Laura covers six ways to invest in crypto, including some clever, tax-advantaged options for skipping capital gains taxes. You'll learn what cryptocurrency is, how to buy it, how it gets taxed, and a strategy to start stacking coins.

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Hey everyone. And thanks for joining me week. My name is Laura Adams and I’m a personal finance and small business expert and author. Who’s been hosting the money girl podcast since 2008. If you are ready for more knowledge and motivation to prioritize your finances, make better money decisions and build wealth. You are in the right place. I create show to make sure you come away with practical advice and tips that will take your financial life to the next level. I use many of your questions as the foundation for show topics. So please let me know what you want to learn and explore here. You can always leave me a voicemail message by calling 3 0 2 3 6 3 0 8. And you can email me using my contact page, Laura D adams.com or you can connect with me on Instagram, Laura D. Adams. And if you’re a longtime listener, you know that every week we publish a companion blog post for the episode and you, you can find it in the money girl [email protected]

Today’s episode is number 710 called six ways to invest in cryptocurrency, including tax friendly options. I’m gonna cover a ton of resources in the show. So instead of trying to remember, all of them, all you need to do is visit and dirty tips.com. Go to the money girl section and look for episode seven, 10, again, called six ways to invest in cryptocurrency. And you’ll see the full show notes with every resource link that I’m going to mention here. If you’re like me, you have noticed that the use of various cryptocurrencies is explore loading. It seems like new coins and blockchain technologies are getting created every day. It’s a really, really exciting space. And I’ve been doing a lot of deep dives into the crypto space and doing a lot of education. And I wanna share some simple concepts that you can run with if you wanna learn more as well or even invest in crypto, but maybe you’re not sure where to start.

And even if you have no interest in investing in crypto, stay with me. I think it’s really important to be informed about the technology behind cryptocurrency and understand how it can likely change the world. It’s a super fast moving space. And I think it’s important that we all, you know, kind of understand where it’s heading. So in this show, I’ll review what cryptocurrency is various ways to buy it. Tax rules for your crypto profits, and even give you a zero risk strategy to start stacking coins. You’re gonna learn six ways to invest in crypto, including some clever tax advantaged options for skipping capital gains taxes altogether on your crypto investments. So let’s start with a prime on what is cryptocurrency. If you’re new to this space, all you really need to know is that cryptocurrency or crypto is digital money and it’s known as tokens or coins.

You can use them to buy goods and services or even just hold them as an investment. Bitcoin is certainly the most well known crypto. It’s got a total value of about 1.1 trillion in this month, December, 2021, but still there are thousands of alternative or alt coins such as Ethereum, Solana and polka dot. The total value of all cryptocurrencies right now is about two 6 trillion. So it is a huge, huge space. And a lot of money is going into it to understand how cryptocurrencies work. First, you need to know something about their underlying technology, which is a blockchain, and there are different blockchains and use today, but their purpose is verify transactions and store data in a secure, open ledger that anyone can see blockchains are incredibly safe because they’re decentralized databases spread across many computers all over the globe. No one person or organization owns or manages public blockchain, making them very, very difficult for hackers to manipulate blockchain technology was developed for Bitcoin.

Um, so it’s the original blockchain. However, other crypto networks, such as Ethereum are also powered by blockchains. Also, there are many other uses for blockchain te cryptocurrencies, and that’s a really exciting space as well. They include things like smart contracts that automate the terms of agreements, record keeping for assets like real estate and supply chain management to sum up a blockchain is a distributed database with many uses, Inc, including powering cryptocurrencies. So why do people use cryptocurrency? Why is it getting popular right now? There are various reasons for the popularity, many crypto supporters, including me believe that digital currency is the future of money. While blockchain transactions are fully transparent, crypto is anonymous. So that means you can buy, sell and exchange it without revealing your personal information or identity. Crypto transactions are peer to peer. So they remove banks as the middlemen controlling the money supply.

