Read Before Filing Your Tax Return

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Taxation is theft, but sometimes we can rig the odds in our favor and come out ahead when it is time to file our person income taxes. Now before you start calling the IRS to report to get me audited, what I am talking about is perfectly legal, in fact, it is encouraged!

So many Americans, young people especially, recent college graduates, single parents, Millenials in general, are not wasting money and not getting the most out of their return by paying someone to prepare their State and Federal Income Tax.

With the addition of the Affordable Health Care Act and new penalties for Americans without health insurance, it is easy to see how confusing understanding all of the tax laws can be. I am not discouraging you from seeking professional services if you require them, but in many cases, people think that by hiring a tax pro to file for them they will get a faster refund and more deductions.

This misconception often leads people to sign up for paid services, like e-filing and an audit checking, unaware that they qualify for a special stipulation that allows a large percentage of Americans to file both Federal and State income tax for free!

Popular Online tax preparation service will often entice you to sign up for free electronic preparation and filing of your federal but charge you to import your information and file the state returns. Once you have originally signed up for the year, it is too late to register for the free filing program.

Before you begin to prepare your taxes this year, check to see if you qualify for free state filing. I have used TurboTax for over a decade for myself and to show others how simple filing a 10W-EZ can be.

Taxation is theft, but sometimes we can rig the odds in our favor and come out ahead when it is time to file our person income taxes. Now before you start calling the IRS to report to get me audited, what I am talking about is perfectly legal, in fact, it is encouraged!

So many Americans, young people especially, recent college graduates, single parents, Millenials in general, are not wasting money and not getting the most out of their return by paying someone to prepare their State and Federal Income Tax.

With the addition of the Affordable Health Care Act and new penalties for Americans without health insurance, it is easy to see how confusing understanding all of the tax laws can be. I am not discouraging you from seeking professional services if you require them, but in many cases, people think that by hiring a tax pro to file for them they will get a faster refund and more deductions.

This misconception often leads people to sign up for paid services, like e-filing and an audit checking, unaware that they qualify for a special stipulation that allows a large percentage of Americans to file both Federal and State income tax for free!

Popular Online tax preparation service will often entice you to sign up for free electronic preparation and filing of your federal but charge you to import your information and file the state returns. Once you have originally signed up for the year, it is too late to register for the free filing program.

Before you begin to prepare your taxes this year, check to see if you qualify for free state filing. I have used TurboTax for over a decade for myself and to show others how simple filing a 10W-EZ can be.

Bitcoin $1000 – Third Time Is A Charm

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If you have been following cryptocurrency this month then no doubt you have been keeping a close eye on the price of Bitcoin($BTC). For a third time, the electronic currency has a market price of over $1000.

 

Some had guessed that this occurrence would happen last night but the rally was delayed and waited until early today break past this crucial resistance.

coindesk-bpi-chart

12 hours chart via coindesk

Will this current rally hold or will Bitcoin be made to collect more solid support before these recent gains can be looked at as a win for the community of bitcoin enthusiast and investors?

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Beware of Crypto-MLMs and High Return Investments on Social Media

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via Beware of Crypto-MLMs and High Return Investments on Social Media – Bitcoin News

Unfortunately, the world of cryptocurrency has seen a bunch of people running scammy ‘investments’ preying on people’s lack of knowledge. Over the past couple of years, shady organizations such as Onecoin, MMM Global and others have brought a slew of shady characters operating get-rich-quick schemes and Multi-Level Marketing scams. It’s good to know how to spot these types of sketchy operations and refrain from participating.

Also Read: How Sustainable Will Bitcoin Be After the Apocalypse?

Beware of So-Called Online Investments

Beware of Crypto-MLMs and High Return Investments on Social MediaBitcoin.com has done extensive reporting on the likes of the so-called digital currency Onecoin. We’ve also covered a few other MLM operations that use virtual currencies and have uncovered many red flags associated with these businesses and their employees. Besides Onecoin, there is a vast amount of other scams that people should be aware of so they can better protect themselves and their legitimate investments.

