Friday, July 24, 2015

WSJ's Total Return Blog Saying Farewell

From Total Return July 21, 2015:
This post is the last for the Journal’s Total Return personal-finance blog.’s Your Money page will continue to be the go-to spot for articles about all aspects of personal finance, while MoneyBeat continues as the paper’s hugely popular real-time blog about markets and investing.

As we say farewell to Total Return, a look at the most popular posts of the 12 months through June highlights some of the biggest issues in personal finance over this period.

1. TurboTax Users Get an Apology and $25 Each (By Laura Saunders, Jan. 22, 2015)
Ah, the wrath of consumers who feel they have been taken advantage of. Intuit’s TurboTax tax-preparation business triggered a revolt among longtime customers when it required many of them to buy a more-expensive version of the software to do their 2014 tax returns. The highest-traffic Total Return post over the past year, written by Tax Report columnist Laura Saunders, reported on the company’s initial apology to customers, which came with a $25 rebate to affected customers. Why “initial”? The company subsequently reversed the changes to its products for the 2014 tax year and for the future.

2. Best Books for Investors: A Short Shelf (By Jason Zweig, Nov. 25, 2014)
Jason Zweig, author of the Intelligent Investor column, wrote here that he is “often asked, especially as the holiday gift-giving season approaches, which books I recommend for investors.” His answer was clearly a subject of great interest, with the second-highest readership of the past year’s Total Return posts. Jason lists 15 books, including two about Warren Buffett.

3. More Americans Renounce Citizenship, With 2014 on Pace for a Record (By Laura Saunders, Oct. 24, 2014)
As Laura explains here, tax experts say a growing number of renunciations by U.S. citizens and permanent residents “is linked to a five-year enforcement campaign against U.S. taxpayers who have undeclared offshore accounts.” The government’s efforts have made ordinary banking and financial arrangements difficult for many Americans living abroad and have potentially exposed some people to large tax penalties. When the Treasury Department subsequently published its fourth-quarter list of people giving up their passports or green cards, the final number reported for 2014 was indeed a record: 3,415 individuals....