THE SALINA JOURNAL MONEY r STOCK MARKET SUNDAY, APRIL 8, 2001 E3 Market's downturn has aken a toll on wealthy and hose who want to be rich )y CRISTINA ROUVALIS 'ittsburgh Post-Gazette Robert Hazo missed out on the gid- liness of the 1990s stock market. But a fear and half ago, the semi-retired )rofessor jumped in by shifting part of lis retirement plan into stocks be- :ause "everyone was saying it would !0 on forever." Turns out, it didn't. Hazo has since watched his portfo- io shrink by nearly 15 percent. "It hasn't made me catatonic, but I hink I lost as much money in the last 'ear as I gained in the last seven or 10 fears," said Hazo, who runs the Amer- can Experience, a distinguished lec- ure series at the University of Pitts- )urgh. Hazo, a senior who wouldn't give his ige but answered the question "How ire you?" by saying "Still vertical," ;ounts on that money.,He uses it to lupplement his Social Security "I lost what I consider a lot of mon- jy But I'm not losing sleep over it," he laid. "I think if I were a younger man vith two children, I would be very vorried." Plenty of people are. All across the lation, once intrepid investors are vincing at their shrunken portfolios. They are suddenly finding themselves nembers of the nouveau-not-so rich, hanks to high-risk technology stocks md other aggressive investment itrategies that have come crashing town, wiping away tens of thousands )f dollars in paper wealth. rTAXES Scripps Howard News Service Robert Hazo, a semi-retired professor at the University of Pittsburgli, lias seen liis portfolio slirink by neariy 15 percent. To compensate for a sfiortfaii in income, lie's canceled a planned vacation this year to New England. Now that playing the stock market has become so widespread, with half of all American households owning stock, compared with just one-third of households in 1989, both blue bloods and blue collars have gotten a jolt. "We had this sense that the market was invincible," said Richard Moody, regional economist with PNC Finan cial Services Group. "You have a new generation of investors who have not been through this correction. It's an entirely new group." Bad as the depressed stock market news was, for some it was only the latest hit. Many already were being squeezed this winter by sky-high energy bills. Mike Blehar, senior vice president of Fort Pitt Capital Group, a money management firm in Green Tree, Pa., said some people feel as though it's all piling up. "They feel less secure because they have less money available to them. On the other end, expenses are increasing. The wealth side is being squeezed. lifestyl The expense side is being squeezed." So the stock market decline is even tougher to take. Blehar said the portfolios of his clients were up an average 2.8 percent for the year because of diversification. But he is hearing panic from prospective new clients, both rookies and other long-term investors who got caught up in all the hype over technology stocks. "This is probably the worst I have seen. People got caught up in the casino mentality I met with a guy on Monday who was worth $390,000 last year. Now he is worth $43,000. "Or the guy coming in who is 80. He had $1.5 million. He is down to $700,000. He is not feeling so hot." Moody said the stock market decline rattles consumer confidence and could make people think twice about buying a car, house or appliance. Hazo isn't too worried because he is single, without children and debts — or, for that matter, material wants. "I think I am un-American, but there is nothing material I want that I don't own." Even so, the scholar who once taught politics decided not to take a planned vacation to New England because of his smaller income. He also is making smaller contributions to his two favorite charities. Other people also are spending less because of general edginess about the economy. "I am being very cautious," said Rania Harris, who owns a catering business in Pittsburgh. "It's a big difference from a year ago." The 50-year-old caterer is planning a shorter vacation in a smaller rental house in South Carolina this year. Tax bills can be negotiated /ou're not alone if ^ou can't fully pay ^our tax liability }y JOHN CUNNIFF Tie Associated Press NEW YORK — With utility (ills up, stocks down and con- lumer debt rising, millions of Americans face the April 16 tax leadline with more than the isual dread. They won't have noney to pay their taxes. Worse, they fear what's ihead:: not just interest on the imounts owed but penalties 00, creating more bills to be laid, heaping problem atop iroblem and creating a sense of lespain And no one else to •lame. But there are solutions, none if which begins with despair fou're not alone; you have oined a list of maybe 20 mil- ion delinquents, one that re- nains fairly constant from ,'raduations, but which might •row this year. Take it from Dan Pilla, who las read, nay studied, the