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Extreme College Planning
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How Much FDIC Insurance Can I Have at One Bank?
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Buffett’s Bet
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Tax Refunds Going to IRAs May Cause Snafus
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What to Watch Out For With IRA’s

Extreme College Planning

Most parents aren’t looking forward to the cost of sending their kids through college. For those of you who really want to get a head start, here’s a scheme that will help maximize your college savings, albeit via rather quirky means.

Some time ago, a friend approached me with a question that no one had ever asked me before:  Is there a way to establish a tax-favored college savings plan for a child who hasn’t been born yet?  As it happened, he and his wife were planning to have a child within a year or so.  They had some cash …

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How Much FDIC Insurance Can I Have at One Bank?

How Much FDIC Insurance Can You Have at One Bank?Most people understand that the FDIC insures certain kinds of bank deposits, like bank CDs. There’s no way to “guarantee” an investment against losses, but an FDIC-insured deposit is probably the closest most of us will ever come to a guaranteed investment. However, consumers are sometimes a bit confused about how much FDIC insurance coverage they can have.

The current FDIC insurance limit is $100,000, so it’s not so common that a household would need to worry about having enough coverage.  But sometimes people have unusual liquidity needs, or lots of money, or they’re just very conservative and want to …

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Buffett’s Bet

Buffett's BetLegendary investor Warren Buffett has made an interesting wager with the management of a New York hedge fund. Buffett is betting that over the course of ten years, the hedge fund won’t be able to outperform a passive S&P 500 index fund after fees are considered.

The bet – each side is putting up $320,000, to be held by a third party and invested in a zero-coupon Treasury bond for ten years – is Buffett’s way of ridiculing the high fees charged by hedge funds.  Protégé Partners, the other party in the wager, runs a fund of hedge funds.  …

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Tax Refunds Going to IRAs May Cause Snafus

Taxpayers who previously set up their tax refunds to be deposited directly to their IRAs this year will need to be vigilant: Economic Stimulus rebate checks will also be automatically deposited into any IRAs whose owners have set them up to receive tax refunds.

Normally, arranging for your tax refund to go into your IRA directly is a great idea – it protects you from the temptation to spend the refund.  Since most of us practice “mental accounting,” a tax refund that goes directly into our IRA won’t give us the feeling that we’re giving something up to save for …

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What to Watch Out For With IRA’s

IRA TricksIt’s not difficult to make a mistake with an IRA.  Although there are a few circumstances in which the IRS will make allowances for errors that were beyond your control, generally the rules around IRAs are pretty strict.  It’s best to be sure that you know what you’re doing; certain IRA-related errors can be a headache to fix (if they can be fixed at all).

Blunder Number One – Not Keeping Your Beneficiaries Current

Have you had a change of marital status?  Has your family grown in the last few years?  Have your financial circumstances changed significantly since the last …

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