Archive - January 2014

1
Watch Out for Scams at Tax Time
2
Book Review: The $1,000 Challenge
3
Be a Little Selfish this Year
4
Market at an All-time High: Good Time to sell?
5
How Long Should I Keep Financial and Tax Records?

Watch Out for Scams at Tax Time

You’ve probably seen news reports about how identity theft is rampant around the time tax returns are being filed.  All sorts of nefarious schemes are out there, via the phone or email.

The IRS recently published their Special Edition Tax Tip 2014-02, which details the warnings from the IRS about scams.  The full text of the Tip is below.

IRS Warns of Tax-time Scams

It’s true: tax scams proliferate during the income tax filing season.  This year’s season opens on Jan. 31.  The IRS provides the following scam warnings so you can protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim of …

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Book Review: The $1,000 Challenge

I picked up the book "The $1,000 Challenge" at FinCon 2013, the Financial Blogger’s Conference held last year in St. Louis.  The author, Brian J. O’Connor, is the Personal Finance Editor and syndicated “Funny Money” columnist at The Detroit News.  The book is the compilation of a 10-part series O’Connor wrote in 2010, wherein he opened up his personal financial situation to his readers and attempted to come up with ways to save an on-going $1,000 per month on regular, everyday expenses.

The result is a surprisingly interesting (not to mention humorous!) journey with the author into the …

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Be a Little Selfish this Year

Pay yourself first. What an interesting concept in a world where demands are constantly competing for your income! As you organize for the year ahead, try to reframe your thinking in order to set realistic goals for yourself. And above all, recognize that it is okay to put yourself first when it comes to your financial well-being.

‘Pay yourself first’ is a well-known personal finance term that means when budgeting, a higher priority is given to saving for your future, rather than only being considered if there is money left at the end of the month.  In practice, a predetermined …

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Market at an All-time High: Good Time to sell?

USA Today says that stocks are at all-time highs. So is it a good time to sell? Well…probably not.

Here’s why.

Let’s take a closer look at our article. Hmm. They say that the large companies are doing well and small companies are doing well, too.

Okay, that’s two market segments. What about the rest? I generally recommend investing in 8 market segments, not 2. Here they are:

Large Cap (large company stocks)
Large Cap Value (large company dividend paying stocks)
Small Cap
Small Cap Value
International
Emerging Markets
Long-term bonds
Short term bonds.

Reason not to sell #1: What

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How Long Should I Keep Financial and Tax Records?

If you haven’t been traumatized by an IRS audit, you probably don’t keep much financial documentation. If you have, you are probably terrified to part with a single receipt.

The IRS is one of the few courts where failure to produce proof of your claims results in the assumption that you are guilty of tax fraud. Thus you must save all the financial documents you used to create your taxes to defend yourself in an audit.

First, retain a paper copy or receipt of any tax-relevant financial exchange. Scan these documents and archive them electronically, or acquire them in an …

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