The Personal Finance Podcast

The BEST Brokerage Accounts (Plus The Best Cash Back Cards This Year) – Money Q&A

 In this episode of Money Q and A, we’re gonna talk about the best cashback cards for 2023 and a bunch more.

In this episode of Money Q and A, we're gonna talk about the best cashback cards for 2023 and a bunch more.

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On this episode of Money Q and A, we're gonna talk about the best cashback cards for 2023 and a bunch more.

What's up everybody, and welcome to the Personal Finance Podcast. I'm your host Andrew, founder of Master money.co. And today on money q and a, we are gonna be talking about a bunch of different things. Including what the best cashback cards are for 2023. If you guys have any questions, make sure you hit us up on Instagram or Twitter at Master Money Co.

And follow us on Spotify, apple Podcast or whatever podcast player you're listening to this podcast on right now. And if you wanna hop out the show, leave a fivestar rating and review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or your favorite podcast player. I cannot thank you guys enough for leaving those five star ratings and review.

So, We're gonna be going through a number of your different questions. So the first thing we're gonna be talking about is my favorite brokerage accounts and which type of brokerage accounts you should potentially open based on what you're investing in, and in addition, what type of accounts you're looking for.

If you're looking for a Roth ira, an ira, Or just a taxable brokerage account. The second thing we're gonna be talking about is my favorite books for people who are in their early twenties or thirties and learning how to build wealth. But these books aren't just for people in their early twenties or thirties.

It's also for anybody looking to learn how to build generational wealth. We've got a bunch of book recommendations for you. That question came in on, I. Then we're gonna talk about what the best cashback credit cards are for 2023, and we'll talk through which credit cards are best based on where you spend your dollars.

And then lastly, we're gonna talk about how do I recommend someone do their tax return if they are just a net normal nine to five W two employee with a brokerage account. So we're gonna go through these four questions today in money q and A, if that's something you're into, let's get into it. All right, so question number one is what are my favorite brokerage accounts?

So I get this question all of the time on social media. I've answered it a few times on social media, but I'm gonna go through my top brokerage accounts and why I like these companies over maybe some of the others. Now, some of this depends on what you're investing in and your financial situation, so you have to take into consideration.

What you are investing in, what financial situation you are in, what accounts you want to open, how you want to expand your portfolio over time, all of these different things. Now, obviously, you can move money over very easily when it comes to investing from taxable brokerage to taxable brokerage. So making sure that you just make this decision early on and just go with it.

I don't want you to take a bunch of time, try and decide which one you want to go. If there's one that you think might be a little bit better for you, then just run with it and go with that one. It doesn't really matter when it all bakes down. If you could choose from any of these four, it doesn't truly, truly matter that much.

The differences are pretty minor. So the first one, and this is one that I absolutely love for ETF investors, or if you're an individual stock investor. Is in one Finance and M one Finance is a brokerage account that really has a very modern dashboard and they're adding a lot of new features. This is why I really, really like in one finance for all the new features they continue to add.

So I've been talking about M one Finance for a very long time since the beginning of this podcast because of the modern dashboard, because of the features they offer. So if you like looking into investments and having things set up in a modern way in one finance is the best option on this list. They only have ETFs, they do not have index funds.

Does that matter? To me, it does not matter. In fact, for beginner investors or most investors, I like ETFs for the flexibility. Usually they have even lower cost than a lot of index funds, and so investing in M one finance gives you that option. And when you invest in ETFs, You can create portfolios and in one finance, they call them pies.

So when you create these portfolios, you can put together a three fund portfolio, a Warren Buffet portfolio. You can put together as many funds as you want, and have these pies in place where it's a very visually appealing way to invest your dollars. So that's one thing I like about pies is they're visually appealing.

But once you have that set up and you have your pie in place, and you know exactly. Asset allocation you want inside of that pie. Meaning what percentage of stocks, what percentage of bonds, what percentage of international funds all inside of that fund. Then you can rebalance automatically every single year, where typically you have to rebalance by going in there, figuring out doing some math and rebalancing your portfolio.

Within one finance, they have a new button that you could just push and it rebalances your portfolio automatically. For you. This is amazing for if you're looking to tax loss harvest. This is amazing for a number of other reasons as well, including saving you time from rebalancing. We don't really wanna spend a lot of our time rebalancing if that's something you are interested in.

