Why You Should Pay Down Your Mortgage

Many in the financial services industry will advise you not to pay down your mortgage. I can’t disagree more. Why? Because a mortgage is essentially the inverse of a bond: Mortgage: borrowed money where you pay someone principal and interest. Bond: money you lend where the borrower pays you principal and interest.   It’s that simple. For example, the high-quality bonds I wrote about here recently, or bank certificates of deposit (CDs), will pay you roughly 2 percent. The average mortgage rate is about 4 percent. My conclusion …

8 Year-End Tax Moves to Make Now

As we enter the home stretch of 2014, it’s time to consider some tax moves. Here are a few you might want to consider: Give to charity. For those who itemize, making a charitable contribution could lower your taxes. Rather than just giving cash, consider giving your most highly appreciated securities. You usually will get a deduction equal to the full value of the securities and will not have to pay a capital gains tax. Max out your 401(k). Those over …

Shutdown Doesn’t Mean You Get a Break on Oct. 15 Tax Return Deadline

If you filed for a federal tax extension last April, you’ll still need to send in your return by Oct. 15, despite the government shutdown. And millions of you had better get busy. According to the IRS, as of the last week of September, many of the 12 million taxpayers who sought extensions had yet to file. (Of course, you needed to pay at least 90 percent of your estimated tax back in April to avoid any penalties.) Check out …