Personal Finance Articles

  1. No Legwork Wednesday – J.C. Penney And The 'No Sale' Debacle

    When it comes to retailing, a company’s success depends as much on properly positioning its products as it does on the actual products being offered.
  2. Tax Dodging Companies Cost You More Than $1,200 Each Year

    Every year that multinational corporations and wealthy individuals lower their U.S. tax bills by stashing profits in off-shore tax havens, you pay more to cover their tab. The same is true for small businesses. How much more? U.S.PIRG, the U.S Public Interest Research Group, just released this report that says tax haven abuse cost states and the federal government $184 billion last year.
  3. 10 Money Scams Aimed At Senior Citizens

    The older people get, the more vulnerable they become to fraud. Here are 10 scams to watch out for -- with FBI tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
  4. Guide: How to Save on Expensive Funeral Costs

    According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral in 2012 was $7,045.
  5. If You Live In One Of These 11 States You May Be Flunking Finance

    Financial literacy is the ability to use knowledge and skills to make effective and informed money management decisions. Some states do a much better job of teaching it to kids than the rest.
  6. I Didn’t File Taxes, Now What?

    April 15 has come and gone, but if you didn’t file your tax bill, all is not lost, even if you think you will owe taxes. Take a deep breath and learn what you can do next to avoid serious consequences if you didn’t file your taxes by the April 15 deadline. Get help if possible First, no advice here is a good substitute for talking to a qualified tax professional about your situation.
  7. 3 Dumb Ways to Borrow Money

    Money — everyone needs it, but not everyone has it. Many people who find themselves in a financial bind aren’t left with many options, and sometimes applying for a loan isn’t realistic. The most accessible methods of getting quick cash come with a high cost, but those who need money badly won’t mind.
  8. Tying the (Financial) Knot: 5 Must-Ask Questions for Couples

    In her latest personal finance post, Jessie Szymanski takes a closer look at a major cause of conflict in American marriages. Here are five things you must discuss with your significant other before taking the plunge.
  9. The Price Of Produce Is Sky Rocketing – Here's How To Save

    According to the Wall Street Journal, the price of produce is rising fast. Lettuce is projected to jump more than 30% in the coming months, avocados will rise 28%, and broccoli—22%.
  10. Your Bad Financial Habits Can Hurt Your Kids

    Modeling sensible planning and budgeting practices in front of your kids helps set them up for a lifetime of financial good health
  11. How Warren Buffett made Berkshire Hathaway a World-beater

    It would almost be easier to list the industry sectors in which Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) doesn’t turn gargantuan profits. Railroads? Hardly. BNSF Railway, the 2nd-biggest freight line in North America, is a wholly owned Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary[1].
  12. Obamacare May Reduce Auto Insurance Rates

    A benefit of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be a drop in car insurance premiums as health care providers shoulder more of the treatment costs tied to accidents and injuries, according to a new report from a leading think-tank. The non-profit Rand Corporation says the rise in the number of people with medical coverage under the ACA, also known as Obamacare, could result in a "modest" drop in claims against auto insurers.
  13. The Pros And Cons Of The Mortgage Interest Deduction

    Perhaps the most highly-debated “benefit” to owning a home is the mortgage interest deduction.
  14. How Much College Can You Afford?

    Know the difference so that you don't buy the wrong thing.
  15. 10 Hidden Costs Of Parenting

    It's no secret that raising a child is expensive. Here are 10 hidden costs of parenting for which prospective mothers and fathers should prepare.
  16. Early Bird Doesn't Get The Social Security Worm

    Here’s an eye-opening statistic: 73% of Americans who are collecting Social Security (SS) today are receiving less than their full benefit. That’s right — they may not be getting their just deserts. That’s because we all have options when it comes to collecting Social Security benefits.
  17. Avoid Taxes on IRA Rollovers

    For years, IRA owners have been allowed to roll over their money from one IRA to another once a year without penalty, for each IRA account they had. A tax court ruling in January 2014 has brought that to an end. Starting in 2015, taxpayers will be limited to a single rollover per year no matter how many IRAs or retirement annuities they own.
  18. 7 Ways To Save On Prescription Drugs

