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Barbara Friedberg
Works at Cadco, Inc.
Attended Penn State
Lives in San Francisco Bay Area, CA
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Barbara Friedberg

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Get the biggest tax mistakes that boomers make. Don't make these errors and save yourself some money.
Baby boomers nearing retirement can’t afford to make tax mistakes. Here are the five biggest tax mistakes they make, and the steps to take to avoid them.
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The Dreaded IRS Tax Audit Letter
The thick IRS letter arrived and I assumed it enclosed the tax forms I ordered. I was wrong. The letter contained a list of 5 sources of income that were not included on my 2010 tax return. Total bill due the IRS including penalties and interest, $25,000.00.
Panic set in.
Ironically, 2010 was the year I was exceptionally familiar with the tax law as I served as a VITA volunteer tax preparer for the IRS. What was going on?
I caught my breath and raced upstairs to my home office to look for the 2010 return. Fortunately, even after a cross country move, I found the file containing the returns and a back up file.
I learned how to handle a tax audit very fast, after receiving the IRS letter claiming I owed $25,000. Learn the ins and outs of winning an IRS tax audit.
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I’ve taken a tax extension for our personal taxes and business taxes for several years. I’m not normally a procrastinator. Actually, I usually beat my work deadlines and am very planful and organized about my responsibilities. So what’s up with the tax extension? Should I take a tax extension?
Here’s my situation, each year we have at least 4-5 returns to oversee. Some I do on my own, others I pass on to our accountant. But even if you hire an accountant, it’s almost as difficult as completing the taxes on your own with a tax preparation program. You still need to compile all the records, organize them into some sort of legible format and then review with a fine tooth comb when they’re complete.
So here were my prior thoughts when I wondered, ‘Should I take a tax extension?’ I felt like I was busier in the spring than the summer. Sometimes my spouse and I had travel commitments in the spring. The summer just seemed more leisurely to me. But this year, I’m questioning my prior thoughts regarding taking the tax extension.
When summer rolls around, it’s still a big task to get all the paperwork together for our accountant. And I’ll let you in on a secret; I used to let some of our family financial oversight get a bit messy. I know, a personal finance expert admitting that she occasionally let’s her own finances drift down on the priority list. It’s kind of a surprise. But, after an ordeal last summer getting all the paperwork together, I considered that I might be making matters worse when I elect to take a tax extension. 
Should I Take a Tax Extension?
This year, after the stress of getting everything together last summer and undoing some financial record keeping errors, I’m going to try not to take an extension and file on time. Here’s how I think it’ll work out better for me. 
I've taken a tax extension for our personal taxes and business taxes for several years. I'm not normally a procrastinator. Actually, I usually beat my work deadlines and am very planful and organized about my responsibilities. So what's up with the tax extension? Should I take a tax extension? Here's my situation, each year we have at least 4-5 returns to oversee. Some I do on my own, others I pass on to our accountant. But even if you hire an ac...
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Pinching pennies and investing are not the only sound strategies to build long-term wealth. Smart tax planning and avoiding dangerous tax mistakes play a big part in increasing your disposable income.

Learn a bit about the tax system and save yourself thousands of dollars. Here are the eight most dangerous tax mistakes you will face throughout your life.

1. College Students: Forgetting to File
Consumed with studies, parties and part-time work, college students might not think about taxes. But it is crucial to avoid mistakes by spending a few minutes to understand your tax situation.

If you are single and made more than $6,300 in wages last year or received at least $1,050 in unearned investment, interest or profits from selling — including those eBay sales — you must file a tax return, said tax expert Crystal Stranger, an enrolled agent and president of First Tax, which bills itself as the “first nationwide tax firm created exclusively for small businesses.”

If you had a side business, you are not off the hook. Did you earn more than $400 from self-employment income, or more than this amount on a 1099-MISC tax form? If so, you must file, even if you do not meet the gross income thresholds.

