AdviceIQ Articles

  • Time Left to Beef Up Your IRA

    Made your 2013 individual retirement account contribution yet? It’s not too late and here’s what to know.

    You can contribute to your IRA until tax day this year, April 15. Last year, the Internal Revenue Service raised IRA contribution limits to $5,500 if you’re younger than 50 and allowed an additional $1,000 if you’re over 50.

    Common questions regarding IRA contributions:

  • Low Volatility and Market Fear

    After recent market gyrations, investors remain nervous, as if the market took a more serious hit than it did. Many think that another bout of weakness is around the corner. But one indicator – showing low market volatility – suggests that such fears are overblown.

    The equity market rally’s fizzle early in 2014 promoted the unease. Less than a month into the year, the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell more than 5%, causing much angst among investors, financial advisors, and analysts. Some predicted that a brutal correction was afoot.

  • Using Customers’ Opinions

    Your business sits on a trove of information to improve operations and profit: your customers’ opinions. Here’s how to gather them.

    I used a customer advisory board in every business I owned. The only way to get quality feedback about your company and your service is to ask your customers.

    Asking one-on-one makes a good start. Asking a group of customers is magic. The real value to you of such a customer advisory board? The follow-up question that you need to ask to figure out how to implement their thoughts.

  • Lower Your Auto Deductible?

    Your car insurance offers many hidden ways to save money. One involves tinkering with how much you pay out-of-pocket if you file a claim.

    You reduce auto-insurance costs in general with commonsense moves: insure multiple cars and drivers, keep a clean driving record, take a defensive driving course and, believe it or not, take mass transit. What about other ways to cut auto premiums? As with any insurance, the higher your deductible on your auto policy, the lower your premiums.

  • Hidden Good Economic News

    Even seemingly blah economic news has a silver lining. We’re talking jobs growth, Federal Reserve policy and the stock market, which are positive influences on the recovery, even though their impact isn’t always apparent.

  • Finding Free Tax Preparation

    Lots of people find free tax preparation an excellent way to file. Here’s what to know before your return comes due April 15.

    Quite a few providers allow you to prepare a simple return for free; complex returns cost more, of course. If you use a commercial organization to prepare your return for free, beware of add-ons that make a supposedly free process extremely costly.

  • Bettering Kids’ Lives (Pt. 1)

    We all want better lives for the next generation. Here are some of the challenges we must address first.

    Most of us born in the baby boom or before remember grandparents with no indoor plumbing and no car. They lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Our grandchildren can't imagine how we grew up without computers, smartphones or satellites. Today's children are the first who didn't learn childhood games from their parents; many of us lack the technological skills to understand their games – or even understand our own smart phones.

  • Lessons of the Winter Selloff

    After a scorching 2013, the stock market had a nasty winter surprise. The Standard & Poor’s 500 took a dive starting in mid-January. Some investors panicked. They shouldn’t have. The temporary slide teaches us that, even in the best years for stocks, downdrafts occur. This is good to keep in mind going forward.

  • Lone Wolf of Wall Street: the Advisor Honesty Question

    A contender for Best Picture at the recent Oscars was The Wolf of Wall Street. The flick, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, chronicles the sleazy life and times of a financial advisor. Modeled on real-life penny stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who did prison time for scamming customers, the story leaves filmgoers with a bad taste in their mouths about advisors.

    Only one problem: The vast majority of financial advisors are honest. How do I know this?

  • Avoiding Money Mind Traps

    We all love to watch our investments when we’re winning in the market and making money. The problem comes when we lose. The temptation to make rash decisions, whether in buying or selling investments, is the real enemy of investors.

    Our behavior when we fall short of expected returns causes us real problems. Why does it seem losses count twice as much to us as gains?

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