So M one Finance has an automatic rebalance feature. Now you can open a IRA at M one. You can open a Roth IRA at M one. A lot of other accounts as well. They have checking now and savings builders. So, And one finance is a great all in one finance app that's available for you. Now, another thing that they do is you can actually borrow on margin at M one Finance at a very competitive rate.

In fact, they have some of the most competitive rates out there, meaning you can borrow against your investment account if you need that for maybe a backup emergency fund, for example. Or you can borrow against your investment account if you wanted to invest in a rental property and you had your investment account available in there.

So these margin accounts are. I don't recommend unless you are really financially literate, but if you want that available to you, M one Finance does have these margin accounts that have a competitive rate much more competitive than these other options where some of these other options will allow you to invest on margin, but the interest rate is way too high.

It's above that six to 7% range that I want you to stay below. Especially when it comes to taking your money and making sure that you are smart with debt. So that is one where you definitely can look at that in M one Finance as well. Now, the cons of M one finance, one thing I don't like about M one finance is that you only have specific trading windows every single day unless you pay them a monthly fee.

So, These specific trading windows are twice per day, but unless you're a day trader, it doesn't really matter for most people. So that's one con that I have with M one finance. And the second con is there's no index funds, but it doesn't really matter if you're investing in ETFs, you're gonna get the same returns or very similar returns.

Number two. Is the OG of the index fund, which is Vanguard. Now, Vanguard is one that I've been investing in for a very long time. I've had a rough IRA for years at Vanguard, and Vanguard has by far my favorite ETFs and index funds. Now, if you invest in in one finance, you can buy Vanguard ETFs at M one Finance, which is what I do.

But if you invest that, Vanguard, they have some of the best OG index funds. In fact, Jack Bogle is the father of Index Funds and the creator of Index Funds, and he founded Vanguard as well. So Vanguard has investors' interests at heart, and Vanguard is one of the best brokerage accounts. If you're like, I don't know which one of these to choose, I just cannot make up my mind, just go with Vanguard because they have their investors.

Best interest at Harte if you don't need all the fancy features, if you don't want all this additional stuff in place, just look at Vanguard. Vanguard is always a great place to invest. Now, it does not have a modern dashboard. In fact, they're kind of behind when it comes to that, but it's still one of my favorite places to invest, and if you really can't decide, that's the one I would look at for sure.

Now, the next one is Fidelity. And Fidelity is an interesting one because Fidelity has a ton of different investment options available to you in. When I look at Fidelity, I think they have probably the most investment account options that are out there. For example, if you want a charitable account, they have that available to you.

If you want your 5 29. They have that. If you want a specific type of 5 29, they have that available for you. If you want to have a taxable brokerage account, Roth ira, if you wanna have an ira, if you're self-employed and you want a 401k, they have all of these things available to you at. So I have my kids 5 29 accounts at Fidelity.

I have a taxable brokerage at Fidelity as well that I've had for years and years and years. In fact, that taxable brokerage account that I have at Fidelity was the first account I ever opened as a teenager, and I still have that account. So I like Fidelity. I've had Fidelity for the longest out of any of these, and I don't think you can go wrong with Fidelity.

In addition, fidelity also is the first company to do zero cost index funds. Now, these index funds we talk about a lot in index fund. These zero cost index funds do not have a long history yet, but they did introduce those in 20 17, 20 18, somewhere in that range where they had index funds. They have 0% expense ratios.

So looking at those Fidelity index funds, if you want a 0% expense ratio, that's another option for you at Fidelity. Now, if you want a Vanguard Index Fund, I would not buy a Vanguard Index. Fund at Fidelity because they charge you like a $25 fee every time you buy that Vanguard Index Fund. So if you're looking for a specific index fund, you like VTS Ax, for example, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, the most, then looking at Vanguard be your option.

But if you like those zero fee funds at Fidelity, then going with Fidelity would be a great option. And Charles Schwab, I have limited experience with, I haven't used them a ton, but I've done videos on them on YouTube and really dove deep into Charles Schwab and they are a great brokerage as well. And you can.

