Wilson David Investment Advisors
I fix things. My specialties are financial planning, financial literacy education, taxes, and investment advice, but over my 30-year career, I've been able to help people fix problems with money, construction projects, meetings, sentence construction, culinary disasters, and academic difficulties.
I wish I were like Samantha of the TV show Bewitched and could just twitch my nose to repair everyone's problems. Unfortunately, no magic erupts when I twitch my nose. I help clients using my knowledge, experience, and hard work...although I like to think that our working together has its own magic. My work as a lecturer, teacher, copy-editor, writer, presenter, negotiator, researcher, and office manager in a diverse cross section of business, educational, and government organizations has helped me gain the depth of knowledge needed to advise my clients in all aspects of sound financial planning and investment. I have been described as a fast, cheerful, flexible worker who rapidly resolves unexpected problems and project difficulties. I manage work quality and time based on guidelines provided and use my talents to provide customers with top-notch service.
As a champion for financial literacy, I speak at high schools, libraries, career fairs, churches, businesses and community groups - anywhere I can get a platform! - to raise awareness about financial knowledge and safety. I recently published "Financial Advice for Blue Collar America" which offers guidance on basic concepts of money including insurance and taxes, financial traps to avoid, how to pay for college and tech school, and info about the bright future ahead for blue collar careers.
BA, College of William and Mary
MA, College of William and Mary
MBA, University of South Carolina
By choosing to work with this Advisor, you acknowledge that neither Wilson David Investment Advisors nor this Advisor makes any representations or promises that the services you receive are appropriate for you and your business or guarantees any specific outcome or results. Wilson David Investment Advisors does not guarantee the suitability of the Advisor for your particular needs and does not endorse the advice and services rendered by any Advisor. Wilson David Investment Advisors is a registered investment adviser registered in South Carolina and GA through FINRA. Any commentaries, articles or other opinions herein are intended to be general in nature and for current interest. All content on this website is presented as of the date published or indicated, and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal invested. The answers presented on Ask an Advisor should be considered general information presented to inform the public. They are based on the information provided in the question, which may have omitted important details that would have changed the answer had they been known. Please consult a financial advisor before concluding that the information is relevant to your own situation.
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Hi! Thank you for writing! How frustrating…that has happened to me with young people who I do taxes for. In one case, the person forgot about the second W-2, but the fact was the tax return had been submitted, so an amended return had to be submitted. In another case, I just let it go because it was such a small amount earned. The IRS noticed it, sent a letter asking for the difference, and the taxpayer paid it. That may happen in your case. If not, and you want to make it right, you can do an amended tax return. Doing an amended return is not hard and doesn’t take that long.
You've already received your refunds, but other taxpayers needs to wait to do their amended return until after they receive their efund or until after funds clear the bank if they owed money. Another thing to note is that you have to do a paper amended return that you mail in, at least as I write this answer in 2016. I imagine that someday amended returns will be able to be submitted online via e-file, but right now they are not. Here is the link for the 1040X form - https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040x.pdf and here is the link for the 1040X instructions - https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040x.pdf. Even if you paid someone to do your taxes, you can probably figure out how to the 1040X yourself and save the cost of paying someone to do it. If you make a mistake, the IRS will send you a letter correcting the mistake and letting you know that you owe more money or that you overpaid.
One note – you say in your question above that this is actually 1099 income rather than W-2 income. In that case, if you earned over $400 you may need to pay self-employment tax and probably file Schedule C, but you may have already done that assuming that some of your other income was 1099 income. I better not get into the specifics of W-2 vs 1099 income in the scope of this answer, but you could write back with another question if this situation applies to you. This link will provide some info - https://www.irs.gov/Help-&-Resources/Tools-&-FAQs/FAQs-for-Individuals/Frequently-Asked-Tax-Questions-&-Answers/Interest,-Dividends,-Other-Types-of-Income/1099-MISC,-Independent-Contractors,-and-Self-Employed/1099-MISC,-Independent-Contractors,-and-Self-Employed-1.
Keep in mind that you will also need to amend your state return, too. Depending on where you live, you might be able to file the state amended return online. We live in South Carolina where an amended return must be mailed, but in New York, where our daughter lives, you can submit an amended return online.
Sorry for the hassle, but hopefully it won’t take you too much time! So glad you wrote, and please write back if you have more questions for us.
Hi! Thanks for writing! In addition to books, you might like to check out safe, non-biased, non-selling websites. As college professor, I place a lot of emphasis on making sure that the sources a student uses to write papers are credible and factual. You want to do the same thing as a financial consumer. In reading about financial planning and investing, you get the best info from non-profit or government sources. I've listed some of my favorite "safe" websites below. Best wishes to you!
Investing in the Stock Market
Financial Calculators and Tools
Investing in Bonds
I am so very sorry about your mother’s illness and the turn it has taken. That is so upsetting for everyone in your family, and my heart goes out to all of you. During this stressful time, it’s hard to think about practical concerns, but I suspect that your mother, in wanting to clear up loose ends, may be the one who is driving the worry.
From your question, I am assuming that your mom has just two heirs – two daughters whom she wants to treat fairly. She’s given money to one daughter (Daughter A) that she didn’t give to the other (Daughter B) and wants to be sure that things get evened up without difficulty or strife.
The simplest way to solve the problem if your mother has the liquid funds to do it and is able to manage the action is for her to write Daughter B a check for the amount she gave Daughter A for the down payment. If no cash is free, perhaps your mother has a piece of jewelry or other item that is valued at the amount of the down payment that could be given to Daughter B. Alternatively, Daughter A, who received the down payment, could give half of that amount in cash to her sister, Daughter B. That would make it all even, and then when the sad day comes that you lose your mother, her will specifies the even, fair distribution to each daughter. (Note – if the amount of the down payment was greater than $14,000, a Gift Tax Return (Form 709) may need to be filed with the IRS, but unless your mom has already give millions away, no actual tax on that gift would be paid.)
