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Graduate Life Hacks for Paying Off College Debt

Graduate Life Hacks for Paying Off College Debt

Congrats on graduating from college! Now you have the rest of your life to figure out. If you need a little financial guidance as you start on the road to independence, we’re here to help. Some of the financial factors new college graduates need to consider include juggling student loan debt, saving for retirement, paying rent, and other potential grabs on your wallet. And the student ...

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Annuities: An Unsung Way to Potentially Avoid Probate
May 15, 2018

Annuities: An Unsung Way to Potentially Avoid Probate

Thinking about death probably isn’t your idea of a fun weekend activity. Considering the probate process, and how to avoid probate, likely isn’t high on your list either.

Tax Forms 101: Forms You Might Receive, Forms You Might File
May 11, 2018

Tax Forms 101: Forms You Might Receive, Forms You Might File

Let’s face it: The tax filing process ranks up there with root canal as things most of us dread. But a little organization and planning can help make filing those ...

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Buying a Home? Rising Mortgage Rates Are One Consideration
May 9, 2018

Buying a Home? Rising Mortgage Rates Are One Consideration

Buying a home is often the most expensive purchase you’re ever going to make. If you’ve been thinking about buying, or you’re already in the process, the recent...

Large Life Purchases: Is Using a 401k Loan a Good Idea?
May 4, 2018

Large Life Purchases: Is Using a 401k Loan a Good Idea?

Are you thinking of making a big purchase, like buying your first house, but uncertain how to fund a down payment? If you haven’t been able to save enough to ...

Chasing Rates: Key Considerations for Mortgage Refinancing
May 3, 2018

Chasing Rates: Key Considerations for Mortgage Refinancing

American homeowners may be eyeing mortgage rates today and wondering how much higher they can go. For much of this year, 30-year fixed mortgage rates ...

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4 Simple Steps for Naming Beneficiaries and Why It Matters
April 12, 2018

4 Simple Steps for Naming Beneficiaries and Why It Matters

"I’m single." "My estate isn’t large enough." "I don’t like to think about death." Do any of these sound familiar? They’re just some of the many excuses people use to ...

How to Spot and Potentially Protect Against Financial Fraud
April 12, 2018

How to Spot and Potentially Protect Against Financial Fraud

Lately it seems like we can’t go more than a few days without hearing about a data breach that puts our identities at risk or a scam designed to separate us ...

Non-U.S. Taxpayer? How to Trade Stocks in a Brokerage Account
April 6, 2018

Non-U.S. Taxpayer? How to Trade Stocks in a Brokerage Account

Most of what you read here assumes you're a U.S. citizen. But what if you're a non-U.S. resident? That tends to raise questions. For instance, can a ...

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Tax Incentives: Govt Guiding Good Choices in Savings, Investing
April 2, 2018

Tax Incentives: Govt Guiding Good Choices in Savings, Investing

The government uses tax incentives to encourage specific behavior in certain sections of the economy. For example, some popular tax incentives—tax deductions ...

Education Tax Deductions: A Savings Nudge from Your Uncle Sam
March 28, 2018

Education Tax Deductions: A Savings Nudge from Your Uncle Sam

Two questions: Do you have kids? Are you looking for a way to potentially reduce your tax burden? Your dear Uncle Sam might be able to help by offering education ...

Taxes Not Done? When to Consider & How to File a Tax Extension
March 23, 2018

Taxes Not Done? When to Consider & How to File a Tax Extension

The April 17 tax deadline is quickly approaching. And although many people have already completed their 2017 tax returns, many others haven't. If you fall in the latter ...

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Understand Taxes on Options Trading & Info on Your 1099-B
March 23, 2018

Understand Taxes on Options Trading & Info on Your 1099-B

This article is intended for option traders. Please excuse the option jargon! But even the savviest option traders can need a little help at tax time, particularly with cost ...

Cost Basis Reporting for Taxes: 1099-B Reporting Requirements
March 22, 2018

Cost Basis Reporting for Taxes: 1099-B Reporting Requirements

Brokers are now well into the initial phases of required cost basis reporting rule changes that forever altered the days when we simply revealed to the IRS ...

Coverdell ESA: Kindergarten-to-College Education Savings Plans
March 20, 2018

Coverdell ESA: Kindergarten-to-College Education Savings Plans

If you have children, or if you’ve ever been a student, you know that saving for college is akin to teaching children to brush their teeth—it’s an investment in their long ...

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Pass-Through Business Income and Tax Reform: Does It Affect You?
March 19, 2018

Pass-Through Business Income and Tax Reform: Does It Affect You?

Have you struck out on your own and opened a business? Maybe it’s a full-time entrepreneurial venture, or just a part-time gig. Either way, you may receive ...

Taxpayer, Know Thy Deductions: Tax Deductible Basics and Tips
March 16, 2018

Taxpayer, Know Thy Deductions: Tax Deductible Basics and Tips

Tax deductions have long been near and dear to American taxpayers for many reasons, not the least of which is that they involve family, homes, charities, and ...

On the Tax Return Starting Block? Here's How to File Your Taxes
March 16, 2018

On the Tax Return Starting Block? Here's How to File Your Taxes

Is this the first year you’re filing an income tax return? Welcome to the adulthood starting block! While we all know that “adulting” can be challenging, learning how ...

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Tax Reform and the Alternative Minimum Tax: Farewell until 2025
March 15, 2018

Tax Reform and the Alternative Minimum Tax: Farewell until 2025

Many taxpayers will get to say ta-ta to the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which was revised last year under what was known as the Tax Cuts and Job Act. ...

Get the Lowdown: How to File a Corrected 1099
March 12, 2018

Get the Lowdown: How to File a Corrected 1099

True or false? A corrected 1099 form must mean your broker made a mistake. False. While it's true that everyone, even a broker, is capable of a slip-up, if ...

How Are Gains or Losses on Cryptocurrencies Taxed?
March 8, 2018

How Are Gains or Losses on Cryptocurrencies Taxed?

Yes, the IRS gets a cut. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may exist in a “virtual” world, but as far as the Internal Revenue Service is concerned, they’re ...

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Form 1099-B: Get Covered with the Basics of Non-Covered Basis
March 8, 2018

Form 1099-B: Get Covered with the Basics of Non-Covered Basis

The April 17 tax deadline is quickly approaching. You’ve received your 1099-B, so you’re all set to start filing your taxes. But then you review your 1099-B ...

Financial Fraud and Your Aging Parents: How To Help Protect Them
March 2, 2018

Financial Fraud and Your Aging Parents: How To Help Protect Them

Pride. It comes before a fall—sometimes literally, if you’re talking about aging parents who may not want to admit their declining ability to manage money, avoid financial ...

Tax Deductions: Should I Take the Standard Deduction or Itemize?
February 26, 2018

Tax Deductions: Should I Take the Standard Deduction or Itemize?

As you receive and gather those tax documents—W-2s, 1099s, and such—and as you start putting those receipts in order ahead of the tax filing deadline (you are doing ...

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What Is a Tax Refund Anyway? Demystifying and Maximizing
February 22, 2018

What Is a Tax Refund Anyway? Demystifying and Maximizing

For many, tax season may all boil down to one thing: How big will my tax refund be? As of the last day in 2017, the Internal Revenue Service had processed 151.9 million ...

Taxable Interest Income: Forms, Exceptions and Other Info
February 22, 2018

Taxable Interest Income: Forms, Exceptions and Other Info

Interest income or investment income is income, plain and simple, as far as the U.S. government is concerned. That means, in most cases, you must report interest ...

How to Pay for College? Consider a College Savings Plan
February 20, 2018

How to Pay for College? Consider a College Savings Plan

We’ve all heard the stories of young adults drowning in student loan debt. There are certainly benefits for students who have some “skin in the game,” but much ...

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Are Your Kids College-Bound Soon? Consider 529 Plan Tax Benefits
February 15, 2018

Are Your Kids College-Bound Soon? Consider 529 Plan Tax Benefits

Do you have a child heading for college in the near (or far) future? Paying for it might bring back nightmares of that final math exam you once barely passed.

Fraud Protection Targeted with Financial Industry Initiative
February 9, 2018

Fraud Protection Targeted with Financial Industry Initiative

Amid growing concerns about the financial exploitation of seniors, industry regulators have put an emphasis and focused rulemaking on the subject. As a result, firms ...

1099-DIV 101: The Basics of Dividend Income Forms & Taxes
February 9, 2018

1099-DIV 101: The Basics of Dividend Income Forms & Taxes

You’ve worked all year to get your long-term portfolio just right by researching yields and allocating your funds. Now it’s the end of the year and you’re ready to sit back and...

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Go Paperless This Tax Season: E-Delivery of Documents
February 8, 2018

Go Paperless This Tax Season: E-Delivery of Documents

2017 has come to an end and feels like a distant memory as you focus your time and energy on what's ahead, looking forward to everything 2018 has to offer you...

Your Financial Plan—A Roadmap for Life's Ups and Downs
February 8, 2018

Your Financial Plan—A Roadmap for Life's Ups and Downs

When planning a road trip, you want to take the most direct path to your destination. So like many people, you probably use a GPS to map out your route...

How to File Taxes for Free (and When to Consider Paying Instead)
February 7, 2018

How to File Taxes for Free (and When to Consider Paying Instead)

Is it possible to file taxes for free? Yes, it is. This is not a dream. There are indeed some situations where it makes sense to do your taxes yourself and file those taxes at no ...