Social media has a broad array of groups that pay particular attention to the cryptocurrency landscape. However, when following these groups on Facebook, Google Plus and many others, there is a ton of scammers preying on visitors. They offer unheard-of returns on investments for those wanting to join their ‘club’ as well as promises that will never materialize. Here are some promises from people offering ‘investment opportunities’ within crypto-groups on social media:

31 days online, 30 days paying. 0.3% hourly forever, 7.5% daily forever, 60% weekly forever. 0.001 BTC minimum, and automatic withdrawals.

OMG! Just signed up.. $4 bonus… with potential income of $100 a week or less.. Completing simple tasks, no investment, totally free… just sign up.

New Doubler Investment Site!!! 0 running days, 200% hourly for 50 hours, 240% after one day, 355% after two days, 470% after three days, 585% after four days, 600% after five days, Min deposit:$1, we accept bitcoin.

Beware of Crypto-MLMs and High Return Investments on Social Media
There is a lot of shady investment opportunities on Facebook, Google Plus, Linkedin, Twitter and more.

‘Scam Artists: the Evil Cousins of Genuine Entrepreneurs’

Many of these types of investment scams ask for people to send a minimum of bitcoin so they can expect a bigger payout in the future. Furthermore, a lot of these shady organizations run under a Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) business model. MLMs consist of people who are selling in a pyramid or referral type of marketing system. The business model requires recruiting more people to fund the entire network and has always been a controversial business plan. Companies can often be seen operating in this manner using bitcoin within their operations and accrue revenue from direct sales and downline distribution. And yes, there are legal MLM structures in many markets that run legitimate business operations and should not be considered Ponzi schemes.

However, a large portion of MLMs associated with Bitcoin (if not all) are shady operations, so buyers and potential registrants should beware. Scams in relation to Bitcoin mean the community must continuously be on top of its game to expose such operations. Austrian economist Jeffrey Tucker believes scams are a form of flattery and a bullish sign for the digital currency. Tucker explains this rationale in 2015 stating:

Let’s ask a deeper question: why are scam artists so attracted to Bitcoin? The answer is actually flattering. Scam artists are the evil cousins of genuine entrepreneurs. They are alert to new opportunities. They are attracted to ventures that are popular among the smart set. They are profoundly aware of what people imagine to be the next big thing. Their interest in Bitcoin, then, is actually a bullish sign. I would be more worried about this market if scam artists were not interested in it.  

If it’s Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is

A lot of online resources and consumer reports may help distinguish whether or not an ‘investment operation’ is a scam. It’s safe to assume that most of the MLMs and significantly ‘high investment’ return opportunities associated with Bitcoin are not legitimate operations. Most of these scam artists and fake investments are pretty easy to spot, and people should be very cautious when approached by individuals soliciting money on the internet. If the investment sounds too good to be true with wild promises of daily payouts, or you need to recruit hundreds of people to earn income, then it’s probably not in your best interest.

What do you think about MLMs, doubler investments, and scam artists using Bitcoin in the backdrop? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay and various Facebook groups.


Whether you’re a beginner or a long-time bitcoin player, there’s always something interesting going on in the bitcoin.com Forums. We are proud free speech advocates, and no matter what your opinion on bitcoin we guarantee it’ll be seen and heard here. We don’t censor.

What is Preferred Stock?

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For anyone attempting to do their due diligence on a potential investment opportunity, the task can be a daunting experience. Many investors often misunderstand the confusing legal speak within the SEC filings that publicly traded companies are required to issue. This guide is intended to help investors better comprehend the practice of a preferred stock issuance.

Preferred Stock is something of a hybrid between common stock and bonds or debt. Typically, those shares are paid a regular cash dividend, regardless of company’s financial position to issue a regular dividend to the common shares. Commonly, these types of stocks sell in large blocks, purchased by financial institutions who has several tax advantages over retail investors.

