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Ecology of Money

5 Year-End Financial Planning Tips

Contributor John Wasik suggests that investors organize receipts, donate to charity, and prune their portfolios before the new year.

I relish the sensory delights of the year's end. Cinnamon scents, roasts, and freshly baked cookies. Colored lights cavorting in the dark night. Festive meals. Communing with family and friends. Toasting the new year and cursing the old.

I balance this feast of the senses with a more mundane need: the need to organize my family's financial affairs. This perfunctory work not only helps us through tax time, but it also gives us a solid idea of where we stand heading into the new year.