- A compulsive or irrational preoccupation
- An unhealthy fixation
Based on this definition, I don't think I have any obsessions:-) However, in the spirit of the tag, I will share three personal finance topics on which I spend more time than most people thinking about and trying to understand.
Beating market returns with a simple system. While I understand the rationale of investing in market indices, I want to believe I can find a sustainable system that will beat the market returns long term. I've tried fundamental analysis, technical analysis, Value Line, newsletters, and some elements of CANSLIM.
Currently, I am using a modified version of the Unemotional Investor Growth stock picking system. I have had reasonable success with it over the past 18 months. However, I have only invested a small portion of my savings in the system.
Finding "sure" winners in real estate. Throughout my adult life, I have periodically investigated and invested in rental real estate properties. This is one of those investigation times again. Being a bit of a contrarian, I like the idea of buying when everyone is selling and selling when everybody is buying:-) Real estate is currently shifting from everyone buying, but not everyone is selling yet. I think some good opportunities are to be found over the next 18 months. Since I like to be conservative with real estate, my plan is to only invest if I find a great opportunity.
Intimately knowing tax return details to minimize my tax liabilities. Regular readers know that I still do my taxes by hand so that I intimately understand how I can minimize the tax I owe. I now have three additional reasons for diving into the tax return details. First, I am near the border of dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Doing my taxes by hand has helped me better know what can trigger the AMT. By managing my investment income and itemized deductions better, I will be able to avoid triggering the AMT in the future. Second, with the arrival of our daughter, I have been learning about the many tax deductions, exemptions and credits associated with a child. Finally, 2008 to 2010 has many special elements that will sunset in 2011, unless extended by Congress. Knowing the tax code details will help me take advantage of these elements.
Photo Credit: morgueFile.com, Matthew Hull
This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
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