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Four Tips For Avoiding Being Ripped Off By Your Financial Adviser

By now everyone has heard of Bernie Madoff and his $50 billion (with a ‘B!’) investment scam. Unfortunately, although his scam was by far the biggest ever uncovered, he was hardly alone. There’s Roberto Heckscher, who allegedly bilked $50 million from mostly elderly investors over a thirty-year period. And, more recently, Kenneth Starr, a New…
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Donating to Charity? Here’s How to Ensure Getting a Tax Deduction

Are you planning to make a donation to a charity this year? If so, you may be able to take a deduction for it on your 2012 tax return. Here are the top 10 things the IRS wants every taxpayer to know before deducting charitable donations. 1. Charitable contributions must be made to qualified organizations…
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Are Financial Planners Only For Risk Takers?

A recent article by Jason Zweig in the Wall Street Journal, based on an analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances by Sherman Hanna of Ohio State University, noted that 25% of U.S. households currently use a financial planner, up from 21% in the late 1990s. The bad news is that…
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The Art Of Buying High And Selling Low

That’s right! Buying high and selling low! Sound backwards? You may be surprised to discover that’s actually what most retail investors do. The chart below from the Leuthold Group, an institutional research firm, compares the timing of inflows and outflows to/from US equity mutual funds to the price of the S&P 500. Since most retail…
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Your Risk-Free Investments And Annuities Are Not As Risk-Free As You Think

Most investors know that investing in stocks is riskier than investing in bonds. And those who are exceptionally risk-averse tend to keep their money in CDs or money market funds. For safety in retirement, especially in the wake of the 2008 recession, more and more retirees have additionally been putting their money into annuities, which…
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