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Archives September 2021


What To Do With An Inheritance In The United States

Anyone planning on buying property in the USA will need to brush up on their knowledge of US inheritance law in order to protect the best interests of their loved ones. This is because, like most US laws, how things are governed will depend upon the state in which you’re located.

In the USA, inheritance laws govern how people receive their share of assets. They also govern which relatives have a statutory right to claim an inheritance even if they aren’t included in the express terms of the will. Each state either adopts a ‘community property approach or a common-law approach this essentially determines the way in which estates are divided and which members of the family are automatically entitled to their share.

What are the inheritance laws in the United States?

In the USA, there are three main areas to pay particular attention to probate, legacies, and in-trust issues. While many of the standard areas of probate will be the same across the USA, there will be different laws for different states – so we’ll only be looking at the most general matters. However, there are a number of other issues that are unique to the USA and require special attention. Why should you consider filing a probate case? Probate cases are typically used for handling inheritance requests from surviving family members, which are generally made by a written letter to the executor, or the closest relative who is a legal guardian.

How does inheritance work in the USA?

When you leave an estate to someone in the US, a strict set of rules apply. Like in most other countries, the general rule is that all money, property, or other assets passed down to beneficiaries are treated as the property of that person, even if they aren’t named in the will. In particular, a beneficiary isn’t entitled to a share of property that was acquired by means of another person’s will or other written testament. This means that you can’t leave all your money to a dependent, as this would amount to an indirect gift, which is not allowed. The test of heirship is key The proof of heirship required for an inheritance to pass through the hands of beneficiaries is often referred to as the “test of heirship”.

Inheritance Rules in the United States

The following are some examples of what can happen if you are considering an inheritance in the USA:

1. A disinherited child is entitled to claim a share of the estate, even if they weren’t involved in the will or executor.

2. A person can give away one-quarter of their assets, but if they die intestate (without a will) their heirs will be entitled to only one-sixth of the total amount.

3. If a loved one dies without leaving a will, they will not be eligible for a share of the estate, which will go to the nearest blood relative of the deceased.

4. If a parent has pre-existing debts of more than $20,000 at the time of their death, they may be subject to bankruptcy.

5. If a child inherits the entire estate, there will be a financial sibling that will receive a flat tax of 35 percent.

This post contains affiliate links. Please please read my Disclaimer for more information

Who has a right to claim an inheritance?

When an estate is placed in the trust, the executor, who is typically the trustee’s lawyer, is responsible for distributing the inheritance among relatives and even to charities. However, while heirs might receive some of the inheritance, the rest is administered by the trustee. If a person dies without leaving a trust, the entire estate will go to the state. It’s up to the state to distribute the assets. In this way, it doesn’t matter whether the person who will be receiving an inheritance actually exists. When to claim an inheritance If an heir (or in some cases, a trust or executor’s lawyer) is unable to reach the relative who is to receive the inheritance, they can go to court to fight for their rights to the money.

What to do with an inheritance in the United States?

There are a number of situations where it’s necessary to make provisions for what will happen to an inheritance once the person is no longer alive. This usually means leaving some sort of legal responsibility in place, even if the person whose inheritance you’re planning to leave to isn’t technically a relative. But it also means appointing a guardian or executor, if the person being left money is not mentally capable of making decisions. Depending on how you intend to dispose of an inheritance, it’s possible that you might also need to appoint a caretaker. If this is the case, you should be aware that you will need to spend money on their services for the duration of the person’s life, after which you’ll have to find some way to support them when they can no longer live alone.

Who is entitled to inheritance in the USA?

According to the United States courts, inherited assets fall into two broad categories: property and debt. Individuals who are deceased and had no interest in the family home or businesses generally don’t have the right to an inheritance and so their assets are entirely passed onto the executor of their will. After they’ve died, the property of a person who still has an interest in the estate passes to family members who were close to the deceased person. These relatives include grandchildren, siblings, spouses, parents, and others who were close to the person and who survived them. This means they can access any money they were entitled to before their relative died.

 What can you do if you don’t want to share your inheritance with other relatives?

Although the general inheritance laws of the USA dictate that a person may exclude others from receiving an inheritance, this is based on the fact that they didn’t expressly write about it in their will. A person may be able to specify in their will that other relatives should not receive any share in the property. But, this will only apply to property left to the descendants in a living will. If the person is deceased, the law dictates that it must go to the nearest living relative. What about Ireland? Although it’s a long way away, Irish inheritance law is very similar to that in the USA. The biggest differences arise when dealing with inter-family disputes, as there are different rules regarding who may act on the executor’s behalf.

How much can you inherit in the United States?

While it’s fairly common for an executor to receive an inheritance worth half of the estate’s value, estate lawyers will argue that that’s the maximum you’re allowed to receive. If you’re buying property in the USA, it’s worth noting that legal guardians may receive a “survivor’s share” in the case of a joint estate, which allows them to receive a larger proportion of the inheritance if they were unable to have a legal capacity to make decisions in the first place. It’s worth remembering that this is in the case of a common-law family. There are a number of reasons why a bereaved relative may need to raise a new child as a ward of the state in the USA.

Taxes for US Citizens

As a US citizen, you have an equal opportunity to inherit assets from an American citizen or an American company. As well as being able to inherit any personal estate and inheritance could be subject to inheritance tax (called ‘estate tax’ in the UK). It is in the US estate planning requirements that this tax is calculated at a rate of 15%. Inheritance abroad If you are looking to inherit assets abroad, you need to ensure that they are received overseas. If you are a US citizen, any assets you receive in a foreign country will be subject to a double taxation agreement between the US and the recipient country. The rules regarding inherited US property or goods abroad are detailed below. How can I protect my inheritance? A trustee is often used to hold the contents of the estate.


