Finance and Investing 101

Investing Lessons to Live By

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Here are some of John C. Bogle’s, former CEO of the Vanguard Group and founder of the “index” fund, timeless investing lessons and market philosophies. I know it reaffirmed some of my changing views around investing and saving for retirement. 1) Beware of market forecasts, even by experts. As the new year begins, strategists from Wall Street’s major […]

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2016 529 Plan State Tax Deduction Limits and How to Choose a 529 Plan And Save Now For Future College Costs – Prepaid vs. College Tax Savings Plan

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With my son approaching another birthday, I’ve started thinking more seriously about his schooling from elementary to college/university. My parents paid for a significant part of my education and I would like to do the same for my son. Given the rising cost of tertiary education, I figured the earlier I save the better. And thanks to […]

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Simpler and Smarter Investing With a 3 Index Fund Portfolio. Choosing Between Vanguard and Fidelity Equity Funds

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As discussed in earlier articles I am streamlining and simplifying my investing strategy. In a nutshell this means going from holding a bunch of stocks, ETFs and mutual funds to just holding three low-cost index funds that provide the diversification and exposure I need. It is also a much more simple and dare I say, […]

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Creative Ways to See Your Financial Belief System in a New Light

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We, as human beings, have a set system of beliefs embedded in our personalities: political beliefs, religious beliefs, moral and ethical beliefs. These have been formed within us since childhood by our upbringing, our experiences, and our environments. It’s tough to change these beliefs, and for that reason, when you decide to strive for a […]

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$500 Increase in 2013 401k and IRA Contribution Limits Makes a Real Difference at Retirement

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The IRS has provided a $500 increase in tax deductible 2013 401(k) and IRA contribution maximums. Employer sponsored 401k plan contribution maximums have risen from $17,000 to $17,500. IRA limits have risen to $5,500 from the 2012 maximum of $5,000. These increases may not seem like a lot at first glance but over a number of years with the effect […]

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Capital Gains Tax Rates – A Double Dose of Taxes on Your Investment Returns

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[January 2013 update following Fiscal Cliff Deal] With legislation now in place to avert the fiscal cliff many investors will be breathing a sigh of relief as the tax rates on capital gains, dividends on investments did not rise as much as expected. A lot of pundits were forecasting that rates on investment income could […]

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5 Things Your Financial Advisor Won’t Tell You

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Just like any other business minded person, financial (investment) advisors and planners are in it for the money – they have to make a living, and they’re doing it on your dime.  Don’t ever doubt that they are terrific salespeople as well as financial advisors. So, taking their word as gospel would not be advisable.  […]

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Making Money Investing in Mortgages

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Income from mutual funds and stocks that invest in real estate backed mortgages has never been higher. With returns of 8-15% these alternative investments – when used appropriately – can substantially increase portfolio income and growth. Much of the success of these funds is due to the difficulty that Americans are having refinancing, despite low […]

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Capital Gains Tax – Short and Long Term Rates Plus Other Factors to Consider

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[Updated for 2014 and 2015 Capital Gain Tax Rates] When you sell a capital asset like a stock or a home you own, the difference between the amount you sell it for and what you paid for it (cost basis) is classified as a capital gain or a capital loss. Capital gains and losses are further […]

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Three Investments That Profit From Inflation – CDs, TIPS and Commodities

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Everybody has heard the word but few really know what it means. Before we can figure out how to profit from inflation we have to understand how it works. When you inflate a balloon, it gets bigger. For those with an inflated ego, well, we all know what that means. Simply put inflation is a […]

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