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Goodbye, Snail Mail and Paper Returns. Hello, e-Filing Your Taxes
February 2, 2018

Goodbye, Snail Mail and Paper Returns. Hello, e-Filing Your Taxes

Are you still filing your taxes the old-fashioned way, with a paper return? Want to file your taxes electronically, but aren’t sure how? Software programs and online service ...

Starting Your 2017 Taxes? 5 Things to Know + A Checklist
January 26, 2018

Starting Your 2017 Taxes? 5 Things to Know + A Checklist

The NFL playoffs aren't the only thing that kickoff in January. t's also the start of tax season. Now's the time to gather and organize the information you'll need to file...

April 15 Tax Return Postmark Deadline? Not This Year
January 25, 2018

April 15 Tax Return Postmark Deadline? Not This Year

If you got used to an April 15 tax filing deadline over the years, it's time to emancipate yourself from that habit. Why "emancipate?" Because a Washington, D.C. ...

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Tax-Filing Myth Buster: When 1099s Are Due for Brokerage Accounts
January 24, 2018

Tax-Filing Myth Buster: When 1099s Are Due for Brokerage Accounts

Tax filing fact or myth? "Your brokerage account's 1099 form for 2017 must be in the mail by January 31, 2018." Myth. Say what? That’s right, a consolidated 1099 ...

What Is a Tax Credit, Anyway? Potential Tax Burden Reduction
January 19, 2018

What Is a Tax Credit, Anyway? Potential Tax Burden Reduction

Tax season is just getting underway, which means figuring out what you owe—and finding ways to potentially reduce your taxable burden. You probably know that one way ...

Revitalizing the New Year: 6 Ways to Make Financial Resolutions
January 19, 2018

Revitalizing the New Year: 6 Ways to Make Financial Resolutions

Four thousand years ago, the ancient Babylonians became the first society to make New Year’s resolutions, and they were largely related to money. According to...

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What are Tax Brackets and Marginal Tax Rates? Questions Answered
January 10, 2018

What are Tax Brackets and Marginal Tax Rates? Questions Answered

If you’re not quite up to speed on tax brackets, there’s no need to feel alarmed; you’re not alone. After all, tax accounting is one of those rare topics that, at least for ...

Financial Planning to Pursue Life's Goals: The SMART Approach
January 5, 2018

Financial Planning to Pursue Life's Goals: The SMART Approach

Do you have clear retirement goals, and are they achievable? Unfortunately, many people don't, and it's understandable. Sometimes we're overwhelmed ...

Your Guided Tour Through the Consolidated 1099 Tax Form
January 5, 2018

Your Guided Tour Through the Consolidated 1099 Tax Form

Do the letters OID mean anything to you? How about DIV, INT, or MISC? If your answer was "I've seen those letters on a tax form," congratulations. These are among the ...

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Create or Manage Your Budget to Pursue Your Financial Goals
January 4, 2018

Create or Manage Your Budget to Pursue Your Financial Goals

Are you among the many who included budget planning in your list of 2018 New Year's resolutions? If so, congratulations. If not, there's still time. The good ...

Investing in Your Home: Kitchen and Bath Remodels, Improvements
December 29, 2017

Investing in Your Home: Kitchen and Bath Remodels, Improvements

Thinking about remodeling your home? Join the club. And yep, it’s all about the kitchen and the bathroom. In 2015, homeowners spent a record $340 billion on home ...

Fraud Alarm: How Elderly Investors Can Guard Against Scams
December 26, 2017

Fraud Alarm: How Elderly Investors Can Guard Against Scams

If you’ve spent your entire life carefully and methodically building up retirement savings, the last thing you want is someone trying to snatch that money away...

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Thinking About a Career Change? Here Are Some Things to Consider
December 22, 2017

Thinking About a Career Change? Here Are Some Things to Consider

The new year can be a great time to assess your goals. If you’re not happy in your current career path, there may be no better time than the present to consider a career ...

Gift Tax Rules Simplified - Cost Basis of Gifted Stock
December 15, 2017

Gift Tax Rules Simplified - Cost Basis of Gifted Stock

Looking for a unique gift idea for a loved one that will long outlast the shiny new bike for Christmas, live well beyond the high-end blender given for a...

Bonds, Fixed Income Securities and Your Adjusted Cost Basis
December 11, 2017

Bonds, Fixed Income Securities and Your Adjusted Cost Basis

Over the years, Hollywood has developed quite a love affair with Wall Street. In typical Hollywood fashion, they have portrayed Wall Street as glamorous, outrageous ...

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thinkorswim Challenge: Simulated Trading Offers Real Rewards
December 8, 2017

thinkorswim Challenge: Simulated Trading Offers Real Rewards

Talk about looking good on paper. Three students from Queens College just turned a simulated $500,000 into $2.636 million in four weeks during this year’s

Form 1099 OID - Original Issue Discount
December 7, 2017

Form 1099 OID - Original Issue Discount

You pay for what you get! Yep – heard that one before. Ever hear the phrase “Report on what you don’t get”? Yeah – I haven’t either, but it applies to this topic so now...

Financial Planning to Meet Your Life Goals
December 1, 2017

Financial Planning to Meet Your Life Goals

Do you have some financial goals in life? Want to buy a house? Send the kids to college? Retire? To help fulfill those dreams, you need a financial plan. Maybe you’re ...

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Wash Sale Tax Rules
November 28, 2017

Wash Sale Tax Rules

Let’s test your tax-filing knowledge. Myth or fact? Brokers track your wash sales. Actually, both. It just depends. At its most basic, the wash sale rule prevents investors ...

Kid-Friendly Vacations: Where to Take the Family in 2018
November 24, 2017

Kid-Friendly Vacations: Where to Take the Family in 2018

Planning a family getaway in 2018? Many parents start the journey—the planning part anyway—right about now. Vacationing B.K.—before kids—might not have taken ...

Teaching Children to Save: The Financial Gift that Keeps Giving
November 17, 2017

Teaching Children to Save: The Financial Gift that Keeps Giving

For kids, the idea of saving money doesn’t come naturally, but there are ways to teach children from an early age how to value money so that when it comes ...

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Got Kids or Young Dependents? Claiming the Child Tax Credit
November 13, 2017

Got Kids or Young Dependents? Claiming the Child Tax Credit

Of course you’ve heard the one about death and taxes. But what about birth and taxes? Having kids means spending lots of money, but they can also save you a ...

Discount Airlines May Impact the Travel Industry (And Your Plans)
November 10, 2017

Discount Airlines May Impact the Travel Industry (And Your Plans)

Are those cheap airfares to Europe and other far-flung destinations giving you the travel bug? Or are they bugging your portfolio more? In the past few years ...

Year-End Charitable Donations, Contributions & Deductions
November 3, 2017

Year-End Charitable Donations, Contributions & Deductions

Let’s face it: football season is in full swing, which means the holiday season is just around the corner. The holidays are a time for giving, a time to reflect on the year’s ...

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Unconventional Wisdom: Challenging Some Personal Finance Adages
October 20, 2017

Unconventional Wisdom: Challenging Some Personal Finance Adages

Some personal finance sayings have been around so long, many people take them as absolutes without really thinking about what they mean and whether they apply ...

Debt: A Zombie of a Problem
October 20, 2017

Debt: A Zombie of a Problem

Debt is a crafty demon, and it has to be actively managed and kept at bay; otherwise, it will most certainly return and consume you over and over again. The cost of...

How Technological Breakthroughs Are Changing Aging
October 13, 2017

How Technological Breakthroughs Are Changing Aging

Technology is changing the face of aging, as the consumer market and products designed for the elderly begin to overlap. As little as 10 years ago, assistive ...

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Halloween Is Big Business. Some Treats for Your Portfolio?
October 6, 2017

Halloween Is Big Business. Some Treats for Your Portfolio?

Halloween is right around the corner, and not only is it a big hit with kids, it’s also big business. According to the latest data available from the National Retail Federation ...

Pumpkin or Pecan Pie: What State Do Your Investments Call Home?
September 29, 2017

Pumpkin or Pecan Pie: What State Do Your Investments Call Home?

Does what side of the Mississippi you live on, whether you would prefer to have a beach house or a lake house, or think that a drizzle of honey makes everything a little ...

Kids These Days: Why Financial Literacy Should Start Early
September 22, 2017

Kids These Days: Why Financial Literacy Should Start Early

Nobody ever said a parent’s job would be easy. Keeping food on the table and a solid roof over everyone’s heads are among duties at the top of the list, of course. On ...

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College Days: Meet Your Future Employer, Gain Financial Literacy
September 15, 2017

College Days: Meet Your Future Employer, Gain Financial Literacy

Summer is over, and it’s time to hit the books. For young adults (and maybe not-so-young adults), college beckons. A college degree can mean hundreds of ...

Investment Clubs: The New Old-Fashioned Hangout
September 5, 2017

Investment Clubs: The New Old-Fashioned Hangout

Remember investment clubs? Popular in the 1980s, they were a way to exchange knowledge about trading, back in the pre-internet days when getting information was ...

New College Grads to Freshman: Avoid These 5 Money Mistakes
September 4, 2017

New College Grads to Freshman: Avoid These 5 Money Mistakes

Once they are out in the job market, many college graduates look back and wish they had done a few things differently, according to young millennials and teens...

