Is Now A Good Time To Buy Stock?

Should you be buying stock now? The markets are at the lowest levels they have been in in years, and with careful research, you may be able to find some bargains. However, what stops many small investors, is the high cost of stock trading. A traditional broker can charge more than $50 per trade, making it difficult for the small investor to make any profits even with a rapidly rising market. The answer for many people is online trading.

I have been trading online for close to 5 years now. When I was looking for an online broker I looked at many different variables. How easy was it to trade? Was there a minimum deposit required to open an account? What were the trading fees? I wanted to get into stock trading, but I didn’t want to have to invest large amounts of money.

The online broker I eventually chose was Firstrade.com. I have been with them for many years now and have been very happy. They are easy to use and have no minimum deposit requirements. And the commissions are low. Currently just $6.95 per trade.

The old adage is to buy low and sell high. This may be a good time to buy stock. Be sure to do your research and start small until you can some skill and knowledge.

Make Money Review- Smorty

One of the things I hope to do more of is to review various “make money” opportunities on the web. There are so many scams out there that sometimes the legitimate offers get lost in the noise.

One of the real ways to blog for money is to write sponsored posts. (Such as this one.) Advertisers will pay to have bloggers write a short review of their product or service You could do this directly, by soliciting advertisers, writing the posts, and then collecting payment. Or you can use a 3rd party service such as Smorty.

Smorty is a service that connects advertisers and bloggers. Bloggers will earn a minimum of $6, and can earn up to $100 depending on the Page Rank of their blog and their Smorty rating. One of the nice things about Smorty is they pay very quickly. While other sponsored posting services can take up to 30 days to pay, Smorty will approve your blog post within 5 days and then pay within one week of approval.

There are a few requirements to have your blog approved by Smorty.

  1. You must have an active blog (at least 2 posts per week) that is at least 3 months old.
  2. Your blog must be indexed by Google and Yahoo
  3. You cannot have any hate, violent, or adult content.

See the Smorty website for more requirments.

Like most legitimate make money opportunities Smorty is free to join. You never have to pay them for you to earn money! Blog approval is pretty quick, with most blogs being approved within 72 hours.

You won’t get rich quick writing for Smorty, but it is a valid way to get paid for blogging.

Traveling for Business

Hotel in Spain

I love being in business for myself. One of my favorite aspects of being self-employed is that business travel is deductible from my business income. As long as the primary purpose of the travel is business, with a few exceptions, all my travel expenses are deductible. I have visited many US destinations on business, next, I need to find clients in other parts of the world so I can travel there! Is there anyone in Spain who needs a U.S. tax return prepared?

The rules for business travel are fairly simple. If the primary purpose of your trip is business, you can deduct all your expenses to get to your destination, and all your food, lodging, and incidental expenses related to the business purpose of the trip. So for example, if I go to San Diego for a tax seminar and spend 4 days in the seminar, and 2 days visiting friends, then my airfare is 100% deductible, as well as my lodging and food while I was attending the seminar.

It is important to understand that “Primary Purpose” is determined by how much time you actually spent on each activity, not your main reason for taking the trip. So if I had spent 4 days visiting with friends, and 2 days in seminar, then the primary purpose of my trip was visiting friends, and my airfare and other transportation costs are not deductible. I can still deduct lodging and meals for the 2 seminar days and other direct seminar expenses. For travel within the United States, transportation costs are all or nothing. In the example above, I spent 1/3 of my time on business, but I cannot deduct 1/3 of my transportation costs.

For travel outside the United States, the rules are a little different. When traveling for business outside of the United States, if the primary purpose of your trip is business, you can still deduct all your business related lodging food and incidental expenses, but you have some non-business days, then you MUST prorate your transportation costs and the non-business percentage is not deductible. And just like for domestic travel, if the primary purpose of your trip is not business, then none of your transportation cost are deductible. The good news is, for business travel purposes, travel days, certain weekends, and some holidays are counted as business days, even if you are not attending a business event on those days.

Now back to my travel to Spain. When I find my perfect client in Spain, I am going to want nice lodging at an affordable price. While searching the internet I found a site for Holidays in Spain. There I found that Granada, in the south of Spain, is one of the best tourist destinations. In Granada you can find the Alhambra, a Moorish Citadal and palace. Seville, is the artistic, cultural, and financial capital of Southern Spain. In Seville you can find City’s Cathedral which is one of the largest of all Medieval and Gothic cathedrals. And in Malaga you can find Gibralfaro castle which provides stunning views of the city.   I think it might be nice to attend a tax seminar in a nice Spanish Castle!

Resources:

Seville Hotels   Granada Hotels   Malaga Hotels

As always, this article is intended as just general information and may not apply to your particular tax situation. Please consult with a tax professional (preferably an Enrolled Agent) about your particular tax situation.