Even as of recent, a lot of companies have been putting more dollars into Charles Schwab. They have great index funds there as well. Now, if you're confused on which index funds you may be interested in, we have done videos for Vanguard. We have done them for Fidelity, and we've done them for Charles Schwab on the Master Money YouTube channel on my favorite index funds, and I do deep dives into each one of these.

We put a lot of work into these and we use Y. To deep dive into my favorite index funds. We go through the returns, we go through the top holdings, all of those different things. So make sure you check out the Master Money YouTube channel if you're interested in my favorite index funds for each of these brokerages, because we do a ton on there and we are really improving those videos as well, if you are interested in that.

So those are my top four brokerage accounts, but the key here is just choose one. Start investing and build that investing habit. The most important thing that you can do is get started and build the. The habit in place, even if you don't have a lot of money, bu building that habit, putting it into place, even if it's $50, a hundred dollars, $150 per month, and making sure you do it every single month.

Cuz the habit is more important than how much you're investing, especially if you're young now as you age. And if you're older, it is never too late to start investing. You need to open one of these brokerage accounts as soon as possible and start investing your dollars to start to grow your wealth and build your wealth.

So just choose one, run with it and let's get started investing. All right. Question number two is, what are my favorite books for people in their early twenties looking to build wealth? So these books that I'm gonna mention here, I got five of 'em that I'm gonna mention today in these books. These are not just for people in their early twenties, although everybody in their early twenties should be reading these books.

But these are also for any age whatsoever. If you're looking to build wealth, these will change your perspective on wealth number. Is the simple path to wealth. Why do I recommend that? First for everyone? Because the simple path to wealth is literally what the title states. It will put together a wealth building plan for you to achieve financial independence in the most simple way possible.

In fact, the investment portfolio that JL Collins uses in that book is a simple one, fun portfolio. We did a YouTube video on that one. Fun portfolio, if you wanna check that out on the Master Money YouTube. But that one pun portfolio is a very powerful portfolio where all he invests in is V t s Ax and we break it down in that video so that you can deep dive into that, but also the simple path to wealth.

JL Collins wrote that to his daughter, so she had everything that he knew about achieving financial independence and freedom, and there's a lot of philosophy in there as well. Also written by JL Collins on his blog is something called a stock series. I would recommend everybody go read the JL Collins Stock series.

We can link it up down below as well in that stock series. He truly goes through some of the best writing out there that you can read when it comes to learning how to invest your dollars, and I read it in my early, early twenties and it really changed my perspective when it came to investing your dollars.

Number two is a newer one. This came out last year and the author came on this podcast and it is called Just Keep Buying by Nick Maul. Nick Maul is one of my favorite finance writers if you don't follow his blog dollars in data. He has great articles once per week, every single week that come out, and they are definitely worth the read, but just keep buying is a great baseline to learn about how to think about money and how to think about personal finance, and he gives you action.

Tactical tips in addition to some amazing philosophies when it comes to learning how to build wealth. So reading, just Keep Buying is a fantastic book. It is definitely a classic for most people. I think most people need to read that book. Number three in this head, the greatest impact on me early on in my life is The Millionaire Next Door.

If you've never read this book, the Millionaire Next Door teaches you that true wealth building. True wealth is not the flashy cars, it's not the massive houses. It's not having all of these D. Flashy things. Most people who build generational wealth live in standard living conditions. You can look at something like Warren Buffet, who still lives in the same exact house that he originally bought at the beginning of his career.

He lives in his first house. And so you can look at this for a lot of different instances, and then all of a sudden you're gonna realize that really wealthy people, not all of them, live in these giant mansions. They fly in private jets. They have all these mega. Instead, what they do is they live a very normal lifestyle and save a large portion of their income so that they can have freedom instead.

And so the Millionaire next door goes through that and it goes through a ton of different statistics on people that they interviewed, and they interview tons of different millionaires. They go through. Talking to all of them and how they invest their money and what they do and the habits they've built.

It is an absolute must read if you have never read that book. The next one is Get Good With Money, and Tiffany Aliche just came on this podcast, one of the best books I've read in the last couple years as well, and she talks about financial wholeness in that book, and she gives you all 10 different things to become financially whole from tracking your money to investing.

