Crime

Stopping Tax-Related ID Theft

Identity theft is rampant. You can become a victim not only after carelessly using passwords and your personal information but also if you’re in the wrong electronic place at the wrong time, such during Target stores’ data breach last holiday season. You have little information more sensitive than that you write – and sometimes send electronically – on your tax return.

Managing Your Passwords

We maintain online accounts for essentially everything – banking, investments, shopping, email and the list goes on. As much of this information is private and sensitive, you must take online security and password protection seriously.

The Infallible Trading System

Imagine being able to trade stocks and knowing that you will make a profit every day. Of course, for the average investor, this is impossible. But mega-banks aren’t average investors. They do it with super-fast computers – and no scruples.

Avoiding Tax Scams, ID Theft

Did the Internal Revenue Service reject your tax return? Maybe you screwed up. Maybe too someone else filed using your Social Security number (SSN) – a mushrooming scam you now must guard against.

3 Money Traps to Beware Of

The world of finance has traps for the unwary. Even in a bull market, they can harm you, so it pays to be on the look out. The three that are most insidious: more complex rules on IRA rollovers, tax scams and too-high margin debt.

A run-down of these problems, for the cautious:

Speed Trading Does Rig Markets

To hear the blowback from Wall Street, Michael Lewis’s book slamming high-frequency trading is misguided, naïve and inaccurate. But the Lewis book, Flash Boys, is spot-on. HFT does rig the stock market against small investors.

His take:

Michael Lewis’ Hyperbole

According to author Michael Lewis’ new book, the stock market is “rigged.” The reason: Professional traders armed with super-fast computers get better prices than you. But several smart advisors think his diagnosis is overblown, saying that HFT  harms mainly day traders and that Lewis ignores the good that faster connections bring, such as lowering costs and expanding liquidity.

Good Stocks Get Bad News

Investors often overreact to bad news. When that happens, good companies hit by bad news become that most exquisite thing: a value play. Rule of thumb: When a solid business runs into a temporary mess, it’s likely a buy signal.

Protecting From ID Theft

Leave your laptop unlocked, toss a bill full of sensitive financial info into the trash un-shredded, even just hit the submit button when using your credit card to buy online: You can stumble into the identity-theft trap at any time. Protecting yourself means making basic security steps a habit.

How to Spot Investing Fraud

You can get ripped off by many scam artists besides infamous luminaries like Bernie Madoff. Here’s what to watch for.

Amid continuing headlines that financial advisors commit fraud and scams that cost investors like you a lot of money, you probably wonder whom to trust with personal investments.

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