Getting hot is getting easier, thanks to "Hot Spot in a Box," an off-the-shelf Wi-Fi product marketed to small-business owners. Available at stores like Best Buy, the product includes service from Boingo Wireless, a southern California Wi-Fi firm, and a router from Linksys, a division of Cisco.
It's easy to grab a short-term emergency loan by borrowing from your own Individual Retirement Account. As long as you replace the money in a new IRA account within 60 days, there's no harm, no foul, except maybe your bank charging you a penalty for the withdrawal.But now the Internal Revenue Service is cracking down on people who use IRAs as cash machines and miss that 60-day deadline.
You bought the snacks; should you buy the stock? Low-carb mania is starting to affect the bottom lines of food companies, and some stock analysts are suggesting that investors look for portfolios with low glycemic loads. "High-carb content has been slowing growth," says David Adelman of Morgan Stanley, who has studied the impact of the Atkins and South Beach diets on food companies.
Are you sick of that lame 0.5 percent return your money-market fund has been stuck at for months? You may do better if you use an auto company as a bank.Both Ford and GM have their own money-market funds offering about 2.5 percent interest and check-writing privileges. (GM just restricted its fund, but the limitations are still generous.) General Electric, another big consumer lender, has one, too.The upside is in the return.
Last week most anxious high schoolers found out whether they were accepted into the college of their choice. If your son or daughter got the fat envelope he or she was hoping for, there's probably been a big celebration in your house--not to mention a little more angst about tuition.
Ever wonder why you seem to have more account statements than actual money? You're probably spreading it too thin. Almost half of Americans have too many retirement accounts, reports a new survey by American Express.
If you had a buck for every retirement calculator on the Web, you wouldn't need any of them--you'd be rich enough to retire. Virtually every broker, fund company, insurance agent, financial planner and more than a few federal agencies have a planner on their sites.
It used to be the bugaboo of the self-employed: claim the home-office deduction and the wrath of the IRS would fall upon you. But over the last few years, the IRS has taken steps to liberalize this deduction in several ways, easing tax burdens on home-office workers who sell their houses and allowing more people to claim the deduction in the first place.
Time to update that old saying "The check's in the mail." For a lot of people, the check's online now. About a third of all households do at least some banking online; one in six is paying bills electronically, according to Tower Group, a research firm.There are plenty of benefits beyond skipping the whole check- writing ritual.