She goes through insurance, she goes through things like estate planning. Get Good with Money is a fantastic book. If you have not read it yet, I would definitely read through it, even if you feel like your financial situation is all put together. Tiffany is absolutely amazing and this book is absolutely amazing as well.

And then number five, the fifth one I'm gonna give you, and I'm not giving you a lot of common ones for a very specific reason because I think there's a lot of really good personal finance books that have come out within the last couple of years. The fifth one is a friend of mine, Joel Saul Sea. Hi, and it is called Stacked Now.

Stacked. One of the best books that have come out in the last couple years as well. Why? Because Stacked gives you a bunch of really actionable personal finance advice, but it also does it in a very, very entertaining way. So if you know Joe and Joe has been in this podcast recently also, which we will link up down below, we'll link up all the interviews for the three authors that I'm talking about here that have been on this podcast.

Joe is always lighthearted. Joe is always having fun, and the thing about this book is that it is a really fun read, and if you find personal finance to be really boring and you're looking for exciting ways to kind of get into this so that you can get your money right and put it all together so you don't have to think about it anymore, then Stacked is a great one because he has entertaining things that he goes through in there.

There's a bunch of jokes. There's a bunch of dad jokes in there as well, if you like. So Stacked is a fantastic one because he goes through his entire process, but he does it in an entertaining way. And it's also co-authored by Emily Guy Burkeen as well. And so she and him put together just, it's a great combo for that book.

Absolutely loved that book. So those are the five books I would recommend if you're looking to build wealth in your twenties, thirties, forties, fifties. It doesn't matter what age those are five of my favorites right now. All right. So question number three are what are the top cashback cards for 2023 or for this year?

So I get questions about credit cards all the time. In fact, I need to probably talk about them a little bit more in this podcast cuz I get questions so often. And we've talked about travel hacking. If you haven't heard that episode, we kind of go through my favorite cards. In addition, we have an episode with my friend Chris Hutchins, who is the host of the All the Hacks podcast.

He goes through some really cool ways to use your credit cards and how to use them in a smart way. In addition though, I'm gonna go through today some of my favorite. Back cards right now and there it depends on your situation. So we're gonna go through, you know, based on where you shop and how you spend your dollars, which cards are best for you.

Cuz that's how you gotta think about credit cards is where do you spend most of your dollars? And based on that, then you can decide which card is best for you. Or if you have different goals like travel hacking goals, for example, then making sure that you pair this together with your travel hacking goals is gonna be a very important thing.

Or if you run a business, what's the best cashback business card? So I'll show you my favorite cashback business card today, so you have that information. So, The first one I'm gonna talk about is the Blue Cash Preferred Card by American Express. Now, this is best for people who spend a lot of money on groceries.

If you spend a large portion of your income on groceries, this is a fantastic choice. Now, what is the bonus on this one? So you can earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months. Not a great bonus incentive there compared to like travel hacking cards.

If you look at the Chase Sapphire or the Chase Preferred, not the best bonus in the. But if you spend money on groceries, and this is where the key comes into here, you get 6% cash back on supermarkets and 3% cash back at gas stations. So this is a great car to use for all your grocery shopping trips because you get 6% cash back up to $6,000 per year in purchases.

So another place you get 6% cash back on this card is with streaming subscriptions. So if you, a lot of streaming subscriptions, maybe you spend a hundred, $150 per month on streaming because you cut the cable cord. This. Other great option for that 3% back on taxis, ride sharing, parking trolls, trains, buses, and more.

Then you get 3% back on gas station. So transportation costs. If you have high transportation costs or food costs, which is a big part of the big three, it's gonna be a big portion of your budget and this is a great one. And then 1% cash back on all other purchases. So this is very, very high for supermarkets.

It's very, very high for food. You're not gonna find anything any higher. So it's a great option for that. Now, there's an annual fee of $95, but for the first year it's waived. So if you go through the first year and you figure out, Hey, this one's not worth it for me, then potentially you could close this card if you figured that is the best option for you.

Now with all of these credit cards that I'm talking about here, We are gonna link them up down below in the show notes so that you have instant access to that. In addition, I'm gonna send you the page where we talk about each of these cards as well. These are affiliate links and it will help support the show that if you open up one of these cards, please do it through our affiliate links.

