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It’s a shame, really, that much of what is offered here – at no charge – is not taught in the public schools. Why is it that you can graduate in the top of your high school class and know next to nothing about credit card debt, adjustable-rate mortgages, or 401(k)s? Founded in 1999, the goal of... More
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  • Watch Your Wallet... This Little-Known Facet of the Healthcare Bill May Cost You $240 Per Month
    by Bob Carlson, Advisory Panelist, The Oxford Club

    When a 1,000-plus page piece of legislation gets passed into law - rushed or not - there are bound to be a few provisions that get overlooked. The latest healthcare law is no exception.

    But if you're a working adult, there's one little-known facet you need to get acquainted with, STAT!

    That's because the new healthcare law establishes a voluntary, long-term care assistance program called CLASS. All working adults will be automatically enrolled (via payroll deductions) beginning January 1, 2011. And it could cost you up to $240 per month.

    The good news? You can easily opt out of this new program if you choose.

    With the clock ticking, let me explain exactly what's going on so you can make an informed decision.

    To continue reading this report click here...

    Dec 13 3:44 PM | Link | Comment!
  • The IRS' Secret Control to Curb Your Offshore Investment...

    by Vernon Jacobs, Guest Editor, The Oxford Club

    A 2010 Investment U White Paper Report

    Editor's Note: The IRS is cracking down on offshore holdings. They want us to keep on believing it's illegal. We tracked down one of the world's foremost experts, Vernon Jacobs, to shed some light on U.S. regulations and offshore accounts. Vernon is a CPA with a focus on international tax law. He's the author of half a dozen books on international taxes, including the comprehensive Guide to Reporting Foreign Financial Accounts. And the timing couldn't be more perfect for this topic.

    De facto is Latin for "in fact."

    It's often used to describe the exercise of power that hasn't been legally or officially established. It also describes any other established practice that isn't an "official" law or policy. Such is the case with currency controls in this country.

    Since the announcement of the near $1 trillion package of programs to stimulate the economy (and bail out the "too big to fail" institutions), fears of inflation have motivated many investors to anticipate that currency controls will soon follow.

    Those fears are unfounded. Why? Because we already have currency controls.

    They aren't a law that restricts the movement of dollars outside the United States. What we have is a more devious method of deterring U.S. investors from moving dollars and assets offshore, without actually passing a law that explicitly says anything about currency controls.

    "De Facto" Currency Controls

    The United States has adopted reporting and disclosure laws that function as a strong deterrent for those who are looking for currency diversification. One of them is the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (known as FBAR). This requirement has been in existence since 1970. But only recently has the IRS used it to encourage taxpayers to report any income they receive from a foreign account.

    The other is a new report that's part of the 2010 Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which requires U.S. persons to file an annual report with their tax return to identify offshore assets with a combined value of more than $50,000.

    The FBAR form isn't new. It was created by the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act to encourage money launderers to disclose their foreign holdings. Of course it didn't work. But it did provide a strong incentive for law-abiding taxpayers to divulge their foreign accounts to the Treasury Department each year.

    While currency controls are not yet present in a traditional form, there's a disclosure system in place that the government could easily use. If an executive order were signed requiring the repatriation of any offshore financial accounts, it would be a simple matter to contact everyone in that database.

    The FBAR form requires the disclosure of financial accounts held offshore. That clearly includes:

    Click here to continue reading this report >>

    Disclosure: no disclosure
    Oct 21 4:02 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Avoid These Five Potential Rip-Offs and Safeguard Your Retirement Portfolio
    by Bob Carlson, Investment U Research
    A 2010 Investment U White Paper Report

    Given the magnitude of the financial collapse, and the impact on retirees' portfolios, these are high times for con artists.

    In fact, you've probably noticed the uptick in pitches, heavy with rhetoric about Wall Street crooks, government bailouts, high inflation and currency collapses.

    Each follows a predictable pattern. They exploit legitimate fears and a retiree's desire to recoup his losses. And they offer up a compelling, yet ultimately disastrous, investment opportunity.

    No doubt, you've heard the idiom that a fool and his money are easily parted. Well, this month I want to do my best to make sure you don't learn such a reality the hard way... Caveat emptor!

    The Five Areas of the Market Most Susceptible to Rip-Offs

    To this end, I've identified five areas of the market most susceptible to rip-offs:
    • Scam Alert #1: Home Equity
    A wide range of fraudulent investments have been tied to home equity. Many pitchmen convince retirees to tap their home equity to invest in private investments, such as promissory notes, partnerships, annuities and certificates of deposit at unconventional banks.

    Here's the thing - these fraudulent investments are not registered with any government agency and don't provide full disclosure of all the important details.

    My advice? Be especially wary of any pitch that encourages you to use home equity to invest. And always insist on investing in registered investments.
    • Scam Alert #2: Life Insurance Settlements
    It's 100% legitimate for an insurance policy owner to sell the rights to their policy to someone else. It's known as a life insurance settlement and it's a big market that's expected to top $18 billion in the coming decade.

    That said, numerous life settlement investments are outright frauds. In other cases, inexperienced organizers are simply paying too much for the policies, resulting in mediocre returns and money locked up for many years.

    Ultimately, investing in life settlements should be left to sophisticated investors who know how much to pay for a policy. And who have enough capital to build a diversified portfolio.

    Or more simply put, life insurance settlements are unsuitable investments for the overwhelming majority of us.

    If you're looking to raise capital with life insurance, my recommendation is to... Click Here To Continue Reading This Report

    Disclosure: No positions
    Sep 24 3:34 PM | Link | Comment!
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