Wealth Blog

Sunday, April 15, 2012 4:16 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

As China’s economy booms, its leaders are looking to the U.S. for guidance on both corporate and individual philanthropy.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012 5:44 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

If you could experience life as a billionaire for one day, what would you most look forward to: the VIP treatment, the opportunity to spend as much as you want on luxury, or would you seek opportunities to help others and make a difference?

From the Occupy Wall Street movement to reality TV to Bloomberg’s daily ranking of billionaires, fascination with the uber-rich has only increased, even as the effects of the Great Recession are still being felt.

So with a desire to “walk a mile in their Ferragamo loafers,” New York Times reporter Kevin Roose wondered what it would be like to be a billionaire for a day.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012 6:24 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Predicting a rise in inflation or a drop in the stock market at some point in the future reminds me of the saying, “Nobody gets out of life alive.” The inevitability simply reinforces the fact that there is no avoidance; we can only prepare and plan.

This week on CNBC, Marc Faber lived up to his nickname, “Dr. Doom,” by predicting a catastrophic investment loss for investors, particularly the wealthy.

Faber, editor of the “Gloom, Boom & Doom Report,” says within the next few years, high inflation will wipe out up to half the wealth of the affluent because the government has been printing money in response to its inability to control debt.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012 11:54 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

You wouldn’t want to put this baseball card in your bicycle spokes: A 1909 card of Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Honus Wagner, whose nickname was “The Flying Dutchman,” will probably sell at auction for between $1.2 million and $1.5 million. The card is owned by a Texas businessman who wishes to remain anonymous.

Photo: Bloomberg

In his 21-year career with the Pirates, Wagner hit a career batting average of .327 and was known as one of the greatest players of the time. If you’re thinking anyone would be crazy to buy a baseball card for $1 million plus, it’s actually less than half the price of another Wagner baseball card.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012 5:46 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

For three years, the Internal Revenue Service has been stepping up its oversight of taxpayers who report more than $10 million in income. In 2011, the IRS audited almost 30 percent of them.

While the percentage of individuals audited overall has held steady at 1.1 percent for the past few years, the rate has been climbing for the ultrarich. In 2010, 18 percent were audited, up from 10.6 percent in 2009, according to an IRS report.

The IRS created a special unit in 2009 to examine the tax returns of the wealthy after nearly 15,000 Americans with offshore bank accounts voluntarily came forward to avoid prosecution for tax evasion.

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Tags: audited, IRS, rich, tax
Sunday, March 25, 2012 2:57 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

One Texas billionaire really wants President Obama to lose the election. And he’s putting part of his considerable fortune to work to try to make that happen by donating millions to super political action committees, or PACs.

Harold Clark Simmons, whose net worth is estimated at $10 billion, doesn’t state a preference for a particular Republican candidate. He just wants a Republican president and a GOP majority in the House and Senate. In a profile in the Wall Street Journal, he called Obama a socialist and says Republicans will rescue the economy from the current president’s agenda. He’s in favor of business deregulation and tax reform.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 5:15 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

The House Republican budget proposal for 2013 calls for reducing the current top income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, resulting in Democrats accusing the Republicans of protecting rich taxpayers at the expense of the middle class.

Uncle Sam wants your income.Under the new budget, introduced by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, there would be two individual tax brackets, 15 percent and 25 percent. The alternative minimum tax, which was designed to eliminate deductions that favor the wealthy, would be eliminated. It’s not the first time the AMT has come under fire since it began sweeping in more middle-class taxpayers instead of targeting only the wealthy.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 11:10 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

When it comes to consumer confidence in an improving economy, much depends on your personal situation and where you live (especially as it relates to housing and jobs). Though the stock market rally is increasing individual wealth for investors — on paper at least — a strong economy is key for those seeking to amass wealth the traditional way — by building a business.

So what do the numbers tell us? Signs of an improving economic environment include a drop in claims for unemployment benefits, which is leading to a rise in consumer confidence not seen since before 2008. Retail spending also ticked up 1.1 percent in February.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:50 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Those in the highest echelon of income earners — the 1 percenters — are speeding past the rest of the population when it comes to rebuilding wealth after the recession of 2007 to 2009.

A study by E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics at Berkeley Emmanuel Saez, “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States,” shows that in 2009 to 2010, the 1 percenters captured an astounding 93 percent of income growth. The stock market, which has doubled in three years, is responsible for most of the gains of the wealthy since the recession, while the majority of Americans are still suffering from a sluggish housing market and jobs recovery.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012 12:57 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

When it comes to passing down an inheritance, most families think of money and tangible assets. But there’s another legacy that’s even more important to the preservation of families –the noneconomic one.

Typically, it’s not until after the financial paperwork, such as wills, trusts and family business agreements, is in place that families begin thinking about how they want their heritage, or identity, to be communicated to subsequent generations. But planning for this type of legacy can and should begin even earlier, giving multiple generations the opportunity to work together on the family story.

“More and more, families are recognizing the importance of family heritage,” says Susan Dsurney, family wealth adviser and CPA at GenSpring Family Offices.

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