It helps support the show. We truly appreciate that as we go through these. So the Blue Cache preferred card from American Express is by. My favorite one when it comes to opening a card if you spend a lot of money on groceries and if you spend a lot of money on gas now, if you spend a lot on everyday items, that's the second one we're gonna be looking at.

We're gonna look at three of them here on everyday items. So the first one is the city double cash card, and with the city Double Cash card. This is one of the bread and butters when it comes to spending money on everyday items, and it is widely regarded as the best cashback credit card on the market for everyday spend.

And the reason for this is because C City double cash earns you 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay the minimum amount due. So when you buy something, you're gonna get 1% cash back on everything you buy. Then when you pay the bill, you get an additional 1% cash back on every time you pay the bill. But the key here is the reason why people love this card is there is a $0 annual fee.

So this $0 annual fee is going to be one that allows you to get that cash back without having a fee at all. Now, they don't have a bonus at the time. Recording this. Now, make sure you're looking at the current bonuses. If you're listening to this later on, if you're listening to this a year from now, for example, make sure you're looking at the current bonuses, cuz these bonuses change all the time.

But this is by far a great set and forget it card. If you don't wanna deal with all this crazy stuff and you just wanna set it and forget it, get a couple percent cash back and you don't spend money specif. Anywhere. This is a great one on everyday purchases at the city. Double cash. The next one is the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card.

So this one does have a bonus, so it's a $200 one time bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. This also has a $0 annual fee, but you earn 1.5% cash back on everyday purchases. City double cash is 2%. This is 1.5% cash back on everyday purchase. Now this is a decent no fee cashback card and is one that you can definitely look at, and it also has 0% balance transfers and 0% a p r on purchases for the first 15 months as well.

So you can balance transfer over to this card, and for the first 15 months, you'll have 0% intro a p r. That is a definite consideration for folks who have the credit score to be able to open this. But in addition, one, a transfer over a balance that maybe has a high interest rate. Now, comparable to this would be the Chase Freedom Flex also, which we'll talk about in a little bit here.

And the Chase Freedom Flex is gonna be one that you can compare to this, but this is great for everyday purchases. Now, another one, if you go to restaurants a lot by Capital One. Is the Capital One Saver one Cash Rewards credit card. Now with the Saver one cash Rewards credit card, you also earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.

But this is where it really becomes valuable, is if you do a lot of entertainment spending. Maybe you go to a lot of concerts or you go to a lot of different things. This one allows you to get 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases. So inside of Capital One, they have a dashboard there that allows you to go through and buy tickets for concerts, things like that.

You get 8% cash back if you do that. So for example, I have friends in Florida here who go to every single country concert that comes through the state of Florida. And so when they do that, this would be a. Perfect card for them cuz they're spending hundreds of dollars every single month, if not more, on concerts.

And so spending 8% cash back would be a great option. I also have friends who go to every single jazz concert that comes through the area. This would be another great option for that as well. You also earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, on anything outside of the Capital One portal. Or popular streaming services.

So this one has 3% cash back on a lot of other options and 1% on other purchases. So I actually like this one a little bit more than the Quicksilver. If you are spending money on dining a lot, or if you're going out a lot, this is a great card for you and then 1% on other purchases, whereas the traditional Quicksilver gets you 1.5% on other purchases.

Now there's no annual fee for the saver one also, so you can check that one out, uh, and it's just a decent no fee cash back. Now if this is your first card or you're a student, there's two options here. The Chase Freedom Flex, which is very similar to the Capital One Quicksilver, but the Chase Freedom Flex $200 bonus cash back if you spend $500 within your first three months.

But here's what I like and this card I hold in my wallet. I have the Chase Freedom Flex in my wallet currently, and I use it because I like the Chase ecosystem when it comes to combining points. But I also love the Capital One ecosystem as well. But this one has definitely always been in my wallet for a very long time, and you earn 5% cash back.

On up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories, which rotate every quarter. So they have bonus categories that are available to you rotating every quarter, and you can earn up to 1500 bucks on that, which is why they call it the Freedom Flex. You can also earn 5% back on travel purchase through Chase, which is a great perview travel hacking, but, I would probably look at the Sapphire before this.

