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The Signs I Missed

Published March 3, 2010 3849 Views

To say that the last two years have been difficult for the auto industry would be a real understatement. We watched as GM and Chrysler went bankrupt and became wards of the state, Ford mortgaged everything (right down to its blue oval), and even auto juggernaut Toyota is suffering huge recalls and...

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Estate Tax Changes - Curiouser & Curiouser

Published March 1, 2010 4006 Views

Last week I received a question from a client about the cost basis of stock received from the estate of his mother, who passed away in 2010. I explained that he would receive "stepped-up" basis, meaning his cost for tax purposes would be the market value of the stock at the date-of-death. But then...

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O Canada

Published March 1, 2010 4070 Views

O Canada Hockey fans got a real treat with yesterday's gold-medal game between the US and Canada. A tense and hard-fought battle throughout, the US tied the score with only 24 seconds left in the game, but our Northern neighbors secured the gold with a goal in overtime. Congratulations to Canada for...

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To Governor Paterson: Resign.

Published February 26, 2010 3862 Views

This blog is not about politics. We stick to personal finance and investing - that's been our job here for 40 years. But how long can New York State lead the world in finance without good leadership? Our current Governor, David Paterson, came into office with the resignation of Eliot Spitzer two...

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Greek Default = Lower Mortgage Rates

Published February 25, 2010 3943 Views

A few weeks ago I mentioned the possibility of a debt default by the government of Greece. At that time it appeared that a bailout by Europe was in the cards. But Germany, Europe's largest economic engine, may be having second thoughts, bringing Greece back to the edge of insolvency. If Greec...

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Are You Ready To Retire? - Part 2 of 2

Published February 25, 2010 4077 Views

Last time we walked you through the 3 steps to a well-planned retirement. Today we continue the list with 4 more ways to ensure you're ready to retire: What is the status of any pensions you might have? How much will they pay you? When are you eligible to start drawing on them? Analysis of debt. Ho...

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Deductible investment expenses??

Published February 24, 2010 4152 Views

What can be deducted as an investment expense on your tax return? Well, if you itemize your deductions, you can include investment expenses under miscellaneous itemized deductions on schedule A. Unfortunately, your miscellaneous itemized deductions have to exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income be...

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Remember Henry?

Published February 24, 2010 4049 Views

I first subscribed to The Wall Street Journal in the late 70's on a cut-rate student subscription. That was during the Carter administration and some things were going up, up, up. Problem was, those things were interest rates, inflation, energy prices, and gold. It was not a good time for investo...

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Are You Ready To Retire? - Part 1 of 2

Published February 23, 2010 4015 Views

Deciding when to retire is one of the most important decisions you will make during the course of your life. It is one that should not be taken lightly or made hastily. Before you make the decision to call it quits and enjoy some well deserved relaxation, there are a few questions you should ask you...

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Cut Your 2009 Tax Bill - Here's How

Published February 22, 2010 4218 Views

Think that the time to plan for the 2009 tax year has come and gone? It's true that the door to almost all tax-saving moves for 2009 closed on Dec. 31, 2009. But there are still a few things you can do that will lower your 2009 taxes: Make regular IRA contributions. Contributions to traditional IR...

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