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Addressing America’s Financial Literacy Crisis Begins at Home
We’ve known for some time that many Americans struggle with understanding finances. Unfortunately, it’s a problem that appears to be worsening in our country. I was startled to learn that only 34% of Americans can answer at least four of five basic f
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Changing jobs? Keep Your Finances in Check with This Checklist
Have the challenging past two years inspired you to think differently about your life, your work and your finances?  You are not alone: Whether you have been thinking about a job change for decades or have been motivated by recent events to make a ca
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Is This the Year to Lower Your Taxes While Helping the Environment?
There is growing and even renewed interest in our country about investing in solar energy technologies. The solar investment tax credit (ITC) can be claimed against federal tax liabilities (corporate or personal) for a percentage of the cost of a sol
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Why Fixed-Rate Annuities Pay More than Bank CDs
Fixed-rate annuities act much like bank certificates of deposit but usually pay much higher rates than CDs of the same term.  How can insurers afford to do that?  After all, both banks and insurers pay a set rate. Before we answer that question, let’
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Tattoos and Piercings in the Workplace: Can You Be Fired?
Can an employer require employees to cover up visible tattoos or remove piercings while on the job? That was the question from “Sal,” who manages a health and fitness spa in the Pacific Northwest. Frazzled, he called my office, explaining: “After con
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2021 Tax Returns: What's New on the 1040 Form This Year
Are you ready to file your 2021 tax return? If not, now's the time to start preparing. So, how do you get ready for tax season? One of the first things you should do is collect and organize your tax records. If you don't have a Social Security number
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22 Best Retirement Stocks for an Income-Rich 2022
Retirees, lacking a paycheck from a job, must find a different way to generate sufficient income to make ends meet while also ensuring they do not outlast their income stream. Thus, the best retirement stocks to buy in 2022 to meet those goals are on
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Stock Market Today: Nasdaq Sinks Again, Ends Worst Week Since 2020
Stocks ended the holiday-shortened week (markets were closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day) how they started it – deep in the red. And, as with Tuesday's trading, the bearish catalyst today was corporate earnings; specifically, dismal results
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Time To Press The Money ‘Pause Button’ After The Holidays
The holidays have happened, and they may not have gone the way you envisioned. But it’s the new year and it is a time of reflection and do-overs. You may want to reflect upon your holiday spending and some of the messages you sent to your kids (and y
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Stock Market Today: Foiled Again! Sizable Snap-Back Fizzles Late
Stocks suffered another failure to launch on Thursday as a brisk morning run in the major indexes crumbled in the afternoon, resulting in another disappointing finish in the red, and a deeper turn into correction territory for the Nasdaq Composite. I
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A Charitable Trust With Many Benefits for Retirees
Are you looking for an additional income stream in retirement? Do you want to leave behind something for charity and cut your tax bill now and when you pass away? If the answer is yes, a charitable remainder trust might be right for you. A CRT is an
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The 10 Best European Stocks for 2022 and Beyond
European stocks, like their U.S. counterparts, posted impressive returns in 2021. For the entire year, the Stoxx Europe 600 index of large-cap eurozone stocks gained 13% – much less than the 27% price return for the S&P 500 Index, but still a better-
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BlackRock’s Fink: Decarbonizing Economy ‘Greatest Investment Opportunity of Our Lifetime’
BlackRock (BLK), the world’s largest investment firm, published on Tuesday the much-anticipated annual Letter to CEOs from its own chief, Larry Fink.  Over the past decade, these letters have increasingly urged companies to recognize and manage envir
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Is There a Right Way to Invest in Bitcoin in 2022? Yes.