In the UK and most of Europe, you can leave everything to the government once your death has occurred. However, in the USA, it is important to know all of your options before making any decisions. This will give your family the best chance of obtaining the financial support that they may need in your absence. Have you ever considered the implications of leaving assets to the government?

“If you have any feedback about what to do with an inheritance in the united states that you have tried out or any questions about the ones that I have recommended, please leave your comments below!”

NB: The purpose of this website is to provide a general understanding of personal finance, basic financial concepts, and information. It’s not intended to advise on tax, insurance, investment, or any product and service. Since each of us has our own unique situation, you should have all the appropriate information to understand and make the right decision to fit with your needs and your financial goals. I hope that you will succeed in building your financial future.

corporate bonds

What Is A Corporate Bond? How Does It Work?

For more than a decade, low interest rates have made things tough on investors looking for income. In some cases, corporate bonds might offer a solution. Corporate bonds often offer higher interest rates than common income-producing choices such as savings accounts, CDs, and Treasury bonds. However, corporate bonds also involve certain risks in exchange for those higher income yields. Deciding whether corporate bonds are right for you starts by understanding both the return potential and the risk involved.

What is a corporate bond?

Corporate bonds are often the simplest of investments. They are issued by a corporate entity (often a large multinational company, and sometimes an investment bank) and are traded on a secondary market. A company makes the initial capital commitment to issue bonds, and a bank or other financial institution buys those bonds from the issuing company. In exchange, the issuing company promises to repay the bondholder when certain conditions are met. A typical corporate bond is a series of bonds linked to one another. A buyer of a series of bonds will receive a specific level of interest (known as the “yield”) and a specific amount of principal at the end of the maturity of the bond.

How does corporate bond work?

The mechanics of the bond market are simple: You buy a bond, in many cases, with a pre-determined coupon. The coupon amount is determined by the credit rating of the issuer. For example, if you’re looking at a 4.25% coupon bond issued by Apple (AAPL) and are investing in the U.S. Treasury bond market, you might be offered a rate of 2.6%. On the other hand, if you’re looking at a 2.95% coupon bond, issued by Toyota (TM) and investing in the high yield bond market, you could be offered a rate of 7.3%. The higher a corporate bond’s coupon, the higher its return potential. In other words, as long as the company continues to pay its coupons, investors will still be earning a positive return.

Importance of corporate bonds

Investing in corporate bonds is a great option for long-term investors looking to compound their returns. The reason? One of the primary goals of investing is to generate returns that grow year-over-year, not just in the current year, but throughout your investment life cycle. Because of this, the bond market serves as a great place for investors to find high-return investments. Once you understand how the bond market works, you’ll understand how the higher yields can be additive to your investments. In other words, because of the high return potential, you may end up with higher total returns from corporate bonds than from stocks or other more volatile investments. In recent years, corporate bonds have become a popular means of diversifying a portfolio.

How to buy corporate bonds?

There are many ways to get into the corporate bond market. One option is to invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). You can invest in corporate bonds through most brokers and bank accounts, though you typically need to take the time to learn more about the market before you proceed with specific bond purchases. In the past, bonds typically were purchased through brokerage firms such as TD Ameritrade, E*Trade, and Charles Schwab. But banks like Wells Fargo and Regions have entered the corporate bond market as well, so they offer a good starting point. Once you have chosen a corporate bond broker or bank, you fill out a form that includes credit history, asset allocation, goals, current account, and savings. From there, the investment is presented to you as a list of individual bond prices in ascending order.

This post contains affiliate links. Please please read my Disclaimer for more information

How to make money from corporate bonds

Like many other investments, corporate bonds can help you generate income in retirement. After all, if interest rates are low, corporate bonds are a great way to boost your cash flow by locking in the income that your bond pays while you’re not earning any interest on your own investments. When you’re looking at your investment options, it’s important to consider both the interest rates and the potential risks of corporate bonds. Because many investors see corporate bonds as conservative investment options, they are often overlooked, even though they carry higher risks and higher yields than many other investments. As such, if you’re looking to add some investment income to your portfolio, it can pay to take a closer look at corporate bonds.

Benefits of corporate bonds

Like a savings account, corporate bonds are risk-free, offering consumers little to no penalty for not putting money in the bank. They are also exempt from taxes, depending on the level of interest. Corporate bonds are issued by a corporation or other business, usually at maturity. Investors who buy corporate bonds typically receive their money in the form of cash, usually within a year or so. When you buy corporate bonds, you’re essentially lending money to a company that has the money it wants to spend on a specific purpose. The company is required to pay back the money you loan it at a specified interest rate.

Drawbacks of corporate bonds

Higher interest rates and the safety net of the federal government have kept the corporate bond market healthy. “There is not really a bad time to invest in a corporate bond. The only issue is finding the right one. That can be difficult,” said Matt Scannell, managing director of municipal investments at Vanguard. Investors can lose their principal if the company goes bankrupt, defaults on its debt, or experiences some other type of corporate shake-up. However, this is a minimal risk for investors, said Jared Kessler, senior market strategist for LPL Financial. “Compared to other options, corporate bonds are a pretty safe investment,” Kessler said. “For example, you can typically lose principal with a stock purchase. With corporate bonds, that’s not an issue. There are limited losses.

