The Right And Wrong Types of Questions For Customer Service

The tax season is over. I also get a break from the deluge of questions via emails and comments on my tax-related articles. A common theme goes like this: I read your article, but when I called [Fidelity, Vanguard, fill in the blank] they told me [something contradictory]. I'm surprised that customer service reps at Fidelity, Vanguard, and other financial institutions are giving tax information. It's not their role. Customer service reps are in an execution role. If you want to do X, they will [...]

How To Cut Down Tax Refund Identity Theft Fraud

I received my tax refund as expected. Thankfully no one filed a fraudulent tax return using my Social Security Number. I heard tax refund identity theft is becoming more rampant these days. You file your taxes only to hear that some criminals beat [...]

Adjust Cost Basis for ESPP Sale In TaxACT

The new IRS regulation for selling ESPP shares acquired in 2014 or thereafter requires adjusting the basis. Otherwise you will pay double-tax on the discount. Reader Sam asked me how to do it in TaxACT. If you use TurboTax or H&R Block software, [...]

Extra Help At Tax Time

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of E*TRADE for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. I write a lot about taxes because taxes and investing go hand-in-hand. If you manage your taxes well, you get to keep more of the gains from your [...]

Is Morningstar Losing Relevance In An Indexing World?

I attended Morningstar's online conference for individual investors a little over a week ago. To be honest, I was disappointed. It made me question whether Morningstar is losing relevance to individual investors in an indexing world. If investing [...]

2015 and 2016 HSA Contribution Limits

The contribution limits for various tax advantaged accounts for the following year are usually announced in the fall, except for HSA, which come out in the spring. The IRS will announce contribution limits for Health Savings Account (HSA) for 2016 [...]

2015 Federal Poverty Levels (FPL) For Affordable Care Act

People who don't have health insurance from work can buy health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The premiums are made affordable by a premium subsidy in the form of a tax credit calculated off your income relative to [...]

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Primary and Alternate ETFs

I went through the questionnaire for Schwab's new robo-advisor product Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. There were 12 questions. The interface looked very good. Asset Classes Breakdown I answered the questions truthfully as myself. I was given this [...]