Self-Directed IRA Rules & Prohibited Investments

investment ira typesWhen you participate in an IRA (e.g. traditional IRA or Roth IRA), a custodian or trustee will serve as the administrator of your account. You’ll find a myriad of IRA custodians available, and different custodians have different rules for the kinds of investments you can include in your account. Some administrators only allow customers to purchase CDs or mutual funds, while others are more liberal and will let you hold most types of registered securities in your account.

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Buying a House with Cash – Pros and Cons

house pay cashPicture this: You find the perfect house, forgo the bank and the associated mortgage paperwork, and break out your checkbook to purchase a home outright. While paying cash for a home is a still a far-fetched dream for many people,  it’s actually becoming more common in the real estate market. The National Association of Realtors reports that the number of homes bought with cash has increased to 32% in January of 2011 versus 26% in 2010.

The statistics are even more striking in some of the real estate markets hardest hit by the recession. In Southern California, for example, approximately 30% of home sales made in January were paid for in cash, while in cities like Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada that number is topping 50%.

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How to Set Up a Home Network – Equipment & Networking Basics Guide

home data networkRemember the first telephones? Well, you probably don’t remember actually using them, but I’m sure you know from history books how they worked: A central hub of operators would sit in one room, and a person would use their home phone to call up the central hub and tell them who they would like to be connected to.  The operator would then patch the call through.

Thanks to modern technology, not only do our phones do all the connecting themselves, but all of our other electronic devices can “talk” to each other when they’re linked up through a central hub. This hub is known as a network, and you can create one to link together all of your electronic gadgets at home in a few simple steps.

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12 Good Sources of Fiber in Food – Heath Benefits of Dietary Fiber

dietary fiber sourcesDo you eat enough fiber? Most Americans don’t. Although the recommended daily fiber intake is 20 to 38 grams, WebMD reports that the average American only eats around 14 grams of fiber per day. And many eat even less than that.

There are many reasons why you should try and make sure you’re getting enough fiber. And it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune either.

Benefits of Fiber

As most of you probably know, fiber is an essential nutrient you need to avoid constipation and bloating. But there are many other benefits to eating a diet high in fiber as well.

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Tax Implications & Consequences of a Short Sale or Foreclosure

foreclosure noticeOver the past few years, millions of Americans have faced the pain of foreclosure, and many are still navigating the frustrating process of short sales to sell their homes. Each ordeal comes with a long list of hardships, but most people ignore tax implications – until the end of tax season. The IRS rules are too complicated to rush it in April before the tax filing deadline, but help is here (and maybe some good news too).

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Top 10 Favorite Quick and Easy Appetizer Recipes & Ideas for Parties

party appetizersI find myself constantly needing to make appetizers. Between parties, big games, various meetings, and daily life, I am always on the hunt for simple, quick, and frugal appetizer recipes that also happen to be delicious too.

As a stay-at-home mom, I’ve found that it’s important to always have a stockpile of recipes that I can quickly whip up with things I already have in my kitchen.

Here are some of my favorite frugal appetizer recipes.

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Government Small Business Grants for Women – Beware of Scams

business woman happyWe’ve all seen the screaming headlines on Internet search engine results pages or late night TV infomercials: Free Money From the Government! Or Government Has Millions of Dollars in Grants for Women-Owned Businesses!

And while these ads are tempting to believe, the reality is that although the government does offer some special assistance with loans and training to women who run their own businesses, they simply don’t provide grants for small businesses. Don’t be duped!

Here are three of the tricks that scam artists use to lure women into thinking they can get free money. Be on alert if you come across any of these.

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What to Do in College to Get the Most Out of Your College Education

college examWith college tuition rates on the rise, it comes as no surprise that many people are concerned about the value of a university degree and education. One can easily end up finishing a four-year degree with tens of thousands of dollars of debt in student loans.

Even if you have some of your tuition paid for by college scholarships, the costs of housing, food, and textbooks can be astronomical. These rising costs have led some to believe that a degree might not be worth it.

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ING Direct Review – High Interest Online Checking & Savings Accounts

ING logoAfter the failures of numerous financial institutions and the ensuing aftermath and loss of confidence in traditional companies, many individuals and families have sought out – and found – new, reliable banks. Direct online banks are growing in popularity because they provide traditional banking services at lower prices.

ING Direct, the largest FDIC-insured direct bank in the United States, offers a vast array of financial products. Your options with ING Direct include: checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, home loans, investments, retirement services, and business services.

All of these services are available online, by phone, and through the mail. Direct banks have lower operating costs than traditional brick-and-mortar institutions, and they’re often able to pass these savings along to their customers.

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Who You Gonna Call: 6 Phone Calls to Lower Your Monthly Bills & Expenses

man phone lower billsI don’t like calling companies that supply my home services. Nor do I like pressing ten buttons just to get to the right machine and ten more to get to the right person. I don’t like getting put on hold, and I certainly don’t like being treated rudely by strangers when I’m the customer.

However, I do like saving money and lowering my bills. And when I can make a significant cut, it’s worth the irritating, time-consuming pain of dealing with phone systems and disgruntled service representatives.

Use this six-part phone call checklist to make sure you’re not paying too much on your payments every month.

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