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Archive for August, 2008

Advance Loan Fee Scams

Friday, August 29th, 2008, by

This may be the granddaddy of all financial scams. I’m beginning to think we may be genetically programmed to be suckered into these fraudulent snares. How else to explain their utter resistance to repeated exposure and censure? Like most scams, it works best in distressed economies. Desperate borrowers will lower all their natural defenses, as […]

Affinity Fraud

Thursday, August 28th, 2008, by

We are going on fraud patrol now. Sadly, the only indicator that reliably ticks upwards during economic slowdowns involves the incidence of fraud. Today we tackle the subject of affinity fraud, and in our next post we will expose the practice involving advance loan fees. I’ve been waiting for the mainstream business press to step […]

A Taxing Exercise

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008, by

Some day, many years from now, you can tell your progeny about the zero tax rate on capital gains. Unlike most urban legends ungrounded in fact, this is the real deal. How It Works This little gem was inserted into the tax code when capital gains taxes were reduced overall to 15% early in George […]

Dollar Redux

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008, by

Further proof that no trend lasts forever. Our down-and-out dollar is starting to rebound. Earlier this year the Euro hit $1.60 and is now below $1.50. The dollar has also strengthened against the Yen and Pound. Currency Monitoring Just as you scan the stock indexes daily, you should also get in the habit of monitoring […]

Stimulating Thoughts…

Monday, August 25th, 2008, by

Some of you may remember the late and gifted comedienne, Gilda Radner, who blazed to fame and glory on Saturday Night Live. Her classic catch phrase was…”Never Mind.” About that earlier post on harvesting the maximum $500,000 in tax free capital gains on both your primary and secondary home…..never mind. That’s the problem with writing […]

Automatic Pilot, Part IV

Friday, August 22nd, 2008, by

Now a treat for the overachievers among our readers. We must first assume that you have punched every ticket suggested so far, and after maxing out the basics of home ownership, funding of your two core retirement accounts, and providing for future health and education funding, you still have room on your plate for more. […]

Automatic Pilot, Part III

Thursday, August 21st, 2008, by

Let’s pause to mark our progress to date. Our Basic Assumptions You have a time horizon of thirty years before your anticipated retirement. You don’t mind marching to a different drummer. You are prepared to make investing a priority, and consumption a residual pleasure. Rather than the other way around. By now, you are fully […]

Automatic Pilot, Part II

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008, by

Our extreme makeover continues. The ultimate reality show: “The Unconscious Millionaire.” Transitioning from wage slave to millionaire…by diverting your income upstream before you can see it and spend it. Four Essential Accounts We introduced in part one the four essential, tax advantaged and asset protected accounts that a family with children should fund. These are… […]