Warren Buffett’s Tax Rate

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about Warren Buffett paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. In fact, this was inspiration for the so-called Buffett Rule that was proposed back in 2011. Under the Buffett Rule, a 30% minimum tax rate would be imposed on individuals earning more than a million dollars per year. […]

You Can’t Avoid Risk

Earlier this week, I ran across an interesting tool over on the Vanguard website. It’s embedded in an article called “The Truth About Risk” and it lets you tweak a model portfolio with sliders for stock, bonds, and cash. The upshot is that you can’t avoid risk. You can attempt to minimize your exposure to […]

Another US Credit Downgrade Looming?

Remember back in August 2011 when Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US credit rating from Aaa to Aa+? Yeah, me too. S&P attributed it to: “The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed.” And guess […]

Barclays Bank Online Savings and CDs

Not quite a year ago, Barclays entered the online banking space. They launched an online savings account with a 1% APY as well as a series of CDs of varying terms with competitive rates. Since that time, they’ve increased the rate steadily to 3.60% APY and now find themselves near the top of the heap […]

What is Sequestration?

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ve likely heard the term “sequestration” bandied about over the past few months, with increasing urgency in recent weeks. If you check out the linked graph of Google search traffic for that word “sequestration” over the past 12 months you’ll see just what I mean. So […]

Claiming the Home Office Tax Deduction

Do you claim the home office tax deduction? I don’t, even though I generate a significant amount of self-employment income out of our home. But lots of other people do. In fact, according to IRS statistics, nearly 3.4 million taxpayers claimed the home office deduction in 2010. As for me, I’ve avoided it because: (1) […]

Wine Prices and Perception

Over the past week or so, I’ve discovered the joys of the Freakonomics podcast. I read and enjoyed the book Freakonomics shortly after it was released, but it took me years to discover the Freakonomics podcast. One of the beauties of this podcast is that not only do I enjoy it but my kids are […]

Poor Service Made Right

Not quite a month ago, I wrote about a poor customer service experience at the Golden Arches, and what a poor job they did in making it right. Today I’m writing about another negative experience at a different establishment and a manager that went above and beyond what was necessary to make things right. We […]

How to Get Missing Tax Forms

Today is the day. You should’ve received your W-2 for 2012 by January 31st. If you didn’t you were supposed to go ahead and contact your employer to (gently) remind them that they dropped the ball. And then… You were supposed to be patient. Yes, the IRS is willing to help, but they didn’t want […]

When are 2012 Taxes Due?

This is just a quick reminder… Unlike the past couple of years, when the traditional tax filing deadline (April 15th) fell on the weekend and/or Emancipation day, April 15th, 2013 will be a non-holiday weekday. Thus, your taxes will be due on the 15th — exactly two months from today. I’m not sure about you, […]