When an investor buys preferred shares, they do so at the par value, a set price that determines the amount the issuer is obligated to pay as a preferred dividend. To determine the preferred dividend’s annual payout, multiply the dividend’s percentage by the par value.

5% preferred stock x $100 par = $5 per year annual dividends

Although preferred shares typically do not show much appreciation they can provide financial institutions with an incentive to stay vested in the underlying security. This type of scenario is the most common example of a Non-Participating Preferred Stock. What this means for the above example is that if 10,000 non-participating shares were issued, regardless of the company’s performance the annual dividend payout will never yield more than the set $50,000. Sounds boring, right?

A simple way to understand the difference between preferred stock and other investment vehicles is to look at how shareholders get treated if the issuer becomes financially distressed. If an issuer does file for bankruptcy and their assets are liquidated to satisfy the bondholders, the preferred stockholders are entitled to any left-over monies before the common shareholders.

Publicly traded companies often need flexibility when it comes to acquiring capital. Preferred stock is issued based on the issuer’s creditworthiness and other related factors. Preferred stock serves as a middle-ground between equity-based common shares, and the debt obligations to bond holders.

Sometimes to entice buyers and compensate for the lack of appreciation in the par value, Participating Preferred Stock is issued for dividend payments more than the price set by the par value.

All preferred stock is either Cumulative or Non-Cumulative. Cumulative is the most characteristic of the preferred stock and derives its name from the accumulation of all delinquent dividend payments owed to the owner

While it is non-cumulative dividends are rare, they do get produced in situations where a company has a previously established history of making the regular dividend payments to the common shareholders.If the issuer cannot pay the preferred dividend, those shareholders are owed their dividend before the common shareholders can receive any expected profit sharing. Those missed payments are known as “in arrears”  and take priority to the common shares claim to the issuer’s assets.

This financial instrument gives investors the opportunity to be shareholder and creditor.The promise of a preferred dividend entitles the preferred stockholders to preferential treatment, second only to the bondholders. Unlike bonds, failure to pay the dividend does not result in default or bankruptcy.

Preferential Treatment Where it Gets Tricky

The motivations for a publicly traded company to issue preferred shares can lead to uncommon occurrences in the issuing terms.

Preferred shareholders can also be granted votings rights if the dividends are in jeopardy of being paid. Often these rare occurrences can lead investors to a better insight into the overall financial picture of a potential investment. That is why it is important always to investigate the motivates of the issuer for offering the preferred shares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camping World IPO Holding Early Returns

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Camping World Holdings met Friday’s opening bell with its IPO that placed 11.4 million shares placed at $22, raising $251 million.

At its peak, the stock reached $24.35 but by 2 P.M, the company’s ticker, CWH, was holding a %5 return on 10 million in volume but closed at $2.50 or %2.27.

The company believes they have a competitive edge due to their diverse holdings and claims says to the largest network of RV-focused retail locations in the U.S.

Driven by top and bottom line growth spread throughout 36 states with a total 120 outlets the company has increased its annual revenue to $3.33 billion in 2015. With less consistent growth, Net Profit has also shown a steady annual increase, up from $5.4 million in 2011, to $178 million in 2016.

The Recreational Vehicles market has seen steady growth as recession-riddled millennials and retired baby boomers look for alternative leisure activities.

While it is estimated that in the largest transfers of wealth the baby boomer generation will be left behind $30 trillion to their Gen X and Millennial children.

This may help CPW begin to look like a candidate for a potential Millennial themed portfolio and we will continue to watch this one from the sidelines.

 

What is ‘Accounting’

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Accounting is the systematic and comprehensive recording of financial transactions pertaining to a business, and it also refers to the process of summarizing, analyzing and reporting these transactions to oversight agencies and tax collection entities. Accounting is one of the key functions for almost any business; it may be handled by a bookkeeper and accountant at small firms or by sizable finance departments with dozens of employees at large companies.

