AdviceIQ Articles

  • How to Cope Amid a Disaster

    You’re fired from your job. Your spouse dies. You’re in the middle of a divorce. Big changes muddle your decision-making and, in life as in investing, you sometimes freeze the action to regroup.

    When your life turns upside-down, you can only think about all the things you need to do. The more you think about them, the bigger your headache becomes. You feel stuck.

  • What Your Pet Costs

    Your pet cuddles, purrs, flies, slithers or otherwise takes over your heart. Your little buddy can also empty your wallet fast as prices for food and other pet services mount. When figuring out your family budget, do not neglect to count the many day-to-day costs of animal ownership.

    I can’t imagine our house without our 11-year-old Labrador retriever, Taxi. If you’re sick, she’s there; if you’re happy, she’s happy. If you have popcorn you’re her best friend.

  • Buffett’s Edge on Hedge Funds

    Fees count in investing. Just ask storied investor Warren Buffett, who is far ahead in his highly publicized wager with the hedge fund industry. His bet: Over 10 years, a simple index fund tracking the Standard & Poor’s 500 will outperform the so-called experts who run hedge funds. Buffett’s advantage is that the hedge funds charge much higher fees than the index fund.

  • Upgrading Forgotten 401(k)s

    Do you have a retirement plan languishing, forgotten, at an old employer? Often, those accounts suffer from neglect and need to be updated.

    At our firm, we see many such old 401(k), 403(b) and other such accounts at previous employers that clients have not reviewed or rebalanced since they switched jobs years ago.

  • Will the Gotcha Tax Hit You?

    Income tax sits front and center of your mind this time of year. Another income tax affects you if you make enough and try to take certain deductions: the alternative minimum tax (AMT). It most often means you must pay more than usual. How do you know if this gotcha tax will hit you?

  • Lagging Returns? It’s Your Fault

    Why does the average stock investor do worse than the market? Because he or she buys and sells at the wrong time, often reacting to news events. In other words, it’s the investor’s own fault, not that of mysterious financial forces.

    We have a hard time believing that our own actions could be the cause of our investments performing lower than the overall market. I was investing my own 401(k) assets while working at Chase Manhattan Bank in early 1991. The news of the day was the U.S. imminent attack on Iraqi forces, which had invaded Kuwait.

  • Hazards of Travel Planning

    Trip planning is complex, involving everything from budgeting to itineraries to questions about comfort. How to fly to your destination without suffering is a major consideration. Here’s how to do it without getting squeezed both financially and physically.

    There are two measures of airplane seat comfort. “Width” is the size of the seat in inches across. “Pitch” is the distance between your seat and the seat in front of you. As airlines pursue increased revenues, they squeeze more seats into economy sections on many aircraft, decreasing both width and pitch.

  • Couples’ Money Talk Tips

    Money discussions can destroy your relationship, particularly if you put those talks off too long. You and your partner need to get on the same page and talk honestly – and regularly – about finances.

  • Needed: More Bailouts

    Finally, the U.S. Treasury Dept. has figured out a way to reduce the federal debt – by giving money away. In fact, it needs to do more bailouts.

    That may not make sense, but keep in mind that we’re talking about the federal government. And that means that money isn’t just given away. There are strings attached, unless you’re a preferred government contractor or an expert in Medicare fraud.

  • Bettering Your Biz Value

    Maybe you set personal goals for this year like losing weight or quitting a nasty habit. If you own a company or small business, your goals focus on hitting revenue or profit milestones. The trick is how to make that happen.

    If your goal is to own a more valuable business, try one of the following:

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