If you're looking to travel hack, if you're looking to Chase ecosystem or the Sapphire Preferred or the other Sapphire cards as well, and then 3% back on dining and restaurants, which is awesome, and drugstore purchases. So if you spend a lot of money at drug stores, 3% back, cash back on that, and then 1% on all others.

$0 annual fee. So this is a newer card, but because of the incredible bonuses, especially 5% back on bonus categories, this is one that I like more than the Quicksilver because of this reason and because they have those rotating categories. So I think this is one that is a much better one. That's why I keep it in my wallet because of those rotating categories.

So this is great. Zero fee annual card, one of my favorites for beginners, as well as the freedom flex because the Chase ecosystem you can transfer points around so that you can get those dollars in the right places, especially if you're looking at travel. They also have a Chase freedom card for students.

So for college students, I always get that question all the time. If you wanna have a credit card, but you have enough money to pay off that card, or you just wanna start building credit, this is a great student card to look into. You get $50 bonus cash back if after one purchase is made within the first three months, great perk there.

You get $50 cash back just for making one. And if you're a student looking to build credit, this is a great option or a secured card. Something like the chime credit builder is also a great option because what you can do there is you can put one bill on the card. Maybe you just fill up your gas tank or you buy your groceries on one card and that's all you use that card for, and then you pay it off in full every single month.

That's the key here. You have to pay it off in full every single month. I pay money off weekly. So that I don't get behind or anything like that, but making sure you pay it off in full every single month, you're gonna have a longer credit history, which is really gonna build up your credit over time. So this is a great one for students who are just starting off.

Now, if you have a business, my favorite business card overall, this is an amazing card, is the Chase Inc Business Cash credit card. Now with the Chase Inc Business Cash credit card, you're gonna get a massive bonus. $750 bonus cash back after spending $6,000 on purchases within the first three months. So if your business spends $2,000 or more per month on a credit card, this is a great option for you there because you earn in 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores.

On internet, cable phone services and each account anniversary year, so 5% back on all of those items. Then you earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spend in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants at each account anniversary year, and then 1% cash back on all other purchases with no limit whatsoever.

The key there is no limit. If you run a business and you spend a lot of money in that business having no limit available, 1% cash back is awesome, and it comes with that $75,000 point bonus. So they market it as $750, but 75,000 points is the key here because if you utilize those points for travel, you can get a lot more out of it than.

$750. In fact, you can transfer it over to your chase sapphire or vice versa. You can transfer your sapphire points over to the ink card and you can use those for travel hacking. So if you have a business, even if you have an L L C, you can open a card like this, have it open, and then spend for your business purposes and get this bonus, and it's gonna go allow you to really get a lot of extra points when it comes to travel hacking.

So this is a great card. I hold this card in my wallet, but I hold the Chase Inc. Business preferred card in my wallet. So Chase Inc is my go-to when it comes to business cards right now. I think it's a great card to have in your business also. So if you guys have any questions about these cashback cards, make sure you'll let me know and check those links down below.

If you wanna read up on some of these, these are the master money links that we have available down there, and if you're gonna get one of these cards, please do it through our links. It really does help out the show, so we truly appreciate that. Now let's get to the next question. Alright, the next question is, how do you recommend someone do taxes as a single person with a nine to five and a brokerage account?

So this is the part where you have to make a choice on how you want your taxes to be done and what you think is going to happen in the future. Because for me, I wanted to build generational wealth. My tax situation was going to get more complicated. So what I did when I was in this exact situation is I went ahead and I hired an accountant.

I did my own taxes for the first couple of years via TurboTax. And just didn't love the process or doing it whatsoever. And sometimes I'd be doing my taxes and I wasn't positive. If everything was 100% correct, I'd have to go ask a bunch of people and go do a bunch of research. This was early, early on in my early, early twenties.

And so when I went to this process, I just was never comfortable, so I ended up hiring an accountant. It made everything so much easier and I actually learned so much more and mastered a lot of different accounting principles because I hired that accountant. They would teach me all of these pieces that I needed to understand.

So, Here's how to figure out if hiring a CPA is worth it, is the first thing to understand. So if your taxes are complex and if you don't have the patience or skill to do your own taxes, or if you are unsure how specific tax laws worked, then that may may be a good reason to hire a cpa. If you're okay with those things, if you're okay with doing it on your own and you're okay with doing it with a free tax software or a $40 tax software, then that's fine as well.

