Please Don’t Buy Me My Favorite Gift This Christmas…

I love receiving gift cards as Christmas gifts…looove them.  Usually nothing makes me happier than strolling into Victoria’s Secret the week after Christmas with a gift card buying exhorbitantly priced undies with wild abandon.  Popping my head into Bebe and buying a cute dress for New Years with my little plastic gift card buddy.  But this year things are different, the economy sucks, companies are declaring bankruptcy and gift cards at many stores will be rendered useless when they close their doors forever.  This Christmas season will be do or die for many retailers and if it is die for the store you bought a gift card for – you or your friends and family will be stuck with a worthless piece of plastic that someone dropped good money for.

There is no law preventing stores that are going out of business from selling gift cards until the doors are shut forever.  So buyer beware.  I know I will get comments saying Chapter 11 bankruptcy is different than Chapter 7 etc. etc. but I say better to be safe than sorry!  So since gift cards are out…I am a size 4 and my favorite color is red :)

Please contact Dollars & Sense Education to bring our seminars to your company or organization!

Dollars & Sense Education – Raising Your Financial IQ!
http://www.daseducation.com
nicole@daseducation.com
215-499-3834

You May See Your 401(k) Contribution Limits Shrrrrrrrrrrrinking

Another great WSJ article by Jilian Mincer, as the recession deepens, employees are limiting their contributions to their 401(k)s which means you too might have to limit yours. WHAT!?!  Yes that is right federal rules require that 401(k) plans not favor highly compensated employees, those earning more than $105,000 in 2008.  Higher wage employees can’t contribute more than 2 percentage points more than their lower paid colleagues.

So beware of changes coming………………

Please contact Dollars & Sense Education to bring our seminars to your company or organization!

Dollars & Sense Education – Raising Your Financial IQ!
http://www.daseducation.com
nicole@daseducation.com
215-499-3834

A Quirky 529 College Savings Plan Rule

As we know 529 college savings plans are a great way to save for college.  What you might not know is that an IRS rule limits you to just one investment change per calendar year.  This has alot of parents in a panic as they look to increase their bond allocation given the state of the market.  Seems a bit restrictive to me, what does everyone think?

Donating Money From Your IRA

Every week Kelley Greene’s Focus on Retirement Segment in the Wall Street Journal is excellent, this week is no exception.  If anyone has any money left their IRA and would like to donate it to a charity…here are some details.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122489075823068591.html

Basically what it says is if you are 70 1/2 or older you can donate up to $100,000 from your IRA tax free to a qualified charity.  The same does not hold for a 401(k) or 403(b).

50 Fun Stock Market Facts from Blueprint For Financial Prosperity

Fun article.  Make sure you read the comments very insightful!

http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/50-fun-facts-about-the-stock-market.html#comment-289713

Please contact Dollars & Sense Education to bring our seminars to your company or organization!

Dollars & Sense Education – Raising Your Financial IQ!
http://www.daseducation.com
nicole@daseducation.com
215-499-3834

Jim Cramer Panics? Umm…Isn’t He Just Restating The Obvious?

“Whatever you may need for the next five years, please take it out of the stock market. Right now. This week. I do not believe that you should risk those assets in the stock market.”

- Jim Cramer

With all due respect Mr. Cramer…No $h*t…It’s called a long term investment for a reason.  Any money you need in the next 5 years should be in short term savings vehicles.

Please contact Dollars & Sense Education to bring our seminars to your company or organization!

Dollars & Sense Education – Raising Your Financial IQ!
http://www.daseducation.com
nicole@daseducation.com
215-499-3834

One Of The Better Articles About “Mark to Market” I Have Read

I don’t have a strong opinion regarding mark to market accounting rules but I read a decent article in an older Economist magazine (sometimes I have to play catchup) this afternoon.  Enjoy!

Here she is:

http://www.economist.com/finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12274096

Please contact Dollars & Sense Education to bring our seminars to your company or organization!

Dollars & Sense Education – Raising Your Financial IQ!
http://www.daseducation.com
nicole@daseducation.com
215-499-3834

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