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What Goes Up Doesn’t Have to Come Down

What Goes Up Doesn’t Have to Come Down

Did you hear the news about yesterday’s Dow Jones Index losing 900 points in a 20-minute period?  It even has the SEC regulatory authorities looking into it.  There is speculation that a trader may have mistakenly made an error in typing in the wrong numbers.  Instead of million, a trader may have accidentally entered a billion shares to sell.

I sure hope that the current success of the Dow Jones Index, S&P 500 Index and other stock market indicators do not fool anybody in thinking that we are out of the woods, yet.  It caused some stocks to go from $40/share to pennies, then come back up again.  How stressful is that?  I mean, if you are a nurse, firefighter or entrepreneur, do you really have time to babysit the stock market?

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WGN Morning News: Matthew Sapaula talks Cash for College during Money Smart Week

WGN Morning News: Matthew Sapaula talks Cash for College during Money Smart Week

As of Monday, April 19th, 2010, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has suspended all aid to applicants seeking Illinois public college financial aid.  According to the ISAC, they have seen a huge increase in the number of applicants this year due to students and parents seeking greater financial aid from the government.  The amount of aid being applied for cannot be supported, at this time, by the budget given to the ISAC from the Illinois government.

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How to Adjust Your Income Tax Return to Save More Towards Your Financial Goals During the Year

How to Adjust Your Income Tax Return to Save More Towards Your Financial Goals During the Year

I’ve had plenty of people contact me this week about getting “chunky” tax refunds.  Barring the fact that they may have taken advantage of the Home Buyer Tax Credit and/or qualify for Earned Income Credit, most people should recognize that getting a large federal income tax refund is not a great financial strategy.  In fact, it is the opposite.  This is another factor that keeps the rich, richer…the poor, poorer and the middle class, middle class.  Why?  The Urban Dictionary calls this financial phenomenon…

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Six Money Mistakes with Annuities

Six Money Mistakes with Annuities

Another pleasure to have a Twitter friend turn into a real valuable conversation.  Jay Peroni and I share similar beliefs when it comes to money, faith and personal finance!  The subject of annuities have come up as another financial vehicle to be used for financial and retirement planning.  Annuities have often gotten negative press and media coverage so it is my pleasure to have Jay Peroni, Certified Financial Planner, to break through some of the myths and misconceptions people may have about annuities.  Just like any financial vehicle you look to place your hard-earned dollars in, is worth increasing your financial education and knowledge so you can make a better decision for you and your family’s future.

Enter Jay Peroni, CFP:

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Unlocking Secrets to Saving and Spending-Matthew Sapaula and Alex Mysko featured in Chicago’s Red Eye

Unlocking Secrets to Saving and Spending-Matthew Sapaula and Alex Mysko featured in Chicago’s Red Eye

A few weeks ago, we were honored to have journalist Kyra Kyles drop by the office one day and interview our team.  Earlier this week, our interview was released in the Chicago’s Red Eye.  Below is a reprint (or repost) of the original online version located on her blog.  Needless to say, we were FIRED UP!  Do you have wealth building secrets or money smart lessons that life has taught you, that you’d like to also share?  Please post them below in the comments section!

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How to Pay for College Without Depleting Your Retirement at College Smart Fair 2010

How to Pay for College Without Depleting Your Retirement at College Smart Fair 2010

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Money Smart Week is coming up, April 17-24, 2010.  I am delighted to collaborate with the Illinois Students Assistance Commission’s College Smart Fair during Money Smart Week 2010.  I will be presenting How to Pay for College Without Depleting Your Retirement.

The ISAC is leading a strong initiative to help people pay for college in Illinois.  Here are the details for the College Smart Fair:

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Mortgage Payoff: Why Your Mortgage is Your Friend and How it Can Help You

Mortgage Payoff: Why Your Mortgage is Your Friend and How it Can Help You

In a time of change, it is critical to rethink why we believe what we believe.  Mortgages have always been a target of negative financial thoughts and something most traditional financial planners would suggest be paid of sooner than faster. After all, you don’t “want all the interest” to be going to the banks! Is it possible to have a mortgage become a wealth-building tool, rather than just the biggest piece of debt we will ever get into?  Right?  Well, one of the topics of great debate, “paying off my mortgage is a mistake” has revealed certain truths through this recession.

Five years ago, we began a movement called “home equity management“, encouraging homeowners and real estate investors to rethink about leaving home equity dormant within a property that ultimately wastes the value of this asset over time.  In fact, I helped illustrate this with a “pitcher and goblet” analogy during my workshops held during Money Smart Week with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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11 Top Questions for Using Self-Directed IRAs to Invest in Real Estate

11 Top Questions for Using Self-Directed IRAs to Invest in Real Estate

Over the last few weeks on the Real Estate on Radio Show, airing on Chicago’s WLS 890 AM, I have been covering a little-known alternative to traditional forms of retirement planning…utilizing a self-directed IRA. Plenty of those who have invested in their employer-sponsored 401(k) plan or have an individual retirement account (IRA)  at a brokerage account have experienced severe losses in their investments throughout this recession.  Many are hoping to ride this stock market wave back up yet still feel very skeptical in this economic recovery.  Investing in real estate is extremely attractive right now, since picking up properties as such rock-bottom prices has never been seen before, especially in Chicago since the early 80s.

I have received plenty of emails pouring into my inbox and I thought it would be smart to list the top questions being sent through.  I appreciate your intense desire to learn and uncover every stone possible, in taking financial control of your retirement plan and preventing any further losses from holding back your financial plans.  We are always eager to answer your questions, that’s why our Chicago-based financial talk radio show is here…for you!

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How to Build a Tax-Free Retirement with a Roth IRA Conversion

How to Build a Tax-Free Retirement with a Roth IRA Conversion
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The year 2010 marks a decisive year in which IRA owners may take advantage of a tax-planning opportunity yet unseen.  Every time a “change in the tax code” occurs, I ask myself, “What is the IRS and our government trying to get us to do?  What is their incentive to give US an incentive?”  Well, for one, our government both federal and state have major cash flow issues.  Instead of waiting until you are 59 1/2 years old to collect income taxes from your IRA or 401(k) retirement plan as you withdraw cash for retirement income…they’d like your money now within the next couple years.  A Roth IRA conversion may just be what the doctor ordered so you can take your tax-deferred retirement savings and pay taxes NOW, so you won’t have to later.  … Continue Reading

Want to Start Investing in Real Estate But Don’t Think You Have the Cash or Credit?

Want to Start Investing in Real Estate But Don’t Think You Have the Cash or Credit?
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Most people I have spoken to last week are from emails, Facebook comments and Twitter replies that commonly say, “I hear you! I’d like to look into investing in real estate and would like to start…but I don’t have the credit score OR the cash!”  I understand you, so here is a question I pose right back.  What if I told you that you may have unused, sometimes-forgotten-and-overlooked set of assets that can be repositioned to help you get in the real estate game?

Would you like to know what it is or where to find it?  This podcast from last weekend’s Real Estate on Radio Show on WLS 890 AM will explore your alternatives.

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