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VIDEO | Grocery Shopping with Peter Lynch

Published on Nov 29, 2012 For the past three years, I have been an avid personal finance blogger discussing everything from managing your wealth to mitigating your tax liability. No matter how substantive the topics I wrote about in the personal finance sector, the big question was whether someone would actually read my content. As bloggers, we often believe that our most recent post will change the lives of millions, but in reality only a handful of people may click through your e-mailed link to read your weekly blog post. The art of creating effective titles is incredibly important because if your title and opening paragraph are catchy and interesting, your readers are more inclined to check out the rest of the article. Take the title I opened up with in this article. Did it make you at least a little bit curious about what happened when Peter Lynch went grocery shopping with me at Whole Foods the other day? Or ...

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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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Can I Convert My 401(k) To A Roth 401(k)?

This past week Congress passed the Small Business Jobs Act Of 2010. While there were many interesting parts to the bill including changes to how employee cell phones are viewed and accelerated write offs for business owners, one of the very intriguing parts to the bill is the conversion of your existing 401(k), 403(b), or 457 retirement plan. If your employer has a Roth 401(k) provision, (which if they do not currently you should really complain to your HR or Benefits person) you may be eligible for a potentially good long term tax management idea. Generally your employer must have a Roth 401(k) source in the plan, allow in-service withdrawals, allow rollovers, and have the Roth provision in the plan to be able to take advantage of a conversion. 2010 is an especially meaningful year because no matter what level your income is this year, you can convert some or all of your 401(k) (403(b), 457) over to a Roth ...

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Should You Convert Your Roth IRA?

Hey folks, I’ve got a news flash for you. Going into October, it isn’t just football season, it’s recharacterization season. While most of you are worried about the stock market, I hear individuals and businesses talk everyday about what they should do with their money. (i.e. should I put it in the market, should I put it in a bank account, where is the best place that I should put my money?). The reality is right now, you can’t always think about your portfolio, but also you have to start think about tax strategy. With that being said, for folks out there that make less than $100,000 adjusted gross income, you’ve got the ability to do what’s called recharacterizing your IRA. What this would give you is the ability to do if you make under $100,000 in adjusted growth income is to take your existing IRA and put it into a Roth IRA. There is a handful of legislation that ...

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