How to choose corporate bonds for your portfolio

When selecting a corporate bond, one option is to purchase bonds issued by the same company that issued the loan, such as a bond backed by a car loan or a bond insured by a bank. Another option is to invest in bonds issued by a variety of companies but made up of the same bonds. This would allow you to diversify your bond holdings across a range of borrowers. The distinction between corporate bonds and U.S. government bonds is important for investors who don’t need or want the extra risk. The U.S. government bonds included in a bond’s interest rate can help you anticipate future interest rate fluctuations. While corporate bonds don’t include this feature, they do serve a similar purpose: they serve as financial security that prevents the bone from deteriorating.

Are corporate bonds right for you?

Companies issue corporate bonds in large amounts to fund specific projects. Typically, they use the proceeds of these bonds to finance new investments, such as building a new factory, developing a new product, or paying down debt. If your company requires or could benefit from such an investment, a corporate bond might provide a solution. You’ll want to investigate how much risk a particular corporate bond carries before deciding whether you’re willing to accept the increased yield. If your company needs more than the initial proceeds from a bond issuance can provide, a change in the market could result in the company issuing new debt. You’ll want to assess the potential impact of this risk before considering a corporate bond.


Overall, corporate bonds appear to have little risk of default. This being said, you have to consider the risk of getting burned. Since corporate bonds are not as liquid as some other investments, this opens up a potential for the loss of some of your principal if the issuer defaulting. Since corporate bonds usually are not insured, they are especially vulnerable in times of financial turmoil.

“If you have any feedback about what is a corporate bond that you have tried out or any questions about the ones that I have recommended, please leave your comments below!”

NB: The purpose of this website is to provide a general understanding of personal finance, basic financial concepts, and information. It’s not intended to advise on tax, insurance, investment, or any product and service. Since each of us has our own unique situation, you should have all the appropriate information to understand and make the right decision to fit with your needs and your financial goals. I hope that you will succeed in building your financial future.

529 plan

What Is A 529 Plan? How Does It Work?

A 529 college savings plan is a specialized savings account that is used to save money for college. Each 529 plan account has an account owner, who controls the investments and selects the beneficiary and one beneficiary. The account owner and beneficiary may be the same person. The money in a 529 plan may be used to pay for the college expenses and K-12 tuition of the beneficiary, tax-free. Many families find that 529 plans work well, helping them achieve their college savings goals. 529 plans make it easier to save, with the option to schedule automatic investments as low as $15 or $25 25 a month transferred from a bank account or payroll check.

What is a 529 plan?

A 529 plan is the term used for a savings vehicle that allows families to save money for college. When you use a 529 plan, you are contributing and having your money invested for college. Contributions to a 529 plan are tax-free if used for qualified expenses. You can use a 529 plan to pay for qualified expenses only. A 529 plan is meant to help families save for their children’s education expenses. But even if you don’t use a 529 plan, contributing money can still help you achieve your college savings goals. A 529 plan may be used to save money for college. Contributing money to a 529 plan is the same as saving for a 529 plan. But in many cases, a 529 plan is used to save money for higher education expenses.

How does the 529 plan work?

There are multiple options for how to set up a 529 plan, but each offers a level of security and growth potential. The best choices depend on your financial situation and your family’s circumstances. To choose the best option for you, talk to an accountant or certified financial planner. A financial planner can discuss your unique situation, give you a hands-on, personalized assessment, and offer other considerations to consider.

Benefits of 529 work

Choosing a 529 plan that is good for your family is easier than you might think. The best choice depends on several factors. You’re looking for a plan that helps you put away money while your children are growing up. You want to know that your plan will provide as much interest as possible, and won’t run out of money. You’re looking for a plan that doesn’t require you to pay state and federal income taxes on any contributions or on earnings from the plan, or fees. Most 529 plans have low minimum contribution requirements, usually a few hundred dollars. For many families, this is more than they have to save. A 529 plan can help you and your family avoid getting hit with high state income taxes, which are often higher than the income taxes on their investments.

How to choose a 529 plan?

A 529 plan offers great flexibility and low transaction fees, so it makes sense to use a plan that is right for you. Learn about the different types of 529 plans and compare the fees associated with each one. Decide which kind of beneficiary you want – immediate or graduated – as well as the investment options you want for your beneficiary. Under the current tax laws, there are many different types of qualified savings vehicles, such as a Roth IRA, Roth 401k, Roth 403b, a traditional IRA, etc. The best way to choose a 529 plan is by figuring out what your assets are worth, and the degree to which you need the money in the future. If your assets are greater than $500,000 and you can devote at least 10% of your income to college expenses, such as tuition, fees, room and board, and transportation, then you may consider the cost to be more than a 529 plan could ever afford. This is because all 529 plans must invest at least 7.65% in stocks. For families who will need the money for many years, this would never be sufficient.

This post contains affiliate links. Please please read my Disclaimer for more information

How to select a 529 plan investment option

It is important that any 529 account investment is simple and accessible. Families who are considering using an investment option in a 529 plan should consider the investment options offered, the fees and costs associated with them, and consider the particular needs of their beneficiary. With some programs, investors are not the owners of their investments. The investment options in a 529 plan may be created, owned, or managed by the plan sponsor, state tax office, federal tax office, or charitable organization (local community college might offer their investment options in a 529). For example, state governments typically manage a 529, investing the money in a group of U.S. stock, U.S. bond, or money market mutual fund.

