(a)  ... More »

Real Incentives Driving Portfolio Managers

Published on September 28, 2010

As reported on, by Pat Regnier of Money Magazine, September 27, 2010. The recent financial crisis is partly the result of something economists call the “agency” problem. Put simply, the people you hire to take care of your money — your agents — almost always have their own agendas. For  ... More »

Probate & Trusts – Payable on Death

Published on September 27, 2010

Beneficiary’s claim that account was ‘payable on death’ account despite decedent’s failure to finish paperwork before death survives demurrer. A California Court of Appeals reversed the probate court’s decision in ADRIA E. UNDERWOOD v. VALERIE PEARCHE et al.  The case involved $2 million from  ... More »

Estate Planning for Gay Couples

Published on September 16, 2010

As reported by Dana Dratch, on For gay couples, estate planning can be incredibly frustrating. “Domestic partners have a lot of planning to do, and have to fight discrimination at every turn,” says Todd G. Sears, vice president at Merrill Lynch, and founder of the company’s lesbian,  ... More »

10 Tips to Keep Track of Your Investments

Published on September 16, 2010

As reported on Whether you work with a broker or adviser or you trade on your own, you should always monitor your investments. By keeping an eye on your investments, you can prevent minor mistakes from turning into big problems. You can protect yourself by taking the following steps: Read  ... More »

FINRA Alert: High Yield Investment Programs

Published on August 31, 2010

As reported on HYIPs—High Yield Investment Programs Are Hazardous to Your Investment Portfolio High-yield investment programs (HYIPs) are unregistered investments created and touted by unlicensed individuals. Typically offered through slick (and sometimes not-so-slick) websites, HYIPs dangle  ... More »