life ideas

August 31, 2007

Foreclosure’s Costly Tax Implications

Filed under: Uncategorized — manoftoday @ 9:13 pm

 

Forgiven but not forgotten
In many cases, the tax problem associated with a foreclosure arises from a seemingly benevolent move — the lender forgives some of the loan. This happens when a lender and a borrower negotiate a reduction in loan amount. It also happens when the lender forecloses on the property and sells it for less than the outstanding mortgage.

In both instances, the difference for which the borrower is no longer responsible is usually considered cancellation of debt, or COD income. It also is called discharge of indebtedness income or discharge of debt. Regardless of the name, under the tax code, it’s all taxable income. The tax on COD is calculated at ordinary rates, which range from 10 percent to 35 percent depending upon your income.

Possible Congressional help: As for taxes on foreclosures, there might be some legislative relief from D.C. on the way.

Back in April, Rep. Robert E. Andrews, D-N.J., introduced the Mortgage Cancellation Tax Relief Act of 2007 (HR 1876). On the other side of Capitol Hill, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., introduced an identical version, S. 1394. Both measures would amend the tax code to make debt forgiveness on principal home mortgages nontaxable income.

Since the bills were introduced back in the spring, they have been languishing. No hearings, nothing, by either the Ways and Means or the Senate Finance committees.

But given what’s going on, and likely to keep going on for a while, with mortgages and unexpected taxes, that might soon change.

Foreclosure’s Costly Tax Implications

Source: Foreclosure’s Costly Tax Implications

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财籽 :: 阅读主题 – Emini

Filed under: Uncategorized — manoftoday @ 9:11 pm

 

Emini
Future


Lets take NQ, nq is the emini futures for ndx, e mini means it is 0.2 of a full nasdaq futures contract, for a full nasdaq futures contract, one trading size is ndx times 100 == $130500 as of today, so a nq trading size is 0.2X130500=$26100, but for futures, you only need 10% of the trading size as margin, basically, it means you only need $2610 to start one NQ futures, that’s why futures trading is a highly leveraged game, basically you are using $1 to bet a 10$ win/loss.
as for the gain, once you buy a NQ, whenever ndx move 1point, you move $20. If you are very good at market directions, your gain could be very high annurized.
ES is for emini, similar as NQ, it’s 0.2 of a full spx futures contract, but since the full spx futures contract goes $250 for each point of spx move, so the ES contract move $50 for each point spx move.
ES daytrade margin 2.5k, hold overnight margin 7.5k
EMINI 基本上可以被看成是上了margin的ETF (例如 NQ 可以认为是大约8倍杠杆的QQQ).
slow market, 没有区别, fast market, future变化的比指数要快, 显的跟凶猛一些

Source: 财籽 :: 阅读主题 – Emini

OPTION STRATEGIES

Filed under: Uncategorized — manoftoday @ 8:11 pm

 

KEY OPTION STRATEGIES


> BULLISH > very bullish >> buy call
> moderately bullish and you are sure the price will not fall >> bull spread
> moderately bullish and you think the price will not fall >> sell put
> BEARISH > very bearish >> buy put
> moderately bearish and you are sure the price will not rise >> bear spread
> NEUTRAL > you hold stock and expect no movement >> sell covered call
> VOLATILE > you expect prices to be very volatile >> buy straddle
> you expect prices to be volatile >> buy strangle
> you think the price will not fluctuate much >> buy butterfly
> you expect prices to be moderately volatile >> sell butterfly

BUY CALL
WHEN TO USE. You are very bullish on the stock. The more bullish you are, the higher the strike should be. No other position gives you so much leveraged advantage with limited downside risk.
PROFIT increases as stock rises. At expiration, break-even point will be option strike A plus premium paid. For each point above break-even, profit increases by an additional point.
LOSS is limited to the premium paid. Maximum loss realized if the stock ends below A. For each point above A, loss decreases by additional point.
RISK: Limited. REWARD: Unlimited. MARGIN: Not required.
TIME DECAY. This position is a wasting asset. As time passes, value of position erodes toward expiration value. If volatility increases, erosion slows; if volatility decreases, erosion speeds up.

