Are binary options profits taxable - Safe And Legal

Sharing my numbers, goals, milestones, and advice

I wanted to share a few of my numbers, goals and priorities. Both because it's helpful for me to organize my goals and plans, and because the posts and comments on this sub have helped me out and I thought I'd chip in my 2 cents.
Basic stats: 31M, married, wife the same age. My annual income (software engineer, large company) around 125k + 20k bonus + 5k stock + 4.5% 401k match + ESPP magic of 1.5% salary or more. Wife's salary around 105k with a 2% 401k match at a non-profit. No kids yet, just a dog.
I started working the summer I was 16, for a nickel above federal minimum wage at the time, I think it was around $5.15 / hr. This was a miserable and yet incredibly enlightening experience. I realized I could make it on my own with hard work but I sure didn't want to be stuck there. I went to college, worked part-time and summers through school at only slightly better pay and less-miserable conditions. Wife and I were extremely fortunate to have had families who paid most of college (along with some scholarships and benefits), and we graduated with no debt.
Real income started coming in after I graduated college with an engineering degree in 2007, starting salary was $65k. My wife and I lived basically as we had while in school, renting a cheap place, maxing out the 401ks and Roths, and saving a small amount of taxable income too. Here's my SSA reported earnings (pretty sure I had some W2 income in 2005, not sure why it's missing). Wife's salary has been just a little bit less than mine over the years as she has worked at non-profits and spent two more years in school.
It's been just shy of ten years since we graduated and started working and saving. Here's Mint's (ragged) picture of our net worth as far back as Mint knows about. Their older data is incomplete, the early years are missing several accounts that we had, and there is a discontinuity around our house purchase last year as Mint can't be made to understand the date we closed on our house and how that corresponds to the dip in cash.
Right now we're still maxing 401ks, maxing my HSA, and average maybe $2000 or so of taxable savings per month. I'll be getting my first bonus check from my current job this year, and plan to save basically all of it, plus all my stock options and ESPP. If everything goes smoothly I hope we can save well over $75k this year. I have a goal set in Mint to get to $1M in cash and investments, and if the market doesn't take a dive and our savings stay on track, I hope to get there by early 2018. Our major expenses are dog-care ($600/month), mortgage ($3300/month incl. taxes and insurance), and some travel.
Our net worth breakdown: Assets:
Liabilities:
I mentioned already my wife and I were helped out significantly by having undergrad paid for and graduating debt free. I received an inheritance of around $200k a few years ago which also explains our growth. I say this to be transparent about where our money has come from and not write some inflated baloney.
With those caveats and explanations, here are some lessons I've learned along the way that I'd like to share.
  1. Prioritize your physical health first. Yes my first advice is actually to spend money -- investing in yourself and your health. Even if you are young and without major problems, go to your yearly physicals and dentist appointments. Nobody likes going to the doctor, but not going ends up being much worse.
    • I am in decent health, but I would gladly pay every dollar in all my retirement accounts to have my few health problems solved for good and be guaranteed a long, healthy, active life. In my case, that's not possible. Doctors can only do so much. Some of your health is decided by luck and genetics. But control the part that you can control -- lucky for all of us, it's usually a pretty large part. Eat your fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise, and don't eat out all the time -- not primarily because eating out is expensive, but because your health cannot be bought at any price, and making food yourself will simply be better for you.
  2. Prioritize your mental health, happiness, and sanity second. Having a 90% savings rate will do nothing for you if you are depressed and suicidal. If you don't live long enough to enjoy your early retirement, all those years and decades of hard work were a waste. I'd much rather see someone making the bare minimum 401k contributions, with a job he enjoys, good friends, family support, loving spouse, than see an isolated and depressed wage-slave, spending all his time at a job he hates in a depressing environment, just to max out savings.
    • In fact, I see the entire idea of "financial independence" as a small part of a larger picture: determining what your priorities are in life, what really makes you happy now and will make you happy long-term, and then consciously investing your time, energy, and money to those pursuits. And cutting back on everything else. Build the life you want, then save for it
  3. I can't tell you the number of posts I see on personalfinance where the biggest obstacle boils down to "I paid way too much for a new car I can't really afford and now I'm in big trouble". What's worse, the people that post are the ones smart enough to realize something is wrong and reach out for help, I worry about the rest.
    • I live in a New England city where a big snowfall will regularly bury us for a week or two at a stretch in the winter. It is mind-boggling the number of cars I see here, weeks after a snowstorm, still parked on the street completely buried by snow -- the owners have more cars than they need, so what the hell, just leave the extra cars abandoned on the street (for "free" of course), buried in the snow. Car insurance for me and my wife here costs, for one car, north of $1k/year and we both have spotless driving records. Plus motor vehicle excise tax, registration, emissions test, plates, AAA, etc. And those are just the fixed costs, without putting any miles on the car! I am simply astounded by these abandoned cars hanging out for weeks.