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That’s the Spirit! Fine Whiskey Becomes an Investment
September 1, 2017

That’s the Spirit! Fine Whiskey Becomes an Investment

Investing in fine wines has been popular for decades, but recently fine whiskey has become a sought-after investment. High-end whiskeys can fetch top dollar at ...

Not Your Father’s Garage Sale: Social Selling in the Modern Age
August 25, 2017

Not Your Father’s Garage Sale: Social Selling in the Modern Age

One thing most Americans can agree on is that we have too much stuff. So much so that a billion-dollar industry exists around providing extra space for us to store ...

Designer Dogs: Fetching High Prices and Spendy Services
August 25, 2017

Designer Dogs: Fetching High Prices and Spendy Services

When dogs are a member of the family, sometimes money is no object. A while back, we covered pet-friendly luxury hotels. Now, let’s "take a walk" through the elite world ...

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Investing in Wine: Build a Self-Funded Wine Cellar Collection
August 18, 2017

Investing in Wine: Build a Self-Funded Wine Cellar Collection

Looking for a really liquid asset? No, we’re not talking “I-can-sell-this-easily-if-I-need-to” liquidity, but rather “it’s-drinkable” liquidity. We’re talking about wine investing. ...

 Is College Education Worth Student Loans, Debt? Survey Says Yes
August 11, 2017

Is College Education Worth Student Loans, Debt? Survey Says Yes

In today's world of rising tuition, what’s the value of a college education? It’s an especially pertinent question considering that, among 2016 college graduates who ...

Splurge on a Dream Wedding ... or Pay Down Debt and Buy a House?
August 4, 2017

Splurge on a Dream Wedding ... or Pay Down Debt and Buy a House?

If you’re new to the wedding game or have been living under a rock, this may shock you: Weddings can cost an exorbitant amount of money. Time, too, if we’re being ...

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Plug It In, Turn It On, Check It Out:  Here Come Smart Home Products
July 28, 2017

Plug It In, Turn It On, Check It Out: Here Come Smart Home Products

From the knowledge in your head to the products in your home, smarter is better, right? Well, one thing’s for sure—more smart home products are are making inroads into ...

Gear Shift: New Views on the Best Time of Year to Buy a Car
July 21, 2017

Gear Shift: New Views on the Best Time of Year to Buy a Car

Got your eye on a new roadster to celebrate the emptying of the nest? Or maybe your growing family is in need of a new SUV? Better wait until the end of the month to ...

Decided to Stop Renting and Buy a House? Time to Start Saving
July 14, 2017

Decided to Stop Renting and Buy a House? Time to Start Saving

In a recent article, we considered the decision of whether to buy a home or continue renting. The answer may partly depend upon how much value you place on stability and planting roots versus flexibility and mobility. Buying a ...

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So You Want to Buy a Home. What Will It Really Cost?
July 7, 2017

So You Want to Buy a Home. What Will It Really Cost?

Buying a house is usually the biggest purchase you’ll make. Not only is it an investment, but it’s also where you live, and buying the right place can bring both financial ...

Building Better Credit: Borrowing Wisely to Get Good Debt
June 30, 2017

Building Better Credit: Borrowing Wisely to Get Good Debt

Debt can be an albatross if used thoughtlessly, and high debt levels hamper many Americans. But debt in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s how a person ...

Rent or Buy? Assessing Your Housing Alternatives
June 23, 2017

Rent or Buy? Assessing Your Housing Alternatives

Home ownership in the U.S. is at nearly 64%, according to a Census Bureau report released in April. While rates have fluctuated around the mid-60% range for ...

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Indulge Dad’s Inner Foodie with High-Tech Home Hobbyist Gear
June 16, 2017

Indulge Dad’s Inner Foodie with High-Tech Home Hobbyist Gear

If there’s a dad in your life who likes the whole craft food trend, or has a thing for cool technology, new gadgets for the home hobbyist might be a fun gift this year. DIY ...

Is the Activewear Apparel Market Getting Bent Out of Shape?
June 9, 2017

Is the Activewear Apparel Market Getting Bent Out of Shape?

Once the darling of the apparel sector, the retail activewear segment may be showing some signs of fatigue. Sports apparel makers like Nike ...

How Working Women Can Harness Their Financial Power
June 2, 2017

How Working Women Can Harness Their Financial Power

Have you ever taken a second to reflect on the achievements of women and their evolutionary roles in society? I’ve been particularly interested in ...

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Survey Says: Financial Tips I Wish I Knew When I Graduated College
June 1, 2017

Survey Says: Financial Tips I Wish I Knew When I Graduated College

A little hindsight is always useful, but for college students, getting money advice now can go a long way toward their financial future. A “Young Money ...

Where to Get More Bang for Your Buck on Vacation This Year
May 26, 2017

Where to Get More Bang for Your Buck on Vacation This Year

Haven’t planned your vacation yet? If you need inspiration, look at where your dollar will go further and plan an international destination. The dollar is stronger ...

Taboo Topic: 4 Reasons It's Hard to Talk About Money
May 19, 2017

Taboo Topic: 4 Reasons It's Hard to Talk About Money

Money talk. Sure, you might talk in generalities about the stock market rally, taxes, or the spiraling costs of college and health care but, when it comes to your own ...

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Got Teens? Time to Teach Good Money Habits
May 12, 2017

Got Teens? Time to Teach Good Money Habits

Good money habits are an essential life skill, and parents can start explaining financial lessons with their teenagers. In addition to teaching kids the importance of saving ...

Family and Finances: The Working Mom Balancing and Saving Act
May 5, 2017

Family and Finances: The Working Mom Balancing and Saving Act

As a mom, you aren't just involved with keeping the family on track and managing the household’s calendar of events. Often, mom is also in charge of the family budget.

After Tax Day: Tips to Help Make Next Year’s Taxes Go Smoother
April 25, 2017

After Tax Day: Tips to Help Make Next Year’s Taxes Go Smoother

The April 18 filing deadline has come and gone. How did it go? Did you file a month ago, or did you scramble to finish by 11:59 p.m. that night? Or, worse yet, did you ...

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Taking a Spirited Look at the Booze Industry? Here are a Few Thoughts
April 21, 2017

Taking a Spirited Look at the Booze Industry? Here are a Few Thoughts

You might kick back with a drink on Friday afternoon or take part in a happy hour special, but perhaps you should consider distilling a bit of information about the booze ...

Hey, Procrastinators: You Still Have Time to File Your 2016 Taxes
April 14, 2017

Hey, Procrastinators: You Still Have Time to File Your 2016 Taxes

Are you a perennial procrastinator on income tax filing? Lucky you—you get a few extra days this year, as the filing deadline is April 18. And, by the way, you’re not ...

Get Covered with the Basics of Non-Covered Basis
April 7, 2017

Get Covered with the Basics of Non-Covered Basis

The fast-approaching April 18 tax deadline is looming in the not-so-distant future. You’ve received your 1099-B, so you’re all set to start filing your taxes. But then...

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Paying for College? Here’s How to Use those Savings Plans
April 7, 2017

Paying for College? Here’s How to Use those Savings Plans

So your child has been accepted to his or her dream school—or at least the college that offers the best fit. Congratulations! Now come the bills. It’s time to ...

Baby Boomers Helping Their Millennial Adult Children Raise Kids
March 17, 2017

Baby Boomers Helping Their Millennial Adult Children Raise Kids

For 26 million millennials, parenthood has been added to their lineup of accomplishments. According to the most recent figures from the U.S. ...

Daylight Savings: Now May Be the Time to Install Solar Panels
March 10, 2017

Daylight Savings: Now May Be the Time to Install Solar Panels

Been thinking about installing a solar energy system, but haven’t gotten around to it? The time to act might be now, while federal tax incentives remain. Solar energy ...

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Five Things to Know Before Starting Your 2016 Taxes
March 3, 2017

Five Things to Know Before Starting Your 2016 Taxes

Filing taxes is never fun and it’s sometimes not easy, so you can be forgiven if you’ve put it off. Before you begin this annual task, there are few things to keep in mind ...

Job-Hopping? Don’t Skip These Retirement Ideas
February 24, 2017

Job-Hopping? Don’t Skip These Retirement Ideas

Trends come and go, but one trend that seems to be continuing is job-hopping. It wasn’t too long ago that the American Dream involved getting on with a company ...

April 15 Tax Return Postmark Deadline? Not This Year
February 13, 2017

April 15 Tax Return Postmark Deadline? Not This Year

Some things seem like they were just meant to go together: peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, peas and carrots. Oil and water—we all know they ...

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Retiring? Keep an Eye on These Five Tax Implications
February 10, 2017

Retiring? Keep an Eye on These Five Tax Implications

Retiring means many life changes—not having to worry about the daily grind, pursuing passions, spending more time with friends and family. One retirement change ...

In or Nearing Retirement? Steer Your Tax Strategy Forward
January 20, 2017

In or Nearing Retirement? Steer Your Tax Strategy Forward

Dealing with taxes while working is one thing, but dealing with taxes while heading toward retirement is something completely different. Although the road to ...

Gift Giving Guide: The Gift Rule Simplified
January 20, 2017

Gift Giving Guide: The Gift Rule Simplified

Looking for a unique gift idea for a loved one that will long outlast the shiny new bike for Christmas, live well beyond the high-end blender given for a...

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Lost in Tax Form 1099? Let Us Guide You Through
January 18, 2017

Lost in Tax Form 1099? Let Us Guide You Through

In a Chapman University survey of top fears, Americans included public speaking, heights, flights, snakes, ghosts, clowns…and zombies. Tax forms didn’t make the top ...