BUY PUT
WHEN TO USE. You are very bearish on stock. The more bearish you are, the more out-of-the-money (lower strike) should be the option you buy. No other position gives you as much leveraged advantage in a falling stock (with limited upside risk).
PROFIT increases as stock falls. At expiration, break-even point will be option exercise price A less premium paid. For each point below break-even, profit increases by additional point.
LOSS limited to amount paid for option. Maximum loss is realized if the stock ends above option exercise A. For each point below A, loss decreases by additional point.
RISK: Limited. REWARD: Unlimited.
TIME DECAY This position is a wasting asset. As time passes, value of position erodes toward expiration value. If volatility increases, erosion slows; if volatility decreases, erosion speeds up.

SELL NAKED PUT
WHEN TO USE. You are sure that the price will not fall. Sell lower strike options if you are only somewhat convinced; sell higher strike options if you are very confident the stock will stagnate or rise. If you doubt stock will stagnate, sell at-the-money options for maximum profit.
PROFIT: limited to the premium received from sale. At expiration, break-even point is strike price A less premium received. Maximum profit realized if stock settles at or above A.
LOSS: increases as stock falls. At expiration, losses increase by one point for each point stock is below break-even. Because the risk is open-ended, this position must be watched closely.
RISK: Unlimited. REWARD: Limited. MARGIN: Always required.
TIME DECAY: this position is a growing asset. As time passes, value of position increases as option loses its time value. Maximum rate of increasing profits occurs if the option is at-the-money.

BULL SPREAD
Call option is bought with a strike price of A and another call option sold with a strike of B, producing a net debit.
OR
Put option is bought with a strike of A and another put sold with a strike of B, producing a net credit.
WHEN TO USE: you think the stock will go up somewhat or at least is a bit more likely to rise than to fall. Good position if you want to be in the stock but are unsure of bullish expectations. This is the most popular bullish strategy.
PROFIT: limited, reaching maximum if stock ends at or above the higher strike B at expiration. If call spread used, difference between strikes minus initial debit. If put spread used, net initial credit.
LOSS: maximum loss if stock at expiration is at or below A. If call spread used, maximum loss is net initial debit. If put spread, difference between strikes minus initial credit.
RISK: limited. REWARD: limited.
TIME DECAY: if stock is midway between A and B, no time effect. At B, profits increase at fastest rate with time. At A, losses increase at maximum rate with time.

BEAR SPREAD
Put option is bought with a strike price of A and another put option sold with a strike of B, producing a net debit.
OR
Call option is bought with a strike of A and another call sold with a strike of B, producing a net credit.
WHEN TO USE: you think the stock will go down somewhat or at least is a bit more likely to fall than to rise. Good position if you want to be in the stock but are unsure of bearish expectations. This is the most popular bearish strategy.
PROFIT: limited, reaching maximum if stock ends at or below the lower strike B at expiration. If put spread used, difference between strikes minus initial debit. If call spread used, net initial credit.
LOSS: maximum, if stock at expiration is at or above A. If put spread used, maximum loss is net initial debit. If call spread, difference between strikes minus initial credit.
RISK: limited. REWARD: limited.
TIME DECAY: if the stock is midway between A and B, no time effect. At A,profits increase at fastest rate with time. At B, losses increase at maximum rate with time.

SELL COVERED CALL
Call option against the stock holding is sold.
WHEN TO USE: you are sure that the price of the stock you hold will not fall. Sell lower strike options if you are only somewhat convinced; sell higher strike options if you are confident stock will rise. If you think stock will stagnate, sell at-the-money options for maximum profit.
PROFIT: limited to the strike minus the market price plus the premium received.
LOSS: similar to that incurred with ordinary stock ownership, only partially off-set by the option premium received. Main loss could be the opportunity loss if the market rises strongly.
RISK: unlimited. REWARD: limited.
TIME DECAY: This position is a growing asset. As time passes, value of position increases as the option loses its time value. Maximum rate of increasing profits occurs if option is at-the-money.