However, neither your mom nor Daughter A may have that kind of cash available. In that case, amending the will if she is able would also work, but there may not be the time and energy needed to get to the lawyer’s office and modify the will. There would also be a cost to doing this. Another possible solution could be for your mom to write up a codicil or additional note to be included with the will explaining the situation and letting the executor know to give Daughter B more than Daughter A in the final distribution, but if this addition isn’t formally incorporated into the will by paying the attorney some amount of money to do so, it may not hold up.
If you mother passes away before any action is taken to remedy this situation, then nothing formal or legal can be done to change the situation after death. It would be up to Daughter A to say “This is not fair to my sister and not what Mom would have wanted,” and then give her sister half of the amount of the down payment after the final distribution of the will is made.
I’m so very sorry for your loss, and I hope that your mom’s end is as peaceful and affirmative as it can be. Best wishes to you and your family.
Hi – thank you for writing. This situation is a tough one to be in, and my heart goes out to you. It is scary and uncomfortable to owe more money than you have at the moment or that you can make in the near future. It won’t give you much consolation for me to tell you that you are not alone in being in this situation – you and many other Americans share a heavy debt burden.
Luke’s action items are great. I wanted to add a few more possible ideas. I don’t have to tell you that somehow you need to either spend less money or make more money so that you can apply the extra toward reducing your debt. That advice is so hard to implement because the basics of life are so expensive, and the extras of life are so appealing, seductive, and also expensive. It is SO HARD to reduce spending, and it’s often just as hard to increase earnings.
Practical Tips for Raising Cash – You may have already tried one or more of these, but just in case you haven’t, I’ve listed some ideas here.
- Work paid over-time if it’s available at your job.
- As Luke said, look around at your belongings to see what things you don’t really like or use that might be worth some cash. Sell things you don't need on eBay or at IWanta, being careful not to get scammed by unscrupulous “buyers.” Family and friends may also want to buy things from you.
- Consider asking for a raise at work if you haven’t gotten one in a while. They won’t fire you for asking, and the most they can say is no.
- Get a part-time, second, or seasonal job - finding one can be hard, though! You might have better luck during the Christmas season when stores do a lot of extra hiring. Look into this tactic in September or October so you don't miss out. Be creative about what you can do. My husband and I are 57 and 54 and throughout our careers we have always had at least two jobs – a main job and one or more on the side. Even if your career is not the type that lends itself to consulting, maybe you could earn some extra money by baby-, dog-, or house-sitting or food service or lawn work. Having a second job brings in more money each month and reduces what you spend on entertainment because more of your hours are taken up by working. Here are some more thoughts about the value of a second job.
- Cut unnecessary bills. Cutting out cable TV or pedicures technically doesn't generate cash, but it leaves you with more cash at the end of the month. It's hard to give up your favorite shows or an activity that makes you feel good, but if you console yourself with the idea that the sacrifice is temporary, that will help.
- Consider asking a wealthier loved one for help. You might ask for help paying a medical bill or a particularly expensive utility bill rather than ask for cash – sometimes a one-time concrete gift is easier to ask for and to give. Many people who are comfortable financially enjoy helping out loved ones who are in a pinch, but they tend not to offer help for fear of hurting feelings or opening the door to being asked repeatedly for help. It can be hard to ask, but it might be worth trying depending on your circumstances. It might be best to ask for a gift rather than a loan so you don't have repayment hanging over your head, and be sure to include an “out” for the person you're asking if they don't want to or aren't able to help. In your case, a loan with a very low interest rate could really help because you mentioned that you currently pay high interest on the debt you are carrying.You could send an email or letter to pave the way before asking verbally. Be honest about how hard it is for you to ask and how fine it is if the person doesn't end up helping. If your request is granted, be sure to say thank you verbally and in writing.
- Apply for assistance if you are qualified to receive it. There’s no shame in using food stamps, WIC, free or reduced lunch for the kids at school, or other forms of governmental help. Also consider faith-based help from your church, other churches, food banks, or other religious charities.
I hope that you can get to the point where you are able to pay off the loans! In doing so, you’ll raise your credit score and get to a place where you feel more financially comfortable. Best wishes to you and please write back to us with more questions.
Hi! Thanks for writing! I am so sorry you didn’t get through those FINRA exams on the first try but don’t feel bad – I think the Series exams are really tricky and capricious, and even if you study very hard and very smart using Kaplan or another professional prep program, it’s really hard to pass. So yes, scores in the 60% level are normal for a first attempt. You will pass next time for sure!
Some thoughts - hopefully you didn’t try to take them both in the same day – for the next attempt, if possible I would recommend that you take them a couple of day apart. Also, did you buy an exam prep program to study from? Those really help – Kaplan, Keir, Wiley, STC and others offer reasonably priced programs and online test banks. My son is also an investment advisor, and between the two of us we have taken Series 65, 63, and 6; the CFP® exam, and the IRS EA exams. We found that it is essential to have an up-to-date, current study program – we had trouble when we tried to save money by using old guides. The test questions and the limits/numbers change. With the exception of the CFP® study materials, we never paid more than $100 for the study guides we bought. Give yourself enough time to study but not so many weeks that you get bored, inefficient and confused. Try to study some amount every day, even if just 30 minutes instead of just concentrating on long periods at one time. Once you study the basic material, concentrate your study time on doing test bank questions.
Hopefully these ideas help. It’s hard to pass those exams, and lots of people take a couple of tries to get through them. Try again soon before you forget what you’ve studied, and then good luck!!! You’ll be done soon.