It’s Tax Time Again! Six Tips to Max Tax Savings
January 13, 2017

It’s Tax Time Again! Six Tips to Max Tax Savings

If you’ve been filing taxes for several years now, you know the routine. Gather W-2s, 1099s, and other income documents for the revenue agents. And if ...

Expecting the Unexpected: How to Create an Emergency Fund
January 10, 2017

Expecting the Unexpected: How to Create an Emergency Fund

It’s inevitable: Life can hand you some expensive bumps in the road, and things can get pretty stressful if you don’t have the money in ...

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5 Things to Get Ready for Tax Time
January 6, 2017

5 Things to Get Ready for Tax Time

April 15, also known as “tax day,” is a date many try to ignore until it becomes unavoidable. But early preparation can be important, especially if ...

Buy or Lease? Choosing the Better Investment for a New Car
December 30, 2016

Buy or Lease? Choosing the Better Investment for a New Car

Sooner or later, most people will need to get a vehicle. And unless you have a genie in a bottle or some other way of wishing a car into your driveway, you’ll need ...

Saving This New Year: Recommit to Your Financial Goals
December 23, 2016

Saving This New Year: Recommit to Your Financial Goals

With a new year, it’s time to review important goals in life, including financial goals. Older savers likely have a number of financial goals to reach, but two of the big ...

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Tax-Filing Myth Buster: Brokerage Account 1099 Deadline
December 23, 2016

Tax-Filing Myth Buster: Brokerage Account 1099 Deadline

Tax filing fact or myth? "Your brokerage account 1099 must be in the mail by January 31." Myth. Say what? That’s right, a consolidated 1099 should be ...

You've Set Your Financial Goals. Now What?
December 21, 2016

You've Set Your Financial Goals. Now What?

What is your personal record on New Year's resolutions? Did you resolve to get in shape, then joined a health club and stopped going by the third ...

The Choice Is (Un)clear: Financing Big Buys vs. Paying Cash
December 21, 2016

The Choice Is (Un)clear: Financing Big Buys vs. Paying Cash

It’s generally accepted that if you have the cash to make a purchase, you should use it, instead of going into debt by financing that big-ticket item. But is the cash as ...

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New Year's Resolution: Create a Financial Plan to Meet Your Goals
December 16, 2016

New Year's Resolution: Create a Financial Plan to Meet Your Goals

Creating a financial plan is a common New Year’s resolution, but what if you have multiple financial needs, or just don’t know where to start? And what is a ...

Financial Planning 101: Emergency Funds (Pay Yourself First)
December 8, 2016

Financial Planning 101: Emergency Funds (Pay Yourself First)

An emergency fund isn’t just a repository of cash to dip into when the tires wear out. Those emergency dollars can actually be critical to one’s overall investing...

Auto Sales Have Been Fishtailing. Will They Spin Out or Straighten?
December 2, 2016

Auto Sales Have Been Fishtailing. Will They Spin Out or Straighten?

After six strong years of sales, U.S. auto sales have been slipping, and this may be the first year the industry doesn’t set a consecutive record. In early November ...

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Financial Planning 101: Paying Yourself First and Other Budgeting Tips
November 30, 2016

Financial Planning 101: Paying Yourself First and Other Budgeting Tips

With a “pay yourself first” philosophy that includes responsible budgeting, investors can better prepare ...

Listen Up: Will Hearables Become a New Tech Category?
November 25, 2016

Listen Up: Will Hearables Become a New Tech Category?

Wearable technology, such as Fitbit (FIT) and the Apple (AAPL) Watch, have been all the rage the past few years as devotees use these devices to track step ...

Getting Yourself and Your Portfolio Ready for Winter
November 18, 2016

Getting Yourself and Your Portfolio Ready for Winter

The end of the year is approaching, and that means pulling out sweaters, boots, and maybe some skis or snowmobiles. Once you're clad in all your finest ...

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What’s In Store For Luxury Market As Sales See Downturns
November 4, 2016

What’s In Store For Luxury Market As Sales See Downturns

We may indulge ourselves with a coveted electronics gadget, shoes, or some other toy when we think we deserve it, but the publicly traded luxury stocks don’t ...

Purification: A Breath of Fresh Air for Your Portfolio?
October 28, 2016

Purification: A Breath of Fresh Air for Your Portfolio?

A greater focus on health and well-being is driving sales of products like air purifiers, with many people thinking these devices will make indoor air cleaner. The U.S. air ...

Power Investment: Can Battery Storage Wean Us Off Fossil Fuels?
October 21, 2016

Power Investment: Can Battery Storage Wean Us Off Fossil Fuels?

With climate change a serious threat, many innovative companies are looking at how to store the intermittent energy produced by wind and solar farms as the ...

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The Smart Home: Operating Your Home Appliances via Apps
October 14, 2016

The Smart Home: Operating Your Home Appliances via Apps

A smart home used to mean connected technology for gaming or music, but new technology is going far beyond that. Estimates from the CTA suggest smart ...

Print Drivers: 3D Printing Making Inroads, But Risks Remain
October 7, 2016

Print Drivers: 3D Printing Making Inroads, But Risks Remain

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding 3D printers, as these machines can be used to create just about anything. From shoes to architectural models ...

How Paint Nights and Coloring Books Boost Office Supply Sales
September 30, 2016

How Paint Nights and Coloring Books Boost Office Supply Sales

As grownups tap into creativity with paint nights and coloring books for adults, a few industries are benefiting. Paint nights, coloring books, back-to-school supplies ...

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Back-to-School Shopping: Picking Up Supplies and Stocks?
September 23, 2016

Back-to-School Shopping: Picking Up Supplies and Stocks?

September means it’s time for students to go back to school, and often this means shopping for new school supplies. These supplies might include anything from ...

Considering a Vacation Home? Sales Trends Vary. Location ...
September 20, 2016

Considering a Vacation Home? Sales Trends Vary. Location ...

The primary house market remains red-hot, but the secondary, or vacation, home market is mixed. According to the National Association of Realtors ...

How Beauty Products Can Make a Face and Portfolio Look Pretty
September 16, 2016

How Beauty Products Can Make a Face and Portfolio Look Pretty

Beauty is big business. Research firm Euromonitor said global sales of skincare products exceeded $111 billion in 2014, and that doesn’t even include cosmetics. ...

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Trader RV Touring Time: Hit the Road in a Recreational Vehicle
September 9, 2016

Trader RV Touring Time: Hit the Road in a Recreational Vehicle

In the 1985 comedy Lost in America, Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty quit their L.A. jobs and buy a Winnebago with the plan to drive cross-country. They may have ...

Which Company Might Develop the Next Pokémon Go?
September 2, 2016

Which Company Might Develop the Next Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go took the world by storm in July, with kids and adults chasing after pocket monsters in parks and on sidewalks across the world. According to Sensor ...

Space! The Ultimate Bucket List Travel Destination
August 26, 2016

Space! The Ultimate Bucket List Travel Destination

The opening lines to Star Trek said that space was the final frontier, and although Gene Roddenberry’s dreams seemed far off in the 1960s, today’s scientists are ...

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Trader's Appetite: Fancy Trends in Casual Dining Restaurants
August 19, 2016

Trader's Appetite: Fancy Trends in Casual Dining Restaurants

The fast-casual restaurant boom continues, with popular chains like Dave & Buster’s (PLAY) and Wingstop (WING) among some of the standout restaurant ...

Invested #likeyou: U.S. Olympians Meet Their Client Match
August 18, 2016

Invested #likeyou: U.S. Olympians Meet Their Client Match

Team USA is shining at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Even more than marveling at the growing medal count, the team’s incredible athleticism and spirit is inspiring ...

What We're Watching: Is This the Golden Age of Television?
August 12, 2016

What We're Watching: Is This the Golden Age of Television?

Once reviled as “the boob tube” for its mindless programming, television now boasts some of the best dramas out today. Whether it’s "Orange is the New ...

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Hopeful #likeyou: Supporting the Next Generation of Team USA
August 11, 2016

Hopeful #likeyou: Supporting the Next Generation of Team USA

What does it take to be a U.S. Olympian? It takes talent, skill, heart, focus, determination and hope that one day the grueling practices and lifelong sacrifice ...

Negative Interest Rates Not So Negative for Precious Metals
August 5, 2016

Negative Interest Rates Not So Negative for Precious Metals

When times get hard, gold tends to glow brighter. That was true in 1980 when the Fed raised rates to nearly 20% in a fight against inflation, helping send gold to ...

Future of Work: Robotic Process Automation and Human Roles
July 29, 2016

Future of Work: Robotic Process Automation and Human Roles

In the movie "Modern Times," Charlie Chaplin comically looked at the rise of machines taking over jobs and found that technology has its upsides and downsides ...

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Say, Who's at the Wheel? Drivers of Self-Driving Cars
July 22, 2016

Say, Who's at the Wheel? Drivers of Self-Driving Cars

There’s excitement around the idea of self-driving cars and the potential for major changes in transportation, whether it’s for passenger vehicles or commercial ...

Financial Insight from Foodies: Digging In
July 8, 2016

Financial Insight from Foodies: Digging In

The U.S. culinary scene is booming, with top chefs on par with celebrities, and diners who get to eat fresh, delicious, and locally grown food no matter where ...

