Archive - February 2011

1
What Does Homeowners Insurance Actually Cover?
2
Top 10 Things You Need To Do This Tax Season
3
Small Business Owners: How To Eliminate the Self-Employment Tax
4
Should You Invest in IPO’s?
5
Die Hard – The Efficient Market Hypothesis

What Does Homeowners Insurance Actually Cover?

As I was recently perusing my homeowner’s insurance policy (yes, financial planners do that sort of thing) I got to thinking.  What exactly does this cover?

If you took out a mortgage when you bought your house you were required to have homeowner’s insurance.  The bank wasn’t about to loan you money without knowing their asset was insured.  But if that was several years ago and you can’t recall the name of the agent who sold you the insurance, your coverage might be out of date.

[See Lee Ann’s tips on life insurance policies for your children]

If you’re …

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Top 10 Things You Need To Do This Tax Season

10. Get your things organized and to your preparer as soon possible to avoid needing to file an extension.

9. If you owe a lot or are getting a big refund, adjust your with-holdings or quarterly estimated payments now.

8. If you can deduct an IRA contribution and owe tax, consider making a contribution before April 15 and getting it on your 2010 tax return.

7. If you have kids in college, and don’t have a  529 plan, set one up and put this year’s tuition in it now.

6. Start your file now for 2011 tax data.

5. …

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Small Business Owners: How To Eliminate the Self-Employment Tax

As a self-employed small business owner, you have lots of plates to keep spinning, and lots of additional costs that you never dreamed of when you were employed by someone else (like health insurance, for example).  Another cost that you have to deal with when self-employed is Self-Employment tax.

Self-Employment tax (SE tax) is essentially where you are paying both the employER and the employEE portion of the Social Security withholding tax.  This means that, in most years, you are taxed at a rate of 12.4% on your first $106,800 of income (double the amount you’d have withheld if you …

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Should You Invest in IPO’s?

Let’s say you’ve taken my advice and most of your portfolio is comprised of low-cost, passively managed, globally diversified mutual funds. You agree this is the right way to go but, let’s face it, sometimes the tried-and-true can be boring.

Now a friend of yours is really excited about an Initial Public Offering (IPO). In an IPO, a privately owned company issues shares of its stock to the public for the first time. It’s tempting to think of an IPO as the ground floor of a great opportunity, like Apple when it was still operating out of Steve Jobs’ …

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Die Hard – The Efficient Market Hypothesis

Life as a scientific hypothesis is hard. Someone hatches you, and immediately tries to kill you. Normally that is easy, because it requires just one counterexample to invalidate a hypothesis. If you survive the first attempt on your life, you get introduced to more people, all of which will also try to kill you. And so it continues all your life until you either get killed or supplanted by a bigger and better hypothesis.

Except in economics. Economic hypothesis lead a charmed life: Counterexamples don’t kill them and their popularity mostly depends on how closely they resemble some ivory tower …

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