All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
2answers
111 views

“Back Paying” Income Taxes [U.S.]?

When I was young and stupid a few years ago, I took a job that I thought was salary originally with properly handled taxes (W-2) and whatnot and it ended up being a 1099 contracting gig that wasn't ...
8
votes
4answers
948 views

Looking to buy a house in 1-2 years. Does starting a Roth IRA now make sense?

My wife & I are 28 years old and are looking to purchase our first home in the next 1-3 years. Our financial situation looks something like this: 24% combined gross annual income in low interest ...
12
votes
5answers
7k views

Combining 401(k)'s from different past employers?

I have multiple 401(k)s from past employers. I know I can roll each of these over into new IRA accounts at my brokerage, but do the 401(k) rules allow me to combine these 401(k)'s into one IRA ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Should I wait to sell a stock (at a loss) that I have held for less than a year?

I currently hold some shares of a stock that I don't expect to regain much value. I bought this (at a higher price) about 8 months ago. My limited understanding of the way capital gains taxes work ...
10
votes
2answers
905 views

How do I get into the over-the-counter derivatives gravy train

Some philosopher, or banker once said: "If you can't fight them, join them". After reading Matt Taibbi's last two pieces on Rolling Stone on how banks have obtained certain rights to sell hot air ...
2
votes
1answer
349 views

Can I refinance a rental property that is currently only 75% loan to value?

I have two separate rental properties that each have a LTV of about 75%. I'd like to leverage these properties to buy another investment or rental property so I am considering refinancing with cash ...
5
votes
3answers
159 views

What's a good way to find someone locally to help me with my investments?

I inherited a stock portfolio from my grandparents, and it has been sitting at the investment house where it was when I got it. I want to move this portfolio somewhere where the fees are lower and ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Is an iPhone insurance or warranty a good buy, or a waste of money?

I normally don't pay for product protection plans or extended warranties on electronic devices, but I just got a new iPhone 4, and it sits at the nexus of portability (losable and drop-able) and high ...
30
votes
3answers
72k views

Is the “Bank on Yourself” a legitimate investment strategy, or a scam?

There seem to be a lot of advertisements by "Bank on Yourself", promising to show how you can invest in a certain type of life insurance policy. Is this really a legitimate investment strategy, or ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Does size of down payment affect chances of home loan approval?

Does the size of my down payment on a house affect the chances I'll be approved for a loan? Can a 50% down payment overcome a relatively low credit score?
7
votes
2answers
338 views

What is a timeshare?

What is a timeshare and why might I want one? Are there any hidden costs to timeshares?
1
vote
1answer
61 views

How long should I retain my tax information in Canada?

What is required by law?
11
votes
3answers
857 views

What is the optimal ratio of used credit to credit limit for your credit score?

I have been told to never go over 50% of my credit limit on any credit card even if I pay always off in full for each statement, in order not to hurt my credit score. Is this true? What is the ratio ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

How long should I retain my income tax information?

How long should I retain my income tax information in the US? Should I retain all my deduction evidences as long as I keep my W-2 and return paperwork?
3
votes
1answer
254 views

When is the best time to buy airline tickets?

How long before a flight is the best time to get the lowest fares? Do prices on fare-finding sites change depending on the time of day or day of week? When is best?
9
votes
5answers
7k views

How can I check my credit score?

I've seen the commercials for freecreditreport.com, but commercials with singing pirates make me uneasy; maybe they'll steal all my booty (personal information). What are the different ways to check ...
24
votes
4answers
11k views

Is a high credit limit on a credit card bad?

I've had a credit card for a long time, and every so often they've sent letters telling me they're increasing my available credit. Does it negatively affect my credit score to have a high limit, one ...
10
votes
4answers
407 views

How to value employee benefits?

How should I value benefits such as health insurance and employee stock purchase plans when I'm comparing jobs? I'd like a conversion to dollars so I can fairly compare them to jobs with only direct ...
5
votes
4answers
9k views

Ways to improve my stagnant credit score

My credit score has been stuck at 695 for about four months. That's a vast improvement from the 500 or so it was four years ago, so I've come a long way. I have two credit cards with balances on ...
13
votes
5answers
900 views

How many credit cards do I need? Should I open another just for the cash back feature?

I just got a mailer from Discover offering a new card, with 5% back on some items and 1% back on everything else. However, I already have a Visa which I have had for a few years. Does it make any ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

Why is everyone saying how desperately we need to save money “in this economy”?

Everywhere you turn today, you hear people talk about how much they need to save or how important it is to find a good deal on things "in this economy". They use phrases like "now more than ever" and "...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

What types of receipts do I need to keep for itemized tax deductions?

Do I need to keep all of my receipts or only receipts of a certain type or amount for itemized deductions? I've also only taken the standard deduction, but this year I plan to itemize. I keep almost ...
19
votes
2answers
496 views

What should I reserve “emergency savings” for?

Should I reserve my "emergency savings" solely for times of unexpected unemployment, or keep these savings flexible enough to cover other unforeseen critical needs?
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I pay off my student loan before buying a house?

Should I pay off my student loan before buying a house?
9
votes
4answers
759 views

Can I take advantage of lower interest rates while I'm stuck in a fixed-rate mortgage?

Interest rates across Canada are gradually creeping up, but they're still incredibly low compared to when I started my 5.79% fixed rate mortgage a few years ago. Several lenders still seem to be ...
11
votes
3answers
14k views

How do people/companies buy/sell very large amounts of stock?