Investing in Global Travel: Add Some Miles to a Portfolio
July 1, 2016

Investing in Global Travel: Add Some Miles to a Portfolio

Thinking about traveling this summer? Tourism can be good for your mental health and possibly your portfolio. The UNWTO said international tourism receipts grew ...

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Commodity Play? Perk Up a Portfolio with a Global Cup of Joe
June 24, 2016

Commodity Play? Perk Up a Portfolio with a Global Cup of Joe

Coffee may wake you up in the morning, and coffee could perk up a portfolio, too. Coffee is one of the most widely grown crops in the world, consumption ...

Virtual Reality: Not Just Fun and Games; Real Business Uses Too
June 17, 2016

Virtual Reality: Not Just Fun and Games; Real Business Uses Too

Virtual reality is getting closer to real business. Science fiction is becoming science fact as virtual reality is a fast-growing technology niche. Virtual reality uses ...

Slam Dunk: Add an NBA Team to Your Portfolio?
June 14, 2016

Slam Dunk: Add an NBA Team to Your Portfolio?

With the NBA playoffs under way, now may be the perfect time to diversify your portfolio with a professional basketball team. The average team is ...

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Kids and Money: Financial Savvy Starts at Home
June 13, 2016

Kids and Money: Financial Savvy Starts at Home

From singing them their ABCs to driving them to the SATs, parents do their best to set kids up for success. And while many moms and dads understand ...

More Than a Game, Pt 2: Investing in Education and Going Global
June 10, 2016

More Than a Game, Pt 2: Investing in Education and Going Global

Digital and video games are big business and will only continue to grow, whether they’re played on consoles, computers, or mobile devices. The category of game ..

More Than a Game: The Big Business of Video Games
June 3, 2016

More Than a Game: The Big Business of Video Games

Think video games are just for teenage boys? Think again. The gaming industry is big business, and much of it is driven by adults. According to the Entertainment ...

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Investing Advice for the New College Graduate in Your Family
June 1, 2016

Investing Advice for the New College Graduate in Your Family

Graduation and first jobs bring many opportunities. New college grads often focus on decorating their apartments, checking out the local watering holes in ...

Trading Generation: Three Millennial Investing Trends
May 27, 2016

Trading Generation: Three Millennial Investing Trends

As the biggest generation in history, millennials are slowly changing common demographic trends by living longer with parents, being much more technology ...

Commercial Real Estate Rising: Indicating Improving Economy?
May 20, 2016

Commercial Real Estate Rising: Indicating Improving Economy?

Commercial real estate is enjoying some of its best times in recent history, boosted by a growing economy with rising employment. That’s seen in several ...

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Residential Real Estate and Home Sales: A Tale of Two Markets?
May 13, 2016

Residential Real Estate and Home Sales: A Tale of Two Markets?

Residential real estate sales seem to be at first blush a tale of two markets. In data released in March, the Census Bureau said new single-family home sales rose ...

Fine Wine: Storage: Check. Now to Grow That Collection
May 6, 2016

Fine Wine: Storage: Check. Now to Grow That Collection

Had a good day trading and want to celebrate? Or looking to add more “liquid” assets to your portfolio? There are different fine wines to do that. In Part 1 of ...

Get the Wine Storage Your Budding Collection Deserves
April 29, 2016

Get the Wine Storage Your Budding Collection Deserves

If you find that your small, six-bottle countertop wine fridge just isn’t cutting it anymore, it may be time to upgrade to something bigger. Luckily, wine storage ...

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Time to Take a Trip? Celebrate Earth Day with Ecotourism
April 22, 2016

Time to Take a Trip? Celebrate Earth Day with Ecotourism

Imagine hiking through Kenya’s famous Maasai Mara National Reserve with local tribe members guiding you through their homeland. Or picture kayaking through ...

Getting It Write—The Allure of Fine Fountain Pens
April 15, 2016

Getting It Write—The Allure of Fine Fountain Pens

Tired of typing? Consider investing in a high-end fountain pen and watch your words flow in a whole new way. Just because we’re firmly in a digital age doesn’t ...

Changes in Life? Volatile Markets? Time to Review Investment Plans
April 13, 2016

Changes in Life? Volatile Markets? Time to Review Investment Plans

Sometimes, life goes as planned. An investor chooses her long-term goals, follows her investing plan, and meets her objectives without having to change ...

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Take Me Out to the (Minor League) Ball Game
April 8, 2016

Take Me Out to the (Minor League) Ball Game

Baseball season is under way, and now’s the perfect time to plan a trip to see the boys of summer play. Although you could go to a Major League Baseball ...

Want a Boat? Or a House? The Importance of Concrete Goals
April 6, 2016

Want a Boat? Or a House? The Importance of Concrete Goals

Many investors set financial goals like trying to accumulate $1 million before retirement. But a financial goal that’s all about the money may not be the best ...

Trader Leisure: Enjoy the Elegance of Classic Board Games
April 1, 2016

Trader Leisure: Enjoy the Elegance of Classic Board Games

Been trading all day? Take time to play. But you don’t need to stare at any more screens. Just as ebooks haven’t replaced paper books, classic physical board ...

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April 15 Tax Return Postmark Deadline? Not This Year
March 23, 2016

April 15 Tax Return Postmark Deadline? Not This Year

Some things seem like they were just meant to go together: peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, peas and carrots. Oil and water—we all know they don’t ...

Spring Migration Is for the Birds—and You
March 18, 2016

Spring Migration Is for the Birds—and You

Imagine standing on a wharf on a balmy spring day, peering through your high-powered binoculars in hopes of sighting a few migrating birds, when suddenly you ...

Top Off Your Look With A High-End, Handmade Hat
March 11, 2016

Top Off Your Look With A High-End, Handmade Hat

Hats for men and women are becoming more popular. Whether it’s because of retro fashion on TV shows like Mad Men and Downton Abbey, or because of style ...

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Health Savings Account: Triple-Whammy Tax Deductions
March 9, 2016

Health Savings Account: Triple-Whammy Tax Deductions

Going to the doctor just got a little cheaper. Well, sort of. Eligible folks covered by a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP) can score tax deductions ...

Networking with Nobles: Stay in a Castle and Meet the Gentry
March 4, 2016

Networking with Nobles: Stay in a Castle and Meet the Gentry

Downton Abbey might be wrapping up its TV run, but you can still fulfill that romantic fantasy of being to the manor born. There are plenty of historic houses ...

Ethical Wills: Pass Your Values Down Along with Your Assets
March 2, 2016

Ethical Wills: Pass Your Values Down Along with Your Assets

Property is one thing. Do you also have a message to pass on to your heirs? Ethical wills are a simple but often overlooked opportunity in estate planning. An ethical ...

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Vintage or Custom: Guitars That Sound and Look Beautiful
February 26, 2016

Vintage or Custom: Guitars That Sound and Look Beautiful

Guitars may be one of the most popular musical instruments. Who hasn’t tried playing a few chords? Now the market for guitars is growing ...

Can Money Buy Happiness? Some Say Yes. Here's How
February 24, 2016

Can Money Buy Happiness? Some Say Yes. Here's How

Can money buy happiness? Maybe! When it comes to money management, there’s typically a lot of focus on asset allocation, proper diversification, and ways to ...

Build Your Dream Motorcycle? Sweet Bike Customization
February 19, 2016

Build Your Dream Motorcycle? Sweet Bike Customization

Ever dream of hitting the open road on a dream motorcycle? It’s easier than ever to customize a bike to suit. The customization market “right now is really ...

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Dropping Out of College and Other Big-Buck Blunders
February 12, 2016

Dropping Out of College and Other Big-Buck Blunders

Love your kids, but consider them a big money mistake? Wow. And yet that’s what some 12% of surveyed Americans—equating to nearly 39 million—told ...

Addressing Changing Gender Roles in Wealth Management
February 10, 2016

Addressing Changing Gender Roles in Wealth Management

Gender differences are a hot topic for wealth management firms nationwide, especially as the financial services industry steps up its “women and ...

Lost in Tax Form 1099? Let Us Guide You Through
February 5, 2016

Lost in Tax Form 1099? Let Us Guide You Through

In a Chapman University survey of top fears, Americans included public speaking, heights, flights, snakes, ghosts, clowns…and zombies. Tax forms didn’t make the top ...

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Yearning for a Yacht? What to Know Before Buying a Boat
February 5, 2016

Yearning for a Yacht? What to Know Before Buying a Boat

Thinking of trying out your sea legs with your own boat? Before logging a single minute on deck, dive into the depths of research. Boaters need to “clearly define ...

Estate Planning: Not Just for the Top-Tier Wealthy
February 4, 2016

Estate Planning: Not Just for the Top-Tier Wealthy

There are certain things you don't like to think about in life, one of which is estate planning.

Tips for Your Family's Smooth Financial Knowledge Transfer
February 3, 2016

Tips for Your Family's Smooth Financial Knowledge Transfer

There’s more to creating and sharing a family financial legacy than simply making sure your loved ones know where the accounts are held or what the passwords ...

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Tax-Filing Myth Buster: Do Brokers Track All Wash Sales?
February 2, 2016

Tax-Filing Myth Buster: Do Brokers Track All Wash Sales?

Let’s test your tax-filing knowledge. Myth or fact? Brokers track your wash sales. Actually, both. It just ...

Go Airborne, Pt 2: Need a Private Jet? Aviation Programs to Check
January 29, 2016

Go Airborne, Pt 2: Need a Private Jet? Aviation Programs to Check

Want quick access to private aviation but don’t want to own a plane? You have options. Fractional jet ownership, block charter planes, and jet cards make it ...

