Archive - February 2012

1
Here Are the Most Important Tax Changes To Prepare For
2
The Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012
3
Why You Need a Mortgage
4
It’s Not the Economy: Here’s Why Your Investments Are Failing
5
Here’s How Much Your Net Worth Should Really Be

Here Are the Most Important Tax Changes To Prepare For

The tax guessing game continues because some proposed 2013 tax changes may – or may not –go into effect .  Congress may keep us guessing until the end of this year but it’s clear overall taxes must and will increase.

Uncertainty is the enemy of planning, but here are the most items being “kicked around”:

1. Dividends will be taxed again at ordinary income tax rates after a long hiatus. Out goes the maximum 15% rates, in come ordinary income taxes. Wealthier Americans will pay more since the highest income tax rate is scheduled to rise from 35% to 39.6% …

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The Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012

Every year around this time, the IRS issues its list of the top tax scams they’ve seen, as a reminder to taxpayers to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against schemes from identity theft to return preparer fraud.

Following is the list of the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012, taken from IRS publication IR-2012-23:

Identity Theft

Topping this year’s Dirty Dozen list is identity theft.  In response to growing identity theft concerns, the IRS has embarked on a comprehensive strategy that is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as soon as possible.  In addition …

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Why You Need a Mortgage

You need a mortgage. Sounds crazy right? Isn’t sound financial planning and wealth building strategies all about saving and investing? Not necessarily. It is about saving and invest and keeping more of what you earn. That means keeping a careful eye on taxes. One of the biggest tax deductions (other than your retirement plans like a 401K) you can take is the mortgage interest deduction. When you take out a mortgage most of your payment is interest and all of that interest is deductable. If you have a mortgage, take a look at your Schedule A Itemized deductions federal tax …

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It’s Not the Economy: Here’s Why Your Investments Are Failing

When the financial markets experience volatility and the economy tightens, as it is today, many people point to these circumstances as the reasons their investment plans are failing. But the reality is that volatility is a natural occurrence. History has shown that financial markets and the economy move in cycles.

So, if these market cycles are to be expected, why do many investors still struggle? Following are some of the most common reasons and suggestions on how to avoid these pitfalls.

 No clear goals for the portfolio. As with many aspects in life, having a clear goal creates a clear …

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Here’s How Much Your Net Worth Should Really Be

Since the end of last year, the U.S. markets went up and then down and then back up to end the year sideways. Market volatility was especially pronounced in the European Union as sovereign debt and the struggle to enact austerity measures whipsawed the markets, although not as a result of any changes in the underlying fundamentals.

If you are within 20 years of retirement (age 45 to 65), it’s critical to get your retirement planning updated. Computing your net worth annually is like taking a sextant reading to chart your course toward financial security. The changes of the past …

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