I can receive this money 3 different ways: Lump sum this year, two lump sum payments (one this year and one next), or weekly for 104 weeks. This is a classic present value problem, except for the tax issues: The first question is how much you would have to pay in taxes if you take the lump sum this year vs. over two years, or three tax years if spread over 104 weeks. You know your tax rates and other expected income and such details, so that should be easy to figure. The only other big question is whether you expect to make more in market returns by getting the money sooner than you would by spreading the tax liability. I'd pick a reasonable market return such as 10% to 12% for this, rather than the return on a particular Foolish portfolio, but this number is up to you. It's pretty easy to figure how much you'll have left in 104 weeks after taxes under an assumed rate of return, and the right answer is whichever option gives you the most money once taxes for 1999, 2000, and 2001 are paid. Of course, you need to figure how you would actually handle transactions under the weekly payments plan -- I assume you're *not* going to make 416 purchases in an ongoing perfect Foolish Four investment. Whatever you choose, good luck!
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