Tax-Filing Myth Buster: Brokerage Account 1099 Deadline
January 27, 2016

Tax-Filing Myth Buster: Brokerage Account 1099 Deadline

Tax filing fact or myth? "Your brokerage account 1099 must be in the mail by January 31." Myth. Say what? That’s right, a consolidated 1099 should be ...

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Go Airborne, Part 1: Own a Plane for Your New Luxury Hobby
January 22, 2016

Go Airborne, Part 1: Own a Plane for Your New Luxury Hobby

Owning and flying your own plane may represent the ultimate in luxury hobbies, yet it’s not as far-fetched as you might assume. But before you go airborne, log ...

Luxury Winter Play: Dog Sleds, Snowmobiles, and Snow Hotels
January 15, 2016

Luxury Winter Play: Dog Sleds, Snowmobiles, and Snow Hotels

When it comes to winter activities, skiing and snowboarding dominate, but there are a whole host of other winter activities at select resorts to get you ...

Getting Fit: What’s Popular in Wearable Tech for 2016?
January 8, 2016

Getting Fit: What’s Popular in Wearable Tech for 2016?

Wearables continue to drive what’s new in technology. That was evident to those plugged in to the early January Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas ...

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Student Loan Payment Plans That Keep Your Investing on Track
January 6, 2016

Student Loan Payment Plans That Keep Your Investing on Track

Congratulations! You've walked across the stage, collected your diploma, and landed your first career job. Cha-ching! That’s the register ringing up all those ...

Invest in You: New and Improved (We Mean It) Fitness for 2016
December 30, 2015

Invest in You: New and Improved (We Mean It) Fitness for 2016

It’s that time of year again when we exercise the annual routine of pledging New Year’s resolutions, and a vow to get fitter is generally among them. If a new fitness ...

Holidays Abroad? From Santa’s Hometown to African Beaches
December 23, 2015

Holidays Abroad? From Santa’s Hometown to African Beaches

Want to close out the year with a bang? Take to the road during the holiday season, when plenty of cities do it up for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. ...

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After-Market Tech for Cars Is Booming. Soup Up Your Ride
December 18, 2015

After-Market Tech for Cars Is Booming. Soup Up Your Ride

Love your current car, but want the latest tech for your ride? You can have both. Many Americans are keeping their cars longer. IHS Automotive said earlier this year ...

The Best Apres-Ski and More for This Season on the Slopes
December 11, 2015

The Best Apres-Ski and More for This Season on the Slopes

The winter ski season is well under way, and several North American resorts have upgraded their lifts, lodging, and snow-making abilities. A few are also ...

Selling Your Home? Use the Off Season to Your Advantage
December 9, 2015

Selling Your Home? Use the Off Season to Your Advantage

Are you in a hurry to sell your house in the dead of winter because of a job change or other significant life event? Don’t sweat it. Selling your house during the ...

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What El Niño May Mean For Your Ski Vacation. Hint: It’s Not All Bad
December 4, 2015

What El Niño May Mean For Your Ski Vacation. Hint: It’s Not All Bad

Ready to hit the slopes? Before planning your fabulous ski vacation this winter, consider what the El Niño weather phenomenon might mean for snowpack ...

Take Your Big Heart on the Road: Consider a Volunteer Vacation
November 27, 2015

Take Your Big Heart on the Road: Consider a Volunteer Vacation

Looking to visit a remote locale and give back at the same time? A volunteer vacation might be the ticket. Whether you want to work with animals and the ...

Sudden Budget Windfall? Some Dos and Don'ts to Consider
November 25, 2015

Sudden Budget Windfall? Some Dos and Don'ts to Consider

It may be the real American dream: a monetary windfall drops square in your lap. Maybe it’s an inheritance from that ridiculously rich aunt you never knew, or simply ...

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Hire a Professional to Deck Your Halls and Ease Your Stress
November 20, 2015

Hire a Professional to Deck Your Halls and Ease Your Stress

Do your holiday decorating skills resemble those of Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Does your tree look like Charlie Brown’s? ...

Luxury Winter Wear: A Good Coat Can Be a Great Investment
November 13, 2015

Luxury Winter Wear: A Good Coat Can Be a Great Investment

Ready for winter? For this year’s outlook in luxury winter outerwear, slim, subdued looks are making way for looser silhouettes, fur, suede, and pattern ...

Can You Really Set It and Forget It? Beware of Escheatment
November 11, 2015

Can You Really Set It and Forget It? Beware of Escheatment

True or false: Your out-of-sight, out-of-mind investments can grow uninterrupted without consequences?

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Retirement: Multi-Generational Housing Trends
November 6, 2015

Retirement: Multi-Generational Housing Trends

Independence is an enduring American value. For decades, many families accepted (and often welcomed) children leaving home at age 18 to make their own ...

Saving and Investing Challenges for the Sandwich Generation (X)
November 4, 2015

Saving and Investing Challenges for the Sandwich Generation (X)

More Gen Xers are edging toward their 50s, and they’re worried about retirement. But they’re also worried about their parents’ retirement and their kids’ college ...

Retirement: Are Tiny Homes One Big Fix for Senior Housing?
October 30, 2015

Retirement: Are Tiny Homes One Big Fix for Senior Housing?

Many retirement plans center on a dream home or ideal lifestyle. Maybe it’s escaping to a lake cabin, living in a city condo near the orchestra, or finding a one-level ...

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Build a Better Drink at Home: How to Craft High-End Cocktails
October 23, 2015

Build a Better Drink at Home: How to Craft High-End Cocktails

Cocktails have returned to the bar scene. Whether influenced by popular ad-biz television drama “Mad Men,” or by the artisan and hand-crafted movement...

A Mortgage for a Vacation Home? Must-Knows Before You Dream
October 21, 2015

A Mortgage for a Vacation Home? Must-Knows Before You Dream

Ski season is just around the corner. Are you dreaming of your very own mountain condo with easy access to the slopes?

Let Your Luxury Vacation Go to the Dogs? Yes!
October 16, 2015

Let Your Luxury Vacation Go to the Dogs? Yes!

It’s easier than ever to take Fido and Fluffy along on vacation as many hotels and resorts not only are increasingly letting furry friends stay in the room ...

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Real Estate Investing, Pt 2: More than Just Collecting Rent
October 14, 2015

Real Estate Investing, Pt 2: More than Just Collecting Rent

A tight apartment rental market and rising rent environment are leading some investors down the path to property ownership.

Buying Better Beef: Restaurant-Quality Steak At Home?
October 9, 2015

Buying Better Beef: Restaurant-Quality Steak At Home?

The palate-pleasing filet mignon that once came only from a steakhouse is more and more available right at home—if you know how to get it. Prime-grade beef is ...

More than Turn-Key: Financing Real Estate Investment Property
October 7, 2015

More than Turn-Key: Financing Real Estate Investment Property

Ready to dip a toe—or maybe both feet—in the real estate market? Are you aiming to become the next Donald Trump one square foot at a time? The appeal ...

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Trading Office Design: Best Move for Your Head? Just Stand Up
October 2, 2015

Trading Office Design: Best Move for Your Head? Just Stand Up

Whether it’s your home-based trading hub or the professional office that’s like your second home, designs for cubicles, conference rooms, and desks look a lot ...

Maximize Social Security Payments: Married Couples
September 30, 2015

Maximize Social Security Payments: Married Couples

The rule of thumb, many retirement experts say, is to postpone taking your Social Security benefits for as long as you can until you turn 70. That’s when you can get ...

From School to Real-World: My Advice to College Students
September 28, 2015

From School to Real-World: My Advice to College Students

You can’t tell me that you don’t need to know at least the basics of personal finance. Sure, you all know how to earn and spend money, but knowing how to ...

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Harvard at Home? Consider a Massive Open Online Course
September 25, 2015

Harvard at Home? Consider a Massive Open Online Course

It’s officially fall and the kids are back in school. Maybe it’s time for you to hit the books, too? The idea of returning to college can be daunting. Between an ...

How to Maximize Social Security Payments: Tips for Singles
September 23, 2015

How to Maximize Social Security Payments: Tips for Singles

Navigating the labyrinth of the Social Security system can be confusing and overwhelming. And don't expect any help from the folks at the administration, as they ...

Ladies, Need a Trading or Hobby Haven? Build a Luxury 'She Shed'
September 18, 2015

Ladies, Need a Trading or Hobby Haven? Build a Luxury 'She Shed'

Virginia Woolf once wrote about the importance of having “a room of one’s own.” Men have their “man caves,” but a new housing trend acknowledges that ...

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Four Prime Leaf-Viewing Drives Powered by Cheaper Gas
September 11, 2015

Four Prime Leaf-Viewing Drives Powered by Cheaper Gas

Cooler, crisper air means fall is on the way and with it, beautiful leaf-viewing drives to soak up Mother Nature’s palette. Thanks to the still-low price of crude oil and ...

More Millennials Want to Buy Their First Homes; Just Not Alone
September 10, 2015

More Millennials Want to Buy Their First Homes; Just Not Alone

It looks like more millennials are finally looking to move out of Mom and Dad’s place. Some 67% of a group surveyed by TD Bank said they’re making plans to fly ...

Buy Global, Drink Local: Mail Order Wine Clubs on the Rise
September 4, 2015

Buy Global, Drink Local: Mail Order Wine Clubs on the Rise

Direct-to-consumer wine sales have become popular in the past few years, with mail order wine clubs making it easier for casual sippers and aficionados alike to ...