How to make contributions to a 529 plan

Individuals, families, or small businesses may contribute to a 529 plan in various ways. Some states have other, more complicated, methods of making contributions, including payroll contributions to specific bank accounts, but most employers already make contributions into a 401(k) plan for their employees, and most states make similar arrangements for K-12 tuition. Under some circumstances, individuals may also make contributions directly into a 529 plan. The person making the contributions must meet certain requirements, including that the contribution is in their own name, and that the contributions are invested in a state-sponsored 529 plan.

How Much Can I Contribute?

There are a lot of options for 529 plan contribution amounts. The savings limits are dependent upon the state and dependent on the number of years until college. For example, the New Jersey Tax-Free Savings Accounts annual contribution limit is $60,000 per beneficiary and the federal limit is $200,000. There are also a lot of calculators available online, that will help you decide how much you are able to save for college. Some of the online calculators may require a state or school login.

Will Having a 529 Plan Affect Financial Aid?

A 529 plan may affect financial aid in some cases. For instance, 529 plan deposits count toward certain financial aid formulas, such as need-based financial aid formulas for undergraduate students and merit-based aid formulas for graduate students. There are many options for financial aid, including FAFSA, work-study, grants, and loans. Your 529 plan may reduce the amount of financial aid you can receive. If you choose to use your 529 plan to pay for your children’s college, you may not be eligible for state-sponsored financial aid. The state could deny you financial aid. Other financial aid options may be available if you have the financial resources to pay for college. If you do not have access to financial aid, or you may not meet the financial aid eligibility requirements, it may be difficult to send your children to college. But you can still help your children get a college education, even if you do not have the financial resources to do it yourself.

How to Withdraw from a 529 Plan

You will usually be able to withdraw from your account and pay for your college expenses. The best way to manage this withdrawal is to start with a withdrawal that is large enough to cover the cost of your current college expenses and get used to making withdrawals in order to build up an emergency fund. This withdrawal will likely be about half the annual average cost of your college expenses. You can then apply the remaining funds to your emergency fund or to your 529 college savings plan. If you are not quite ready to make a withdrawal yet, consider borrowing from your 529 college savings plan. You can borrow $10,000 per year ($1,000 a month for 12 months) without paying any interest on the money.


Families should do all they can to make sure they are on track for college. If you are a couple and plan to save the maximum you can each year in a retirement account, consider making that college savings account as well. Or if your child is to be the beneficiary of a 529 account, contribute as much as you can. Savings in tax-free accounts like a 529 plan offer family members the option to save for college now, while tax-advantaged, and invest for growth and income in retirement. The best part about 529 plans is that the money can be used for any type of higher education.

“If you have any feedback about what is a 529 plan that you have tried out or any questions about the ones that I have recommended, please leave your comments below!”

NB: The purpose of this website is to provide a general understanding of personal finance, basic financial concepts, and information. It’s not intended to advise on tax, insurance, investment, or any product and service. Since each of us has our own unique situation, you should have all the appropriate information to understand and make the right decision to fit with your needs and your financial goals. I hope that you will succeed in building your financial future.

Employees stock purchase

What Are Employee Stock Purchase Plans?

Offered by most publicly traded companies, an ESPP is an employee benefit that allows you to purchase shares of your company stock at a discount. It’s this discount that’s the most significant advantage of Employee Stock Purchase Plans. For most employers, you can expect that discount to range between 5%-15%—obviously the higher the better for you! These shares can then be sold immediately (known as a “Quick Sale”) locking in a tidy and risk-free profit.

What Is an Employee Stock Purchase Plan?

ESPPs are used to incentivize and reward employees by giving them the opportunity to profit from a percentage of the value of their own stock. The ESPP is typically offered in multiple units per year as a percentage of your employee’s salary and is funded in monthly installments over a three to a five-year term. ESPPs allow your employees to sell stock in their employer as often as they want for a fixed discount, no questions asked. An ESPP makes it easy for employees to capitalize on the investment potential of their stocks as long as they stay within their selling price and tax guidelines. The employee can, for example, sell a share of stock whenever they want to take that Christmas bonus check or perhaps to add some extra cash to their retirement fund.

Qualified vs. Nonqualified Plans

There are two common types of employee stock purchase plans, qualified and nonqualified. Qualified plans are reserved for both salaried employees and hourly workers. Qualified plans come with all of the following benefits: First is Lower fees. A qualified plan is less expensive than the nonsalaried equivalent and requires minimal paperwork. The second one is Deferred compensation. A qualified plan offers the opportunity to defer your retirement savings for as long as you work with your employer. This can mean huge savings over the course of your career. The next one is Lifetime savings. Qualified plans allow you to leave your retirement savings behind with your employer, giving you the chance to earn your retirement dollars immediately.

Key Dates and Terms

There are a few important key dates to keep in mind when preparing to implement an ESPP: Effective Date: You must request the waiver of the “No Take Back” period (typically 30 days), which means the company will not buy back the shares of stock before the plan is implemented. Approval Date: The approval date is when the company must approve the plan, and whether it is approved is based on the company’s current status with the SEC and applicable laws. The approval date is when the company must approve the plan, and whether it is approved is based on the company’s current status with the SEC and applicable laws.

Enrollment Process and Plan Mechanics

The ESPP enrolment process consists of completing a company enrollment form, paying the enrollment fee, and then arranging a “quick sale” sale. Note that the quick sale process and the enrollment process are separate. Once you choose to participate in the ESPP, you’ll have to go through a few further steps before you can close your transaction.

