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See How You Can Minimize Your Tax Bill
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IRS Tax Break for New Car Buyers in States Without Sales Tax
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Asset Location: An Often-Overlooked Aspect of Investing
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Fee-Based vs Fee-Only
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Watch Out for the Claim: “America’s Top Financial Planners”

See How You Can Minimize Your Tax Bill

When considering converting your traditional IRA into a Roth IRA the first question you should ask is: Do you anticipate being in a lower, higher or the same tax bracket during retirement? If retirement withdrawals or other sources of income will keep you in the same or push you into a higher tax bracket, why not pay taxes on your retirement account now so you can enjoy the benefits of a lower tax rate? This is exactly what a Roth conversion allows you to do. Here are three more tax reasons to consider:

1. Tax rates are incredibly low by …

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IRS Tax Break for New Car Buyers in States Without Sales Tax

IRS Tax Breaks for New Car PurchasesThe IRS announced that its interpretation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is that new car buyers in states without a sales tax deserve a break this year.

The law seeks to stimulate economic activity by providing a 2009 Federal income tax deduction for state or local sales taxes or excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of a “qualified new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle.” A straightforward interpretation would have meant that buyers in New Hampshire, Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, and Oregon, which have no sales tax, would have …

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Asset Location: An Often-Overlooked Aspect of Investing

Throughout investing circles, you hear about the importance of asset allocation and diversification.  Asset allocation means to have a proper percentage of your invested assets spread throughout multiple investment classes (i.e. large company, small company, mid-size company, international, etc.).  Diversification is very simply the old adage your grandmother used to tell you:  Don’t put all your “eggs” in one basket!

I want to briefly discuss an often-overlooked aspect of investing, which is asset location.  This is simply the idea of “putting the right stuff in the right bucket.”  The stuff in this analogy is the different asset classes where you …

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Fee-Based vs Fee-Only

Yesterday, my mother called to inform me that Suze Orman’s book had an incorrect definition of what a fee-only planner is. My mom was wondering why Mrs. Orman’s definition of fee-only was so different from what I do. When I read Mrs. Orman’s book, I quickly realized the issue. My mother had confused the phrase “fee-only” with “fee-based.” Even my own mother, who I speak to about my practice every week, had been tricked.

To be clear, “fee-only” financial planners CANNOT accept commissions or compensation from the products they recommend to clients. We are compensated only by our clients, and …

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Watch Out for the Claim: “America’s Top Financial Planners”

Today I’m going to tell you something to cross off your list of criteria when trying to choose a financial planner, physician, or lawyer: inclusion in one of the Consumer’s Research Council of America’s so-called guides.

I get solicitations all the time from organizations seeking to list me in their directories.  I’m old enough to know that 99.9% of these organizations exist purely to sell stuff, so I ignore them.  Just this week I was invited to be “profiled” in a listing of local advisers in a well-known financial magazine.  In fact, the “profile” is written in exchange for a …

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