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All About Credit Scores

It’s difficult to imagine functioning in today’s world without credit. Whether buying a car or purchasing a home, credit has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Having easy access to credit goes hand in hand with having a good credit score, so it’s important to know how to maintain a positive credit score and credit history.

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National Consumer Protection Week: Beware of Pandemic Scams

This past year, scam artists have taken advantage of people’s concerns over the coronavirus pandemic to defraud them of money. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers reported losing more than $3.3 billion to fraud in 2020, up from $1.8 billion in 2019. 1

This week is National Consumer Protection Week, the perfect time to take steps to protect yourself from the increase in fraud, identity theft and other scams. Here are some of the latest ones to watch out for.

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Condor Capital’s Ken Schapiro Ranked in Forbes’ 2021 Best-In-State Wealth Advisors List

We at Condor Capital Wealth Management are honored to announce that Ken Schapiro, Founder and President, has been recognized in the 2021 Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors ranking. He is ranked #26 among high-net-worth investment advisors in north New Jersey. This marks the second consecutive year he has placed in this ranking.

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Pandemic Relief Measures and Your Tax Return

Two emergency relief bills passed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will make this an unusual tax season for many taxpayers. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed in March, and a second relief package was attached to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, in December.

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Federal Tax Filing Season Starts Soon

The IRS has announced that the federal income tax filing season for tax year 2020 returns begins on Friday, February 12, 2021. Although tax seasons frequently begin in late January, the additional time will allow the IRS to update its programming and test its system to take into account any changes made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA 2021), signed into law on December 27, 2020. Last-minute changes to tax law have already been included in IRS tax forms and instructions.

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Financial Aid Changes on the Horizon

The U.S. Department of Education has designated February as Financial Aid Awareness Month, and this year there’s a  lot to talk about. On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, another relief package in response to the pandemic. Included in the bill were several provisions related to education, including many changes to financial aid. Here are some key highlights.

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Education Tax Credits

It’s tax time, and your kitchen table is littered with papers and forms. As if this isn’t bad enough, you recently paid your child’s college semester bill, and you don’t know where you’ll find the money to pay the taxes that you expect to owe. Well, you might finally catch a break. Now that your child is in college, you might qualify for one of two education tax credits — the American Opportunity credit and the Lifetime Learning credit. And because a tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction against taxes owed, it’s more favorable than a tax deduction, which simply reduces the total income on which your tax is based.

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Condor Capital Reviews 4th Quarter 2020

Despite a year defined by a global pandemic and political uncertainties, financial markets proved resilient, with the major indices finishing the quarter, and the year, at or around all-time highs. The S&P 500 Index moved 12.14% higher in the fourth quarter, resulting in an overall gain of 18.39% for the index in 2020. The nationwide rollout of two COVID-19 vaccines, coupled with greater clarity regarding the country’s political backdrop, calmed market angst and set domestic equities up for a rally into the latter part of the quarter. Contributing most to the broader market’s rise were cyclically oriented sectors, led by energy and financials. On a market-cap basis, small-caps fared substantially better than large-caps in the fourth quarter and outperformed on the year. Finally, the long-standing trend of growth stocks outperforming their value counterparts reversed this quarter, with value exhibiting its best quarter since 2009.

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