Taxes and Investing
My grandfather always had a saying that has stuck with me: Never take off the pile. Granddad was an old farm boy living the dream in the backwoods of Nowhere, Wisconsin. He lost the farm in the farm crisis of the early 1980s and then rebuilt his fortune doing nothing more than saving a serious portion of all his income. Most money was only deposited in bank accounts. And he still managed to re-grow his liquid net worth well into the seven figures starting over from an old age.
The corpus of your investments, that original seed money, is sacred. If you never touch the sacred you will always be safe! The income stream keeps growing larger with time. Dividends reinvest to earn more dividends. You don’t need a pension when you have one far safer.Read More
The Tax Code doesn’t treat casual gamblers very well. On the one hand the odds are stacked against you winning (those fancy casinos were built on losers, not winners). And on the other hand winning can be worse than losing when the taxman gets a hold on you.
Recent tax law changes turned a bad situation worse. The higher standard deduction means fewer people will benefit from deducting gambling losses since you need enough itemized deductions to exceed the standard deduction before the gambling losses reduce your tax liability.
Then we have issues with state tax returns. If the federal tax return doesn’t treat casual gamblers with respect, state tax returns can be down right rude. Wisconsin, for example, doesn’t allow any gambling losses against wins as an itemized deduction: if you lose, you lose; if you win, you lose.Read More
Once again we see the market throwing a temper tantrum. On the way up it was tempting to handle your investments on your own. Now with the horizon less clear and a modest correction in the books as I write, you wonder if professional help might be worth the extra expense.
Those most knowledgeable about money resist the advice of commissioned (or fee-based) professionals. As everyone know, fees have serious consequences over long periods of time. The lower the fees the more you’ll have 10 years down the road.
But when the market gets schizophrenic confidence in one’s abilities declines. Worse, you can make serious mistakes well in excess of what you would pay a financial professional.Read More
Most of the time the stock market is climbing north. Interspersed between bull markets are those times when rookie investors act as if the sky is falling.
Long bull markets turn normally intelligent investors into casino gamblers; they even use gambling terminology: we’re due for a bear market or as they say at the casino, “Red is due after 8 black spins” at the roulette wheel; as if the ball has a memory. The odds of it coming up red are the same as it was last spin, in case you were wondering.
Of course, long moves in the stock market sets off our sixth sense that this can’t last forever. Before long you’re not fully invested (a religious mantra of many investing circles) which smacks of market timing.
This brings up a good question: Should you always be 100% invested in the market?
If only it were as simple as a yes or no answer.
The truth is many people should NOT be fully invested in the market and some people SHOULD be and it has nothing to do with market timing. The trick is to know when to be fully invested and if not, by how much.
It boils down to your personal situation: where you are on your journey to financial independence, how close to retirement you are (or if you are in retirement), spending habits and viable alternative investments.Read More
Paying off the mortgage is the American Dream and the first step toward retirement; it’s harder to retire with a mortgage payment blowing a hole through a fixed budget. Owning your home is the foundation of any vibrant financial plan. Until your home is unencumbered (without a mortgage) the bank still owns it in a manner of speaking (and they’ll remind you of it if you miss a payment).
Still, a home mortgage has its benefits. The traditional reasons to carry mortgage debt are bad reasons to carry the liability, but there are still a few good reasons.
We will review the traditional reasons for borrowing against your home and why the benefit is perceived rather than real. We will finish with the three reasons a mortgage can help you build wealth.Read More
The reason for starting a side business are legion. Maybe early retirement left you with more free time than you know what to do with. Maybe you took early retirement a bit early with the intentions of earning some side income. Or, personal or family issues limit the hours available for gainful activities.
Micro businesses are a great way to earn more money without a massive expenditure of time. You can enjoy the best of both worlds: reasonable income and freedom.
But there is one factor that causes more headaches than any other: taxes. Micro businesses/side gigs have special tax rules that can cause serious problems, or, if done correctly, virtually eliminate your tax bill.
I’ve published on this in the past, but new tax rules require I provide an entirely new guide. Several notable changes require your attention. A misstep will cost you hard-earned tax dollars; a well thought out plan allows you to keep most or all of your side gig income.Read More
You sold a stock or rental property with a massive gain. You deferred/avoided tax on the complete capital gain by investing said gains in an Opportunity Fund. Then you decide to use the basis from the original investments as a down payment on an income property and conduct a cost segregation study. This equates to a $300,000 deduction on your tax return while avoiding tax on the capital gains!Read More
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 brought several new opportunities to reduce your tax burden. A few previous options have been reduced or eliminated. First the bad news.
Like-kind exchanges are now limited to real estate. Capital gains in real estate can be deferred into a replacement property if complicated tax rules are followed. The same cannot be said for business property any more.
The good news comes to us in what is known as §1400Z-2 and §1016(a)(38) as added or modified by the Act. This might sound like a mouthful, but once you understand the implications your mouth is sure to start salivating. In a language normal people understand this means ALL capital gains can be deferred with some gains even tax-free at some point. It also means future gains (for a limited time only as we’ll discuss shortly) can be completely tax-free!
Your favorite accountant has received multiple requests to cover these new Opportunity Funds and Zones in detail due to the conflicting and limited information published elsewhere. In this post we will dig deep into the subject, unveiling the nuances you can use to take a serious bite from your tax liability.Read More