- Reuters/Marko Djurica
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On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed its budget deal by a vote of 266 to 167. The bill suspends the debt ceiling until March 2017, in addition to setting spending levels for the next two years. Included in the bill was a provision that would end the so-called “file-and-suspend” strategy for Social Security recipients. According to Reuters, the strategy is implemented by the higher-earning spouse waiting until full retirement age to claim benefits, but then suspend the receipt of those benefits until as late as 70. The lower-earning spouse then claims spousal benefits until their own full retirement age and then shifts to their own benefits, if they are larger, Reuters says. This strategy costs Social Security about $9.5 billion per year, according to the Center for Retirement Research.
China announced the end of its one-child policy (Business Insider)
The policy, which began in 1978, is being abandoned as China looks for ways to solve its demographics problem, a large and aging population. The one-child policy had been relaxed in recent years as couples were allowed to have two children if each spouse were an only child. Couples will now be allowed to have two children.
LPL announced a buyback program (Investment News)
LPL Financial announced it’s buying back $500 million worth of stock “to create greater shareholder value.” According to Investment News, the announcement comes after activist hedge fund Marcato Capital Management declared it had taken a 6.3% stake in the company. The buyback announcement accompanied LPL’s quarterly report, which showed earnings of $0.55 per share on revenue of $1.05 billion.
Home flipping is up versus last year (RealtyTrac)
RealtyTrac’s Q3 2015 U.S. Home Flipping Report found 43,197 single family homes and condos were flipped, or sold within 12 months of purchase, making for an 18% increase from a year ago. The number represented 5% of all homes sold, which was among the smallest percentages since RealtyTrac began keeping records in 2000. Miami Dade County in Florida saw 30% of sales come from flipped homes, the highest of anywhere in the country, according to RealtyTrac. Additionally, Baltimore City in Maryland saw the largest return on investment of flipped homes, at 136%.
UBS picks up five advisors (Think Advisor)
UBS has landed a total of three advisors, totaling $765 million AUM and $3.6 million in yearly fees. According to Think Advisor, Ryan McCuller and Bobby Senter join the Swiss bank’s advisory group from Merrill Lynch, bringing $265 million AUM and $1.2 million in yearly fees. Byron Brook, another advisor from Merrill, leaves for UBS with $200 million AUM and approximately $1 million in annual commissions, Think Advisor says.