  4. Buy a damn bicycle and start somewhere. The number of excuses I hear about why one can't bike is just insane. Work is too far, it's too cold, too wet, too dangerous, I'm out of shape, I don't have a bike, I don't really know how to bike, bikes get stolen, I'll get sweaty, and on and on. Look. Go to your local bike shop, or Craigslist, or hell even Walmart. Spend $150-$200 on a used or (crappy) new bike. Get a helmet and maybe a lock. And just try going somewhere on a nice cool, sunny day. Go to a coffee shop, park, bookstore, post office, whatever. You lock up basically anywhere. No coins or credit card for the meter, no circling for parking. Time how long it took you. If it's somewhere close, and you live in a city, it probably wasn't much slower than driving and dealing with parking, maybe even faster. And remember how infuriating it is to be stuck in a car in a traffic jam? That will never happen to you on a bike.
    • Commuting to work every day by bike may not be for you. Maybe you can do it on nice days in the spring and fall. Maybe you can do a few errands here and there. Maybe just for fun rides on the weekend. Read the true cost of commuting by the great Mr. Money Moustache if you want financial motivation. I wonder if I have MMM beat with my bike commuting stats ? But just try riding a bike a few times and see how you like it. If you hate it, fine, it's not for you.
  5. Spend some time getting VERY familiar with your work benefits. It is easy to miss out on free money. A few examples from my own experience:
    • If you have an employer match, be careful about front-loading your 401k contributions, even just a little bit, e.g. meeting the 401k contribution limit by November in the year. Depending on how it is set up, the match may only kick in, say, up to a 5% match of each pay period. So if you front-load and are maxed out by November, you would have only gotten a 5% match for 11 months, not 12 months.
    • If you have an employer HSA and your employer is generous enough to have incentive programs to reward you with money for exercise, preventative care, health counseling, etc. get on top of those and max them out. It's free money!
    • The workplace ESPP plans I've had access to are also free money (often a 15% guaranteed ROI after 6 months if company stock is flat or goes down, with the potential for much more if the company stock goes up). You are crazy if you don't contribute the full amount here.
    • Be on the lookout for other fringe employee benefits. We recently found out my wife's work offers reimbursement up to $20/month for bicycle commuting expenses. Ka-ching.
    • Understanding the details of your vacation policy (PTO) is critical. How often do they accrue? Do you have other days ("floating holidays") and how are they different? What is your cap on the max. number of days accrued? Do they roll-over year to year? Do they get paid out when you leave the company? Time is money, these days are precious, don't waste any of them.
  6. On the same lines, the easiest credit card sign-ups and bank sign-ups are no-brainers, great money for a minimal time investment. You don't have to go overboard like the hardcore folks at churning , but just signing up and canceling one or two cards per year can net you an easy $200-$500 bonus each time. Even better, the credit card bonuses are generally treated as discounts on purchases, not income, so not treated as taxable income by the IRS.
  7. Make a to-do list of financial fixes, bill cuts, home improvements, and work on them regularly. My quick list is:
    • rollover wife's old 401k to an IRA
    • set up a backdoor Roth for me and my wife this year
    • do an easy credit card sign-up bonus
    • take advantage of a state program to pay for insulation in our house
  8. Think about what makes you happy and do more of it. Stop for a moment and ponder -- what are the top three things that you love doing, that when you are old and grey you will look back fondly on?
    • I bet that "compulsively checking Facebook" wasn't on your list. Or "sitting in traffic on the way to work". Financial Independence is all about taking control of your life. But you don't need some magic amount of money saved to do this. Being financially independent is more of a spectrum than a binary. Just having a small emergency fund saved will give you confidence at work, give you flexibility to interview for other jobs, allow you to sleep better at night, invest in yourself, etc.
  9. And after taking care of yourself and your immediate family, think about your other close friends and more extended family (well, the ones you love, at least). Just as our families have sacrificed for us, I see my extended family members who have needed help over the years and have tried to help out quite a bit, financially and otherwise. This is actually what I look forward to the most as our nest egg slowly fills in. I don't want to be a Scrooge sticking to a leanfire budget for 40+ years of retirement with no wiggle room. I aspire to be able to help friends, family, and charities I care about.
submitted by FIREyerBoss to financialindependence [link] [comments]

Question on the legality of over seas Binary Option trading?

TL:DR; Guy shows me his balance sheet, he's managed to amass a portfolio of over $100K on "Binary Options". Said he has a 98% success rate and pulls over 5K a month on average. I didn't believe him, he has the data to back this up. Since 1 Jan he's made 8K alone. Kicker is, he say's it's all oversea's and none of the money is taxable.
Questions:
1) Money earned in overseas investments is still earned income, yes?
2) Is Binary Option trading seriously this profitable, or is there something I'm missing?
Longer story:
So this guy in my circle starts humble bragging about his "guaranteed method" (red flag) so I inquire. Turns out he shows me his balance sheet (on a website called myfxbook) and he's managed to amass a small fortune. In 300+ trades he has profited in 98% of them (literally looking at his balance sheet right now.) Sure he has some losses but his NET gains are usually 5K a month. Am I crazy? Is this real life?
He goes on to say it's all oversea's, and that none of it is taxed unless he withdraws his money. He also say's it's not investing, it's "trading with another person" and that the government tried to shut it down for being illegal gambling but it's still allowed.
Can you guys help me make sense of all this?
submitted by Speck72 to investing [link] [comments]

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