When Stock Makes a Better Charitable Gift Than Cash

n9yfjkdc0va-jean-lakosnykMinnesotans are a generous bunch. A recent survey by WalletHub ranked Minnesota as the third most charitable state in the nation. We jump to #2 when you throw volunteering and service time into the mix.

While gifts of cash are always welcome (and usually tax deductible) at most non-profits, if you are looking to juice up your giving this year and get the biggest after-tax bang for your charitable buck, consider the gift of stock or a mutual fund instead.  

10 Reasons To Target Your Favorite Small Business This Saturday

In recent years, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has become known as Small Business Saturday – the one day each year when American consumers are encouraged to ditch the big box stores, go off-line, and support their local small businesses.

Started as a promotional event by a not-so-small credit card company, Small Business Saturday has grown into something of a movement with an estimated 95 million Americans shopping at small businesses on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving last year.

And why not? Small businesses represent a major part of the American economy. Nearly 29 million small businesses employ over 58 million people – almost half of all private sector employment.

In fact, 60% of net new jobs created since the Great Recession have come from businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

How Anyone Can Pay Less For College – Even With No Financial Aid

photo-1473624566182-509e437512f4-1In my college planning workshop titled “Pay Less for College” I help parents increase their chances of getting financial aid for college, discover their best opportunities for merit-based, academic scholarships, and make them smarter consumers of a college education.

A few years ago one family gave me the following feedback. The said, “Mike, your presentation is great, if I have a lot of money to move around, or no money at all, or my kids’ grades are off the charts. But what about the rest of us? How can the 80% of families that don’t fall into those more extreme categories pay less for college?”

That got me to thinking…