If the markets were going to collapse because of turmoil in Washington, wouldn’t it have happened already?
GIVE AWAY MONEY NOW? You might be considering a large financial gift to your favorite charity or to your children. Charitable contributions aren’t limited, though their tax-deductibility can be. Meanwhile, with our kids, we might take advantage of the $14,000 annual gift-tax exclusion. But before we do, we should check we have plenty for own retirement.
VANGUARD GROUP is my favorite fund company—and the place where I now keep all my investment dollars. There’s no mystery why: Among mutual fund companies, Vanguard has long been not only the biggest champion of index funds, but also the firm with the lowest annual fund expenses.
Except that’s no longer the case.
Fidelity Investments, BlackRock’s iShares and Charles Schwab have all muscled onto Vanguard’s turf, offering index funds with lower annual expenses. This is obviously a marketing ploy: By offering cut-rate deals on select index funds,
COULD YOU SQUEEZE MORE HAPPINESS from your dollars? Here are 10 questions to ponder:
Which expenditures from the past year do you remember with a smile? Which prompt a shrug of the shoulders and maybe even a twinge of regret? Use those insights to guide your spending in the year ahead.
Could you commute less? Research tells us that commuting is terrible for happiness. You might move closer to the office or try to work at home a few days each week.
WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR HOME, ignorance about taxes isn’t bliss—and it could be disastrous. I often field tax questions from homeowners. Most don’t understand how they’re affected by continuously changing tax rules. Even worse, they’re totally unaware that the rules have changed.
Want to save thousands of dollars? What follows are reminders of how to sidestep tax pitfalls and take maximum advantage of frequently missed—but perfectly legal—opportunities:
Mortgage points. Do you plan to purchase a new dwelling around year-end?
Jonathan Clements is the founder and editor of HumbleDollar. He spent almost two decades at The Wall Street Journal, where he was the personal finance columnist. His latest book: How to Think About Money.