News orgs sue FBI for details on San Bernardino iPhone exploit — TechCrunch

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The Associated Press, Vice Media and Gannett, the parent company of USA Today, sued the FBI today in an attempt to uncover information about how the law enforcement agency was able to unlock an iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino shooters. The Justice Department initially sought to force Apple to create custom…

via News orgs sue FBI for details on San Bernardino iPhone exploit — TechCrunch

A Review of The Intelligent Investor – By Matthew Waterman

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Book Review: “The Intelligent Investor”, by Benjamin Graham 4th edition with liner notes by Jason Zweig.

I believe I first read “The Intelligent Investor” at some point around 2005. It was really an incredible coincidence that I ran across it during the time I did. I was looking to expand my own knowledge base, and at the same time, I just happened to be working at Countrywide financial, which ended up being one of the largest players in the mortgage meltdown in 2007.

I was just so perfectly prepared for that bear market because of that. I had very recently taken my first two accounting courses in college as well, and had been tinkering with individual stocks before that. What happened was that I was working this part time gig for a few hours each night with this accounting firm, because I didn’t feel like I had a good understanding with what my teacher had taught vs. what made an investment successful .

There used to be an older gentleman who would be in that office from time to time, and I remember that I found out he was into the stock market, and I mentioned how well my Sirius Sattellite Radio had done that day, up something like 5%. The response he gave was something I’ll never forget: “Do you really think that 5 or 10 years down the road, that number would be meaningful?”. Answered honestly, I couldn’t say that I had any idea. He directed me to start reading about Warren Buffett.

So I did. The first book I read about Buffett was a biography, “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist” by Roger Lowenstein, and the other was Mary Buffett’s “Buffetology”. Those two books overwhelmingly pointed to Benjamin Graham as the source of Warren’s investment mentality, and so I picked up the 4th edition of “The Intelligent Investor”. I took to the material immediately, and had never seen anything else like it. Inside of just a couple of pages I understood what I was doing incorrectly. I was chasing momtentum and news, and what Graham taught me to do instead was look at the business as if I were the owner, and try to estimate it’s intrinsic worth from there.

Graham changed everything for me. I immediately understood where both my strengths and weaknesses were, and when the 2007 housing market crash hit, I was so well prepared that I took in more than a 400% gain before 2008 ended. That volatility continued well into the next year, and I doubled my holdings inside nearly every couple of weeks during that madness. I haven’t tracked my performance for a while now, but I know that by 2012 I was sitting an an increase approaching 50,000% of my initial capital.

What Graham really hit home with in his writing was on buying companies that earned profits. To that point I had been purchasing stocks on news, and on dips in their charts. I had thought that was what “Buying Low” was. Graham tought me to think about the future of a business, not it’s past, but by using the businesses’ past as your guide.

Graham ‘s core concept is centered around a “Return to mean”. A business that’s been doing the same things for a long time tends to keep doing them, so you get in there and buy them when they are having a temporary, but solvable problem. Alternatively, he gives you tips on how to value the assets on a company’s balance sheet, so that you can know if a true catastrophe is in the cards for a struggling company. You learn to find greater chances for rewards with substantially less risk involved.

More than anything, he teaches you to be fearless in the face of a fearful, easy dismayed stock and bond market. You learn to prepare for these times, and how to hedge your losses when there is risk involved. Best of all, you learn that all of these things are entirely within yourself to control. Graham’s book is so complete that you could probably never read any other and outperform at least 80% of the market easily. With a bit of fine tuning that comes from practice, I think I’ve got this number into a range of 98%.

Since that time, I’ve become a contributor for Seeking Alpha as well as a few smaller sites, and have introduced a couple of new concepts to the field. I have a chart named after me called the “Waterman Life Cross”, and am developing a new method around what I call “Insult Theory”, which is a way of using investor sentiment to guage if there is serious interest in a stock, or if the owners don’t understand the business at all. Graham was the foundation for both methods, and I believe that anything good that comes in the future will also be due to his writings.

Matthew Waterman, Contributor at Seeking Alpha

If you would like to read more please follow Matthew on Seeking Alpha and Twitter.