I use Sharebuilder for buying and selling stock. Since I'm still only starting out, I don't have a lot in there (no more than a couple thousand), and my purchases have never been for more than a ...
6
votes
4answers
349 views

What should I invest in to hedge against a serious crash or calamity?

There are a number of risks to the world and its economy out there over the next several decades, e.g. Peak oil Global warming Instability (e.g. a major war or uptick in terrorism) An "unknown ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you value your home when calculating your net worth?

I'm interested in tracking my net worth as a way of measuring progress and I'd like to include home equity in my net worth. How are you tracking home equity? Are you using purchase price? Average ...
8
votes
4answers
655 views

How can I protect my savings against inflation? [UK]

How can I ensure that my savings keep up with inflation, even after any tax due is taken off the returns?
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Is taking a lump sum from a lottery or other prize always preferable to taking the payment plan?

Every time a big money contest or lottery is advertised, their big "jackpot" prize is always really a payment plan - something like $50,000 a year for the next twenty years. Is it ever preferable to ...
1
vote
1answer
171 views

When are new versions of Quicken released? Should I wait a certain period of time before upgrading?

I'm running Quicken 2009. Quicken 2010 is currently available. When does Quicken 2011 typically come out? Do you all upgrade right away? Or do you wait until a couple of minor upgrades are ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a typical investment portfolio made up of?

I understand the idea behind an investment portfolio (investing one's money in diverse ways), but I'm not sure where to begin. I have a 401k with my current employer and a savings account at a bank, ...
19
votes
5answers
62k views

How do “allowances” work on the W-4?

When you start a job, you give your employer the W-4 form which figures out your allowances (or deductions). It's just a number. How does that translate into how much they withhold from your ...
5
votes
2answers
103 views

Putting debt out long when interest rates are low?

This is something I heard once from a caller on a financial radio program. What does it mean and what is the logic behind this statement?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What percentage of my stock portfolio should be international (non-US) stocks?

I recently read that, based on capitalization, US stocks no longer make up the majority and that to be diversified would mean to hold 50% or more in non-US stocks. Is this good advice?
5
votes
4answers
312 views

Should I save in a CD or in an online savings account?

What are the differences and/or trade-offs?
14
votes
4answers
493 views

Does the US produce a gold coin?

And if so, are there reputable places to obtain the coins (i.e. a local bank, US mint website, etc.)?
23
votes
10answers
4k views

Can paying down a mortgage be considered an “investment”?

I've read a few articles online about investments, and other articles about paying down home mortgages. One thing that I've noticed is that people who advocate paying down mortgages seem to emphasize ...
7
votes
2answers
608 views

Does closing a normal bank account affect my credit like closing a credit line?

I have a checking account that I once opened to divide money into different piles. I have since stopped doing that and want to close the checking account. I still have other checking accounts with ...
6
votes
1answer
585 views

Why should I avoid mutual funds as an investment?

I've heard in passing when discussing investments, "oh, you're crazy to invest in mutual funds". I didn't want to seem like I didn't understand at the time. What are the downsides of investing in ...
10
votes
1answer
214 views

Investment fund for your child's education?

I have two young children that I am hoping will follow in my footsteps and choose to go to college some day. How do I go about setting up some type of an investment fund for them? I've heard there are ...
7
votes
2answers
139 views

Do tax-exempt bond fund earnings need to be reported on taxes?

I'm deathly afraid of having to report bond/stock earnings to Uncle Sam. I feel like my tax returns are complex enough and I don't want to deal with any additional complexity. I'm looking for a way to ...
10
votes
5answers
11k views

Should I pay off HELOC or save?

I've heard the principle of "Pay yourself first", implying that saving some money each month should be a priority. However, I've also heard that being debt free is important, and it would be good not ...
4
votes
3answers
394 views

Home loan refinancing woes about costs and paybacks

My wife and I bought our house about 4 and half years ago, just a little before the housing market crashed. We didn't have a lot of money, so we played it safe and got into a house that most would ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Is Bogleheadism (index fund investing) dead?

I've always been a believer in index funds, and lately have been reading books such as The Coffee House Investor and The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing. It all makes sense to me except that the S&...
5
votes
2answers
774 views

Where should I be investing my money?

I ask this question in earnest, because I've been worrying about it for at least a year now. Here is my situation... I'm sitting on about $30k in my savings, but I'm unsure where I should be ...
7
votes
3answers
523 views

Freelancers in the US: pay estimated quarterly taxes or pay when you file?

My wife is currently freelancing, and the IRS would want us to file and pay estimated taxes every quarter, which is a pain. I could take extra deductions out of my paycheck, but figuring out the ...
10
votes
3answers
339 views

What is a bond fund?

This answer suggested to invest in a Bond Fund and stated that it has been working well for that person. What is a bond fund? What are it's pros and cons?
4
votes
2answers
750 views

How do insurance funds work?

On my wife's 403(b) (like a 401(k)), she has an option to invest in a couple insurance funds. How do these work? Some seem to be low-risk, while others are moderate-risk. I'm just not quite sure how ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I pay off my student loan before putting money into Roth IRA?

I have about $7K in student loans remaining at 6.25% I also haven't made a contribution to my Roth IRA for 2010. I'm thinking off paying off my loan at the end of the year, but that'll not really ...

15 30 50 per page