This post contains affiliate links. Please please read my Disclaimer for more information

Potential Gain

This strategy is a great one for high-earning employees as you can calculate your maximum potential profit by multiplying the average cost per share plus 15% by your employee’s salary. So if you’re paying $500 per share on each employee’s salary of $35,000 a year, you can calculate that your maximum potential profit would be $36,000 in profit per year (25% per year x $500 per share + 15% x $35,000 = $36,000). Now, it’s important to understand that this is theoretical, as for an employee to buy into this strategy, they’ll need to be eligible to participate, and have an ESPP to start with.


ESPs are available for any employee in any position within your company who is paid a salary, is non-contracted, is eligible for benefits, and is able to receive shares of stock. There are three main types of stock that you can purchase in your company: Ordinary shares of stock are stock options that are granted by the company. These are available for anyone who does not have tenure at the company or is hired in the future. Upon purchase of the shares, your employee receives an ESPP application, which you will have to sign in order for the shares to be released. You can then give these shares to your employee, or sell them.

Tax Treatment

ESPPs offer you the opportunity to move your taxable income away from your wages and towards your profits—that’s an important benefit that any retiree or investor should consider. This benefit can help you to achieve a lower tax bracket while receiving the financial benefit of your company stock purchase plan. Many ESPPs have the ability to elect a “gain mitigation” benefit which can be significant in helping you to avoid paying large capital gains taxes on your gains.

Other Advantages of ESPPs

ESPPs are a practical solution for getting employee ownership off the ground, but they are not the only path to increased employee ownership. Many employers offer ESPPs as a supplement to pension, 401K, or other payroll plans. For example, one may offer ESPPs as a benefit to cover the incremental cost associated with payroll taxes as employees transition from a traditional pension or 401K program to an ESPP-type program. ESPPs may also be offered by employers as a retention tool to keep long-term employees onboard. Furthermore, employees may decide to participate in a stock plan as a personal investment in their future.

How Do Employee Stock Purchase Plans Work?

Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPP) allow you to purchase company stock at a discount (5% or less). Do so while minimizing the potential impact on your existing investment strategy. Leverage your employee stock purchase plan contributions as needed for your portfolio management goals. With all this, an ESPP is a very effective strategy to help you build a personal investment portfolio.


These are great ways to increase profits and build wealth. This article provides a basic introduction to the world of ESPPs and explains the details of each type so that you’re ready to explore the marketplace for yourself. This can also be a great opportunity for you to use up any existing employees’ shares that you haven’t sold! Remember—contributing to ESPPs can help you and your employees build wealth and diversify your investments, while simultaneously providing your company a cost-effective way to support your business.

“If you have any feedback about what are employee stock purchase plans that you have tried out or any questions about the ones that I have recommended, please leave your comments below!”

NB: The purpose of this website is to provide a general understanding of personal finance, basic financial concepts, and information. It’s not intended to advise on tax, insurance, investment, or any product and service. Since each of us has our own unique situation, you should have all the appropriate information to understand and make the right decision to fit with your needs and your financial goals. I hope that you will succeed in building your financial future.


What Are Dividends? How Does It Work?

While investing in stocks has proven to be the easiest and best way for the average investor to build long-term wealth, owning stocks that pay dividends is an often-overlooked way to help achieve that goal. A dividend is a distribution of a portion of a company’s earnings. Knowing how dividends work, you can own these types of stocks to your long-term advantage. Here’s what you need to know about dividend-paying stocks.

What are dividends?

Companies regularly pay a dividend to their shareholders. A dividend is the portion of a company’s earnings that it pays to its shareholders. A company’s dividend strategy is generally determined by its financial strategy. Dividend payouts can range from a high percentage of a company’s earnings to a low percentage of its earnings. A company that typically pays out a high percentage of its earnings as dividends have a “high yield.” For example, if a company’s regular quarterly dividend is $0.30 per share, then it will pay out $30 per share in dividend payments. That’s a payout ratio of more than 50%. That means that the company will be paying $30 per share in dividend payments each quarter.

How do dividends work?

In a nutshell, the primary benefit of owning dividend-paying stocks is a payout of a portion of a company’s earnings. Typically, the distribution that you receive is determined based on certain metrics, including the earnings per share, the total earnings, the free cash flow, the earnings on ordinary activities, the cash available for distribution, and the total return on the stock, among other things. Dividend payments are determined by factors including the company’s earnings, how much it pays out on common and preferred shares, and how much it returns to shareholders. For a company’s common shares, earnings-per-share, or EPS, is the simplest calculation to determine the amount of money it is paying out on dividends.

Importance of dividend

Dividends are often used as a way to help investors secure income by having their investments return money to them on a monthly or quarterly basis. More and more, it’s not just retirees who are relying on dividends to help pay their living expenses, as roughly half of the S&P 500’s constituents pay some type of dividend. Dividends are different from interest, which is the income a bank or other financial institution earns by lending money to customers or other clients. A dividend does not depend on the company’s ability to pay interest, which means they are not subject to the same interest-rate risk that money-market funds are. Dividends are also seen as a safety net.

Types of dividends

There are two primary types of dividends: regular and special. Regular dividends are given out as a set amount every quarter based on the company’s profits. That amount, known as the dividend payout ratio, is calculated by dividing the quarterly dividend payment by the company’s profits for the prior fiscal year. In a special dividend, the company does not pay out its normal dividends and pays the dividend out in a one-time way. The one-time dividend can be a certain amount of money or a share of the company’s stock. In the most common cause, the company will pay a one-time dividend because of a certain event that caused the company’s profits to rise substantially.

