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47
votes
7answers
176k views

What is the purpose of endorsing a check?

Why do you need to sign a check on the back when you deposit it to your account?
3
votes
3answers
329 views

Is an old UGMA account loss tax deductable?

In 2008, my father-in-law let us know about a UGMA account that was for my wife. We gladly took control of the assets and noticed the value of the account crashed at some point. At the end of 2008, ...
6
votes
4answers
537 views

Do large market players using HFT make it unsafe for individual investors to be in the stock market?

Similar to this question, but with new information concerning High Frequency Trading [HFT], see articles on HPCwire and the NY Times citing that HFT accounts for 73 percent of all equity trading ...
3
votes
1answer
12k views

How to understand “7-Day Yield” of a Money Market Fund?

FIDELITY MUNICIPAL MONEY MARKET (FTEXX) has a 7-Day Yield of 0.01%. I was wondering what 7-Day Yield means and how it is calculated. I am also wondering if it would be better to buy a T-bill with ...
6
votes
1answer
9k views

US ISA equivalent for tax exempt investment & savings

In the UK you can put up to £11,520 per year into an Individual Savings Account (ISA). This account allows you to invest in stock, unit trusts, index funds etc. and all income and capital gains are ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Are money market instrument and short-term debt same?

I am learning some basic concepts in investment. Here is my questions: Are money market instruments and debt (short-term) same? From the two links I provided, they look almost the same to me, ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

American Express Green vs American Express Gold

I recently received two offers from American Express for two different cards, the Gold Card and the Green Card. I am pretty conservative when it comes to credit cards, so I don't really want both. ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Any Experience with the Gone Fishin' Portfolio?

In doing research on How to Select IRA Investments, I stumbled across the Gone Fishin' Portfolio. This link where I found out about the portfolio claims that it is based on the 1990 economics Nobel ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

Formula for calculating real cost of a deductible expense

Nice round numbers: say I perform a job that gets $1000 gross (call this g) in which I incur $100 in expense (call this e). The expense is fully deductible. Assume my marginal tax rate is 25% (call ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is sales tax charged on checked baggage fees?

When I buy airplane tickets online, I pay for associated taxes at the same time. But if I have luggage to check, that's a separate cost that gets added when I check in. Should I expect to pay ...
5
votes
1answer
209 views

Common practice of holding payment funds on checking account?

I was about to make a payment the other day to an new loan account and was going to authorize a direct bank account transfer. There was a notice that the company would perform the charge twice on the ...
7
votes
2answers
116 views

What are some good resources for yearly US tax law changes?

Every year, in the US, we have new tax rules, deductions, limit increases/decreases, exceptions, benefits, etc. Are there some good resources out there for self education on what to expect with the ...
11
votes
7answers
7k views

How does Clark Howard's advice compare to Dave Ramsey's advice?

I'm unfamiliar with Clark Howard's teaching but I am familiar with Dave Ramsey's teaching. How do Clark Howard and Dave Ramsey compare? Do they cover the same material? Any striking differences ...
6
votes
2answers
130 views

Do there exist any wikipedia type sites for evaluating financial service providers?

How do people go about getting a feel for the soft features of financial service providers? My biggest criterion in purchasing financial services, such as bank accounts or investment accounts, aside ...
4
votes
2answers
156 views

Price difference among shares in Hong Kong and Shang Hai

Recently, I am interested to invested in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which is listed both in Shang Hai and Hong Kong stock market. Since I only can trade in Hong Kong Stock Market, I ...
5
votes
1answer
261 views

How to Select IRA Investments?

I'm helping a friend roll over his 401K into an IRA. How can I advise him as he selects what to invest his money in? Factors I know to consider: Rate of return over 1, 3, 5, and 10 years (and ...
3
votes
1answer
434 views

Where to find actual legal code for Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA)?

Does anyone know where I can find the actual legal code for UGMA in Texas and the US? I can only find a bunch of sites that quote bits and pieces of the code. I couldn't find anything in the Texas ...
5
votes
7answers
5k views

What are the drawbacks to using my bank's online billpay service?

I'm thinking about signing up for my bank's online bill-pay service, but I'm concerned about putting someone in between me and my service providers. My questions: Have you had any problems with ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How long do direct deposits take to go through?

eBay listed the status as "paid" last Friday for some sales I'd made, and that it would be deposited to the bank account I have on file. It's Monday and I haven't seen any changes in my online ...
12
votes
3answers
12k views

If I pay someone else's property taxes, can I use it as a deduction on my income tax return?

I'm planning on paying the property taxes of a home my mother-in-law owns. She owns the house, but I live there. As part of the bargain, I agreed to pay the property taxes. If I write the check ...
6
votes
7answers
443 views

Debit cards as bad as credit cards?

I have been saving for some time now with the aim of building up enough money to begin investment. But the problem is I keep withdrawing money with my debit card whenever i want to buy something. ...
7
votes
2answers
595 views

Do things really fall off a person's credit in seven years?

I'm looking to start repairing my wife's credit on which she has several credit cards from before we were married. These debts are reaching the 7 year window where I've heard things "fall off" your ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Are there any countries where citizens are free to use any currency?

It seems like most countries restrict the citizens to the use of the government currency for exchanging goods. I'm not a world traveler so maybe there is a country where this is not the case. Does ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Can dues and subscriptions expenses be deducted 100% to calculate taxable income in an LLC company?

I'm using Quickbooks Online, "Dues & Subscriptions" is one of the expense accounts we have. I would like to know if this expense can be deducted 100% for calculating my taxable income. Our company ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

How do I minimize Federal, State, and Municipal tax due from money market funds or bond mutual funds?

I was looking into money market funds and bond mutual funds for some relatively stable investments. Before I make decisions, though, can someone explain under what circumstances would I need to pay ...
1
vote
1answer
205 views

Why are “random” deposits bad?

