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Jill On Money

  • Ways to reduce your tax bill

    Ways to reduce your tax bill

    Although the tax code is complicated and thorny, there are several potential ways to reduce your bill. Some suggestions:  Claim your credits: Tax credits provide a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your income tax liability, which is why they are the best way to save. Here are some of the most popular...

  • Buffett proves power of low-cost index funds

    Buffett proves power of low-cost index funds

    No investment guru's wisdom is more sought after than that of Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and the Oracle of Omaha. According to his annual shareholder letter, his advice is pretty simple: “Both large and small investors should stick with low-cost index funds.” He reminded...

  • Happy birthday, Roth IRA

    Happy birthday, Roth IRA

    The Roth IRA turns 20 this year. The retirement vehicle was part of the Tax Relief Act of 1997, and it was seen as such a boon to savers that many believed that it would not survive. Two decades later, it is alive and well. As many Americans consider funding retirement plans this tax season, it's...

  • Be aware of tax scams this season

    Be aware of tax scams this season

    Tax preparation season opened Jan. 23, and this year procrastinators again will have a few extra days. The filing deadline is April 18 rather than April 15, due to a Washington holiday. For early bird filers, there is some good news: Under provisions of the 2015 Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes...

  • Put investing life on autopilot

    Put investing life on autopilot

    A year ago, I received a slew of mail from readers wondering what they could have done better in 2015 to improve their investment results. In 2015, in case you don't recall, the S&P 500 index was down by less than 1 percent, although when one includes reinvested dividends, the broad index managed...

  • Biggest money stories of the year

    Biggest money stories of the year

    It's always interesting to look back at the year that was. In chronological order, here are my six stories that had the greatest impact on savers and investors in 2016: The U.S. stock market correction: Investors were plunged into reality in February, as fears of a global growth slowdown pushed...

  • End-of-year financial planning tips

    End-of-year financial planning tips

    I recently outlined some financial planning tips that varied somewhat from year-end advice in past years due to changes that likely will happen in the tax code. They included things like accelerating and bunching itemized deductions, using highly appreciated securities for charitable contributions,...

  • Digital smarts can save Christmas shopping

    Digital smarts can save Christmas shopping

    With the election over and wage growth strengthening, there could be a nice surprise to retail results this season. Americans are expected to increase spending 3 to 3.5 percent from a year ago. Regardless of whether sales increase, the focus will return to the growth of digital. In a recent report,...

  • How is your financial literacy?

    How is your financial literacy?

    What have we learned since the financial crisis and Great Recession? Not so much, according to research from the FINRA Investment Education Foundation. In its study “Financial Capability in the United States 2016,” the percentage of respondents who were able to answer at least four out of five...

  • Election jitters? Don't let it affect investment moves

    Election jitters? Don't let it affect investment moves

    Defying the polls and odds, Donald Trump won the presidential election. As the results became clear late Tuesday night, financial markets around the world reacted swiftly: Stocks plunged (at one point during the overnight session, U.S. futures were down 5 percent, indicating a more than 800 point...

  • Study insurance options carefully to get best deal

    Study insurance options carefully to get best deal

    Like most Americans, you're probably weighing options in the open enrollment period for health insurance and other workplace benefits. Like most people, you will probably default to what you did last year. That's a shame, because spending some time with your various plan options can help you save...

  • New fiduciary rule set to give investors a boost

    New fiduciary rule set to give investors a boost

    Has the political season got you down? Here's an imperfect antidote to the vituperative presidential campaign: Over the past month, large investment companies like Blackrock and Charles Schwab announced that they are cutting fees on some of their largest exchange traded funds (ETFs). (As a reminder,...

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