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Financial Therapist? A New Trend among Money Professionals
September 2, 2015

Financial Therapist? A New Trend among Money Professionals

Rick Kahler, a financial therapist in Rapid City, SD, recalls the time a prospective client requested a new retirement planner, pronto. The broken relationship ...

Go From Cook to Chef with an Investment in a Handmade Knife
August 28, 2015

Go From Cook to Chef with an Investment in a Handmade Knife

Why spend a grand on a handmade knife when you can buy a mass-produced, German-made, all-purpose kitchen knife for $80? Because your cutting skills ...

Fruit-of-the-Month? Check Out These Luxury Subscription Boxes
August 21, 2015

Fruit-of-the-Month? Check Out These Luxury Subscription Boxes

Demand for subscription boxes—monthly, crated surprises that harken back to their ancestral fruit-of-the-month clubs—has exploded. Great for ...

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First Job? Develop Solid Saving and Spending Habits Now
August 19, 2015

First Job? Develop Solid Saving and Spending Habits Now

Congratulations! You've earned that college diploma and landed your first “real” job. Your parents are happy to have you off their payroll, but now it's all up to you.

Diamond Industry Tries to Polish Its Rep in Tough Luxury Market
August 14, 2015

Diamond Industry Tries to Polish Its Rep in Tough Luxury Market

It takes intense heat and pressure to squeeze out a diamond. And now, the diamond industry itself is feeling the squeeze. Commodities weakness has spread to ...

Forget Coffee: High-End Teas are the Hottest Millennial Trend
August 7, 2015

Forget Coffee: High-End Teas are the Hottest Millennial Trend

Tea is getting hot. That’s significant to tea lovers—a growing group, as evidenced by the increasing number of tea shops and counters in the U.S. “This is the ...

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Pied-a-Terre in Paris? Tips on Buying International Real Estate
July 31, 2015

Pied-a-Terre in Paris? Tips on Buying International Real Estate

A strong U.S. dollar isn’t just making vacations overseas more affordable; a brawny buck puts foreign real estate on sale, too. Jason Kumpf, real estate expert at ...

Paying for College: How Grandparents Are Helping Out
July 28, 2015

Paying for College: How Grandparents Are Helping Out

A four-year college education now averages roughly $100,000 in tuition and other expenses, leaving multiple generations to help shoulder the bill. For many ...

Q&A: Seasonal Cues Are Vital for Healthy Skin, Smart Investing
July 24, 2015

Q&A: Seasonal Cues Are Vital for Healthy Skin, Smart Investing

The Ticker Tape grabbed a few minutes with Elisabeth Thieriot—active investor, developer of seasonal skin care line Replete, and author of "Be Fabulous At ...

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You Ate What? A $260 Chocolate Bar and Other Luxury Foods
July 17, 2015

You Ate What? A $260 Chocolate Bar and Other Luxury Foods

One of the world’s most expensive chocolate bars is grown on a tiny plot of land in Ecuador with beans made from semi-wild cacao trees. The 50-gram (about 1.8 ...

Upgrading Your Bathroom? Get Spa Luxury, Ease, and Mobility
July 10, 2015

Upgrading Your Bathroom? Get Spa Luxury, Ease, and Mobility

More Americans want the spa experience in home bathrooms—heated towel racks, spacious showers with multiple heads, deep soaking tubs, luxe finishes. But ...

Paying for College: Should You Dip Into Your Roth IRA?
July 8, 2015

Paying for College: Should You Dip Into Your Roth IRA?

As first-semester college kids head off for the ivied walls, parents are digging deep to cover the skyrocketing costs of a degree, and some are looking at ...

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High-End Travelers are Jumping Back on Board the Cruise Industry
July 2, 2015

High-End Travelers are Jumping Back on Board the Cruise Industry

The cruise industry—blemished by high-profile accidents and illnesses in recent years—is shipshape for 2015 and quickly getting booked up for 2016, led by ...

Engendering Social Change: Gender-Lens Investing Helps All
July 1, 2015

Engendering Social Change: Gender-Lens Investing Helps All

Some call it a movement. Others call it an evolution when they describe the call to empower more women with investing and finance—whether it’s the ...

Love Wine? Make Your Own: Consider Investing in a Winery
June 26, 2015

Love Wine? Make Your Own: Consider Investing in a Winery

Love wine? Love investing? You might blend the two by investing in a winery. After all, plenty of people follow the mantra “invest in what you know.” For wine ...

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Tax Off-Season: Changing Cost Basis Reporting Requirements
June 24, 2015

Tax Off-Season: Changing Cost Basis Reporting Requirements

Prudent investors shouldn’t limit “tax season.” It’s not just the early-year filing period or the late-year scramble to take advantage of pre-December 31 portfolio moves ...

Au Revoir, Europe: Strong Dollar Stretches Further Other Places
June 19, 2015

Au Revoir, Europe: Strong Dollar Stretches Further Other Places

A strong dollar is a U.S. traveler’s dream, essentially putting “discount” signs on many foreign summer travel destinations, including Europe. But this summer you ...

Sudden Windfall? Smart Ideas to Help an Inheritance Grow
June 17, 2015

Sudden Windfall? Smart Ideas to Help an Inheritance Grow

Wondering how to invest your inheritance? Coming into a large amount of money might seem like a free pass to quit your job, buy a new car, or take your dream ...

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Thinking Outside the Gift Box for Wedding Presents
June 12, 2015

Thinking Outside the Gift Box for Wedding Presents

It used to be that bridal showers and wedding gifts were a way to help a newly married couple set up a household. That’s not so much the case anymore ...

Yours, Mine, and Ours: Estate Planning for Blended Families
June 10, 2015

Yours, Mine, and Ours: Estate Planning for Blended Families

The number of second marriages in the U.S. has nearly doubled in the last three decades to 42 million adults, according to Pew Research Center. Marriage do-overs ...

Invest in Father’s Day Memories: Try an Adventure Gift
June 5, 2015

Invest in Father’s Day Memories: Try an Adventure Gift

Do you think your dad really wants another tie for Father’s Day? Consider giving him the gift of adventure instead (maybe with you tagging along) for a priceless ...

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Start Your Financial Legacy with a Records Almanac for Vital Info
June 3, 2015

Start Your Financial Legacy with a Records Almanac for Vital Info

As the old saying goes, there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. While Uncle Sam will always be waiting in the wings for his fair share, you can create a ...

Want to Drink a Cuba Libre in Cuba? Here’s How to Get There
May 29, 2015

Want to Drink a Cuba Libre in Cuba? Here’s How to Get There

Travel to Cuba, off-limits for most American vacationers since 1963, is closer to becoming a reality. But before you dream of relaxing in ...

Stay as Sharp as a #2 Pencil: Tips for Continued Education
May 27, 2015

Stay as Sharp as a #2 Pencil: Tips for Continued Education

Thinking about continued education when you retire? Find out which programs are best for you and get a few tips to pave the way to learning something new.

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Summer Jobs and Money Smarts: Teaching Teens about Finances
May 27, 2015

Summer Jobs and Money Smarts: Teaching Teens about Finances

Teenagers today are pressured to excel academically and participate in extracurricular activities as résumé-builders for college applications, but the traditional ...

Road Trip USA: Take to the Highways for Summer Vacation
May 22, 2015

Road Trip USA: Take to the Highways for Summer Vacation

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, when vacationers take to the roads to seek beautiful and historic sites across the U.S. Gasoline prices are still ...

Renewing (and Re-evaluating) Your Financial Vows
May 20, 2015

Renewing (and Re-evaluating) Your Financial Vows

Have you been married awhile? If so, find out what to consider when evaluating the short- and long-term financial goals you set earlier in your marriage.

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Teach Kids How Money Grows: Everyday Economics
May 20, 2015

Teach Kids How Money Grows: Everyday Economics

One of the first things you might want to teach your child is that while money doesn't grow on trees, there are ways to make your money grow. Even a young ...

Luxury Linens: Why Thread Count Doesn’t Equal Better Sheets
May 15, 2015

Luxury Linens: Why Thread Count Doesn’t Equal Better Sheets

Apparently, we’ve all been duped: Thread count in luxury sheets doesn’t matter much. Thread count is only one metric that should be considered when looking at ...

Pink Slips and Hospital Trips: Got Enough Emergency Savings?
May 13, 2015

Pink Slips and Hospital Trips: Got Enough Emergency Savings?

Here’s the thing about emergencies: They’re never planned. And if you find yourself without backup emergency savings to cover, say, a medical crisis ...

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Mom's Day: Flower Giving Evolves Online and from Organic Growers
May 8, 2015

Mom's Day: Flower Giving Evolves Online and from Organic Growers

Clearly, she’s worth it. In 2014, Americans spent an average of $162.94 on mom for Mother’s Day, which is actually down $6 from last year, according to the ...

Decisions, Decisions: What Will You Do with That Big Raise?
May 6, 2015

Decisions, Decisions: What Will You Do with That Big Raise?

Wonder what to do with extra money when you get a promotion or bonus? Learn how to balance the urge to splurge with the need to achieve long-term goals.

Concerned about Identity Theft? You Should Be
May 6, 2015

Concerned about Identity Theft? You Should Be

It has become a matter of when, not if, your identity will be breached, experts say. But there are steps you can take to better protect yourself. Identity theft topped ...

