It’s March Madness – Are Money Decisions Like Picking An NCAA Basketball Winner?

With the first big day of March Madness tomorrow, we all have our brackets filled out and ready to go with our Final Four picks.   This year is sure to be filled with some Cinderella stories along with some dominant favorites making their way down the brackets to the eventual winner. While we all get focused on the office pools, March Madness can really teach you some great money lessons to help you make more smart money moves for the rest of your life. When two teams compete in the NCAA tournament beginning with the total of 64 (now 66) teams that make the tournament, they each get a line in a bracket.   Bracketology is the process of predicting the field of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, named as such because it is commonly used to fill in tournament brackets for the postseason. It incorporates some method of predicting what the NCAA Selection Committee will use as its Ratings Percentage Index ...

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Personal Finance 101 – The Tax Management Triangle

Don’t you wish that you had a crystal ball to know what the tax rates will be 20 years from now?   In 1970, the top tax marginal tax rate was at 70%.   In 1980, the top marginal tax rate was still at 70%.   In 1990, the top marginal tax rate hit a historical low of 28%.   In 2000, that top marginal tax rate had moved back up to 39.6%.   Just one year ago in 2010, the top marginal tax rate settled at 35%. (source: taxfoundation.org)  With all the uncertainty going on with our debt and taxes, how can you best plan your finances for the certainty of uncertainty when it comes to income taxes? Over the years, we’ve adopted a tax triangle methodology around taxes and investing.  This allows an individual investor or business owner to think about where they place their investments and tax strategy upon the accumulation and distribution phase.  Here are the three sides to the triangle. ...

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