Review Category : Featured Articles

5 2018 Sticky Financial New Year’s Resolutions

It’s 2018, and that means that most of you have made at least one New Year’s resolution.  For most of you it will surround either diet or exercise, but for some of you getting your financial plan in order may rise to the top of the list. With the average American now surpassing more than $16,000 of household credit card debt, it may appear that feeling flush has left us spending out of control.  In your smart money moves fashion, here are my ideas for a sticky 2018 financial New Year’s resolution that can help you grow your bottom line. Get Your Financial House In Order Set Up An Online Account Aggregation System – At oXYGen Financial, we have been using a personal financial dashboard for almost 10 years in helping our clients get their financial house in order. You can learn more about this by going to oXYGen Financial, but there are also other systems online including Mint and ...

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What Itemized Deductions Will Look Like In 2018

To itemize or not to itemize, that is the question?  With all of the tax law changes recently passed by President Trump in the GOP tax bill, one of the considerations you’ll need to get your arms wrapped around quickly is whether you will want to itemize your deductions when you file your taxes in 2019 or you will simply use the standard deduction. For 2018, the standard deduction amounts will increase from $6,500 for individuals, $9,550 for heads of households (HOH), and $13,000 for married couples filing jointly, to $12,000 for individuals, $18,000 for HOH, and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly. Since the personal exemption is being completely eliminated, you’ll need to do the math about whether this was a good deal for you or not.  For those married couples filing jointly, if you have three or more children, I actually think you went backwards on the new tax plan if you were filing the standard deduction. For ...

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Five Items To Buy After Christmas

When the Starbuck’s Christmas cups go away and your neighbors begin to take down their decorations, the last thing in the world you probably want to do is to be thinking about shopping considering you’ve been fretting about it for the past month.  While it may feel like we get deals galore thrown in front of our faces during the month of December, once Christmas season is over, you may be able to snag yourself a really good deal if you know what to buy.  I’ve put together a quick your smart money moves guide on five items you might want to consider buying after December 25th (mind you that it’s probably better about the second week of January). Electronics – While you can get a really good deal on video game consoles and cameras, the one electronic I would really keep my eye on are high definition televisions. Remember, each January the Consumer Electronics Show takes place in Las ...

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About The GOP Tax Bill

With the GOP Tax Bill on the verge of passing, President Trump has suggested that this 1.5 trillion-dollar tax cut will be a HUGE Christmas present for the entire United States of America.  As with any type of new tax reform, there will be items you hear in the media about the winners and losers.  You’ll also hear about the major bullet points including the income tax brackets, the corporate tax cut to 21%, the small business pass through tax cuts, and certainly the minimization of state, local, and property income tax deductions on your itemized deductions.  What really separates us from our competition is to work hard on digging several layers down to give you some insight into the small tax changes that you won’t hear about that could affect your bottom line. Here are five things you didn’t know about the GOP Tax Bill Say Goodbye To The Home Equity Loan Deduction – The part of this bill ...

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5 Things You Need To Know About The Bitcoin Before You Invest Your Money

It has become clear that the new gold rush people are talking about is the Bitcoin.  The problem is that most people have no ideas what the Bitcoin is exactly, how it works, or the way that a transaction happens with this currency.  When they start talking about the Bitcoin on major TV shows like The Big Bang Theory, then you know it’s time to get educated about this kind of investment before you jump into the deep end with your portfolio.  Here is your guide on five things you need to know about the Bitcoin before you invest your money. What Is The Bitcoin? In the simplest of terms, the Bitcoin is a digital currency peer to peer online payment system.  It is created through something called block chain technology, but at its heart it is simply a peer to peer payment system.  What makes something like the Bitcoin unique to modern currency is that there is no central ...

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UBER Gets Into The Credit Card Game??

Uber has become a household name over the past several years by picking us up and dropping us off with the click of a button on our mobile phone.  Effective November 2nd, Uber officially put its hat in the ring and made a foray into the credit card business by issuing a Visa card by Barclays.   The most interesting part of this that the applications can be processed right inside of the Uber app. Uber, apparently thinks that they have tapped into a nerve because they realized their customers love two things: eating out and chilling with Netflix. With the Uber Visa card, you can: Stream with a $50 subscription credit for Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Music, Audible, Sirius XM, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, DirectTV Now, the membership fee for Amazon Prime, and Shoprunner after you spend your first $5,000. You can ride in Uber with peace of mind by having up to $600 of mobile phone ...

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How To Save BIG Money On Your Teenagers Auto Insurance

It’s Official!  Effective November 1st of this year, I officially have three children that can drive an automobile.  On one hand, it’s a sigh of relief because now I have three drivers who can make a run to CVS or Chick-Fil-A to do those small errands I simply don’t want to do at all. On the other hand, you simply worry every time your children get out on the road and spend your nights waiting up to make sure that they get home safely.   Beyond the bad and good of having your children be able to drive, the one that really hits home is your auto insurance. In fact, when my 20 year old went on to our auto insurance for the first time, even a seasoned financial advisor like myself gulped a little bit with sticker shock as a good solid student cost more than $2,000 per year.  When my second daughter went on about two years later and ...

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Should You Lend Money To A Co – Worker?

Here’s a situation I heard the other day…what do you think you should you do. Ted, I’ve got a co-worker of mine and we’ve known each other for more than 10 years. I have always known them to be a pretty responsible person and one that never brings drama to work. We are both in our late 30’s. I have a pretty good idea what they make because we have reasonably similar jobs. It was strange, but the other day as we hit the breakroom, they asked me if I would consider loaning them $7,000 for just a few months some money so they could pay off some of her debts, and then they would pay me back after they get the upcoming bonus we should be receiving in a few months. Details: They specifically told me there were some unexpected family medical expenses that caused this 7k of debt and they didn’t get into too many more details beyond ...

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What You Should Know About The Current Trump Tax Plan

Almost a year after President Trump was elected to office, none of the main agenda bills have passed in Congress.  With Thanksgiving looming around the corner for a Congress shut down here in 2017, one of the big questions will be whether the major tax bill passes before the end of the year.  This single tax plan could have a big effect on how the market finishes here in 2017 and its potential impact into 2018.   Here are the key points you should know about the current Trump Tax Plan. Businesses Get The Biggest Cut The current proposal is to reduce the tax rate of “C” Corporations (currently mostly large corporation) to move from the current 35% down to 20%.   Consider this impact for a company that makes $20 billion dollars and currently pays $7 billion dollars in taxes.  Those companies would in theory get back another $3 billion dollars in freed up cash flow.   The current proposal still considers ...

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