This post contains affiliate links. Please please read my Disclaimer for more information

How often are dividends paid?

Companies that have been in business for a minimum of a decade are required to distribute a certain percentage of their earnings to shareholders. This requirement isn’t adjusted, as some firms have chosen to discontinue payments. But for those who have been in business for more than a decade, this requirement is annually and is set at a minimum rate. For many companies, the distribution of earnings will occur in the following calendar year. But many companies use their free cash flow, or cash generated by the company’s existing assets and activities, to fund payouts in different quarters. In fact, there’s a difference of more than half a percent between how much a company allocates to capital expenditures and cash payments to shareholders.

Why buy dividend stocks?

When investors buy stocks that pay dividends, they’re typically paying an investor that owns the stock a portion of the profits. While there’s nothing wrong with investing in a stock that doesn’t pay a dividend, doing so can make the stock less volatile and cheaper to own over time. Keep in mind that stock price fluctuations occur due to a multitude of factors. Some of these changes are due to changes in the price of the stock itself, such as when a company increases or decreases the price it is willing to sell the stock for. Other factors, like the economic and political environment, have a big impact on stock prices. While these factors can move stocks around in the short term, dividends can give you a predictable cash flow.

How to evaluate dividends

The first thing you need to know is that dividends are paid on an ongoing basis. A company doesn’t have to declare a dividend each quarter. Instead, it can do so when it issues a quarterly dividend, quarterly dividend payout ratio, quarterly dividend amount, etc. Another factor to keep in mind is that dividend payouts are subject to the company’s dividend policy. What this means is that the company’s board of directors has to set a target amount that it will pay out each year in relation to earnings, and that payout is typically expected to be equal to or higher than earnings. Several companies across different industries pay dividends that are significantly above average, while some pay below-average dividends.

How to choose the right dividend stock to invest in

The first thing you should consider when looking to buy a dividend stock is whether the payout is well covered by earnings. Simply put, a payout ratio is the percentage of a company’s earnings that it allocates to dividends. A high payout ratio is one that indicates a company has a lot of cash available for dividends and might have more options for paying dividends in the future. In a bull market, a payout ratio below 80% or even 50% is a good indicator that the stock’s dividend yield is going to be higher than what investors will receive from a 1% rise in the company’s annual dividend.

How much to invest in dividend stocks?

You need to decide how much money you want to allocate to the stock, and then how much you want to receive as a dividend. Dividends are payments that typically comprise one-third to one-half of a company’s annual net income, so dividend yield is a pretty good proxy for the dividend yield. With many dividend-paying stocks, you’ll earn more money if you hold them for a long time.   But 

how much money? Generally, a stock with a regular dividend payout will produce a higher dividend yield (the number of income investors receive for their investment) than a stock that doesn’t pay a dividend. In fact, even a company with a fairly modest dividend yield may still offer you a potentially higher total return than other stocks. On the flip side, investing in stocks that pay no dividends can be a good way to gain long-term wealth. Think of it this way: If you know a dividend stock is a good investment, then the percentage you pay for that stock will be a meaningful part of your long-term capital gains.


In the simplest sense, dividends are nothing more than the earnings that a company pays out in cash every quarter, year after year. Dividend payments are typically tied to the performance of the stock, but that does not have to be the case. If you own dividend-paying stocks, you receive the same cash each quarter based on a predetermined formula that takes into account how the company performed but doesn’t require you to buy the stock at a particular price. How does it benefit me? For the most part, dividends are widely accepted by most investors. Yet, this could be the one aspect of investing that they overlook. Why? If you know nothing else about dividend stocks, you know that they often go up and down and can even take a big drop if a company has poor performance.

“If you have any feedback about what is dividends that you have tried out or any questions about the ones that I have recommended, please leave your comments below!”

NB: The purpose of this website is to provide a general understanding of personal finance, basic financial concepts, and information. It’s not intended to advise on tax, insurance, investment, or any product and service. Since each of us has our own unique situation, you should have all the appropriate information to understand and make the right decision to fit with your needs and your financial goals. I hope that you will succeed in building your financial future.

Market mistakes

How To Avoid Costly Mistakes When The Market Is Down

In the midst of a market dip, it’s easy to get caught up in waves of emotion. Fear and worry can lead to panic which could cause you to make serious and costly mistakes. To be an educated investor, it’s important to know how to deal with the emotional side of investing so you can avoid making mistakes in times like these and avoid losing thousands of dollars.

The key to successful investing is avoiding critical mistakes that can derail your future plans. While some investors fear rising interest rates and trade disputes could continue to roil markets, others note that the economy and job market are still strong, providing support for stocks.

Understanding the psychology of investing

Understanding the psychology of investing is one of the keys to becoming an educated investor. Learning how to process information and make decisions is one of the most important skills in the market. Most people have to deal with emotional problems throughout their day, and these problems can quickly affect their ability to make informed decisions. By learning to approach investing with knowledge and intelligence, you can help avoid making mistakes that can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. When the market drops Even the most successful people have been affected by a dip in the market. During this time, it’s important to recognize that many people experience a drop in their feelings of well-being, as they feel that their financial situations have become less stable.

What are critical mistakes?

“Some people are always too conservative and make small mistakes that they lose money,” said Kathleen Doheny, MBA, co-founder of GreenLife Wealth, a financial advisory firm based in Miami. “On the other hand, some people are always too aggressive and they sell everything too quickly when the market corrects, and they end up losing money.” The problem is, while we might understand what we should be doing as investors, and how to consistently and successfully achieve those goals, some of us struggle to actually do it. “People don’t know how to be patient and have the discipline to stay the course,” Doheny said. The most common mistake investors make when the market dips are selling stocks and selling out of everything.