BUY STRADDLE
Call option and put option are bought with the same strike A – usually at-the-money.
WHEN TO USE: you firmly believe that the stock moves far enough in either direction in the short-term. Buy higher/lower strike options if the position can encounter different probabilities of bullish or bearish movements of the stock; buy at-the-money options if those probabilities are almost equal.
PROFIT: increases as the stock rises or falls. At expiration, break-even points will be option exercise price A +/- prices paid for options. For each point above upside break-even or below downside break-even, profit increases by an additional point.
LOSS: limited to the amount paid for options. Maximum loss realized if stock ends at option exercise A. For each point above or below A, loss decreases by additional point.
RISK: limited. REWARD: unlimited. MARGIN: not required.
TIME DECAY: This position is a wasting asset. As time passes, value of position erodes toward expiration value. If volatility increases, erosion slows; if volatility decreases, erosion speeds up.

BUY STRANGLE
Put option is bought with a strike A and a call option is bought with a strike B.
WHEN TO USE: you strongly believe the stock will move far enough from the predefined range. This strategy is similar to the buy straddle but the premium paid here is less. Buy higher/lower strike options if the position can encounter different probabilities of bullish or bearish movements of the stock; buy at-the-money options if those probabilities are almost equal.
PROFIT: unlimited andincreases as stock rises above B or falls below A. At expiration, break-even points will be option exercise price A – prices paid for options and option exercise price B + prices paid for options. For each point above upside break-even or below downside break-even, profit increases by an additional point.
LOSS: limited to amount paid for options. Maximum loss realized if stock ends between A and B. For each point above B or below A, loss decreases by additional point.
RISK: limited. REWARD: unlimited. MARGIN: not required.
TIME DECAY: This position is a wasting asset. As time passes, value of position erodes toward expiration value. If volatility increases, erosion slows; if volatility decreases, erosion speeds up.

BUY BUTTERFLY
Call option with low strike bought and two call options with medium strike sold and call option with high strike bought. The same position can be created with puts.
WHEN TO USE: you believe that the stock price will fluctuate in a narrow range.
PROFIT: limited, reaching maximum at a high strike. If call version used, downside break-even=low strike – net cost of spread, upside break-even is at high strike + net cost of spread.
LOSS: maximum loss realized if stock ends below low strike or above high strike and limited to net credit paid. For each point above low strike or below high strike, loss decreases by additional point.
RISK: limited. REWARD: limited.
TIME DECAY: This position is a combined asset. As time passes, value of position increases/erodes toward expiration value. If volatility increases, increase/erosion slows; if volatility decreases, increase/erosion speeds up.

SELL BUTTERFLY
Call option with low strike sold and two call options with medium strike bought and call option with high strike sold. The same position can be created with puts.
WHEN TO USE: you believe that the stock price will move substantially.
PROFIT: limited to initial credit received.
LOSS: limited to the difference between the lower and middle strikes minus the initial spread credit.
RISK: limited. REWARD: limited.
TIME DECAY: This position is a combined asset. As time passes, value of position increases/erodes toward expiration value. If volatility increases, increase/erosion slows; if volatility decreases, increase/erosion speeds up.

BUY CONDOR
The condor takes the body of the butterfly—two options at the middle strike—and splits it between two middle strikes rather than just one. In this sense, the condor is basically a butterfly stretched over four strike prices instead of three. Call option with low strike bought and two call options with two medium strikes sold and call option with high strike bought. The same position can be created with puts.
WHEN TO USE: you believe that the stock price will fluctuate in a trading range.
PROFIT: limited, reaching maximum between medium strikes.
LOSS: maximum loss realized if stock ends below low strike or above high strike and limited to net credit paid. For each point above low strike or below high strike, loss decreases by additional point.
RISK: limited. REWARD: limited.
TIME DECAY: This position is a combined asset. As time passes, value of position increases/erodes toward expiration value. If volatility increases, increase/erosion slows; if volatility decreases, increase/erosion speeds up.

