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Traffic jam ahead for home buyer credit.......

Published January 29, 2010 3625 Views

The IRS has been dealing with bogus claims for the $8,000 first-time buyer's credit and the $6,500 credit for existing home buyer's credit. So, to get the credit, now the IRS is requiring more documentation. A signed copy of the settlement statement must be attached to the tax return. Also, for bu...

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Ground Rule #5: Stay Away

Published January 28, 2010 3863 Views

Back when I started contributing to a 401(k), first class postage cost 20 cents. It was the year Apple introduced the Macintosh. Ronald Reagan was re-elected, and the LA Raiders won Super Bowl XVIII. Hair was big back then. The internet did not exist, and you could check the value of your accoun...

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Ground Rule #6: Borrow Sensibly, If You Must

Published January 27, 2010 3751 Views

My version of the Rapunzel story has my very pregnant wife unable to bear the August heat and yearning for a little cool breeze. Fortunately our baby didn't get locked up in a tower by a witch. I borrowed from my 401(k) and installed air conditioning. Everyone needs a little cash from time to time -...

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Want to See What an $1,200,000 Office Renovation Looks Like?

Published January 26, 2010 3841 Views

This Thursday the Rochester office is hosting an open house for clients (advisors, staff and their families will all be present) to showcase our new office renovations . At a time when Goldman Sachs is doling out $22 billion in bonuses and news about Bank of America Merrill Lynch's "savior" John Tha...

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Purchasing What You Know

Published January 26, 2010 3778 Views

Picture a typical day. You get done with work, punch the time clock, and start the journey home, but before you get there you have to stop off at the grocery store. You pick up some Crest toothpaste, Duracell batteries, and Tide laundry detergent. You arrive home and check the kitchen for something...

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2010 Haitian Relief Charitable Contributions Deducted on 2009 Returns

Published January 25, 2010 4179 Views

Last week, the Senate approved a bill that would allow donors to accelerate the income tax benefits of charitable cash contributions for the relief of victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Previously passed by the House, the bill is now cleared for signature by the President, which is expected this we...

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Ground Rule # 7: Do the Opposite

Published January 25, 2010 3799 Views

Working my way up we have touched on my rules #10, #9, and #8, all of which are very basic "starter" rules for getting involved with your 401(k) or 403(b) plan at work. Today's rule assumes you are a plan participant and have been contributing for a while. At some point you start to think about wh...

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I'M LOVIN IT

Published January 22, 2010 3810 Views

Today McDonald's announced strong fourth quarter results. In 2009 McDonalds served more than 60 million customers! This is up more than 2 million from 2008. McDonald's is a fundamentally sound company that has mastered the art of globalization as well as marketing. In 2009 global sales increased...

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State of the Firm

Published January 22, 2010 3858 Views

Today I am taking a break from the countdown of my Ten Ground Rules for 401(k)/403(b) Success. This afternoon we will hold our second "State of the Firm" meeting. Our purpose in starting this quarterly information session for our employees was to provide information on how we're doing as a firm. T...

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Ground Rule #8: Better Than a Crystal Ball

Published January 21, 2010 3728 Views

I don't have a crystal ball. And if I did I'm not sure I would know how to use it. It seems like having a crystal ball would come in handy to figure out what investments to choose in your 401(k) or 403(b). You look at a list of funds or go online and see a bunch of choices, maybe read about a few...

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