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Forecast: Economic Impact of Katrina

As the tidewaters recede and the dust settles in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many people are wondering what will be both the short-term and long-term effect on our economy and the stock market. First and foremost, this is a disaster of truly astounding proportions. Some estimates suggest that the costs of rebuilding infrastructure, insurance […]

Real Estate: Reducing Taxes on Home Sales

In last week’s column, I discussed how to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the sale of various real estate investments.  As you are probably aware, real estate prices have risen sharply in most parts of the country.  Residential real estate is no exception and homeowners have felt the boom of a strong real estate […]

Beating the Tax Man- Real Estate Strategies Part I

By far the hottest sector over the past several years is real estate.  Whether it’s your primary residence, beachfront property or traditional investment real estate, we’re seeing increasing values and lots of buying and selling activity.  This activity has the potential to create large capital gains taxes…a sure way to take some of the fun […]

Protecting Your Property

Hurricane Katrina caused hundreds of millions of dollars of personal property damage throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. In New Orleans, the water surge placed some homes 12 feet under water. Unfortunately, it can take a natural disaster to make you stop and think about how you should prepare to protect yourself in case you find […]

The $50,000 Free Lunch

You’ve often heard the old adage, "There’s no free lunch". Well, guess what– I found one. Mass Mutual Financial Group is offering a free $50,000 10-year term life policy to qualifying individuals. Founded more than 150 years ago, Mass Mutual has developed into one of the nation’s top life insurance companies. Today, it is a […]

Your Best Car Deal Ever

Over the past two weeks, I have discussed how to get the best deal whether you are buying a new car or leasing a car.  One question I am constantly asked is, “Is it smarter to purchase a car or lease one?”  There is a financial answer as well as an emotional answer to this […]

Leasing a Car- How to Get a Great Deal

Some people prefer to lease rather than own a car for a number of reasons including smaller up-front costs, smaller monthly payments and avoiding the hassles associated with selling a used car. In a lease deal, the dealer sells your car to a leasing company who, in turn, leases it back to you. Your payments […]

Buying a New Car-How to Get a Great Deal

Thinking of buying a new car but dreading negotiating with the salesperson? In this first of a 3-part series, I’ll give you the step-by-step process for getting the best deal on your next new car purchase. Step 1. Review your credit history. Assuming you plan on financing your purchase, your first step should be to […]

Convertible Bonds – Add Spice to Your Portfolio

Convertible bonds have been the focus of numerous articles and commentary from the financial press over the past several months. What are they? Are they useful investments for the individual investor? A convertible bond is a bond issued by a publicly traded corporation that gives the bondholder the option to convert the bond to a […]

Estate Tax Lotto

In 2001, President Bush signed a law that will eliminate all estate taxes in 2010. Unfortunately, the law contains a sunset provision that would repeal the law in 2011 causing estate taxes to be due on estates that exceed $1 million. Currently if your estate, including life insurance that you own, was less than $1.5 […]