    If you have quality insurance you may not notice but if you don’t, you know that the price of prescription drugs is high. Here are seven ways to help reign in the costs.
  19. Infographic - Catching Up In The Retirement Race

    Information on how to get to where you need to be in your retirement savings plan.
  20. Banking Perks for the Rich That Will Make You Green With Envy

    Famous faces are known for getting mountains of free stuff and special treatment. And the bank is no exception. Forget cars, jewelry and runway fashions. For the ultra rich, the particular bank they use and the options available are the ultimate status symbols. Bank branches have levels, or tiers, of service.
  21. The Devil in the Details: Five Retirement Budget Proposals

    President Obama got our attention in his State of the Union speech by calling for action on retirement. The President’s budget proposals, however, may reveal more about the administration’s overall vision for retirement policy.
  22. What $200,000 Will Buy In The Atlanta Real Estate Market

    Atlanta housing prices are up from last year, but they're still lower than the national median. And there's lots of inventory so plenty of choice for buyers. Here's how to get the most for your money.
  23. How To 'Spring Clean' Your Credit Cards

    It’s a good idea to compare credit cards and ditch ones that don't stack up. While you are busy preparing for spring cleaning around your house, take the time to do the same for your finances.
  24. Five Ways To Teach Your Kids The Value Of A Dollar

    Kids are never too young to start learning money lessons. The more opportunities they have to work with money and manage it, the more money savvy they will be as adults.
  25. Five Tax Myths That Can Cost You Cash

    Relying on the wrong ideas about how to file your taxes could cost you plenty.
  26. What $300,000 Will Buy In The Riverside/San Bernardino Real Estate Market

    The median list price for the San Bernardino/Riverside, Calif. market is $292,800, up 24.6% from the same month last year, according to the National Housing Trend Report for February 2014, published by Realtor.com. Here's a look at what buyers can expect to find for $300,000.
  27. Why The IRS Blocked Refund Anticipation Loans

    Refund Anticipation Loans provided tax preparers with a substantial stream of income for several decades. But high fees and widespread fraud convinced several banks to exit this industry, and the IRS finally outlawed the loans.
  28. How To Use Your Roth IRA As An Emergency Fund

    Do you feel like you don’t have enough money to save for emergencies and also save for retirement? An often-overlooked feature of the Roth IRA could solve your problem.
  29. What Is Worse Than Being At Risk?

    You may have heard the old adage: “What is worse than being lost? Not knowing you are lost.” In that same vein: What is worse than being at risk? You guessed it! Not knowing you’re at risk.
  30. The Gloomy Future Of The Tax Preparation Industry

    It's often said all that is certain are death and taxes. By extension, undertakers and tax preparers should enjoy similar levels of ironclad job security. But recent changes to the marketplace have caused the latter profession some uncertainty.
  31. Can Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Hurt Your Net Worth?

    Saving your money and making double or even triple payments on a mortgage may sound productive, but it could hurt your overall assets for the future, giving you less to utilize during retirement.
  32. What $250,000 Will Buy In The Phoenix Real Estate Market

    The number of real estate listings in the Phoenix-Mesa market has increased more than 45% since February 2013. Find out what you can get for the median list price in this eclectic housing market.
  33. Could The Fair Tax Movement Ever Replace The IRS?

