No one likes to pay taxes. So we investors perk up our ears if someone says we can generate returns that are really, truly, legally tax-free. Guess what – we identified not just one, but five ways you can do that.
Procrastinating is usually a bad thing… but not when it comes to paying taxes. Here’s some good news: Paying taxes is one of the rare times when “putting it off” can actually be a good strategy. If you are making enough to save some money (and everyone should do so, even if it is just a small amount each month), you need to know how taxes will affect your savings over the long run.
You’ve seen the ads for online brokerage firms, bragging about their low fees, user-friendly trading tools, stock screeners and so on. How do you choose?
As you might suspect, there’s much more to options than just buying and selling calls and puts. (And if you need a primer on options basics, check out this link.) There are options strategies for making bets (speculating), reducing risk and generating income. Some strategies make a profit when a stock goes up. Some do well when a stock goes down. And some are designed to do best when things stay calm. You can also apply these strategies to the overall stock market, using options on an index such as the S&P 500.
You’ve probably seen one or more stock charts — maybe the ones with vertical bars and little horizontal dashes or those with rectangles that look kind of like sticks of dynamite. Some charts have a meandering line going across the whole graph. Is this all some type of visual Morse code? More like a clever way of conveying a lot of information with some lines and dashes. (Come to think of it, that does sound like Morse code.) This article explains how to read those bars, boxes and lines, so that you can understand the stories they’re telling.
The next time you’re in a conversation about investing, mention “swaps and other derivatives” and see what happens. You could get some strong reactions from otherwise levelheaded people, many of whom probably know very little about these instruments. Derivatives have been cited as a major cause of the 2008 financial crisis and have been described as “weapons of mass destruction” and “time bombs” by some famous investors. So it’s understandable to think of derivatives as the Ebola virus of financial instruments, not to be touched without head-to-toe protective gear. But is “toxic” really a fair way to describe them?
You may think that owning stocks involves picking the companies you want to buy and phoning up your broker (or logging into your brokerage account) and telling them how many shares you want to buy. Holding shares of stock this way is known as direct stock ownership. And while buying stocks individually is definitely one way to invest, it’s not the only way.
Back in 1985, rock band Dire Straits had a mega hit with a song called “Money for Nothing.” And who wouldn’t like to get paid without putting in any long hours of work?
Time is money. You’ve heard this countless times, but have you ever really thought about how this saying applies to your life? When you work, you are literally exchanging your time for money. You can also trade money for time. When you take an unpaid absence from work or turn down a “gig” to hang out with friends, you are giving up money for more time to do something other than work. However, making money doesn’t have to use your time. Money that is made without consuming any of the 24 hours you get each day is called passive income.
Are you a member of the “Non-savers Club”? According to a 2017 survey by GoBankingRates, the vast majority of young Americans have less in savings than they should. A whopping 36% have $0. Chances are you or someone close to you are in this group… with no money set aside for a comfortable retirement — let alone an emergency fund in case your pipes spring a leak or your fender falls off. I’m not here to scold or judge… but I am here to inspire. So if you’re like many Millennials who find it hard to start setting money aside, please read on. I’ve got a plan for you. (And if you’re closer to retirement age, we’ve got you covered too.)