Category Archives: Finance

Blackstone looking to raise $40bn Infrastructure Fund

Blackstone, the biggest name in private equity has turned its attention to infrastructure. Blackstone’s head of private equity Joe Baratta, excited about the infrastructure opportunities that a Donald Trump presidency could potentially unleash, planted his flag firmly in the sand:

“To be relevant in that end of the market, I think you need to be deploying billions of dollars at a time, not hundreds of millions. So you’re probably talking about a vehicle that’s 20, 30, 40 billion dollars of equity,” he told Bloomberg TV. When asked if that meant aiming for the largest vehicle ever raised, he added: “Correct. That would be the ambition if this comes to fruition, which we certainly think it will, in terms of the public sector aligning with the private sector to invest in the fabric of this country.”

The largest vehicle to date is Global Infrastructure Partners’ third fund, which closed recently at $15.8 billion. The second-largest is Brookfield’s third infrastructure fund, which closed last summer on $14 billion. Baratta’s upper end effectively dwarfs the two combined. Go big or go home. Continue reading Blackstone looking to raise $40bn Infrastructure Fund

How long to keep IRA paperwork for taxes?

Question: We have been keeping all our IRA documentation since the IRS guidelines (to my understanding) say that you need to keep it forever. However, withdrawals from the IRAs that we have are all taxable income, so why is it necessary to keep the very old statements?

Answer: Record-keeping requirements are stringent for traditional IRAs, whose contributions are generally tax-deductible on the way in while withdrawals are taxable on the way out. “The paperwork you keep is to validate your claim of what’s taxable and what isn’t,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for

Those particulars will vary with your individual situation. If you and your spouse, if applicable, never had access to a workplace 401(k) or equivalent while you were contributing to your traditional IRA, then that standard tax treatment should apply and you will owe taxes on the withdrawals.

If you’re certain that all of your contributions were deductible on the way in, then you don’t have to keep meticulous paperwork, McBride says. After all, you’ll be paying taxes on everything in that scenario, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) certainly won’t quibble with that. Continue reading How long to keep IRA paperwork for taxes?

6 Steps to Save for a Home

“Take 20% of the cost of the home you can afford and you’ve got your savings goal.”

But buying a home is easier said than done. During the housing boom of the mid-2000s, almost anyone could buy a home with zero money down. Today, it’s a different situation, as lenders have gotten much pickier. The best loans with the lowest interest rates go to people with steady incomes, great credit scores, and that magic down payment of 20%. On a $250,000 home, the down payment would be $50,000. That’s a lot of money.

You might be able buy with less than 20% down, but your interest rate will likely be higher, adding thousands—even tens of thousands—to the total cost of the loan. You also may be required to buy private mortgage insurance, which is typically 1% or more of the loan amount each year. If you could only swing a $20,000 down payment and had to take out a $230,000 loan, your mortgage insurance would be a minimum of $230 a month. Continue reading 6 Steps to Save for a Home