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The Grass is Greener: Cut It with a High-End Lawn Mower
May 1, 2015

The Grass is Greener: Cut It with a High-End Lawn Mower

Lawn mowing may rank as one of the most mundane of household tasks, but the mechanized grass cutters are gaining elite status in neighborhoods across the U.S. ...

ATMs as Tellers, Brokerages for Cash: How Do We Bank?
April 29, 2015

ATMs as Tellers, Brokerages for Cash: How Do We Bank?

Technology, that highly productive goose that keeps laying golden eggs, has turned banking from a weekly chore into a task that’s as easy as snapping a photo ...

Forget the Rules—Make Your Own Financial Marriage
April 29, 2015

Forget the Rules—Make Your Own Financial Marriage

Once upon a time, a man and a woman got married and lived predictably ever after. They bought a house, had children, and sometimes bought a dog named Scout.

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High-End Technology Brews Café-Caliber Coffee at Home
April 24, 2015

High-End Technology Brews Café-Caliber Coffee at Home

Prefer a cappuccino to a simple cup of coffee? You’re not alone. A March survey from the National Coffee Association shows espresso-based drinks ...

Inspections Matter: Your Home Tour Should Include the Studs
April 22, 2015

Inspections Matter: Your Home Tour Should Include the Studs

Don’t let a fresh coat of paint fool you: there could be hidden and unwelcome surprises—anything from termites to mold—lurking in the walls ...

It’s Not (Quite) About the Money: Tips for Working Retirees
April 22, 2015

It’s Not (Quite) About the Money: Tips for Working Retirees

It was almost unavoidable. At some point during your retirement, you, like many before you, got a bit bored. That may be an understatement. You may have been ...

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Watch What’s Trending in Luxury Timepieces: Swiss or Apple?
April 17, 2015

Watch What’s Trending in Luxury Timepieces: Swiss or Apple?

As Apple prepares to debut its Apple Watch on April 24, the five-figure price tag on its high-end model—running at $17,000—is raising eyebrows about the ...

Ditch the Shoebox: Tax Records You Can Safely Shred
April 15, 2015

Ditch the Shoebox: Tax Records You Can Safely Shred

If you subscribe to the shoebox method of tax record-keeping, we’re here to help. The latest tax filing season is ending, so you may be wondering how to handle ...

Gardening Goes Upscale: How to Grow a High-End Hobby Farm
April 10, 2015

Gardening Goes Upscale: How to Grow a High-End Hobby Farm

The local food movement doesn’t get more local than growing your own vegetables. And with rising concern about pesticides and other potential nasty things ...

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Spruce Up for Spring and Get the Home Sellers’ Advantage
April 8, 2015

Spruce Up for Spring and Get the Home Sellers’ Advantage

The stars are aligning for home sellers this spring with tight inventory levels, still-low mortgage rates, and an improving job market. It’s all pushing would-be buyers ...

From GPS to Wine Racks, Bike Accessories to Jazz Up Your Ride
April 3, 2015

From GPS to Wine Racks, Bike Accessories to Jazz Up Your Ride

It’s spring, you’ve got your bike chain greased, and you’re ready to burn rubber. Yet sometimes the basic machinery isn’t enough. Before you hit the road ...

Be Wary: Tax Time Is Prime Season for Fraud
April 1, 2015

Be Wary: Tax Time Is Prime Season for Fraud

Before you decide how you will spend, save, or invest your tax refund, you'll want to make sure the check is in the mail to you or your bank account—not a criminal’s.

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Make Your Yard a Mini Versailles with a Few Landscaping Touches
March 27, 2015

Make Your Yard a Mini Versailles with a Few Landscaping Touches

Now is the time of year when nature lovers—from those with a few feet of balcony to those with acres of lawn—start to think green. Whether you’re leaning toward ...

Before You House Hunt, Navigate the Mortgage Application Maze
March 25, 2015

Before You House Hunt, Navigate the Mortgage Application Maze

If you’re getting ready to take the leap into homeownership, there’s a preliminary step you may want to take before falling for the ranch that’s out of ...

Calling Cyclists: Get a Custom Bicycle Built for Two (Grand)
March 20, 2015

Calling Cyclists: Get a Custom Bicycle Built for Two (Grand)

Customized bikes aren’t just for competitive racers. More consumers are looking beyond a serviceable ten-speed to a semi-custom or custom-made...

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Mortgage Forecast Is for Easier Access, but Higher Rates
March 18, 2015

Mortgage Forecast Is for Easier Access, but Higher Rates

Rising rents are giving more Americans the itch to buy. This new demand may fuel a fresh wave of first-time homebuyers in 2015, as the U.S. economy...

How to Get a Custom Fashion Look for Less
March 13, 2015

How to Get a Custom Fashion Look for Less

Not everyone can afford a handmade suit or haute couture gown, but a growing number of e-commerce websites are bringing a taste of custom to the crowds.

Health Savings Account: A Tax-Deduction Trifecta
March 11, 2015

Health Savings Account: A Tax-Deduction Trifecta

Tax breaks sometimes hide in unexpected places. Did you know there are three tax deductions in HSAs?

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Ladies and Gents: It’s Time for Your Own Designer-for-Hire
March 6, 2015

Ladies and Gents: It’s Time for Your Own Designer-for-Hire

Even if that custom-made couture gown is out of reach, you can find a fashion designer for a unique wardrobe.

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a New Car
February 25, 2015

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a New Car

Smart personal finance decisions are made based on needs, not wants. This especially applies to buying a car.

With Long-Term Auto Loans, Door’s Open but Ride Ain’t Free
February 18, 2015

With Long-Term Auto Loans, Door’s Open but Ride Ain’t Free

Longer loans with smaller monthly payments may help motorists “trade up” to a nicer vehicle. But, as with many forms of debt, there are potential...

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Living the Surround-Sound Life: The Best in Home Media
February 13, 2015

Living the Surround-Sound Life: The Best in Home Media

High-end home electronics have gone mainstream. In the digital, on-demand age, there are more options than ever for individuals to "plug in" their entire homes.

Hey, Boss… Will 2015 Be the Year You Finally Get a Raise?
February 11, 2015

Hey, Boss… Will 2015 Be the Year You Finally Get a Raise?

American workers have seen little wage growth of late. But the labor market is getting closer to full health.

Men Going Fashion-Forward with Pricier Bespoke Suits
February 6, 2015

Men Going Fashion-Forward with Pricier Bespoke Suits

As demand for apparel picks up, custom, high-quality bespoke suits are growing in popularity.

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Maintaining Budget Peace at Home: Avoid Financial Infidelity
February 4, 2015

Maintaining Budget Peace at Home: Avoid Financial Infidelity

Nearly one-third of adults who combined their finances have hidden money matters from their partners.

Go Where it's Warm: Winter Getaways for the Budget-Minded
January 30, 2015

Go Where it's Warm: Winter Getaways for the Budget-Minded

Dreaming of a winter break, but still recovering from holiday bills? Lower-cost ways to enjoy a beach vacation.

Let’s Not Fight: Talking Money Crucial For Happy Couples
January 28, 2015

Let’s Not Fight: Talking Money Crucial For Happy Couples

Romantic plans for Valentine's Day? A heart-to-heart about money could be better for your relationship.

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Changes in Latitudes, Attitudes: Winter Getaways for Splurgers
January 23, 2015

Changes in Latitudes, Attitudes: Winter Getaways for Splurgers

Nothing chases away the winter doldrums like a hearty dose of sun, sand, and rum or tequila (shaken or stirred).

Tumbling Gasoline Prices Pumping up Consumers' Wallets
January 21, 2015

Tumbling Gasoline Prices Pumping up Consumers' Wallets

What if you could just reach into your pocket and find a wad of bills: $500, $600 … maybe even $800?

Tapping Home Equity? Time to Come Out of Your Man Cave
January 14, 2015

Tapping Home Equity? Time to Come Out of Your Man Cave

When tapping value built in our humble abodes, we tend to think, well, close to home. An upgraded kitchen, for example. But there are several other motivating factors.

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Thinking Winter Home Sale? All Your Home’s a “Stage”
January 7, 2015

Thinking Winter Home Sale? All Your Home’s a “Stage”

Considering taking your home to market over the winter? Think Martha Stewart, with long johns...

Get into the New Year’s “Spirit” with Some Premium Hooch
December 30, 2014

Get into the New Year’s “Spirit” with Some Premium Hooch

You’ve worked hard the past 12 months and are ready to tackle a new year. Here’s a resolution you can make – and enjoy - before the calendar flips to 2015 – treat...

Tapping Your Home Equity? Get a Handle on Interest Rates First
December 30, 2014

Tapping Your Home Equity? Get a Handle on Interest Rates First

Surely, nobody needs reminding of our tough climb back since the real estate market went over a cliff around the mid-2000s (we’ve still got a lot of climbing to do, of...

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Selling Your Home? Don't Put Your Plans on Ice Over the Winter
December 30, 2014

Selling Your Home? Don't Put Your Plans on Ice Over the Winter

Whew! You’ve survived another holiday onslaught. Congratulations. There are probably any number of things you’d rather not think about right now—like...

Consumers Taking a Shine to Jewelry as Economy Strengthens
December 30, 2014

Consumers Taking a Shine to Jewelry as Economy Strengthens

Thanks to a combination of an improving economy and tumbling gold prices, American consumers have stepped up jewelry purchases, industry observers say. Gold...

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