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How to avoid costly mistakes when the market is down?

Selling stocks when the market is down isn’t always the right move. Rather, selling to raise cash can be a quick way to make money and possibly more. However, there’s another way to add to your portfolio. The trick is to make sure you’re doing the right thing. There are three ways to do this: Sell a High-Yield Stock When the Price is High – Typically when the market dips, investors will sell their high-yield stocks (i.e. utility stocks or high-yield REITs). However, buying these types of stocks at lower prices is a great way to compound your capital over time. Sell Cheap Stocks – Buying stocks when they’re cheap isn’t always the right move, especially when the market is down. When you’re buying stocks, you want to buy them when they’re at a reasonable price.

How to make the best decision for your investment?

Every investor makes mistakes we all have to learn from our missteps. But, avoiding mistakes doesn’t have to mean bad judgment, and making mistakes doesn’t have to be harmful. That’s why the following four mistakes can make it more likely you’ll make costly investing mistakes: Buying into the fear. It’s understandable to be worried after seeing the market drop, but the best way to combat this is to take a step back and consider the big picture. With more than 8,000 stocks trading on a daily basis, you can’t expect to get stock-specific investment advice from one person. The average person doesn’t have the time or experience to fully understand and value all of these stocks which is why it’s better to focus on what’s right for you.

How to avoid investing in a down market?

Be prepared: Understanding market fluctuations is the key to investing success. When the market is down, take time to prepare for a dip in your portfolio. Establish a short-term investing plan: If you have a one-year investment plan, establish a routine at the beginning of the year to take profits and buy a stock that’s on sale or has a hot tip on the market. Avoid selling near a top: Investing near a top is risky because you could make a major mistake. Take a deep breath, relax, and stay in the market until it reaches a more rational price. The most important time to buy a stock is when it’s going down. That’s the time to buy low and sell high and avoid buying a stock that’s going down based on its story or future potential.

Preparing for market dips

When you’re invested in the market, the market’s ups and downs can affect your portfolio in ways that you may not even realize. Be careful when making large purchases in your portfolio especially if you’re trying to make those investments quickly. Rebalance your portfolio so you’re always invested in the S&P 500. Buy cheap to own better A key component of investing is making sure you’re always investing in the market. Buying cheap stocks is a great way to minimize your risk, but you need to do this right. Always buy the lowest-priced stock in a sector you’re interested in, which means you could miss out on some high-flying stocks. However, if you’re careful about what companies you buy and sell, you can still make money so long as you can stick to your plan.

Avoiding emotional investing

It’s easy to get emotional when your investments aren’t doing well. In moments like this, it’s easy to think you’re a bad investor, or that you’ve been unlucky when in reality, there are a number of rational reasons why your investments might not be performing as well as they should. In many ways, market dips happen for the same reasons and in the same way as they’d happen in a bear market and should be expected. When it comes to investing, however, the basic tenets of a sound investment strategy apply, regardless of market conditions. At Wells Fargo, we offer a number of strategies for investors who want to stay calm and grow their wealth through investments that can thrive in any market including bear markets.

When is the right time to invest?

It’s very important to understand when the market is down before you start investing. If you are unsure, just follow the stock market news and it should make sense at least to an extent. There are three key signs to look for to know when it’s a good time to invest and a bad time to stay away. These signs are Declining average trading volume, a decrease in stock prices, and an increasing number of companies trading at a discount to their respective stock prices. The reason these are the key indicators is that there is a good chance the market will decline soon and if that happens, then you will likely see these things happening. Also, you should check your portfolio regularly to make sure everything is alright just in case.

Understanding risk tolerance

In the past few years, the financial media has frequently focused on the rise of “high-risk” and “high-return” investments such as bitcoin, Ethereum, and now Roku (ROKU). But according to Alexi Chan, a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. The key to wealth accumulation is always being selective. “If you’re scared of the uncertainty associated with cryptocurrency, then you should be scared of a permanent loss,” Chan said. In other words, you should avoid buying cryptocurrencies whether it be bitcoin or Ethereum unless you can do so with a specific amount of money that you can live comfortably without it in the long term.


Using our strategies, including risk tolerance, investing in a mutual fund, and dividend stocks will allow you to take advantage of the power of compounding to grow your money over time. Hopefully, this information will help you gain a better understanding of how the power of compounding can be used to grow your money even in the midst of a market downturn.

“If you have any feedback about how to avoid costly mistakes when the market is down that you have tried out or any questions about the ones that I have recommended, please leave your comments below!”

NB: The purpose of this website is to provide a general understanding of personal finance, basic financial concepts, and information. It’s not intended to advise on tax, insurance, investment, or any product and service. Since each of us has our own unique situation, you should have all the appropriate information to understand and make the right decision to fit with your needs and your financial goals. I hope that you will succeed in building your financial future.

W-4 Form

How Do I Fill Out A W-4 Form?


If you are switching jobs, you’ll soon find out that the W-4 form that every employee has to fill out in order to determine the amount of taxes that are withheld from each paycheck has changed. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says it has revised the form in order to increase its transparency and the accuracy of the payroll withholding system.

What is A W-4 form?