SELL CONDOR
The condor takes the body of the butterfly—two options at the middle strike—and splits it between two middle strikes rather than just one. In this sense, the condor is basically a butterfly stretched over four strike prices instead of three. Call option with low strike sold and two call options with medium strikes bought and call option with high strike sold. The same position can be created with puts.
WHEN TO USE: you believe that the stock price will move substantially.
PROFIT: limited to initial credit received.
LOSS: limited to the difference between the lower and middle strikes minus the initial spread credit.
RISK: limited. REWARD: limited.
TIME DECAY: This position is a combined asset. As time passes, value of position increases/erodes toward expiration value. If volatility increases, increase/erosion slows; if volatility decreases, increase/erosion speeds up.

帖

Source: 财籽 :: 阅读主题 – KEY OPTION STRATEGIES

IBD Stock Checkup

Filed under: Uncategorized — manoftoday @ 6:57 am

http://www.investors.com/yahoofinance/YahooCheckup.asp?t=OVTI

Link to IBD Stock Checkup

07年十全十美省税法 (ZT)

Filed under: Uncategorized — manoftoday @ 6:03 am

 

07年十全十美省税法
多维社记者陈玮报导/许多会计师都一至认为美国税法可能是世界上最为复杂的税法。一是种类繁多。例如,不同的人口、不同的年龄、不同的收入的人税率不同。二是经常变化。国会经常通过新的法律,国税局就要做出相应改变。面对2007年,美国会计师乔治(George Saenz,)与群飞注册会计师事务所会计师陈晓飞、胡原会计师事务所共提供十点建议,告诉你怎样报税省最多。

1.善用累积所得税的优惠虽然我们还不知道美国国会有关税法的最新进度,但是可确定的是长期资本利得(Long-term Capital Gain)和合格股息(qualified dividend)优惠税率延长到2010年。长期资本利得(capital gain)和合格股息(qualified dividend)优惠税率为5%(2008年降为0%,一般所得10%和15%)和15%(一般所得25%以上),这条文原来只适用到2008年,新法延长至2010年.
陈晓飞会计师在报税季节接受多维记者访问时即表示,美国税法年年在改变,例如今年开始慈善捐款需要收据方可抵税、电话税也可抵税等。所以可以在今年就开始累积你的所得税,整理你的支出,就是省税第一步。

2.请找专家解惑如果碰到税法上难解的问题时,找专家询问还是最好的方法。不单是合格的会计师、税法人员可以帮到你,领有执照的财务分析师也是很好的选择,专家可以告诉你应该怎样省税与报税,绝对有帮助。乔治表示,很多人一方面是想省钱,一方面是不知道原来还有好多省税的方法,所以都想自己填写报税单,轻松了事就可,这样容易因小失大。

3.定时检视退休账户退休账户及基金缓税数额有增加。2007年新税法规定可放入退休金的数字增至到$15,500,年龄达50岁者可增至 $20,500。SIMPLE IRA达$10,500,年龄达50岁者可增至13,000。REGULAR IRA对结婚的来说收入至$10,300就PHASE OUT(开始减少)。此外,Roth IRA的调整后总收入相应门坎2007年也有所变化。个人单独报税者为9万9000美元和11万4000美元;夫妇联合报税者为15万6000美元和16 万6000美元。

4.仔细管理税单,留心天然灾害的优惠2006年美国遭受多项天然灾害的侵袭,所以国税局扩大飓风受损人的优惠,飓风损失不再局限于Hurricane Katrina,亦包括Rita, Wilma等暴风的受害者。优惠条款包括提早提取退休金可免除罚款,向公司退休基金贷款的限制取消,额外损失税务限额之取消,增加续付受害员工的薪资抵税额(仅限第一个6千元的40%),双倍教育抵税额的优惠,三年平均收入法则的应用,慈善捐献的限度放宽,免税数额增加及标准哩数减额的增加等等。
陈晓飞会计师还建议,仔细整理近年来所收到的各项缴税证明、慈善捐款证明、贷款文件等,都可以帮助你在新的一年省税。

