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Is there any merit to technical analysis of the markets?

Is there any merit to technical analysis of the markets?

Securities in the market can be analyzed on technical levels or fundamental ones, and it is generally best to take both into account, despite the fact that some theories dispute the merits of technical analysis. Some might say that fundamental analysis is all that you need to make wise investment decisions, and to some extent that is actually correct: at a minimal level, if all you had were fundamentals, you could make wise investment decisions. That does not mean, however, that all technical analysis is superfluous. Continue reading...

When are My IRA Withdrawals Penalty Free?

The surest way to make tax-free withdrawals is to wait until you are older than 59½, but there are a few other ways. If you are 59½ or older, you can make penalty-free withdrawals. Of course, you will need to pay income taxes on the amount you withdraw from your Traditional IRA. There is a 10% penalty assessed by the IRS on early withdrawals (withdrawals made before age 59½) and these are generally not a good idea. Continue reading...

What are the Withdrawal Rules for My Money Purchase or Profit Sharing Plan?

The standard withdrawal rules for 401(k) accounts apply to these plans. Once you are age 59½, you may begin to make penalty-free withdrawals and only pay income taxes on the amount you withdraw. If you decide to take out money before age 59½, you will have to pay a 10% penalty fee in addition to income taxes on the amount of your withdrawal. Of course, there are exceptions that would allow you to avoid this early withdrawal fee. Continue reading...

Can I Start Collecting My Social Security Benefits If I’m Still Working?

Can I Start Collecting My Social Security Benefits If I’m Still Working?

Yes, you can start receiving social security benefits before you actually stop working, and your benefit amount will not be affected if you have attained normal retirement age, or NRA, which is determined based on the year of your birth. NRA is 67 for most people today. If you start to take benefits while working and before the normal retirement age, your benefit will be reduced. But there are a few caveats to consider if you start to receive the benefits before your normal retirement age. Continue reading...

Where do I Find a Good Attorney for my Estate Needs?

There are thousands of attorneys that specialize in estate planning, so choosing the right one for you can be a challenge. If possible, referrals are the best approach. Your Financial Advisor should definitely have resources and a network available to recommend a reliable estate and/or tax attorney for you — someone he or she has been working with for a number of years at least. Ultimately, the best source is a referral from a friend or someone else you trust. Continue reading...

What is an Interest Rate?

An interest rate is a simple financial principle that’s been around for centuries, whereby a borrower has to pay for money borrowed. The interest rate is agreed to between the lender and the borrower, and there may be provisions under which the rate could change over the course of  a loan. In simple terms, an interest rate is the cost of money. Continue reading...

What is a Letter of Credit?

A letter of credit is a provided by a bank or financial institution on behalf of a borrower or buyer, to ensure the seller that payments will be made on time and in full. In the event that the buyer is unable to make payment on the purchase, the bank will have to step-in to cover the full or remaining amount of the purchase. Letters of credit are often used in international transactions to guarantee that payment will be received. Continue reading...

What is an Earnings Multiplier?

The earnings multiplier is more commonly known as the P/E ratio (price/earnings ratio). By putting the price of a stock over the earnings per share, you have a proportion that can be compared across various securities with different price points. It may be common for a company in one industry to have a different-size P/E than another, but comparing a company to its peers will prove helpful. Analysts use the P/E ratio to determine whether a stock is overpriced or underpriced, and the same goes for the market as a whole. When the average P/E for all of the stocks in an index is found and compared to historical levels, investors can get clues about whether the current price can be supported for long by fundamentals. Continue reading...

What is Form 8282: Donee Information Return?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here Non-cash contributions to a charity which are valued at over $5,000 must be reported on a Form 8282 by the organization receiving the donation. The organization does not have to include publicly traded securities on this form, or items used in the course of the organization’s mission, such as medical supplies. Non-profit organizations must report non-cash contributions that they receive from donors if the value of the item is over $5,000. These items will also need to be reported by the donor or form 8283, Section B. Continue reading...

What is a Mortgage Short Sale?

A mortgage short sale occurs when a borrower and a lender settle for less than is owed on a mortgage because changes to the housing market or financial status has made it impossible to continue the arrangement. Lenders would rather take what they can get, while they still can, in this sort of situation. An example of a short sale would be an older couple reaching retirement age with a house that is bigger than they need in a neighborhood that has seen the property values decrease, and due to pension cuts they will have hard time affording the house in retirement. The lender would settle short to avoid having to go through a foreclosure and all that it implies. Continue reading...