U.S. TO REISSUE 30-YEAR BOND IN Q1 2006: The Bush administration said that it would resurrect the 30-year Treasury bond, a move that it said would help to finance the national debt and, at that same time, appeal to conservative investors looking for long-term options.
The Treasury Department said that the first auction of the 30-year bond will take place in the first quarter of 2006, with auctions held twice a year. Treasury Secretary John Snow said, "The decision is based on our commitment to prudent debt management and our desire to maintain a cost-effective and diversified portfolio." The Treasury discontinued selling new 30-year bonds in 2001.
SEC FILES CHARGES AGAINST HEAD OF UTAH 529 PLAN: The administrators of a Utah college savings plan have settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission for issuing false and misleading information, though the fund's former director will be charged with misappropriating funds. According to charges filed by federal investigators, the former director of the Utah Educational Savings Plan Trust, Dale Hatch, transferred more than $500,000 of investors' funds into his own plan accounts and then transferred $85,000 to his personal bank accounts.
The SEC said that Hatch was able to carry out the fraud due to weak internal accounting controls that failed to allocate gains and losses to investor accounts. The extent of Hatch's actions were revealed as the SEC investigated complaints that the Utah trust made false claims in a 2004 press release by claiming that no investor funds were misappropriated, nor had any investors been harmed by Hatch's actions.
The trust administers Utah's 529 plan, an investment vehicle that allows people to save for educational expenses without paying certain taxes, and agreed to "undertake specific measures to correct the defects," according to an SEC statement. The charges were the SEC's first against a 529 plan, and the SEC also issued a guide that explains the basic information investors should know before they start saving for college. The guide, available at www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/intro529.htm, discusses different types of college savings plans, including their disclosures, tax implications, and fees and expenses.
FINANCIAL EXEC NAMED OHIO SOCIETY CHAIR: Janice L. Culver, senior vice president for KeyBank National Association and McDonald Financial Group Trust Services in Cleveland, has been elected chair of the Ohio Society of CPAs' executive board, the society's senior governing body. A member of the society since 1983, Culver has held a number of leadership roles, including prior terms on the executive board, and as a member of the Finance, Strategic Planning and Personal Financial Planning Committees.
"Jan is a proven leader in the CPA profession," said J. Clarke Price, society president and chief executive, in a statement. "Her strong direction and commitment to the principles of effective leadership will guide the Ohio Society of CPAs and its members as we face opportunities and challenges in an increasingly complex business environment."
The society, established in 1908, represents over 23,000 CPAs.
AMERICAN COLLEGE UNVEILS FINAL CASL COURSE: Financial educator The American College said that it has rolled out the fifth and final course in its proprietary Chartered Advisor in Senior Living designation curriculum. The CASL curriculum provides financial advisors with a broader understanding of the financial needs, issues and decisions facing today's seniors. The new course, HS 352: Financial Decisions for Retirement, covers such critical issues as sources of retirement income; determining retirement needs; managing portfolios for older clients; planning for pension distributions; housing issues; and special issues with regard to estate planning and charitable giving. In addition to financial tools, techniques and strategies, the CASL designation also focuses on lifestyle issues affecting seniors.
For more information on HS 352: Financial Decisions for Retirement, and the CASL designation, go to www.theamericancollege.edu/prospective_students/designations/casl.asp. All CASL courses can be filed for continuing education credit, and conclude with a standard national exam delivered at testing centers throughout the U.S. Tuition is $450 for each course and includes all study materials and examination fees.
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