math

Oct. 12th, 2008 10:07 am
spiffikins: (Default)
I need to learn about stocks and math - so far I've only *bought* things, and never sold anything - so I'm asking the internets:

If I buy 3 shares (keeping it simple) of the same stock, over time - so I pay 3 different prices - $10, $11, and $15

Now the stock price is at $11 and I need to sell one share - what is my loss/gain?

It doesn't seem like you can say "oh sell the one I bought for $10, so I make $1?
Will it say "oh, you paid $15 for one of them, so you lose $4"

Or does it do some sort of average - 11+10+15 =36/3 averages to $12 a share, so you lose $1

I suspect it's the last one - but I don't actually know.
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I normally do my own taxes, but this year I had dividends which I wasn't sure how to handle.

I did a quick estimate on paper, and came up with owing about 800$ in federal tax. This was a bit unexpected and made me wonder whether it was time to pay someone to do them for me. So last week when I was in the local mall, I went up to the tax "office" in the center of the mall and spoke with the guy there, wanting to get a feel for what I would be charged to have my taxes prepared.

To his credit, he genuinely did seem to know what he was doing - my mom does taxes in Canada, and I've taken the "basic" H&R Block tax preparation course a few years ago, so I know enough to know when someone doesn't know what they're talking about. He asked me the standard questions - threw in some bonus ones like "do you work in the mall?" (I assume he gives a discount to people who work in the mall).

Then, when he was done asking questions, he said, more of a statement than a question, "and you made less than 30,000 dollars last year, of course?"

Hmm.

I guess appearances can be deceiving. I'm standing in front of him, wearing my sneakers, jeans, tshirt and hooded sweatshirt, with my hair in pigtails. I guess I must still look like a student :) even though I've been out of my *post* graduate program for 6 years now.

But seriously, if I was making <30k a year, I would NOT be living in Santa Cruz. It's too expensive. For that, I can move home to Canada and at least not worry about health care costs.

Anyway, he came up with $70 for federal/state, or $130 if it turns out to my advantage to itemize deductions. Based on the questions he asked, I didn't see how I could itemize? He said it would be close, because it would be based on state taxes.

So I was seriously considering taking my paperwork in to him - when tonight I got an email from Turbo Tax Online - because I'm a past customer, they offered to let me do my Federal return for free. So I figured, what the heck - worst case would be I'd print it out and take it in with me to compare.

I answered all the questions, and darned if the thing didn't tell me I should itemize my deductions! It came back with a balance owing of $64 - which is probably about right. So I figured I was on a roll and did my state taxes too - and paid the $19.95 for the state return, printed everything out and I'll write the checks out and mail them off in a few weeks. I owe about $200 for the state return this year.

This is the earliest I've had my taxes done - I always "plan" to get them done early and always end up doing them at the end of March.

Now I just have to get $2000 put into my Roth IRA and I'll be done for 2005.
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