Is It Time to Rethink College?
College costs can seem staggering. For the
2008-09 school year, the average annual total cost was $37,390
for a four-year private university and $18,326 for a four-year
public university, up 5.6% and 5.7%, respectively, from the prior
year (Source: Trends in College Pricing, 2008).
Get Familiar with the Financial Aid Process
Over $162 billion of financial aid was distributed
during the 2007-08 school year, with an average award of $8,896
per full-time student. Of that total, approximately 65% was in
the form of loans and 32% in grants (Source: Trends in Student
Aid, 2008). With so much money at stake, you should understand
the financial aid process to maximize your share of financial
Taxes and Your Investments
Ordinary income taxes on short-term capital
gains and interest income can go as high as 35%, while long-term
capital gains and qualified dividend income are taxed at rates
not exceeding 15% (0% if you are in the 10% or 15% tax bracket).
One way to help maintain your portfolio's growth potential is
to invest in a tax-efficient manner.
Stretching Your Salary
In the current economic climate, many employers
are cautious about increasing expenditures. That means your best
bet for the near term is to make your current salary stretch farther.
Some tips to consider include...
Develop Good Investing Habits
Good investing habits are needed to ensure
that you follow through on your investment plan. Some tips to
hone your investing habits follow...