AdviceIQ Articles

  • Is Wealthy U.S. Exceptional?

    The U.S. stock market hit a record high, real estate values are recovering and the world’s largest economy is expanding, albeit slowly. Nearing year-end is a good time to ask: Does all this wealth make America exceptional?

  • Your Age and Stock Leeriness

    The ancients spoke of three ages of man. In modern times, we call them demographic cohorts. For financial advisors, they require different kinds of advice, but they lately share a common – and self-defeating – aversion to risk.

    They don’t have enough in stock, which is the key to growth. We see this in the constant exodus of all age groups from equity mutual funds.

  • Warning: Tax Sticker Shock

    Numerous tax law changes came throughout 2013 and, as we get closer to when they take effect, some taxpayers stand to suffer sticker shock after completing their next returns.

    A recent article from Forbes says independent tax specialists predict that most Americans stand to pay less tax. They cite an example of a married couple filing jointly with a total taxable income of $100,000 paying $145 less in income taxes in 2014 than in 2013.

  • How to Save on Gift-Buying

    This time of year brings you enough stress without overspending on gifts and ending up in debt. Here’s how to avoid giving until it really hurts.

    The money spent on the holidays staggers the imagination of even the most rabid gift-giver. This year on the four-day Black Weekend (formerly confined to just Black Friday), American shoppers dropped an estimated $22.2 billion. Cyber Monday, the biggest day of the year for e-commerce in the U.S., saw record sales of almost $1.74 billion.

  • The Job Growth Conundrum

    Jobs, jobs, jobs. We need to create higher-paying jobs – but not at the risk of squelching business starts or business expansion, which, after all, fuels job growth. How do we solve this puzzle? Boost the minimum wage, be careful not to over-regulate companies and increase taxes on high-income Americans.

    The 2009 recession’s job recovery is the worst since the Great Depression. Why are we not creating enough jobs? Five years and counting and we are still not back to the same level of jobs we had prior to the 2008 recession.

  • Know How to Give to Charity

    Contributing to charities comes with a load of tax tricks. Here’s how to take advantage.

    Another year’s end brings everyone’s favorite season – tax-planning time. Keep many tax tactics in mind when preparing this year’s return, especially if you lessen your taxes and itemize deductions on Schedule A. These deductions include medical and dental expenses and unreimbursed employee business expenses, amounts you paid for certain taxes and interest – and amounts given to charities.

  • Save a Little to Save a Lot

    We Americans do a bad job as savers. You can take small steps to increase your savings right away, and here’s how to start.

  • Time to Be Bullish on Europe

    Now could be the time to diversify away from high-flying U.S. stocks, and laggard European shares seem to be the appropriate choice.

    In recent years, U.S. stocks outperformed European equities – and much of the rest of world – by a large margin. Investors may conclude that investing abroad, even in the name of diversification, is nothing but a waste. This may be a mistake.

  • How to Invest in Mutual Funds

    Buying top-rated mutual funds, in hopes of reaping turbocharged performance in the future, is not smart. A better idea: Using index funds or exchange-traded funds that cover broad asset classes – and skip the ratings.

    The classic proof is the failure of actively managed funds to beat indexes covering their specialty areas, according to Standard & Poor’s.

  • Giving Thanks for Challenges

    Life is filled with challenges: finding a job, paying for college, affording your retirement. While this may seem paradoxical, on Thanksgiving we should be thankful for frustrations and obstacles.

    Often on Thanksgiving we think of the Pilgrims. The English colonialists were a grateful lot, but on religious days of thanksgiving, they focused on prayer, not feasting. Our concept of thanksgiving harkens back to the fall of 1621 when the Pilgrims and friendly Wampanoag Indians celebrated the colony’s first successful harvest.

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