You’ve read stories about celebrities, like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban, who supposedly are cashing in on Bitcoin. You’ve seen ads for companies that claim to offer a “safe and easy way” to buy it. You probably even know a few people who have dabbled in
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3 Crypto Mining Stocks With Massive Upside Potential
The cryptocurrency space – which investors can gain exposure to through a range of asset classes, including digital currencies, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and crypto mining stocks, among others – can best be described as volatile. Take for instance
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Stock Market Today: Nasdaq Closes in Correction Territory
The stock market kept investors on edge today, with the major benchmarks bouncing back and forth between positive and negative territory. Bank stocks remained in focus following the latest round of fourth-quarter earnings reports, though today's reac
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What to Do When You Can’t Pay Holiday Debt
The holidays are behind us; it’s time to take down the tree and stash the decorations, if you haven’t already. One unwelcome leftover that’s harder to put away can be holiday debt. Say you were feeling generous and bought too much; now the debt threa
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What to Expect When You Hire a Lawyer
If the adage about one bad apple spoiling the barrel is true, the American justice system may be in trouble. Perhaps you’ve heard of famed attorney Thomas Girardi, married to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika, who was recently accused of st
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9 Great Growth ETFs for 2022 and Beyond
There's a bit of uncertainty on Wall Street to start 2022. The market continues to grapple with the lingering impacts of coronavirus and the risk of interest-rate increases disrupting the natural order of things. Thus, growth stocks – and by extensio
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Microsoft Buys Activision With One Eye on the Cloud
Long-suffering shareholders — not to mention canny value investors — were rewarded for their patience in Activision Blizzard (ATVI, $65.39) Tuesday when Microsoft (MSFT, $310.20) agreed to pay $68.7 billion, or $95 a share in cash, for the troubled v
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Amazon Prime Membership Fee Is Due to Rise
Four years ago, online retail powerhouse Amazon.com raised its annual membership from $99 to $119 in the United States. That move raised howls from about-to-renew members and would-be members, some of whom sought alternative services for free shippin
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Stock Market Today: Bond Yields, Goldman a One-Two Punch for the Bears
Any bit of calm investors enjoyed over the long holiday weekend was sapped quickly Tuesday morning as the markets kicked off the short week with a faceplant. Vexing the technology sector (-2.5%) specifically and the major indexes broadly was yet more
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Netflix Stock: Q4 Subscriber Growth Expected to Stall
The fourth-quarter earnings season kicked off last week with mixed results from several big banks. Financial firms will be in focus again this week, with blue chip Goldman Sachs (GS, $383.64) one of the highest-profile banks to report. Insurance gian
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Why Women Need to Take a More Active Role in Their Financial Futures
It’s a phenomenon I see often. Too many women leave decisions about their financial futures to their husbands — and that’s hardly a retirement plan. And because women tend to live longer than men, it’s imperative that they take an active role in plot
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Final Estimated Tax Payment For 2021 Is Due Today
If you're required to make a fourth-quarter estimated tax payment for 2021 (e.g., you're self-employed or don't have taxes withheld from interest, dividends, or other sources of taxable income), you only have a few more days to send the proper amount
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What Assets Should Be Included in Your Trust?
One of the largest financial planning misconceptions people hold is that having a will ensures their property will transfer quickly to their heirs. The truth is, whether you have a will or not, your assets will go through the probate process when you
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Is the Stock Market Closed on MLK Day 2022?
The first three-day weekend of the year is upon us. Neither the stock market nor the bond market will be open for trading on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which falls on Monday, Jan. 17, in 2022. Both the stock and bond markets will reopen Tuesday, fol
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Public Defender or Private Attorney: Which Should You Use?
“Mr. Beaver, should we hire a private attorney or insist that our son, ‘Tom,’ just ask for a public defender for his possession of a controlled substance charge? He was arrested with several other young men in a car that had illegal drugs in the pass
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Stock Market Today: Financials Hold Back Dow in Mixed Friday Session
The fourth-quarter earnings season began in earnest Friday, but Wall Street's latest performance metrics did little to invigorate the bulls and saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average finish in the red. A bevy of blue-chip financial stocks put up mostly
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The Problem with Today’s Hot Real Estate Investment Market
Jessica Schmidt (not her real name) is a qualified intermediary for a large national firm specializing in 1031 exchanges for investment real estate. Lately, she has been working 10-hour days, six days a week. Some days she takes up to 50 calls a day
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