Personal Finance FAQs

  1. I've noticed executives buy a lot of stock below market value, and then they sell it for a large gain. How can they do this?

  2. Are mortgage-backed securities backed by any guarantees?

  3. After receiving a required distribution when and how are my taxes affected?

  4. Where can I find information on different companies so that I won't have to read every earnings report?

  5. What does greenwashing mean?

  6. What is market cannibalization?

  7. What are the benefits of an assumable mortgage?

  8. What kinds of investments are allowed in a qualified retirement plan, and what kinds are forbidden?

  9. What are some of the features and benefits of SEP IRAs and Roth IRAs?

  10. Can I roll over a profit-sharing plan to an SEP IRA account without suffering any tax penalties and liquidation of current positions held in this account?

  11. Can an individual contribute to both a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA in the same year?

  12. Can my spouse and I convert our IRAs to Roth IRAs regardless of earned income?

  13. Do hedge funds and mutual funds invest in commodities in high inflation environments?

  14. Are there tax penalties for closing my Roth IRA account?

  15. Can investment real estate be purchased within an IRA and, if so, are there any pitfalls?

  16. I participate in a profit-sharing plan at work. If I retire at age 62, will I be able to withdraw the money tax-free, or must it be rolled over to another account or plan?

  17. Should I put money into a retirement account even if it isn't tax deductible?

  18. I own a small business. Can the SBO-401(k) work for me?

  19. I have some stocks in a taxable account. Can I use them to fund my Roth IRA instead of using cash?

  20. When should a company recognize revenues on its books?

  21. If a company undergoes an acquisition can an employee withdraw 401(k) funds tax free?

  22. I didn't earn any income this year. Can I still contribute to a Roth?

  23. How do I file taxes for income from foreign sources?

  24. What constitutes an "intention to call a debt instrument before maturity" for tax purposes?

  25. How does a credit crunch occur?

  26. I failed to distribute an inherited 401(k) that was found in an audit. What happens now?

  27. What is a rainmaker?

  28. I'm worried about the economy and want to move my IRA funds from stocks and bonds to cash. Will I taxed for this?

  29. What's the difference between bottom-line and top-line growth?

  30. How are a company's financial statements connected?

  31. If an individual still has his or her former spouse as the beneficiary of an IRA, does the former spouse receive the assets upon the individual's death?

  32. I am a teacher in a public school system and I don't presently have a 403(b) plan, but I do have some money in a Roth IRA and also a self-directed IRA. Can I roll my IRA funds into a newly opened 403(b) plan, since I am presently employed by the school sy

  33. When should I take my Canadian Pension Plan distributions?

  34. I made involuntary contributions to a retirement plan while temporarily employed. Can I withdraw these funds without penalty?

  35. My mother inherited my father's IRA. When she died, I received an account application listing me as the beneficiary, as well as notice that my brother and I will have to take my mom's required distribution. My brother is nowhere to be found. How should I

  36. Can an employer adopt a different type of retirement plan for each employee?

  37. How does the marginal tax rate system work?

  38. Is an employee eligible for an SEP if the plan has already been set up for other employees?

  39. I withdrew funds from my Roth IRA to contribute elsewhere. How will I be taxed?

  40. Why do companies postpone earnings announcements?

  41. Can I contribute to my company-sponsored 401(k) after the company's year-end but before its tax-filing date?

  42. How can I reduce the taxes on my inherited retirement assets?

  43. When am I not required to submit a social security number on my tax return?

  44. Why does the majority of my mortgage payment start out as interest and gradually move toward mostly principal?

  45. What is a subprime mortgage?

  46. Can I roll the funds in an SEP-IRA over to a profit-sharing plan or self-directed retirement vehicle?

  47. How do I open a Swiss bank account, and what makes them so special?

  48. What is the Razor/Razorblade model?

  49. What is a "dog and pony" show?

  50. I am self-employed and do not need most of my IRA RMD for expenses. Can I reinvest it in Roth IRAs?

  51. Who qualifies as "single" for tax or retirement purposes when spouses do not live together?

  52. I work for a university, and I have a 403(b) with TIAA-CREF. But TIAA-CREF says I cannot transfer money to another provider. Can they prevent me from transferring my money to a better investment?