2. Young Professionals: Delaying Investing in a 401(k)
By investing in your employer’s retirement plan as early as possible, you can easily secure a large retirement nest egg. Wait a few years before participating and you will end up paying more taxes today and having a smaller retirement account later.

Those who qualify can enjoy additional tax benefits, Stranger said. The saver’s credit and various education credits can put more money in your pocket by cutting your taxes. Many people can benefit from the latter, including parents paying for their chidren’s education and adults adding to their own skills.
No matter your age, avoiding dangerous tax mistakes will net you more disposable cash. Find out how to sidestep big tax mistakes.
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My take on the pros and cons of using a robo-advisor

Robo-advisors are the shiny new investment platforms. But what are their advantages and disadvantages? Can all digital financial advisors be painted with a broad brush? (For more, see: What Advisors Can Learn from Robo-Advisors)

Robo-advisors are as distinct as individual investment brokers and financial advisors. The catch-all term includes a class of investment managers and software that uses complicated computer algorithms to administer your investment portfolios. Some robo-advisors are completely automated while others offer access to human assistance as well. Regardless of the model, they all provide customer service to assist you through the process.

The robo-advisors overriding assertion is that each company’s proprietary algorithm claims to take the emotion out of investing and will grant the investor better returns for a lower cost than traditional financial advisors. Yet, each advisor can’t have the ‘best’ proprietary algorithm. Let’s look under the hood at the pros and cons of using a robo-advisor.
Robo-advisors come in all shapes and sizes. This article goes through the pros and cons of this new approach to financial advisory services.
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How a Smart 401k Investment Strategy Can Help Recruit and Retain Workers
21 JANUARY 2016 on Recruiting, Talent
With low unemployment and a lack of highly skilled workers in occupations such as engineering and science, how can a small business owner compete against the big players?

Recruiting and retaining top level employees is a complex task for the employer. Do you hire a recruiting manager or spend valuable staff time which could otherwise be spent growing company revenue? There are strategic and financial benefits to using a 401k to recruit and retain workers.

The Retirement Crisis
A recent Deloitte research report, “Meeting the Retirement Challenge” found that only 3 in 10 people feel very secure about their retirement. Younger workers are watching their baby boomer parents cope with a bleak retirement picture. A BlackRock survey explained that those nearing retirement face a $36,350 income gap between what they have and what they’ll need in retirement. These dire retirement concerns compound along with fears about the instability of the Social Security system.

Using a 401k to recruit and retain workers serves a dual benefit. First, the retirement crisis can be helped by small and medium business owners. Second, a low cost 401k plan with responsible investment choices is a powerful recruiting tool in today’s marketplace.

Here’s how to use the 401k benefit to educate both prospective and future employees. The following scenario might be used in both internal communications and recruiting materials to entice workers both to join and stay with your company.