tax ;ode extensively, ferreting de- ails that he uses in books (10), londucting seminars, instruct- ng tax specialists and advising ndividuals. Many of those facing the tax leadline feel as if they are on leath row with no reprieves md no rights. But they do have •ights, he says, maybe even to ax amnesty difficult as achiev- ng that goal might be. The origins of Pilla's career Dan Pilla's "Taxpayer's First Aid Kit," including "How to Get Tax Amnesty," is available for $18.95, shipping and -handling included, from: Winning Publications P.O. Box 548 Hugo, MN 55038 Phone:1-800-346-6829 as a self-described Tax Litigation Consultant began more than 20 years ago when, still a teen-ager, he probed into the tax code and saved from seizure his parents' home in St. Paul, Minn. He never ceased probing. Two decades later he operates the Tax Freedom Institute from a base at Winning Publications, White Bear Lake, Minn., publisher of his best seller (160,000 copies) "How to Get Tax Amnesty" Pilla was in town to conduct a free seminar at nearby Fort Lee, N.J., during which he intended to stress five taxpayer rights, which he listed: • The right to cancel penalties. "Every penalty in the tax code can be canceled," he said, and that's saying a lot. Last year, 34 million penalties were assessed against individuals and businesses combined. He doesn't claim cancellation is easy to obtain, since the burden of proof is on the taxpayer to show the penalty shouldn't apply but it is doable, and he has a tax kit that shows how. • The right to cancel computer generated tax assessments, which are issued by the millions each year. Most taxpayers pay the assessments rather than challenging their correctness. They are often wrong, he says. • The right to challenge audit decisions. Even face-to-face audits also are often incorrect apd can be challenged. But the taxpayer must initiate the ac tion. • The right to an extension of time to pay Not many people know about this, and in fact some tax advisers insist it doesn't exist. It does. It's there, IRS Form 1127, in Pilla's kit. • The right to tax amnesty Again, most taxpayers believe it cannot be done, but it is true that it can be, Pilla said. "You have the right to negotiate a settlement when you cannot pay" USTENI CAII THE EXPERTS IN EMPIOYEE BENEFirs ¥oii Haire CHOICES In Heaitli, life fi msaEiiiit^ insoranee JOHN WOOD & ASSOC. OXrice (785) 827-9099 Fax (785) 827-0215 1-800-921-0085 2075 S. Ohio Salina, Kansas 67402-3408 HJIFIRSTI ^•BANKI ^^^H KANSAS 1 Member FDIC With the Kansas 2001 Vacation, Travel & Recreation Guide. Summertime is fun and our readers are interested in making plans now for places to go and exciting things to do and see in Kansas. Now you can reach these vacationers by advertising in the 2001 Vacation, Travel & Recreation Guide. This guide is llIE source for summer events and recreational opportunities in Kansas. Publishes: Sunday, May 6, 2001 Deadline: Wednesday, April 18,2001 Consult your Salina Journal Marketing Consultant at: (785) 823-6363 or 1-800-827-6363 e-mail: s]adv@salJournal.com Salina Journal Connecting communities with information ^mfotulatiml RENAISSANCE STUDENTS OF THE WEEK SALINA HIGH SCHOOL CENTRAL • Morgan Pool is a Senior at Central where she carries a 3.8 GPA. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Renaissance Committee, Strolling Strings and Breakfast Buddies. She is also Go-President of First United Methodist Youth Council and a member of Adaoni Choir and FUMC Youth Group. Morgan plans to go to Johnson County Community College. She hopes to be accepted into the Dental Hygiene Program. • Daughter of Mark and Mona Pool ROOSEVELT-LINCOLN MIDDLE SCHOOL ^ Chris Schriner is an eighth grader at Roosevelt Lincoln. He participates in soccer and is a member of 180 youth group. Chris plans to go to college and major in architecture. Son of Randy and Jodi Schriner SALINA HIGH SCHOOL SOUTH Leslie Osborn is a Junior at South High where she carries a 3.5 GPA. She participates in cross country and track. She is also a member of youth group, BPA (Business Professionals of America) and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.; Leslie would like to go to college to study marketing or advertisiiig. Daughter of Mark Osborn, Scott and Brenda Siemsen SOUTH MIDDLE SCHOOL • Jennie Leann Kutschka is a seventh grader at South Middle, She participates in softball, volleyball and tennis. She is a Student Council Representative and Jimior LYF at Trinity Lutheran Church. Jennie would like to attend college and she is considering a career in the medical field. Daughter of Harvey and Alice Kutschka Sponsored by Salina Journal Connafinj commmities viilh ivfoirmlion *The Renaissance program is a partnership between business and education to recognize and reward academic excellence, continuous improvement, and citizenship.
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