The deposits of private investors often consists of random securities, caused by tips of friends, banks and exchange newspapers. It is said that the ratio of risk and return cannot be optimal like ...
5
votes
2answers
282 views

Is a bank obligated to report information on your credit report?

Is a bank obligated or required to report information on your credit report? I was reading this question and I thought that banks did not have to report information about a loan to the credit ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I save money on interest by paying a loan multiple times per month?

I'm paying off a student loan right now that accrues interest on a daily basis. Last month, for example, I got a bill where the principal was $25k and the interest was $150. I pay about $500 each ...
5
votes
4answers
236 views

Is the Australian property market currently (late 2010) in a bubble?

I've been told that the Australian property market is more than 45% over valued, I've also heard arguments that there are justifications for this such as: increased rate of immigration, shortage of ...
22
votes
5answers
665 views

When is it better to rent and when is better buy in a certain property market?

I've been told the average rent for a house should be the house price, minus 3 zero's and that should be how much it should be a week, which I think works out to be about 5% of the house price per ...
12
votes
8answers
734 views

What expenses do most people not prepare for that turn into “emergencies” but are not covered by an Emergency Fund?

I'm looking for expenses that most of us should be planning for, but that we may not think about. Some of these would be re-occurring expenses that happen infrequently, while others would be one time ...
22
votes
10answers
930 views

Are there any Credit cards with no foreign transaction fee for international travel?

Are there any Credit cards with no foreign transaction fee for international travel, and a good exchange rate?
7
votes
4answers
12k views

How can I get intraday prices for mutual funds?

How can I get intraday prices of a mutual fund? (Mine are Oppenheimer funds.)
7
votes
1answer
461 views

What are useful indexes for rapid evaluation of country investment risk?

The World Economic Forum released their Global Competitiveness Report yesterday and it offers a comprehensive view of individual country risk/reward. There has been an explosion of these types of ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is my credit card not showing on my credit report?

I have just got my credit report. All seems fine, but I have noticed that there is no mention of my credit card on the report. I only have one and it is with the same bank current account. I was a ...
7
votes
2answers
291 views

Beneficiary IRAs and Required Minimum Distributions

If you receive a (non-spousal) Beneficiary-traditional IRA as a beneficiary due to death, is there a way to avoid taking a Required Minimum Distribution until your own retirement age? Or are you ...
3
votes
2answers
295 views

Are online mortgage lenders as good as local brick-and-mortar ones?

Are the online lenders responsive and helpful? Lately it's been hard to get anyone on the phone though I suspect that's due to refi's because of the very low rates.
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Understanding details for certificate of deposit: Explain the features of this CD?

Came across a "HARRIS N.A. IL" CD today (you can find the details here), and I'm strugging to understand the details. Here's what's listed: CUSIP: DSA991209 Pay Frequency: SEMIANNUAL Coupon: 3....
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Source for information about Australia and U.S. real estate market rent-to-price ratios?

Would like to make a comparison between the two markets, in particular during the global financial crisis.
4
votes
2answers
454 views

How do I find a legitimate, premium credit repair service?

I'm trying to find a premium credit repair service to help work towards the goal of removing all included in bankruptcy trade-lines from my credit report. In the past I have dealt with disputing ...
3
votes
1answer
453 views

Switched jobs & short on cash. Should I withdraw from 403(b) or borrow from 401(k)?

I switched employers a while back and obviously this resulted in a new place to throw my retirement money. Employer A was an academic institution so that money was in a 403(b), now I'm in your ...
0
votes
4answers
291 views

Do more people start a new job before the holidays?

I hope this isn't closed as off-topic. In most jobs, you get a monthly salary. In months that have more holidays than average, your return-on-work-hours increases. So, if you had to pick a date to ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Does anyone have experience with Community Exchange Systems?

I am interested to know if anyone has participated in a Community Exchange System, where the currency of exchange of goods and services is completely information-based - in other words, there is not ...
4
votes
1answer
448 views

Gnucash: Keyboard shortcut to move to blank transaction?

When entering transactions in Gnucash, there is a toolbar icon to jump to "Move to the blank transaction at the bottom of the register". What is the equivalent keyboard shortcut to do that?
5
votes
2answers
10k views

Why is my available balance and my total balance not lining up on my credit card?

I have a Visa credit card with a $4,000 limit. I have $1,000 used at the moment, and on their online site it says I have $2550 in remaining credit, which only adds up to $3550. What is the deal with ...
4
votes
2answers
286 views

Who checks my credit history when I apply for a credit card?

I'm guessing this may be how it works: Card company > Some Company > Me I can get a credit card from my bank or some company. Do those guys review my history? Or does the card company? Perhaps "Some ...
10
votes
3answers
738 views

What are the ins/outs of writing-off part of one's rent for working at home?

Suppose I rent a 100 square foot apartment (just to keep the numbers easy). Now suppose I use a 30 square foot area exclusively for working-at-home. In that 30 square foot area there'a desk ...
2
votes
2answers
896 views

What should I consider when buying land as an Investment in Ontario, Canada?

I was bored the other day so I was looking through the real estate listings up in Cottage Country. I noticed a plot of 4 acres of land for sale for $30,000. I was wondering what one should consider ...
5
votes
3answers
401 views

Will I have any problems keeping my money in a UK bank, even though I am out of the country?

I was working in the UK for 2 years. I had opened an account with one of the banks in the UK where my salary used to be credited. Now, I am away from the UK for over a year, however I do have a ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views

How do amortization schedules work and when are they used?

Specifically, I notice that on a mortgage statement, my payment is "amortized" so that at the beginning of the loan, I am paying almost entirely interest and very little principal. However, on a ...

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