Archive - November 2009

1
What Influences the Price of Oil?
2
How Much Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?
3
Open a Roth IRA for Your Child
4
The First-Time Homebuyer Credit Expansion
5
Free Financial Presentations by NAPFA

What Influences the Price of Oil?

The decline in crude oil prices that began in mid-2008 was historic – plunging over $90 per barrel in just eight months. Over the past four months, however, crude oil prices have spiked up nearly $30 per barrel. Today’s chart provides some perspective on the historic decline and recent spike with a long-term view of inflation-adjusted West Texas Intermediate Crude.

Today’s chart illustrates that most oil price spikes were a result of Middle East crises and often preceded or coincided with a US recession. It is also interesting to note that the recent spike in oil prices has brought the …

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How Much Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?

When people find out how much tax they would have to pay to convert their IRA from traditional to Roth, it’s often times a conversion show stopper.  Even if all the analysis shows that conversion would be clearly beneficial to their after-tax retirement income levels or provide estate planning benefits, there’s a gigantic psychological hurdle with writing a check to the IRS sooner rather than later.  However, the conversion decision can become more attractive when you realize it’s not an all or nothing decision.  You can choose to convert just part of your traditional IRA balance.   Partial Roth Conversion Strategy

How do you decide

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Open a Roth IRA for Your Child

Here’s a very good idea to consider – if you have a teenager who has a part-time job, rather than putting those earnings solely into a savings account (or worse, a car), open a Roth IRA.  The money contributed to this account will mostly be tax free, since the first $5,700 (2009 figures) of earned income is not taxed for a single filer that is a dependent of another.Open a Roth IRA for Your Child Since contributions to the Roth IRA are “after tax”, the first $5,000 earned (for 2009 and 2010) and the future earnings on that income will never be taxed if contributed to… Read More

The First-Time Homebuyer Credit Expansion

The following information was released by the IRS on 11/25/2009 as Tax Tip 2009-13:

If you are in the market for a new home, you may still be able to claim the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. Congress recently passed The Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act Of 2009, extending the First-Time Homebuyer Credit and expanding who qualifies.

Here are the top 10 things the IRS wants you to know about the expanded credit and the qualifications you must meet in order to qualify for it.

  1. You must buy – or enter into a binding contract to buy a principal residence –
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Free Financial Presentations by NAPFA

There is a free offer that everyone should know about. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors is providing free monthly educational presentations about personal finance to the public.

“The Basics of Investments” is the next presentation and will be on December 4th from 10 to 11 am. Most people have read about stocks and bonds or have heard people talk about them but this is the opportunity to get the basics about what they are, how they operate, risks associated with each and what might be appropriate for you.

Future topics include:

  • Advanced investment concepts – January 8,
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