Many people who buy crypto do so because they think it’s going to increase in value. Despite its volatility, Bitcoin was trading around $20,000 in December of 2017. It hit an all time high of 69,000 in October, 2021. And right now it’s bouncing around 48,000. So it is quite volatile. And if the crypto roller coaster ride scares you, there’s a special crypto class called stable coins. These are pegged to specific assets such as the us dollar. That gives you a way to own digital currency without any price volatility. Bitcoin is a unique show currency because it’s hard coded never to have more than 21 million coins and more than 18 million have already been minted. Many people buy and hold Bitcoin because they believe that limited supply will cause the price to rise over time. This strategy is known as hoing H O D L I N G hudling, which stands for hold on for dear life.

If you also wanna buy a cryptocurrency, you’ve gotta have a wallet and that can be an online app or even an offline hardware device to store it. If you use an exchange like block five, crypto.com, Gemini or Coinbase, it’s really easy. You just open an account, transfer your dollars and make crypto purchases. The exchanges act as an investing platform and as a hot online wallet, your crypto is kept inside the exchange so that you can make trades. That’s a hot wallet as opposed to a cold wallet, which is offline. And you know, at any time you can move your crypto purchases into a cold offline wallet, if you want added security. So once you buy crypto, what happens on the tax side? This can be really confusing for a lot of people, but crypto is taxed just like any other asset, like stocks and mutual funds, where you’ve gotta pay, pay capital gains tax.

When you realize gain, for example, let’s say you buy a hundred dollars of crypto and sell it for $150. You’ve gotta pay tax on your $50 of profit. Also, when you buy something with crypto or you trade crypto that has increased in value, it’s a taxable event. So let’s say you bought a Bitcoin for $20,000 back in 2017, and now it’s worth $50,000. And you use that Bitcoin to buy a car. Well, you would have a $30,000 gain to report again, you buy the Bitcoin for $20,000, but you use it to buy something for $50,000 means that it is increased in value by $30,000. So that’s your capital gain. Some other taxable events include receiving crypto as payment for a service or mining crypto lending, crypto, and receiving interest payments or staking crypto, or earning interest or rewards on your crypto. And I’ll talk more about that in a moment.

So just buying and holding crypto is not a taxable event. You only owe tax. When you sell, spend, or crypto that’s risen in value, or you get paid interest on crypto, you own, if you sell crypto for a loss, it can offset your gains up to an annual limit, just like you can do with other types of assets. So what are the cryptocurrency capital gains taxes? Well, capital gains tax depend on your tax, filing status, your income and the length of time. You own an asset. So if you own a coin or any other asset for fewer than 365 days, and then you sell it for a profit, you’re going to owe short term capital gains tax. And that is always equal to, or ordinary income taxes. So what you would just pay on, you know, things like wages and salaries, today’s tax brackets range from 10%, all the way up to 37%, depending on how much you earn.

So your short term capital gains tax could be anywhere from 10% up to 37%, depending on your income. However, if you own a coin for longer than a year and realize, again, you owe long term capital gains tax that ranges from zero up to 20%, depending on your income. So holding assets for longer than a year is a why strategy for cutting your taxes. Especially if you’re a high earner with long term capital gains, you’re never gonna pay more than 20% or unless the law changes. But right now it’s a maximum of 20%. Another smart way to avoid capital gains tax on crypto is owning it inside a tax advantaged account, which we’re gonna cover a lot more about in just a moment. Crypto exchanges must file form 10 99 K, to keep up with your transactions. They have to file that for clients who have more than 200 transactions and more than 20,000 in trading during the year. And you’ve gotta report your crypto gains and losses on IRS form 89 49.

So let’s say you wanna buy cryptocurrency, I’m gonna go over three taxable options to invest. Number one is crypto exchanges. So as I mentioned, buying crypto through an exchange is an easy and popular way to buy and sell it. And even to store it, just open your account and fund it, and then you can buy just about any coins you like and keep them in a handy digital wallet. The second option is crypto savings accounts. Many crypto exchanges also let you earn interest on specific coins, just like with bank savings, you make a deposit. Then the institution lends out your money to other people, and then it pays you a cut of the interest. You can receive earnings in the crypto of your choice and get significantly higher rates of return than you can at a regular bank. I’m gonna cover some of the impressive interest rates that you can earn on your dose savings.