5.开设公司比用个人所有权公司可省税个人所有权公司(sole proprietorship)是指用个人名义经商。个人所有权公司是由一个人拥有的责任无限的公司,它是一种最简单的公司形式。陈晓飞会计师在接受多维社记者采访时表示,这类公司的拥有人自行作出决定,享有全部的利润,缴纳全部的税款,赔偿所有的损失,承担一切风险。
换言之,公司拥有人对公司经营所引起的法定责任承担无限的连带责任,公司或个人的全部财产都可被法定地用来清偿债务。相反地,注册公司(incorporated)则需向各州政府申请注册,各州政府收取的注册费也不尽相同,介于几十美元到几百美元之间。陈晓飞会计师说,注册公司的好处是许多费用可以折算入经营费用,一但经营有问题,也不会影响到个人财产。另外如果你是自雇者,考虑开立一个小商业退休计划,可以减税或延期付税,最高可以放 44000元在SEP户口。

6.保险也是省税的方法俗语说天有不测风云人有旦夕祸福,请记得不论如何都要给自己或是家人甚至房子一个保险。保险可以帮助你在碰到紧急灾难时,最直接的救助。另外按照联邦税法,个人的工资收入需要同时交纳社会保险工薪税和个人所得税。由雇主交纳的医疗保险费不必交税。自我雇用的私人业主,医疗保险费用的 25%是免税的。

7. 1099也可有多项抵税措施很多行业的人都会收到1099MISC的报税单,像是业务、记者、计算机工作人员等等。陈晓飞会计师表示,纳税人可以在报税期间,检视每年的信用卡账单,或生活支出,看看有哪些是因为这份额外工作所必要支出的花费,例如业务的车费、电话费用;计算机人员的网络费用、买计算机的钱等,都可以申请抵扣。陈晓飞建议,如果不知道哪些可以抵税,建议可以开始找个会计师咨询一下,会发现像是在家中设有办公室者,大概都还可在抵销约 10%左右的税款。

8.请将收入挪后费用提前资深会计师胡原在接受多维社记者访问时建议,纳税人要尽量将收入挪后,将费用提前。举例来说如果你在未来几年可能会有额外的收入,如买了GOOGLE股票等,请把这部份的收入报税挪往往后几年,像是2010年等;再来把现有的需要支付的费用如房贷等提前缴交,如在每年年底缴交 13甚至

14个月的贷款,如此都可以省税。胡原会计师表示,因为就现今的税法来看,如果没有变动,到2010年时,长期的资本利得可能不需要缴税,所以如果将收入挪往后几年,将可省下一笔税款。胡原会计师建议,纳税人可与会计师好好商量。

9.儿童税(Kiddy Tax)提高年龄到18岁胡原会计师说,很多父母会替未成年的孩子开户存教育基金或把增值的财产放在未成年子女名下,利用子女的低税率来省税。胡原提醒纳税人注意,新税法规定未满18岁以下的小孩投资收入如股息、利息收入等,金额超过$1,700部分要用父母的税率申报,这就是所谓的kiddy tax,金额在$850到$$1,700间税率为15%。

(开户存教育基金---如果用在qualified education expense, should not pay tax.)

此外,529免税教育储蓄账户也是为孩子筹措教育基金的好帮手,一个529投资账户中可以为一个孩子投入的金额,各州并不一样,以纽约州为例是一万美金。所以每年父母可有最高一万元抵扣金额。胡原会计师说529只适用于高等教育,且限定每对父母的免税金额,但是可透过祖父母或是外公外婆,另外开设529账户,如此也可省税。

10.不要拖到最后一天才报税最后省税小秘方就是请提早准备报税,通常越靠近截止报税日期,你的会计师一定是最忙的时候,所以无法有充裕的时间,聆听你的需求。此外越靠近报税时间,才开始准备报税数据,最容易出现遗漏状况。不论你是自行报税,还是委托专家,都请早早准备好数据,才可以简单完成报税程序。

Source: 07年十全十美省税法 (ZT) – 文学城: 热点论坛 web.wenxuecity.com

HSA成为除401K/IRA之外又一个省税的工具

Filed under: Uncategorized — manoftoday @ 6:00 am

 