  53. Can I, without tax penalties, use the IRA I inherited from my father to buy a home that I will live in? He was 72 and had started taking small payouts on it.

  54. Can you have a 403(b) and also contribute to a 401(k)?

  55. What do you do for a non-spouse beneficiary receiving a required minimum distribution (RMD) when the plan terminates? Is the purchase of an annuity the only option? Any thoughts on whether an IRA could be opened?

  56. What's the difference between a bank guarantee and a letter of credit?

  57. Upon my death, will the beneficiaries of my IRA be compelled to take the entire amount in the IRA as ordinary income, forcing them into unusually high income tax brackets?

  58. What is the difference between a Traditional and a Roth IRA?

  59. What are the risks of investing in a bond?

  60. Which is a better measure for capital budgeting, IRR or NPV?

  61. I am in the second year of taking SEPP distributions from my IRA. Can I transfer some of the funds to a new IRA with different investment options?

  62. Are credit cards and debit cards considered debt instruments?

  63. What is the difference between a compiled and a certified financial statement?

  64. Can my spouse and I combine our Traditional IRAs?

  65. How can I make sure I get all my eligible deductions?

  66. How can I easily get ready for next year's tax season?

  67. How do I calculate my gains and/or losses when I sell a stock?

  68. I have a small business (LLC), which I operate part-time. I also work full time for a company and am enrolled in a 401(k) plan. Am I still eligible to make contributions to an individual 401(k) from earnings of my part-time LLC?

  69. How long does an IRA beneficiary have to take an RMD after the IRA holder dies?

  70. What should I consider when I select an executor for my will?

  71. What is a gatekeeper?

  72. What is an entrepreneur's elevator pitch?

  73. Can I return funds to my Traditional IRA after taking a distribution?

  74. What is inflation and how should it affect my investing?

  75. I am considering taking a loan from my qualified retirement plan. What is the definition of a "reasonable interest rate"?

  76. My Traditional IRA has been converted to a Roth IRA. Can I still make a qualified withdrawal as a first-time home buyer?

  77. Can I borrow from an IRA without penalty?

  78. I've come into a large amount of money. Should I invest it or pay off my mortgage?

  79. I am the beneficiary of an IRA and a Keogh. Can I combine them into one plan?

  80. If an IRA owner dies after starting required minimum distributions (RMD) but the spouse is under 70.5, can the spouse roll over the IRA into his/her own IRA, and stop RMDs until age 70.5?

  81. What's the difference between net present value and internal rate of return? How are they used?

  82. How do I figure out my cost basis on a stock investment?

  83. My company has three partners but plans to hire more this year. Would we be better off with an SBO-401(k) or a SIMPLE IRA?

  84. I deducted my IRA contribution on my tax return but failed to transfer the funds. What do I do?

  85. If an employee is paid by commission, who is responsible for withholding taxes?

  86. How do I get credit for my retirement plan contributions?

  87. What are the exceptions to the early distribution penalty for a non-qualified Roth IRA distribution?

  88. At what point in the ordering process does a broker charge commission?

  89. What is Black Friday?

  90. When is earnings season?

  91. How can I prevent commissions and fees from eating up my trading profits?

  92. What is foreclosure investing?

  93. How does someone commit featherbedding?

  94. Can I close my existing Roth IRA and invest in a new Roth IRA at a different financial institution without a tax penalty?

  95. Is it permissible for a 70-year-old person to buy an IRA?

  96. My old company offers a 401(k) plan and my new employer only offers a 403(b) plan. Can I roll over the money in the 401(k) plan to this new 403(b) plan?

  97. Is my 403(b) account owned by me or by the institution?

  98. My wife and I both converted our Traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs in Dec 1998 and have invested the maximum amount each year to date in the Roth. I am purchasing a new home in January. Do my wife and I each qualify for a one-time, tax-free $10,000 "qualified

  99. I am a first-time home buyer. If I take a distribution from my 401(k) to purchase land and a house, will I have to pay a penalty on this distribution? Also, what kind of form will I need to file with my taxes, showing the IRS that $10,000 went toward a ho

  100. If I participate in my company’s SIMPLE IRA plan, can I also contribute to another IRA in order to receive a larger tax deduction?

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