Financial Training & Taxes

Financial literacy is a basic life skill and a need to know

  • One in five teenage students in the U.S. lack basic financial literacy skills, data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) showed.
  • Financial literacy is a basic life skill that is more than a nice to know, it’s a need to know. And now it’s more relevant than ever.

Not everyone aspires to

For Many Americans, a Tax Refund Is a Useful Financial Planning Tool

It’s tax time, and for more than two-thirds of Americans, their tax refund is the single largest payment they’ll receive all year.

Last year, approximately 80 percent of all tax returns resulted in the issuance of a refund, and the Internal Revenue Service estimated the average tax refund was approximately $3,100. For most Americans, particularly


How To Protect Yourself From Cyber-Crime and Identity Theft

Our society is becoming increasingly digital. While digitization brings many benefits, it also generates a number of cyber-related risks. For example, consider cyber-fraud. At the heart of every fraud is a compelling story, which profiles seemingly easy ways of making money. Most people want to make a great deal of money, but it is important

2020-10-27T09:56:51-05:00Tags: , |

Another successful tax season for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program

Progress Through Business and its sister organization, the Center on Business and Poverty, helped establish a number of years ago volunteer tax preparation sites in three cities in Wisconsin: Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau.  This year, we are happy to report another successful tax season for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The 87 volunteers


Seniors: Beware of Fraud

Americans are losing as much as $40 billion a year to investment fraud. In the recent past, 30.2 million—13.5 percent of consumers—fell victim to fraud in one year.

Investment fraud occurs when people are persuaded to invest in fraudulent stocks or bonds and consequently lose their money.

The elderly especially are targeted for investment fraud for several

2020-11-18T08:37:51-06:00Tags: , , |

Unregulated Preparers, Lack Of Disclosures, Put Your Tax Refund At Risk

Each year during tax time millions of consumers put their financial future in the hands of strangers, trusting that these tax preparers — who are largely unregulated — know the rules, will get them the best possible result (hopefully a refund), and won’t sell them on a product that costs more than it’s worth.

Read more at 


Can People Be Trained To Be Compassionate?

Compassion, often reckoned to be the “highest personal virtue,” is held to embody the very essence of humanity. It is widely attributed to play a fundamental role in pro-social behavior, cooperation and human morality. But there is compelling evidence that the “compassionate instinct” to care and cooperate is not the sole preserve of humans. Across

Why a great retirement is harder than it sounds

As more and more American workers reflect on their ability to secure a financially comfortable retirement, the mismatch between when they think they will retire and when they actually do provokes both concern and reflection. Retirement ages have undoubtedly increased over the past decade — a 2015 analysis by the Centre for Retirement Research at


Selecting A Charity: Trust But Verify

A good friend recently asked me several questions about selecting a charity. As I was considering how to respond, he asked, “Isn’t it a lot like selecting an investment?”

There are obvious differences between making an investment and supporting a charity. Primary amongst these is that charities are generally chosen to align with one’s belief system

2020-10-28T07:17:59-05:00Tags: |

Personal Finance and Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill is widely regarded as one of the most influential people of the 20th Century. Many political and military books have been written about him. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I came across a recently published book that chronicled Mr. Churchill’s life from a personal finance perspective.

David Lough’s superb book, “No More Champagne:

2020-10-28T07:32:18-05:00Tags: , |

Charity, Investing and Risk

A number of people advised me not to write a column involving fraud and charities, especially religious-based charities, because they considered it controversial. As I was deciding whether or not to do so, a good friend advised me that the potential controversy is exactly the reason why I should write such an piece, so here


Financial Education Needed to Improve Outcomes for Employees in 401(k) Plans

Many companies encourage their employees to participate in 401(k) plans and, even though the participation rate may be high, the plan may not be fulfilling its purpose. The ultimate purpose of a 401(k) plan is to provide an opportunity for adequate income replacement upon retirement. So how much money is needed? There are many factors

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