    Although many taxpayers would love to see the IRS abolished, only a handful of thinkers have come up with any sort of viable replacement plan. The Fair Tax is one such idea that has continued to slowly gain grassroots support.
  34. What $200,000 Will Buy In The Chicago Real Estate Market

    Here's a look at what about $200,000 will get you today in various regions within Chicago's real estate market.
  35. Five Alternative Investments For Main Street

    FOX Business Network anchor Deirdre Bolton explains the alternative investments investors ask her about the most.
  36. The Pros And Cons Of Using Airbnb

    Here, we look at Airbnb - what it is, how it works, and the pros and cons of using this online rental marketplace.
  37. The Risks Of Investing In Emerging Markets

    In a volatile market, domestic investing can be risky. Many investors choose to look overseas for diversification - but that strategy comes with its own unique threats.
  38. Five Steps To Retire Debt-Free

    Retiring without debt is a worthwhile goal, but a difficult one to achieve. If you're up to the challenge, follow these steps to a debt-free retirement.
  39. Hash Tag Scam: Investors Vulnerable To ID Thieves On Twitter And Facebook

    Social media scammers are targeting investors.
  40. The Three Stooges Debunk myRA

    The mention of a government-backed IRA in Obama’s state of the union address earlier this year may look like a good deal. After all, who wouldn’t want a retirement account with the full backing of the US government?
  41. Fixed Or Variable-Rate Mortgage: Which Is Better Right Now?

    Find out the benefits of fixed- and variable-rate mortgages, and learn which option is best for you.
  42. How Your Credit Score And Credit Report Are Examined By Lenders

    Knowing the difference between a credit score and credit report can help you make the right financial decision when it comes to applying for lines of credit, and can also help you get better interest rates on loans.
  43. Six Ways Your Tax Preparer Knows You're Lying

    An experienced tax preparer can usually sense when a customer is providing fraudulent information to them. Find out what sets off a tax preparer's lie detector.
  44. Americans Are Borrowing More To Buy Cars - But Should They Be?

    As the economy slowly heals, credit has become easier to obtain and interest rates have gone down. But does that mean it's wise to take on a car loan right now?
  45. Five Reasons To Not Bother Retiring

    Here are five reasons it may make sense to forgo a traditional retirement today.
  46. Key Takeaways From Warren Buffett's Annual Letters To Shareholders

    A simple yet invaluable look into the key themes Warren Buffett repeats in his annual letter to shareholders.
  47. Reverse Mortgages 101

    Just because you can apply for a reverse mortgage doesn’t mean you should. Get a general idea of how these work, as well as who is poised to benefit from them in this article.
  48. Obama Announces Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Help

    On Friday, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited Miami-Dade’s Coral Reef Senior High School to emphasize the importance of education and to urge students to apply to college federal student financial aid programs. "We want every young person to have the kinds of teachers, and the kind of classes, and the kind of learning experiences, that are available to you here at Coral Reef," Obama said to a jam-packed, enthusiastic crowd in the gym.
  49. America Launches Its First Bitcoin ATMs : Q&A With Liberty Teller Co-Founder

    Investopedia interviewed one of the co-founders of Liberty Teller, a start-up company that launched the U.S.'s first Bitcoin ATMs.
  50. Is Homeownership A Smart Investment Again?

    Homeownership remains cheaper than renting across the nation. However, these findings speak broadly to the national market, and there are several situations where it still makes more sense to rent.
  51. Why Unemployment Rates Matter To Your Retirement

    Undoubtedly, unemployment is important for retirees and soon-to-be retirees. Also important is understanding the inflation rate as it’s reporting by the US.
  52. Retirement Tax Changes For 2014

    To save efficiently for retirement, it pays to keep abreast of tax law changes. Limits on contributions for some plans have changed while those already receiving social security will see a pay boost.
  53. Maximizing Your IRA

    Dennis Miller interviews IRA expert Terry Coxon to find out clarify the different types of accounts – and which are right for which people.
  54. Retirement Woes Remain As Housing, Stock Markets Rebound

    Despite a rebounding stock market and recent housing gains, retiring comfortably remains an elusive goal for the majority of Americans, recent surveys have found.
  55. Obama Budget Released: Who Are The Winners And Losers?

    Tuesday President Barack Obama unveiled a $3.9 trillion budget for fiscal year 2015 that includes new programs for education and rebuilding infrastructure while it also seeks to balance income inequality.
  56. How Powerful Is The IRS?

    The IRS has considerable power to enforce tax collection and reporting. But does it have too much power?
  57. How Much Do You Know About 401(k) Fees?

