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Special note: I have quite a few clients who came to me from other firms. When they first come to see me, they have many different statements from multiple companies. I have found that many people truly don’t know what their assets are because they simply have too many accounts at too many firms. It’s very easy to get swept up in the latest advertisement from a bank or mutual fund company; then, before you know it, you have a torrent of paper coming to your mailbox every month from way too many investment companies. In order to combat this, try to find a company that will allow you to hold your existing mutual funds and other assets in one consolidated account, like a brokerage account. There are many firms that will allow this, and it will make keeping track of your invest- ments much easier. You don’t want to compromise your invest- ment strategy or results by limiting yourself to one or two investment companies; however, you also don’t want to lose track of your portfolio because you have too many accounts at different firms.

appreciation is $500,000. Therefore, as long as you continue to trade up in value, you won’t have to pay any taxes on the appreciation. How- ever, once you liquidate (sell off your property and don’t purchase another home), you will have to pay the tax on the gain.

Statements? What Statements? Poor record keeping is a killer for many people. Make sure that you keep track of all your investment statements, check registers, charita- ble contributions, and all other pertinent financial data. Not having these papers may result in paying your CPA and the IRS more money than necessary because you may wind up missing deductions that will help lower your taxes.

But there is also such a thing as too much record keeping. I have a client whose father recently passed away. His father was a meticu-

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