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Archive for February, 2009

Thanks US Treasury: Right on Time!

February 28th, 2009 at 07:18 am

My federal tax refund hit my account yesterday. Right on time. I used Turbo Tax (through Vanguard, $48.70 for Home & Business edition), e-filed, and requested that our refund be direct deposited to our account. After filing we got a "expected to receive by" date and that date was yesterday ... so our refund arrived exactly as expected. Very nice. I remember the day when you used to mail in your return and wait and wait and wait for a check, with no clue when it would arrive. Things have certainly improved a lot.

For anyone wondering why we got a refund (aka an interest-free loan to the US government), well, we are self-employed, so we have to make estimated tax payments based on our previous year's income. Income down last year = lower taxes = refund. So, the refund isn't anything to celebrate for a couple of reasons, but I will cheer the US Treasury for it's much improved efficiency in processing refunds.

For any Vanguard customers who haven't filed yet, here's the link to filing using Turbo Tax through Vanguard:

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/planningeducation/taxcenter...

Note to Self: Might Want to Check the Minimums FIRST!

February 13th, 2009 at 09:33 am

As part of my on-going research on possibly going more aggressive with a small portion of our portfolio, I was researching US Stock funds at Vanguard. Saw the "Market Neutral Fund" and started reading about it ... thought it sounded a bit interesting (tho' quite complicated and would require MUCH more reading before deciding to invest) ... then I clicked on the "Minimums & Fees" page ... $250,000 minimum!!! Holy *@$%* Batman!

Wish Me Luck

February 10th, 2009 at 06:57 pm

okay ... Lots going on:

- House: We are getting extremely close to making an offer on a house. We have 2 in our cross hairs. The one we are most interested in is a bank-owned foreclosure. Might happen this weekend. DH is due to leave on a long business trip, so all the paperwork and details and negotiating will be left to me. Nothing new there. Smile

- New Little Side Business: As of this evening it's officially up but not yet running. Had to spend a little moolah today to get the ball rolling. DH is freaking out ... I must work hard to make sure I can at the very least recoup what I spent. (Don't worry. It's not enough to hurt us even if I fall flat on my face, but you wouldn't know that from the way DH is acting.)

- Stock Trade: We made our first trade. Bought an individual stock that we sold for an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny profit a few days later. Trust me, it was just beginner's luck! Interesting experience. DH got all worked up over the whole business. Been watching a couple stocks since then, but I'm thinking more seriously about becoming a buy & hold stock investor. We're really not "day trader" types and besides I think it would give DH high blood pressure.

- Volunteer Work: It's almost a full-time job right now. I have realized that my unpaid, volunteer work (due to level of responsibility and job title) would look better on my resume than my paid job. Right now is an important turning point for the organization I volunteer with, so everyone is working overtime and the number one gal is doing nothing but eat and sleep and work.

It would be nice if I could have just one or two of these developments going on right now, and save the others for later, but this is life and I am coping as best I can.