由于法律的变化,HSA已经成为除401K/IRA之外又一个省税的工具。


Health Savings Account(HSA)并不是什么新东西,其实就是Flexible Spending Accounts中的一种。就是把税前的一部分收入放在HSA里用来支付与医疗有关的费用,这样这部分与医疗有关的开支就可以免税。
HSA以前并不是很有用,主要的问题是这部分钱必须当年用掉,不然的话这笔钱就白扔了(use it or lose it)。再有就是IRS对放入HSA的钱的数量和方式有很多限制,最主要的就是放钱的最高额不能超过你的医疗保险每年Deductible的数额。
近几年HSA的法律有了很大的变动,特别是布什刚刚(06年12月)签署了一个法案叫做Health Opportunity Patient Empowerment(HOPE)。这些变化主要有:
1. 把use it or lose it变为 use it or keep it。就是说你现在放到HSA里的钱如果用不完的话可以继续存下去,不会作废了。
2. 如果你看病/拿药/整牙什么的都不需要花钱的话,那这笔积攒起来的钱在你达到65岁以后可以取出来,只不过取出来时要根据当时的税率缴税。直接地讲就是:HSA里的钱(税前没交税的)以后只要使用在与医疗有关的开销上就永远也不用交税。如果看病花不了,退休后可以取出来买什么都行,但取出时要交税。这样HSA实际上已经是和IRA/401K等等退休基金一样了。
3. 2007 HSA 里放钱的最高限额是:$2850/single, $5650/family。而且原来‘不能超过deductible’的法律也取消了,现在可以直接放最高额了,这是07年1月1日刚开始执行的法律。
HSA 是和医疗保险一起开的,感兴趣的朋友可以去找你单位管医疗保险的人问问。下面是我的HSA administrator的连接,可能能提供更多信息。

http://www.hsaadministrators.com/about-health-savings-accounts.asp

Source: 由于法律的变化,HSA已经成为除401K/IRA之外又一个省税的工具。 – 文学城: 热点论坛 web.wenxuecity.com

如何看level 2 (转载)

Filed under: Uncategorized — manoftoday @ 12:59 am

 

Level2 看起来就象下面的link:
http://daytrading.about.com/library/weekly/aa092099a.htm#LevelII
左边是bid, 右边是ask. 每行是一个order. 包括MM的代码, 价位, 和手数. 同一价位的单子用同一颜色来表示. 哪边同样的颜色靠下, 哪边的单子下得多, 一目了然.
Island的数据类似. 但是没有MM的代码, 却有数字在左右栏下面, 说明除了列表内的单子, 还有多少下单.
我总是也只能用最苯的方法来观察, 但还是要综合起来考虑:
1. 如果哪一边的单子多, 说明哪一边的力量大. 这是self explain的.
2. 但是要看每一笔的手数. 单笔单子数额大, 更有可能是大户或庄稼在出货或吃货. 狼少有一篇关于观察单笔成交的贴子, 请谁找到了帖在这里. Smile
3. 还要看单子数目的变化. 如果一边单子多, 但另一边在增加, 说明看多或看空的人逐渐在增多.
4. 如果卖单多于买单, 不论单笔手数多少, 但价格并不下降, 而且缓慢攀升, 说明有人在吃货, 后市看好. 反过来则看跌.
5. 如果下降缓慢, 但有迅速拉高, 特别是在几秒钟内在某一价位(比如$30的股票, $30~$30.50)的单子全部被吃掉, 即便今天不涨, 转天必定跳空高开.
6. 如果成交缓慢, 而且bid/ask之间价差(spread)较大, 要等. MM还没决定何去何从.
7. 骗线. 如果卖单里有一笔超级大单, 卖单也很多, 但股价下跌并不多, 而且当买盘逼近这个卖单的时候, 这个单子突然被撤掉了. 往往是庄稼的”盖板”. 货还没吃够. 往往这时候股价会上一台阶, 然后再照此办理.
8. 但小心如果这个大单是被逐渐吃掉的, 买力很强而股价变化不大, 是庄稼出货.
9. 如果大单被一口吞掉, 则情况如 5.
10. 结合实时图表, 可以互相辅助判断是骗线还是真实形态.
11. 通过MM代码可以观察从某一MM的进出情况. 但肉眼不容易判断. 从同一个MM出来的单子不一定都是机构自己的, 如果MM是broker, 会有其客户的单子. 但机构的单子往往会比较大, 要结合单笔成交来判断. 最好是有程序.

Source: 财籽 :: 阅读主题 – 如何看level 2 (转载)

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