The W-4 form allows employees to fill out their tax information for both the employer and themselves. However, the IRS cautions that a W-4 form is not designed to be entirely accurate. The W-4 form should only be used for informational purposes and for filling out additional forms, such as your Form 1099-R. The W-4 form contains information about the number of dependents you claim, your personal exemption, and payments that should be withheld. Who is responsible for filling out a W-4? The responsibility for filling out the W-4 falls upon the employee and it is recommended that employees work with their human resources or payroll department to complete the tax withholding form. Some states do require employers to have this form completed by all employees as well, though.

Provide Your Information

The W-4 form you file is unique to you and your tax situation. You need to use your most recent pay stubs to fill out this form. When you file your W-4, you’ll need to be as accurate as possible when estimating your taxes. If you made a change in your name, for instance, you’ll need to adjust the information on your W-4 form. Some taxpayers may need to include their spouse’s wages to determine the correct amount of taxes withheld from their combined paycheck. Filing your W-4 form is not required of anyone but you. Anyone who receives a paycheck from a job that isn’t withheld correctly is required to fill out the form. A few employers are required to fill out the form, but not all.

Indicate Multiple Jobs or a Working Spouse

Employees who have multiple jobs or a spouse who has a job will likely benefit from the new form. This allows the IRS to calculate tax withholding by taking into account all applicable income, as well as any additional withholdings due from your side hustle. As for dependents, the W-4 now reflects an adult child, or another child in the home, who has a dependent, as well as the number of dependent children that are living at home. If you are filing your taxes for the first time or if you’ve recently changed jobs, the new W-4 form will ask you to include a new line for your name. This can be used as a backup name if you forget your Social Security number, or if you have moved and you don’t have a new home address yet.

Add Dependents

Taxpayers can now choose the “above the line” or “below the line” method when filling out a W-4 form. Above the line:  This method requires you to include the number of your dependents (the first 10) on the front of the W-4. Since you don’t have to provide any additional information, all of your dependents will be listed. This method requires you to include the number of your dependents (the first 10) on the front of the W-4. Since you don’t have to provide any additional information, all of your dependents will be listed. Below the line: In this method, you can list additional dependents that aren’t on the front of the W-4. For example, you can list a spouse or dependent children, legal guardians, and a full-time student on the front.

Add Other Adjustments

In order to fill out a W-4 form, you’ll need to add all of the following adjustments: Medical expenses – If you have a health insurance plan that doesn’t provide coverage for all of your medical costs, you’ll need to add this amount. Income taxes withheld – You’ll need to make sure you include the amount of taxes that you’re withholding from your paycheck. Outstanding debts – You’ll also need to add amounts that you owe to creditors in order to receive a write-off. You should also include any overpayment to your mortgage company. You’ll also need to subtract any losses from any income that you’ve earned, or that you’ve not yet been able to claim. This can be applied to the income you’ve paid during the year. You can then claim this as a deduction.

This post contains affiliate links. Please please read my Disclaimer for more information

Sign and Date W-4 Form

The IRS notes that employees can still fill out a previous version of the form and sign it so that if there are changes made, the changes can be properly applied. As for the newly revised form, there are some important rules to keep in mind: Changes to your W-4 should be made when the first paycheck is issued. The old form can be reprinted, but make sure the signatures on it match the name on the pay stub. In the revised form, your employer must include the employer’s name and the amount of withholding they want to do. Some employers have raised the amount withheld on the W-4 form and some have not. In any case, if your employer has increased your withholding, you’ll need to update your tax withholding status with your new employer.

Special Considerations When Filing Form W-4

The new form removes certain personal tax details from the top portion of the form. Instead, the new W-4 form requires employees to list the names of all employers, along with the numbers of hours worked by the business, for the current tax year. An employer may require that this information, along with the number of weeks worked and dates and amounts of overtime worked, be given for any previous tax year. An IRS spokesperson stated that this will make it easier for employers and employees to complete the form, particularly for a small business employee who is working at multiple locations, in order to ensure that withholding is being applied to all possible deductions or credits.

Get comfortable fiddling with your withholdings.

The new forms, known as the W-4, are available as of Jan. 1, 2018, and can be used as of Jan. 1, 2019, but some individuals may get their 2017 forms as early as Jan. 1. While you can use the new W-4 forms as of the start of the tax year, you might need to start looking at your withholdings earlier in order to meet your withholding needs during the first half of the year.

File a new W-4 form when life changes.

If you have kids in school or enrolled in college or if you have changed jobs since the last time you filed the W-4 form, the new form might benefit you. This form comes with different options in order to update personal information with the IRS. For example, let’s say you did not have a dependent who went to college last year but you now have a dependent who is in college. In this case, your parent tax credit is adjusted to account for your student-tax credit. You can request a new W-4 form from the IRS if you changed your name or address or if you went from being a single person to a married person or divorced. Consider filing your W-4 form online. If you do not have access to a computer at home, you can submit a form electronically through the IRS.


A big part of the rise in stocks is due to the growth in the U.S. economy. Much of the growth that is taking place is on the consumer side. Consumption is one of the most important factors in the overall economic growth of a country. With most consumer products being manufactured overseas, it is nice to know that companies are making investments in the manufacturing process in the U.S. This should result in jobs being created here in the U.S.

“If you have any feedback about how do I fill out a w-4 form that you have tried out or any questions about the ones that I have recommended, please leave your comments below!”

NB: The purpose of this website is to provide a general understanding of personal finance, basic financial concepts, and information. It’s not intended to advise on tax, insurance, investment, or any product and service. Since each of us has our own unique situation, you should have all the appropriate information to understand and make the right decision to fit with your needs and your financial goals. I hope that you will succeed in building your financial future.