Now, how much does a CPA cost for someone who just has a w2? It's not gonna be a. And it depends on the state you live in and the actual CPA that you hire, but it's anywhere from a hundred dollars all the way up to five, six, $700. I wouldn't pay much more than that if you just have a w2. But for example, I just talked to a friend who did this with just a w2 and they.

Spent $175 on their C P A, or you could have TurboTax do it. Now, I think I originally spent three or $400 on my C P A, but it was with two tax returns, my wife's and I, when we just had w2. Now I spend obviously a lot more on that. I spend a lot of unac accounting every single year because we, our situation has gotten much more complex with different businesses and things that we run now.

But originally it just wasn't that expensive and it was something that gave me peace of mind. But in addition, they found tax breaks that are going to allow you. Save money. Now, when I say this, as your tax situation gets more complicated, spending money on an accountant is the best dollars that you can ever, ever, ever spend because they're gonna save you so much more money when it comes to your tax situation.

In fact, a certified financial planner, some of the best things that they can provide for you as tax strategy, well, an accountant that can also be a tax strategist is one of the most valuable things that you can have under your. I'm gonna go through the ways that someone with a W two should be filing their taxes and obviously talking to a tax professional or seek professional advice if you're unsure about some of this stuff.

But when I go through some of this, I'll show you how an accountant can actually help you as well. So the first one is gathering your tax documents. So every year my accountants gimme the tax documents that they need. I gather those documents, I upload them to a portal, and once it's uploaded in that portable, they take care of everything.

So the most work that I have to do is gathering my documents, which is not fun. Let's get real. It's never fun to gather all these documents, especially when you have a million different brokerage accounts like me, because part of my job when it comes to hosting this podcast is trying out different brokerage accounts.

So I have a bunch of different forms that come back from brokerage accounts and businesses and all these other things. Number two is determine your tax filing status. So an accountant's gonna walk you through and figure out what the best status is for your personal situation, especially if you're single.

It's gonna be pretty obvious on what your situation is gonna be like in this question. But if you're married, then maybe your status is gonna be something very different. Then they're gonna determine your taxable income. So your taxable income is your total income, minus any deductions or exemptions. So are you gonna take the standard deduction?

Is that your best option, or do you have enough deductions within your tax return that's going to allow you to reduce the amount of money? That you actually have to spend on taxes. Your accountant's gonna help you with that. That is very valuable information if they can find more than the standard deduction when it comes to filing your taxes.

And then they're gonna help you understand tax deductions and credits. So you gotta understand this stuff if you're doing it on your own. If you don't understand tax deductions and credits, TurboTax sometimes will spit out random things for you to have for tax credits and and deductions, and it is very helpful.

But if you don't understand this stuff, and an accountant's gonna help you with that as well, they're also gonna complete your tax return and send. For you and file your tax return and then they're gonna pay any tax owed. So all of this process is what they're gonna help you do if you're a W two employee, is go through all seven of these steps that we just talked about here, and if you would rather just hand that off to somebody, it is a very easy thing.

So all you would do is collect the documents, hand it off, you'd have a meeting, they'd go through the process and they'd file your return. You'd probably have one meeting before you file the return. And that's it. It's a very simple process for you, as long as you can get those documents together and you keep track of those documents throughout the year.

I am very pro accountant because of that reason. I'm very pro good accountant. Now, how do you find a good accountant? I would ask family or friends in your area. I've asked my accountant before if he is taking on any more clients, and he has said he's only taking on businesses now because every time I talk about him and people have asked about their firm and I send him their way, they just get flooded every time.

So what I would do, Is I would ask your friends and family if they have an accountant that they like or they enjoy, if you're looking for one in that area so that you can interview that accountant and see if it's the best option for you. Listen, I hope you guys enjoyed this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast.

If you guys have any questions, make sure to hit us up on Instagram or Twitter at Master Money Co. And. If you got value outta this episode, don't forget to share this episode with the family or friend as well. Thank you guys so much. I truly appreciate each and every single one of you for listening to this episode.

We will see ya on the next episode.

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