An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is similar to an index mutual fund, but trades like a stock on an exchange. ETFs have many advantages over traditional mutual funds, but may not be for every investor. To learn about the advantages and disadvantages of investing in ETFs, read this Investment Whys.
Your identity can be stolen in many obvious places, such as businesses you patronize, your mailbox or directly from you. It is virtually impossible to eliminate the risk of identity theft. For more information on how thieves may potentially obtain your information and how you can minimize your risk of becoming a victim, read this Financial Strategy.
Housekeeping for your business may sound out of place, but it is something that can be beneficial to your business. Keeping tidy information and records should improve your business’ efficiency. For a detailed look at the information a business should keep on hand, what should go to storage and what should be destroyed, read this C.P.A. Insight.
One of the many ways to pay for a college education is a Section 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan. This plan allows you to lock in tuition at the current rate. One caveat to this plan is that it is considered a parental asset, causing a dollar-for-dollar reduction in financial aid eligibility. For a detailed comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of a prepaid tuition plan, read this Financial Strategy.
In order to enjoy that new car smell, you will likely have to make a decision on how to finance the purchase of that car. Preparing yourself by understanding your different finance options will benefit you in this process. For more information on comparing finance options offered by dealers, leasing companies or your local bank, read this Financial Strategy.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to be able to sell your house, the IRS had some rules that may allow you to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain of your main home from your income. The IRS also has some rules for reporting the sale of your home as well as deducting the remaining points you paid to secure a mortgage. For detailed information on these rules, read this C.P.A. Insight.
If you are retiring and hold a significant amount of your company’s stock in your qualified retirement plan, you can choose to elect a special tax treatment for the distribution called net unrealized appreciation. Before you make this election, you’ll need to compare your tax liability on the distribution to future tax costs. For more information on this strategy, read this Financial Strategy.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a vacation or second home, you should consider some basic tax laws that will allow you to make the best tax use of your vacation home. You may consider taking advantage of tax free rental income, rental income deductions or a tax free sale of the home. For more information on these tax advantages and the rules that apply, read this C.P.A. Insight.
If you’re faced with a bankruptcy situation, there are federal laws in place that protect your assets held inside qualified retirement plans such as a 401(k) or an IRA. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 extends some of these safeguards. For more information on how much is protected by these laws, read this Financial Strategy.