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Bottom Line: Buying a home if you’re potential in the market is likely to be the best gift you could provide to your family or you this holiday shopping season.
Ok so I know that buying a home isn’t the trade off for buying jewelry for your wife but consider this…
Prior to this year many were weary of buying a home or move up buying because they were afraid of buying in a declining market. This was understandable because of how long and severe the decline in housing was. Like most boom bust scenarios though – the decline was likely overdone and created the opportunity for a nice rebound that’s underway.
Year over year property prices are up 11%-20% from the Palm Beaches through
If you’re financing a home you’re actually in a better overall value proposition today than a year ago today despite the real-estate appreciation.
If you are making a mortgage payment on a home you buy today, the decline in the mortgage rate has offset the increase in property value. That means you can participate at the same relative affordability as a year ago and with the knowledge that the housing market is on the upswing. We shouldn’t take these record low mortgage rates for granted. So if you’re in the camp that’s been waiting on the sidelines it may make more sense to buy the jewelry from someone other than Tiffany’s and put some money aside for a down payment instead.
Selling will be at least double what it would be by year end to avoid higher taxes:
Bottom Line: The amount of selling activity in the stock market, with taxes cited as the most common reason, is already in unprecedented territory and that’s just on the speculation that taxes will head higher in 2013 for dividends and capitol gains. The last time taxes increased on investment was in 1986 and the increase in selling for tax purposes before year end doubled leading up to the increase.
I’ve spent time explaining just how high those taxes could go several times over the past two weeks so I won’t travel down that path for this entry (visit previous entries of the Cheat Sheet). I do want you to consider this before making your investment changes. Are you being strategic?
Many companies are down substantially (NASDAQ is down more than 10% from its highs and Apple is down about 25%) and with indiscriminant selling for tax considerations playing a major role in the selling. We could be setting up for an oversold situation by January in many companies that are commonly owned. If you’re selling for tax purposes – I understand. Just make sure you’re being a smart as possible in your strategic selling or you could actually be losing more by selling this year, then even with tax increases next year.
9 countries provide more economic freedom than the
Bottom Line: This is one of the saddest stories to date that I’m bringing to you. Many have asked where (what country) it may be better to invest with the prospect of rising taxes. Well there are many possibilities. I’m not going to recommend any particular country for you to consider but will provide a more global view of countries that are potentially more attractive in terms of total economic freedom.
The Wall Street Journal in conjunction with the Heritage Foundation maintains an index factoring in all economic considerations. The current index shows the
Good news / bad news on our personal financial health:
Bottom Line: The bad news is that we’re still stressed generally in
Credibility’s index factors in all personal economic factors (Income, cost of goods, housing, debt,etc.). The reason we’ve be able to climb out of distress? The rebound in housing. In
Gas prices are about to level off:
Bottom Line: About a month ago I outlined why a decline of about 35 cents per gallon would likely occur over the course of a month. Today we’re at a decline of 32 cents per gallon. We’ll likely see another 5 cents per gallon come off but expect prices to level off from here as prices on the wholesale oil and gas market have stabilized and actually slightly increased over the past week. The remaining positive catalyst is the end of the mandated summer blend of gas which ends in November. The cheaper winter blend of fuel will help prices stay or go a little lower.