Author - Sam Fawaz, CPA, CFP®

1
Higher Interest Rates: One and Done or More to Come?
2
2017 Retirement Contribution Limits Unchanged
3
Celebrity Apprentice – Presidential Edition
4
Buying an Inexpensive Credit Score
5
Beware of the Rise of Ransomware

Higher Interest Rates: One and Done or More to Come?

We all know that we’re paying more for almost everything these days. Everything, of course, except money. Interest rates have been at historical lows for more than eight years, even though the economy has steadily improved over this period.

So anybody who was surprised that the Federal Reserve Board (A.K.A. The Fed) decided to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate last week probably wasn’t paying attention.  The U.S. economy is humming along, the stock market is booming and the unemployment rate has fallen faster than anybody expected.  The incoming administration has promised lower taxes and a stimulative $550 billion infrastructure …

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2017 Retirement Contribution Limits Unchanged

Retirement plan contributions are supposed to be indexed and adjusted annually in line with the change in the rate of inflation. But only in the governmental fantasy world of non-inflation are adjustments not necessary.

That is to say, in case you missed it, the contribution limits to your 401(k) plan, IRA and Roth IRA—set by the government each year based on the inflation rate—will not go up in 2017.  Just like this year, you will be able to defer up to $18,000 of your paycheck to your 401(k), and individuals over age 50 will still be able to make a …

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Celebrity Apprentice – Presidential Edition

Can lightning strike twice? Apparently it can as pundits, oddsmakers and major polls got it all wrong when forecasting our choice for our next president. Most had Clinton winning in a landslide. The first lightning instance was their wrong call on the Brexit vote earlier this year.

With President Elect Donald Trump, you may be well advised to prepare for a potentially wild ride in the investment markets over the next few weeks; indeed, the markets turned sharply negative in the overnight futures market Tuesday due to the uncertainties ahead. However, the day after the election (Wednesday), the markets closed …

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Buying an Inexpensive Credit Score

It’s a classic chicken or egg dilemma: your kids graduate from college and face an immediate problem: they have no credit history, which makes it harder for them to rent an apartment or get a credit card.  But how do they get a credit history without someone granting them credit?  Is there a way the parents can help them without risking their own credit score?

An article on the website Nerdwallet suggests a solution that will cost just $200.  You encourage your child to open a secured credit card, whose credit limit is equal to a deposit that can be …

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Beware of the Rise of Ransomware

On March 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in collaboration with the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre, issued a joint alert on ransomware (1).  Less than one month later, anti-malware maker Enigma Software reported that April 2016 was the “worst month for ransomware on record in the U.S.” (2).  In an effort to increase awareness to this ever-growing cybersecurity threat, I’d like to share the below information with you today:

What is Ransomware?

According to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (“US-CERT”), ransomware is a specific type of malicious program (i.e., a virus) where the victim’s computer, network, …

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