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4.99% credit card transfers

While you might assume any mutual fund investor should use Money’s mutual fund record-keeping tools, that isn’t the case.

Because investment 4.99% credit card transfers record keeping, including mutual fund record keeping, requires significant work and involves complexity, you need to make sure the effort is worth it.In general, you keep investment records for any of the following reasons:Reason 1: You want to track interest and dividend income.Reason 2: You want to track realized and unrealized capital gains and losses.Reason 3: You want to measure or grade the profitability of an investment by calculating its annual return or yield.Obviously, all three of the tasks in the preceding list sound worthwhile, but many investors won’t need to use Money’s record-keeping tools to get this sort of information.Tracking Investment IncomeIf your investing is done using tax-deferred accounts, such as individual retirement accounts, 401(k)s, and other similar investment containers, you don’t need to track the investment’s income. The income from tax-deferred investments stored is not currently taxable. The money you contribute to one of these tax-deferred accounts can be counted as a deduction when the money is transferred into the account. Any money you ultimately withdraw from one of these accounts can be counted as income when you move money out of the account and into your regular checking account.For example, if you contribute money to an individual retirement account by writing a check on your regular bank account, you can categorize the check as “IRA contribution” when you write the check. This categorization lets you easily track the IRA contribution deduction you will need to report on your tax return. Similarly, if you withdraw money from an IRA account, all you need to do is categorize the deposit as IRA income. This lets you keep track of the IRA withdrawals you will also need to report on your tax return.Tracking Capital GainsAs mentioned earlier, realized and unrealized capital gains are often the second reason for using Money for investment record keeping. In the case of a regular taxable investment account, any time you buy and then later sell an investment, you experience a capital gain or loss that needs to be reported on your tax return. Because capital gains and losses are important for your tax return, when you keep records of taxable investments you want to track these items. You even want to track potential, or unrealized, capital gains and losses.However, while tracking unrealized and realized capital gains and losses is important for taxable investment accounts, you don’t need to do this for tax-deferred investment accounts like individual retirement accounts and 401(k) accounts. The reason is simple. For tax-deferred investment accounts, gains and losses aren’t taxable. Just as is the case with investment income, inside a tax-deferred investment account, gains and losses have no effect on taxable income. Again, the only tax effect comes from money you move into and out of the account. In general, money you move into the account is a deduction for purposes of calculating your taxable income. Money you move out of your account is an income amount for purposes of calculating your income tax return.The general rule described in the preceding paragraph—that money moved into and out of a tax-deferred investment account is what produces a tax deduction or taxable income amount—is true. However, predictably, some tax-deferred investment accounts don’t work this way.There are, for example, nondeductible IRA accounts. A nondeductible IRA account doesn’t give the taxpayer a deduction merely for moving money into the account. Also, a Roth IRA account doesn’t credit card 4.99% transfers actually produce any taxable income just because you move money out of the account. The primary benefit of a Roth IRA is that you get to withdraw money from the IRA without including the withdrawal on your tax return.However, in spite of the fact that money moved into certain types of IRAs or out of certain types of IRAs doesn’t trigger a tax deduction or taxable income, the general rules described here still apply. Even for nondeductible IRAs or Roth IRAs, you don’t need to track investment income, dividend income, capital gains, and capital losses for tax record-keeping using Money.Measuring Investment PerformanceAs identified earlier, the third reason for investment record keeping concerns investment performance measurement. In general, one of the things you want to do when you become serious about your investing is calculate how good or how bad an investment performs. Complete and accurate investment records force you to honestly evaluate your investing. One of the ways you measure investment performance is by calculating the annual return, or yield, produced by the investment. For example, if you buy a stock for $12 a share and later sell it for $18 a share, you should calculate the annual return on the stock.An annual return, or yield, resembles an interest rate. By comparing the return a stock earns to the return provided by other investments, you gain a frame of reference and get a better idea of whether a particular investment 4.99% credit card transfers makes sense.While calculating returns obviously makes sense, note that one of the tasks your mutual funds management company does is calculate annual returns. Therefore, you don’t need to duplicate this effort. In effect, one of the services you are already paying the mutual funds management company for is the calculation of this important performance measure.Mutual fund management companies calculate returns on an annual basis—typically using the calendar year as the period for which returns are calculated. Your investment holding period may not match the period for which the return was calculated. For example, if you hold an investment for one year but your year runs from July 1 to June 30, a return measure provided by the mutual fund company may not be useful if the return is from January 1 to December 31. Nevertheless, if you use the prudent mutual fund investment strategy—which is simply to invest for longer periods, to buy and then hold—the mutual fund management company’s performance measurements do give you the information you need.2

