Loading
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

Javier Simon

Banking, Retirement and Investing Expert

Javier Simon is a banking, investing and retirement expert for SmartAsset. The personal finance writer's work has been featured in Investopedia, PLANADVISER and iGrad. Javier is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. He has a degree in journalism from SUNY Plattsburgh. Javier is passionate about helping others beyond their personal finances. He has volunteered and raised funds for charities including Fight Cancer Together, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Posts by Javier Simon:

by Javier Simon Feb 11, 2021

The allure of penny stocks isn’t surprising. The idea is to buy low-priced stocks with huge growth potential and then make a robust profit by selling if they go up substantially in value. The problem is that many people don’t understand how big of an “if” that is. Penny stocks are often subject to major manipulation: They exist in a Wild West of the market with few rules. So when you invest in penny stocks, you’re taking on a lot of risk. But that’s not to say you can’t see decent returns. We’ll help you understand whether investing in penny stocks is right for you and how you can do so in a smart way. But because of the risk involved, you may want to work with a financial advisor. Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 12, 2019

California doesn’t enforce its own gift tax. However, the federal government does. That tax rate can climb to as high as 40%. Still, there are plenty of ways you can minimize the hit or avoid it all together. For the 2019 and 2020 tax years, you can give away up to $15,000 to any individual without triggering a gift tax. But even if you go over the limit, you may just need to file some extra paperwork come tax time. You won’t owe an actual tax until you exceed your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. We’ll explain how that works, and how you can give without ever setting off a gift tax. But first, let’s define what a gift really is in the eyes of the IRS. We can also help you find a financial advisor to develop a personalized gift-tax strategy. Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 18, 2021

North Carolina no longer enforces its own gift tax. However, you may trigger a gift tax at the federal level depending on the value of the gifts you provide.  But you won’t owe a gift tax until you breach your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by President Donald Trump recently raised that threshold dramatically, and it now stands at $11.7 million for individuals in 2021. Nonetheless, you may still have to report some gifts that fall far below that value in order to avoid trouble with the IRS. But don’t worry. We’ll explain exactly how the gift tax works. We’ll also cover steps you can take to steer clear of this tax you may unwittingly trigger. We can also help you find a financial advisor to help you navigate the IRS rules, so you can stay generous without letting the government get in your way. Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 18, 2021

There is no Florida gift tax, but the federal government enforces one. Nonetheless, you may just need to report a gift to an individual in a particular year that’s valued at more than $15,000. In… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 12, 2019

New Jersey doesn’t have a gift tax. However, you may still owe a federal gift tax if the value of the gifts you provide exceed a certain amount. Following the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 12, 2019

Minnesota no longer enforces its own gift tax, but you may still owe one at the federal level if you exceed your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 08, 2020

Bond index funds invest in a selection of bonds intended to reflect the performance of a particular index. They can provide investors with a window to diversified, low-fee investing. However, bond… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 18, 2021

Connecticut increased its lifetime gift tax exemption to $7.1 million for tax year 2021, and it will continue to climb in the coming years. The exemption will be $9.1 million in 2022. This means you… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 21, 2021

The best Roth IRAs offer a range of funds, low fees and digital tools to help you plan for retirement. We gathered data on the entire Roth IRA universe and narrowed them down to the best eight. They… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 07, 2019

The best IRAs offer robust investment menus, low fees and a wealth of tools to help you save for retirement. SmartAsset gathered data on the best IRA providers to help you find the one that’s right… Read more

by Javier Simon Feb 10, 2021

Mobile banking apps have come a long way. Once upon a time, features like mobile check deposit were considered cutting edge. Now, consumers have come to expect that kind of functionality, along with… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 21, 2021

If you recently received a sizable gift from Mom and Dad, don’t fret about the gift tax. The IRS generally holds the giver liable for taxes. And unless the person is handing over a small fortune, he… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 15, 2019

One of the best ways to save for future medical costs is to invest in a health savings account (HSA). It provides you with some great tax breaks while also helping you save for future healthcare… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 27, 2018

Most major banks will be open on Christmas Eve 2018, even though it’s a federal holiday and generally recognized as a bank holiday. Still, some banks do observe Christmas Eve. We’ll discuss which… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 26, 2018

Stock options are an increasingly popular form of employee compensation. They come in two flavors, which are treated differently for tax purposes: non-qualified stock options and incentive stock… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 08, 2020

Diversification is an investment strategy that aims to reduce risk while maximizing return. It does this by spreading exposure to several different asset classes and within each asset class. The… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 19, 2020

If you work for a public school or some kind of non-profit organization, you may have access to a 401(a) or a 403(b) plan. Both are retirement savings vehicles that offer major tax breaks. However,… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 12, 2019

Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences you’ll ever experience. But it doesn’t have to ruin your financial future. There are certain steps you can take to protect your… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 13, 2019

If you’re self-employed, you may be weighing the SEP IRA vs. Roth IRA decision. Both are tax-advantaged savings vehicles that provide particular benefits. But before we explore those and compare them… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 03, 2018

Choosing a bank to work with is a very important step in your financial life. But with so many options out there, finding the right one can be overwhelming. Nonetheless, you can’t go wrong when… Read more

by Javier Simon Aug 27, 2020

An “accredited investor” is a person or entity with exclusive access to complex, loosely regulated and often opaque investments like hedge funds, leveraged buyouts and startups. To become an… Read more

by Javier Simon Aug 21, 2019

Even though credit unions are not FDIC-insured, they still enjoy strong protection from the federal government. In fact, a different entity essentially does for credit unions what the Federal Deposit… Read more

by Javier Simon Jul 23, 2019

These days, more and more people are managing their entire financial lives online. As a result, online banks are competing to offer the best products. Two that stand out today are Axos Bank and Ally… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 12, 2021

With student loan debt reach record levels, American families are seeking more ways to help their children save for higher education. One solid option is investing in a 529 college savings plan. Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 14, 2018

If you’re trying to send money to someone, you may consider just transferring funds to the person’s bank account. But many people don’t have bank accounts. In fact, a recent FDIC survey revealed more… Read more