    Here is a quick breakdown of fees that most people should know about when they look at their retirement account.
  58. How Financial Advisors Mistreat Women (And What Women Can Do About It)

    While many women want professional help managing their finances, some male advisors still treat women as second-class citizens. We’ve talked to three women who work in the financial services industry about the biggest problems they’ve observed in male financial advisors’ treatment of women.
  59. The Ty Cobb Approach To Retirement Investing

    Swinging for the fences isn’t always the best tact when you’re talking about investing.
  60. Need To Enroll In Obamacare? File Your Taxes

    Taxpayers who need to obtain health coverage under the Affordable Care Act can now do so easily and conveniently when they file their taxes through an eligible preparer.
  61. How To Handle A Windfall

    It can be tempting to spend a windfall on toys, trips, and other things that you "deserve," but doing so will leave you in the same place you were before you received the windfall. Find out what you need to do if you receive a chunk of cash.
  62. Tips For Buying Luxury Real Estate

    The price and volume of luxury home sales is rising quickly in the U.S. and around the world. Find out what's driving this growth and what you need to know before buying a luxury property.
  63. How Bernanke's Legacy Affects Retirees

    Ben Bernanke’s reign as Fed chairman has come to an end, and he’s leaving behind quite the legacy. The effects of this legacy aren’t only to be seen in the savings of current retirees or those about to retire; It’s evident further on down the generations.
  64. Obama’s Retirement Cap Could Hit Middle Class

    President Obama plans to place new limits on how much Americans can contribute to tax-deferred retirement plans. Retirees could get no more than $205,000 a year from such plans, estimates say.
  65. What Is A Retirement Saver's Tax Credit?

    Here, we take an in-depth look a tax credit designed to provide relief to some people who are saving for retirement.
  66. Is Your Employer-Provided Life Insurance Coverage Enough?

    Learn about the several potential problems involved with obtaining life insurance through your employer.
  67. The Best-Performing Sectors Of 2013

    A sector represents a high-level way in which analysts and investors group similar companies together. Analyzing Standard & Poor’s Depositary Receipts, or SPDRs, serves as one of the best proxies to determine the best-performing areas of the economy.
  68. Money Habits Of The Millennials

    Millennials are facing the bleakest financial future of any generation in decades, and are not likely to enjoy the same standard of living as their parents did. Their spending and investing habits are guided by somewhat different factors than preceding generations.
  69. What To Do When You Can’t Pay Your Taxes

    Falling behind on your tax obligations is the financial equivalent of a root canal. Take the pain away by following these tips, and get square with Uncle Sam.
  70. Tax Deduction Guide: Contractors Vs. Employees

    The following are deductions independent contractors can write off, employees can write off, and a few that overlap.
  71. The Five Biggest Stock Market Myths

    Stocks that go down must come up, right? Wrong. We bust this myth and four other common market misconceptions.
  72. Obama's Minimum Wage and EITC Proposals - What Taxpayers Should Know

    Investopedia explains: In his State of the Union address, President Obama outlined two proposals - a minimum wage increase and an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion - that could boost workers' wages and stimulate the economy.
  73. A Second Look At Bonds

    Traditionally, bonds have been looked at as one of the safest investments around. But Dennis Miller has some analysis that may change the way you think bonds fit into your portfolio.
  74. How To File A Tax Extension

    Learn the process you need to follow to grant yourself an extra six months on the deadline for filing your tax return.
  75. Why Do So Many People Fall Behind On Their Taxes?

