Tax ID theft: Taxpayer Identity theft often surfaces when Internal Revenue Service Computers reject a real return because someone else has filed using a false ID. More than 1.8 million tax-related ID thefts occurred in 2012.
If you are a victim, immediately contact the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800 908-4490 and fill out a form 13039 affidavit.
Basic Investment Principles
1. Investing is the purchase and retention of assets to achieve financial gains over a minimum of five years. This should not be confused with speculation, nor should it be confused with saving.
2. A mediocre investment is better than no investment at all. The most important thing is to save and invest.
3. Diversification is the primary method to decrease investment risk.
4. Investment expenses should be minimized. Try to avoid fees, commissions, loads and taxes whenever possible.
5. Investments should be made gradually over time rather than individual large purchases. This principle is called dollar-cost averaging.
6. If possible, make use of matching funds from your employee or others. This is in essence, free investment money.
7. Given similar returns, tax-deferred or tax-free investments are preferable to taxable investments.
8. The greatest investment asset is time. Starting earlier is easier than making large annual gains. The compounding of gains is an incredible ally for increasing your investment return.
9. Only invest money you will not need in the short term.
10. Your investments are sacred and should be made before the money is used elsewhere. Pay yourself first.
11. You must be comfortable with your risk level. Greater gains and losses can be achieved with greater risk. Lower risk can mean lower returns.
12. Become familiar with investing and money management. Your knowledge is the best means for making wise investment decisions.
13. It is not necessary to have the “best” investment in a category. Being invested in that category is the most important issue.
14. Your investment strategy should be constant as opposed to trying to select the latest “hot” investment. Buying and selling constantly decreases your investment return significantly.