Stock up on stocks that invest in staples

By: Anne Kates Smith
Posted on: March 12, 2012

How bad would things have to get before you stopped putting ketchup on your fries? What kind of Armageddon would keep you from buying toilet paper, diapers or detergent?If you can’t imagine life without the products in your pantry, linen closet or laundry room, then you know why shares of companies that make consumer necessities have performed well, even in a dicey economy.In 2011,... READ MORE

Don’t overpay when filing 2011 tax return

By: Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on: March 01, 2012

As in most years, there are several changes in the tax code that may have an impact on your 2011 tax return. Whether you prepare your own return or hire someone to do it for you, you should know what changes have been made. Even if someone else prepares your return, you are responsible for its accuracy.Certain changes, such as the increase in the standard deduction, will be apparent when... READ MORE

Mistakes that even smart investors make

By: Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on: March 01, 2012

Everybody knows somebody who purports to be an investment maven. You might even like to consider yourself one.However, while we always hear about the winning picks these favored few make, we don’t commonly hear about their mistakes. And, to hear Larry Swedroe tell it, “smart” investors make mistakes all the time.Swedroe, a money manager and columnist for CBS... READ MORE

Avoid pitfalls when starting a business

By: Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on: February 27, 2012

Many Americans dream of starting a small business. For some, it’s a way of doing something they love while being their own boss. For others, it’s an idea they turn to after losing a job or retiring.What every aspiring small business owner needs to know is that starting an enterprise takes a lot of work and investment, and the chances of failure are high.Most small businesses... READ MORE

Dividend-paying stocks still looking good

By: Mark Jewell
Posted on: February 27, 2012

Stock investors as a group ran in place in last year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended 2011 about where it started.Invest in a stock mutual fund, and you likely ended up losing because of fee expenses. About three-quarters of the U.S. stock fund categories that Morningstar tracks closed out the calendar year with a loss.That’s another knock for investors who are still... READ MORE

How to collect your unclaimed bonds, funds, refunds

By: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
Posted on: February 20, 2012

Although there are plenty of scam artists who claim to be from the IRS, this announcement is for real: The Internal Revenue Service is holding on to $153.3 million worth in tax refund checks that were returned to the agency because of mailing-address errors.The average check is $1,547, so it could be worthwhile doing a search using the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund?” tool ... READ MORE