Reuters Money

Japan disaster: How you can help

March 11, 2011

People watch the aftermath of tsunami waves after an earthquake at the Kessennuma port, Miyagi Prefecture, March 11, 2011.  REUTERS/YOMIURIRelief organizations are scrambling to provide aid to victims of Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami. If you know of any relief efforts, please let us know, and we will update this list.

Financial tips for snowbirds

March 11, 2011

Pam Barber and her dog Blanca are pictured in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/HandoutEven though she’s not leaving for another month or so, Pam Barber has already begun making preparations for her annual 1,600-mile, three-day drive from Arizona to Washington state in her 1995 Jeep. In the fall, the 67-year-old retired teacher, along with husband Denis and six-year-old labradoodle Blanca, will make the trip in reverse. “It’s a lifestyle that really suits us, and it’s the best of both worlds climate-wise,” she says.

Mutual funds: When taxes can hurt

March 8, 2011

The headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are seen in Washington, July 6, 2009. REUTERS/Jim Bourg As you’ve gone through the latest annual reports from your mutual funds and considered how to apply what you learned in your investment strategy and tax planning, have you noted that their basic features are not the same? For example, have you noted that some reports have a feature that others don’t: a comparison of pre-tax and after-tax returns?

Why you need to read your mutual fund annual reports

March 8, 2011

Barbara Harris, founder of Project Prevention, sorts paperwork at her home in Concord, North Carolina on November 17, 2010.  REUTERS/Chris Keane With the start of March, your mutual funds’ annual reports for the calendar year 2010 should have landed in your mailbox and/or become accessible to you on your computer’s monitor — if any were due.

Investors, do you know your cost basis?

March 8, 2011

A share trader reacts on share price development as he sits in front of the German share prize index DAX board at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, June 17, 2009.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach There’s one thing you really need to know about the new rules on cost basis: If you haven’t had a conversation with your broker about how you want your basis to be calculated, it’s time.

Will a VAT turn America into a Greek-style welfare state?

February 23, 2011

Daniel J. Mitchell is an expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy. He is a senior fellow at the CATO Institute. The opinions expressed here are his own.

New tax breaks for the self-employed

February 23, 2011

A tax form is pictured on tax deadline day at the main Post Office in New York April 15, 2009.  REUTERS/Chip East Limited-time offers usually come from television pitchmen, but this year the Internal Revenue Service is tossing a couple at self-employed folks who cover their own health insurance. If that describes you, check out these breaks on your 2010 tax returns. They’re new this year, and could offer significant savings. Here are the details.

No Reagan-style tax reform, please

February 23, 2011

Andrew Fieldhouse is a federal budget policy analyst and John Irons is the research and policy director, both at the Economic Policy Institute. The opinions expressed are their own.

Q and A: Inside LGBT financial planning

February 22, 2011

Bill Moran REUTERS/HandoutWhen Bill Moran helped kick off the LGBT Financial Services Team at Merrill Lynch eight years ago, it was the only team of its type on Wall Street. He leads the group, which consists of a nationwide network of financial advisers, through what he now says is a growth spurt. Reuters contributor Caryn Brooks checked in with Moran to find out the latest on LGBT financial planning.

Financial planning tips for non-traditional couples

February 18, 2011

Larry and Stan have been together since 1987. On October 6th, 2008, their 21st anniversary, they become one of the 18,000 couples married in California before Proposition 8 was instated. By all accounts, these two successful, Manhattan professionals share their lives together as any other couple — except when it comes to financial planning.