Alex joins the Freewheeling Firm at age 25 and is automatically enrolled in the company’s 401k plan. Alex invests $200 per month and the company kicks in a $100 company match. Although his salary increases, Alex never increases his 401k contributions. During his working years, he contributed $96,000 and his employer kicked in $48,000. At age 65, Alex’s retirement account is worth $787,444. (Assumes a 7% annualized return.) Without the enticement of a 401k plan and employer match, along with the automatic enrollment, it’s doubtful Alex would have reached that size retirement stash on his own. Additionally, since Alex started investing at a young age, he could amass a large sum with relatively small monthly investments, leaving lots of room in his budget for other important goals such as buying a home and raising a family.
With competitive employment markets, find out how to use a 401k to recruit and retain workers and gain a competitive position in the marketplace.
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Top Tax Reads to Slam Your IRS Bill
By Barbara Friedberg in Links, Taxes | 3 comments
I’ve been writing quite a few tax articles recently. What I’m realizing is that the more I research the tax system, the more complicated it seems. In order to help you with this daunting seasonal task of preparing your taxes, I’m going to share some of the top tax articles I’ve been reading (and a few that I’ve written). Hopefully, these top tax reads will take a bit of the sting out of tax season.
“Taxes: What’s New for 2016?” by Rande Spiegelman at Charles Schwab
“How to Save Over $1,000 on Your Tax Bill” by Emily Brandon at US News and World Report – Money
Sometimes just reviewing some top tax reads will generate tax-saving ideas to save money on taxes. Take the time to learn some "tax info" + keep more money.
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At age 16, I replied to a published job announcement and started my door to door Avon sales business. In college I made “hippie” shirts and sold them to my friends. While working as a business intern in Spain, I gave English lessons on the side. I enjoyed my stint selling real estate, as my compensation was directly tied to my effort. After obtaining my first Masters degree in counseling and while employed at San Diego State University, I had a side career counseling practice to help offset my husbands huge graduate school tuition bills. I’ve held garage sales and sold stuff on Craigslist. Embedded in my DNA are ways to increase income. Tips to increase your income are only limited by your imagination. 
Women are particularly suited to increase their income. Yes, I know we make less than men per hour, but do not let that stop you from increasing your income. As moms, students, and employees, we are adept at going from one task to another. How many women have fed a baby while checking their email? Earning more money is a mindset. There are money making opportunities wherever you look, if you want to trade time for money, make it a priority. Keep a list of tips to increase your income and schedule a few hours to get started.
Actions Determine Priorities
There's no better way to build wealth than boosting your income. Dedicate yourself to implementing these tips to increase your income. (Check out #6)
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Top Tax Reads to Slam Your IRS Bill
By Barbara Friedberg in Links, Taxes | 0 comments
I’ve been writing quite a few tax articles recently. What I’m realizing is that the more I research the tax system, the more complicated it seems. In order to help you with this daunting seasonal task of preparing your taxes, I’m going to share some of the top tax articles I’ve been reading (and a few that I’ve written). Hopefully, these top tax reads will take a bit of the sting out of tax season.

Top Tax Reads
“Taxes: What’s New for 2016?” by Rande Spiegelman at Charles Schwab
“How to Save Over $1,000 on Your Tax Bill” by Emily Brandon at US News and World Report – Money
“Major Business Tax Changes for 2016” by Robert Trinz at Accounting Today
“Marginal Tax Rates on Income Go Up Across the Board Under Sanders’ Plan” by Kyle Pomerleau at Tax Foundation
“8 Dangerous Tax Mistakes” by Barbara Friedberg at GoBankingRates
“30 Tax Deductions You’re Missing Out On and How to Get Them” by Barbara Friedberg at GoBankingRates 
Sometimes just reviewing some top tax reads will generate tax-saving ideas to save money on taxes. Take the time to learn some "tax info" + keep more money.
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Many years ago when I started investing, I was terrified of risk. Tales of the Great Depression and people jumping out of buildings during the stock market crash of 1929 floated in my mind.

Fast-forward several decades. After investing many dollars, I have learned how to understand and manage risk in investing.

Sensible investing in the financial markets is important to grow your money for the future. You need to earn the type of returns that will allow you to spread out earnings over a long life. That is difficult to do until you identify the parameters of risk and understand your individual risk tolerance.

Read: How to Invest Money Wisely

Types of Investment Risk
You cannot avoid risk, but you can learn how to invest so that you will minimize risk while maximizing returns. There are three principal types of investment risk:

1. Loss of principal: This involves losing a portion of — or even all of — the money you originally invested. For instance, let’s say you buy 100 shares of stock for $10 per share, for a total cost of $1,000. Six months later, the value of your stock drops to $9 per share and your total investment falls to $900.

If you choose to sell your shares at this point, you have lost $100 of your principal. Of course, fees and commissions could increase your losses.
Investing isn’t gambling. If you are risk-averse, learn how to invest your money in a way that balances your fears with the need for long-term growth.
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Give employees what they want-a good 401k plan-my recent @Captain401k http://ow.ly/XpZ3v 

With low unemployment and a lack of highly skilled workers in occupations such as engineering and science, how can a small business owner compete against the big players?