    Despite the threat of owing thousands of dollars to possibly the most feared organization in the U.S., millions of Americans continue to fall behind on their taxes.
  76. 65 Is Not A Magic Number

    Just because you've reached 65 doesn't mean you have to retire - that is, if you don't want to. Read on to find out how your age relates to your retirement.
  77. Key Steps In Choosing The Best Tax Preparation Software

    U.S. taxpayers left over $1 billion on the table in missed tax deductions in 2013. Would using tax software prevent you from contributing to this unclaimed cash?
  78. Diversity: Your Shield From Madoff-Style Investment Scams

    The best way to prevent being stung in a modern-day Ponzi scheme is diversity - not just within your portfolio, but also in the people who handle your investments.
  79. Crowdfunding for equities? Fool's Gold

    Investopedia explains: The JOBS Act was intended to make it easier for small firms to raise capital and give small investors a chance to put bets on new companies. But the failure rate of new businesses is so high that it's unlikely anyone will make any money this way, and investors should stay away from this opportunity.
  80. Eight Ways To Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

    Here are some ways to get the most out of your tax refund check.
  81. Inside National Payment Systems

    Investopedia explains: The global interconnection of U.S. payment systems makes commerical and financial transfers possible.
  82. Evaluating Paid Investing Newsletters

    Investopedia explains: There are many different newsletters available, and investors must decide which is most appropriate for their investing style.
  83. Debt: The Last Social Taboo?

    Debt need not be a personal tragedy nor a badge of shame. For some, it is simply a practical problem with practical solutions. For others, however, it isn't even the real problem.
  84. New Taxes Under The Affordable Care Act

    Find out what you need to know about the 21 new tax changes linked to the ACA.
  85. How To Negotiate Back Taxes With The IRS

    Recently, the IRS has been more amenable to working out late tax payments. But you have to address the problem up front, and don’t keep Uncle Sam waiting on his tax money.
  86. How To File Your Child's First Income Tax Return

    Use this quick parental guide to help your child learn the tax filing process and establish good habits.
  87. Pension Promises Go Unfulfilled

    Folks who trust in their pensions to carry them in retirement can end up with a fraction of what they were promised.
  88. Your Post Office Could Become More Like A Bank

    Facing dire financial straits and staving off bankruptcy, the United State Postal Service may make an entry (in fact, a re-entry) into the financial sector by offering a suite of financial services.
  89. How To Get The Most Money Back On Your Tax Return

    These tips will help you get a larger refund this year, while teaching you how to pay less taxes going forward.
  90. Tax Issues For Same-Sex Spouses

    The tax rules for same-sex spouses are largely the same as for traditional filers, but there are a few special considerations that apply.
  91. A Closer Look At Accelerated Benefit Riders

    Accelerated benefit riders can allow policy holders to access the death benefit in their life insurance policy while they are still living if they meet certain conditions. Knowing what you get for what you pay can help you to more intelligently purchase these products.
  92. Tax Breaks For Second-Home Owners

    Owning a second home is a great investment for a variety of reasons, but you need to know the tax implications of multi-home ownership.
  93. Hello, myRA: Retirement Savings for Beginners

    A new acronym has been added to the lexicon of savings and retirement plans - the myRA. That stands for My Retirement Account and is a twist on the well-known IRA or Individual Retirement Account.
  94. How Restricted Stock And RSUs Are Taxed

    This form of executive compensation limits how these stocks can be sold. Find out more here.
  95. How To Rent Your Home So You Can Pay Your Mortgage

    If you own your home, but temporarily can’t afford the payments, and can’t a find cheaper place to live, temporarily renting your home may be the solution for you.
  96. Tax Software Vs. An Accountant: Which Is Right For You?

    We look at the pros and cons of using tax software versus an accountant when filing your tax return.
  97. Do You Really Want to Learn Investing from These Guys?

    Wall Street has a new campaign to lure Main Street back to the markets by teaching financial literacy. A separate goal may be to avoid further regulation.
  98. Tax-Loss Harvesting: Reduce Investment Losses

    The option to bolster after-tax stock returns through tax-loss harvesting can reverse investor gloom.
  99. Home Buying Tips To Win In Fast Markets

    Take a look at some of the fastest selling markets and learn home buying tips to help you get in on the action.
  100. A Study On The Wealth Effect And The Economy

    The notion that the wealth effect spurs personal consumption makes sense intuitively. After all, wouldn’t you be more inclined to buy that big-screen TV or SUV if your house or stock portfolio had appreciated nicely and you were sitting on huge gains?
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