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DID YOU KNOW?

A car loan after a bankruptcy is one of the easiest types of secure loans to get. Negotiate the best deal by taking control of your financial situation. With so many lending options available, you can choose your lender. Start by tidying up your credit report. Then, look for car financing before you start shopping. Not only will you get a good rate, but you can negotiate an even better price for your new car.

Be Proactive In Securing Financing

Don’t fall for dealership financing targeted for those with poor credit. Often times you will get stuck with a high rate loan and a high costing car. Instead, be proactive about securing your financing before you shop for a car.

This way, you have the most options on where you want to purchase a car. And you can get a better price because you have “cash.” They will never know you have a bankruptcy in your past.

Straighten Up Your Credit Report

Make sure your bankruptcy has been completely settled before getting a car loan. You can get a free copy of your report online to check that all qualifying accounts have been closed. Also verify that your payment history is correct.

While you are looking at your credit report, you may also want to look at your FICO score. With a recent bankruptcy, you can expect your score to be in the low 500’s. After two years though, you can have a score over 650, qualifying for market rates.

Increase Qualification Factors

Even with a bankruptcy, you can lower rates with several factors. A down payment of 20% or more is a good start, so is having little debt and cash reserves in the bank.

You can further reduce your rates by being selective with your terms. Adjustable rates are usually lower than fixed rates loan. A three year loan will also have lower rates than a five year loan.

Search For The Right Lender

Searching for the right lender will also help you save on loan costs. Compare rates and fees based on loan quotes. Car loan broker sites can help you analyze multiple offers side by side.

In this modern economy, lenders provide loans tailored to just about any situation. Balloon loans are one such loan, but carry a serious downside if you’re not careful.

Balloon Loans

A balloon loan has nothing to do with hot air or floating around the world in 80 days. Fail to plan very carefully when using one of these loans, however, and your financial world will definitely go down in flame like the Hindenburg.

A balloon loan is a mortgage with a fixed interest rate for a set period of years. Unlike traditional fixed rate home loans, the interest rates on balloon loans are nearly as low as those found on adjustable rate mortgages. The problem with balloon loans, however, is the term.

While balloon loans provide a low fixed interest rate for a set period of years, those years are not in abundance. Instead of a fifteen or thirty year repayment term, a balloon loan typically has a term of seven to ten years, depending upon what the lender was willing to give you. At the end of the term, you must repay the balloon loan in full. Yes, in full. Let’s take a look at how this can play out.

In 2005, you find a home you love but can’t qualify for a loan. You are so engrossed with the loan that you eventually locate a lender willing to write you a balloon loan. The loan is for $400,000 and has a 7 year term. At the end of the seven years, you’ve paid the loan down by $50,000, but still owe $350,000. Somehow and someway, you must come up with that $350,000 to pay off the loan. If you don’t, the lender will foreclose on the home.

Every borrower that goes with a balloon loan fully intends to refinance the property before the balloon blows. While this makes sense, you have to keep in mind that refinancing is no sure thing. Maybe you can, but maybe you can’t. Also, we are experiencing some of the lowest loan rates every seen. Chances are very strong that in seven years, rates are going to be much higher. Are you really going to be able to afford those rates?

Balloon home loans are all about seeing the future. In essence, you are pulling out the tea leaves and betting on rates in 2012 or so. If you get it wrong, your financial life can become a nightmare.










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