Recruiting and retaining top level employees is a complex task for the employer. Do you hire a recruiting manager or spend valuable staff time which could otherwise be spent growing company revenue? There are strategic and financial benefits to using a 401k to recruit and retain workers.

The Retirement Crisis
A recent Deloitte research report, “Meeting the Retirement Challenge” found that only 3 in 10 people feel very secure about their retirement. Younger workers are watching their baby boomer parents cope with a bleak retirement picture. A BlackRock survey explained that those nearing retirement face a $36,350 income gap between what they have and what they’ll need in retirement. These dire retirement concerns compound along with fears about the instability of the Social Security system.

Using a 401k to recruit and retain workers serves a dual benefit. First, the retirement crisis can be helped by small and medium business owners. Second, a low cost 401k plan with responsible investment choices is a powerful recruiting tool in today’s marketplace.

Here’s how to use the 401k benefit to educate both prospective and future employees. The following scenario might be used in both internal communications and recruiting materials to entice workers both to join and stay with your company.
With competitive employment markets, find out how to use a 401k to recruit and retain workers and gain a competitive position in the marketplace.
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What is a Robo-Advisor? And Should You Use One?
0 comments   |   Comment on this Article   Twitter       RSS November 30, 2015 November 30, 2015
Advertiser Disclosure
We generally make money when you get a product (like a credit card or loan) through our platform, but we don’t let that cloud our editorial opinions. Learn more about how we keep this compensation from affecting our editorial views.
Robo-advisors are the latest investment technology that's shaking up the the financial services industry and offering a new, technologically-driven way for people to invest.
While they're all the rage right now, they're still somewhat of an enigma. What are robo-advisors anyway? What do they do? And should you use one? We're here to break it down for you.
What is a robo-advisor?

When you hear the word "robo-advisor," you may think of some futuristic robot managing your money, but that isn't exactly the case. It's a type of wealth management service that provides automated investment advice, aided by computerized algorithms and minimal human intervention.
Many robo-advisors use Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT), a mathematical formula that aims to help you maximize returns and minimize risk, based your individual risk tolerance. However, according to Barbara Friedberg, an author and former portfolio manager, "robo-advisors aren't all the same. Some robo-advisors, such as Wealthfront and Betterment, manage your money for you using low-cost index funds. Others, such as Personal Capital, have their own recipe for investing."
If you're worried about your investment being managed with minimal human intervention, there are other robo-advising options that have a more human element. For example, Charles Schwab and FutureAdvisor provide software that manages your investment portfolio but also provide access to on-call financial advisors. Personal Capital and Vanguard's Personal Advisor Services have advisors available to talk to you via phone, email or video conference.
There are even robo-advising options for young people who are just starting to invest in a 401(k) and are confused by their options. Blooom offers professional 401(k) investment help and claims that professional management of your 401(k) can grow your account up to two times more than one that is self-managed.
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Work
Occupation
Portfolio Manager & University Lecturer
Skills
Investing, Portfolio Management, Writing, Publishing
Employment
  • Cadco, Inc.
    CFO, portfolio manager, 1998 - present
  • Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance
    Publisher, 2010 - present
    Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.com - Save, Invest, Build Wealth
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
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San Francisco Bay Area, CA
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Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance - Save, Invest, Build Wealth
Introduction
Portfolio manager, university Investments instructor & finance website publisher; http://barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance.com
Bragging rights
"How to Get Rich; Wealth Building Guide for the Financially Illiterate" http://barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance.com/press/ Editor and author of upcoming "Personal Finance: An Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management" (Greenwood, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, 2014)
Education
  • Penn State
    MBA-finance
  • Miami University
    MS-Counseling
  • University of Cincinnati
    BS-Economics
Basic Information
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Female
Other names
Barbara Fabe Friedberg
Barbara Friedberg's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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