The stock market has enjoyed three straight days of gains after the Senate passed a massive economic stimulus bill in an effort to cushion the U.S. economy from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The stimulus bill will now head to the House, which will push to pass it sometime this morning. Yesterday (Thursday) was a great lesson in the unpredictability of the stock market. Who would have expected a 6% rally on the same day the U.S. coronavirus infection totals surpassed those of China and the Labor Department reported that jobless benefit claims soared to a record 3.28 million.
There are a lot of scary headlines in the news right now. I’ll forgo the commonly accepted blogging practice of listing a few examples here to avoid unnecessarily exposing you to more of them than you are already reading. Along with the scary news headlines we’re experiencing a return of volatility to the stock market. As I write this the S&P 500 has just entered into correction territory – down 10% from it’s record close. While periods of volatility are normal and even necessary for the stock market, let’s be honest, times like this are challenging for all of us.
Tax season is officially here. The IRS began accepting paper and electronic tax returns on Monday, January the 27th and the due date for 2019 federal income tax returns is April 15, 2020, for most individual taxpayers. By now you’re probably somewhere between assembling a stack of envelopes with “Important Tax Document” written on the front and having everything input into TurboTax or ready for your CPA save those last few 1099s, of course. Either way, I thought I might point out a few potential ways you can still reduce your 2019 tax bill, proactively impact your 2020 bill, and
Each year I’m given the privilege of speaking with several groups of recent college grads about personal finance. It’s no secret that even after 4 years of high school and several years of college (and perhaps beyond) most people enter the complex world of personal finance unprepared. I hope my talks encourage those folks to make a few really good decisions about money right out of the gate. That way they’ll set themselves, and their families, up to be much more financially successful. Not just for the sake of more dollars but to increase their chances of having a healthier
Believe it or not, the Holiday season is upon us. This is often a time of year when we reflect on the things for which we are thankful and spend time with friends and family. It’s also a time when many people do a large part of their charitable giving. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a minute to spotlight four alternative ways to give that you may be less familiar with. Donating appreciated shares of stock instead of cash If you have any year-end giving planned and you usually give cash directly to your charitable organization of
Halloween is in the books and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. 2019 still has some important planning opportunities, and getting ahead of 2020 could pay huge dividends, too. With that in mind, here’s a quick list of seven things you might consider doing before 2019 draws to a close. 1. Revisit your 401(k) contributions: Now is a great time to ensure that you’re on track to contribute your planned amount to your 401(k), 403(b) or other retirement plan. At a minimum, that should be up to the amount your employer matches. The current annual limit for 401(k)s and
Planning for your child’s (or grandchild’s!) college education can be stressful and confusing. What schools should they consider? What criteria do schools look at in potential students? What kind of financial or merit-based aid should they expect? Are they more suited for one career over another? What types of extra-curricular activities should they be focusing on? That’s a lot to consider and it’s only part of the process. Fortunately, there are smart people like Lindsey Ringenbach from Advantage College Planning that do a great job of walking students and their families through the college planning process. On Wednesday, October 23rd
You probably aren’t surprised to hear that I’d like to raise my kids to be generous, kind, patient, thrifty and modest–in all areas, including their wealth. I hope they’ll be capable of making smart financial decisions and have a healthy relationship with money. It’s not surprising because we’d all love for our children to exhibit those characteristics. What is surprising is how few of us are actually having intentional conversations with our kids about money. We all have the best intentions but life gets busy and the kids get crazy. We find ourselves reacting to money questions with short, pat
Last week, the consumer credit reporting agency, Equifax, settled with the US Federal Trade Commission over its 2017 data breach that affected over 147 million Americans. The settlement of up to $700 million includes as much as $425 million for individual settlements. On Monday, Capital One announced that a hacker had gained access to the personal information of over 100 million people. Among the personal data exposed were names, addresses, dates of birth, credit scores, transaction data, Social Security numbers and bank account numbers. It would appear that we are living during a time where hacks, data breaches and stolen
One of the major goals we often help clients plan for is financial independence. Imagine the freedom of knowing you do not have to work. You would be free to start the company you have always dreamed of, serve an organization you are passionate about regardless of pay or take an extended trip with your family or friends. Maybe you would worry less about money and the minutia of your daily finances. What if I told you that it is possible to experience some of that same freedom before you are financially independent? Or if you already are financially independent,