And they depend on your balance and the duration that you wanna lock up the money without being able to make a withdrawal. And it could be something like, you know, a flexible time range or one month or up to three months. So all of that will be factored into the actual annual percentage yield you can earn, but I’m gonna give you some examples of, of rates right now at blocky, you can get up to 9% P Y on your S D coin Gemini dollar pack, SOS and dye. You can earn up to 5% on Ethereum and up to 4.5% on Bitcoin. Now on the Gemini exchange, you can get approximately 8% on Gemini dollar Terra, U S D, and S D coin. You can get 1.7, 6% on Ethereum, and 1.49% on Bitcoin. Coinbase pays up to 5% on cosmos. crypto.com pays up to 10% on SD coin, five point of percent on Ethereum and 4.5% on Bitcoin.

So you can see these are much higher rates of return than you can get on a typical bank account. However, unlike a bank, your money is not F D I C insured up to certain limits. That means you could lose your crypto deposit. If the institution fails, howevers some investing platforms do offer insurance against crypto losses. So you wanna be sure to read the fine print. The third way to invest in crypto is crypto rewards credit cards. So if you’re not sure that you want to buy crypto or even stable coins, there’s another way to earn crypto without risking a pay any of your own money. And that’s using a crypto rewards credit card. You earn crypto on your spending or points that you can convert to cryptocurrency. For instance, the block fire rewards visa signature credit card has no annual fee. It earns 3.5% back in Bitcoin during the three months and an unlimited 1.5% back after that, then your rate bumps to 2%.

If you hit $50,000 in annual spending, if you wanna earn other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin, the Venmo credit card pays cash back that you can redeem for Bitcoin Ethereum, light coin or Bitcoin cash. You can earn 3% on a top spending category of your choice, 2% on a second category and 1% on all other purchases. So again, that’s a really clever way to earn crypto without risking any of your own money. I mentioned that there are tax friendly options to invest in cryptocurrency, and we’re gonna cover three of them. The first is crypto individual retirement accounts or IRAs, most investment platforms like a Vanguard or TD Ameritrade don’t support crypto. So you’ve gotta have a self-directed IRA that will offer it. Using a crypto IRA is a really smart way to buy and sell crypto because you never have to pay any capital gains tax. If you’re a long time listener to this show, you are very familiar with I RS.

And you know that with a tradit IRA, your contributions are tax deductible, and you pay ordinary income tax on amounts that you withdraw in retirement. And with a Roth IRA, the taxation works very differently. Your contributions are taxed, but your withdrawals, including all investment growth, it’s entirely tax free in retirement. So you can have either a traditional or a Roth crypto IRA, just depending on, you know, the type of tax benefits that you want. Also, it depends on your income because there are income limits to qualify for a Roth IRA. If you’re a high earner, you may not qualify. A great place to start is Bitcoin IRA. It’s the oldest and largest cryptocurrency IRA company. It allows you to earn up to 6% PPY. You can invest in Bitcoin, many alt coins and even physical gold. So if you wanna diversify your IRA with precious metals, it’s a great option.

Another company bit IRA says it’s the most secure crypto IRA with a fully insured cold wallet storage solution for 2021 and 2022. The annual contribution limit for a regular or a crypto IRA is $6,000, or it’s 7,000. If you’re over age 50, anyone with at least that much earned income is eligible for a traditional IRA. However, as I mentioned, there are annual income limits to qualify for a Roth IRA. All right, a second tax friendly way to own crypto is with a crypto cover Dell at education savings account or ESA, a covered L ESA is a great way to save for a child’s education. It can be from kindergarten all the way through graduate school, and yes, you can open a self-directed ESA and invest in crypto. One place to check out is directed IRA, where you can get an ESA and invest in over 20 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and light coin with a covered L your contributions do get taxed, but your withdrawals are tax free.

If you use them for qualified education expenses, like books, tuition, equipment, and supplies, there’s an annual income limit to qualify for Coverdale contributions, and you can save up to $2,000 per student per year. And a third tax friendly way to own crypto is with a crypto health savings, et count, or HSA using an HSA to save for current and future healthcare expenses is one of the best financial moves you can make. It gives you the following three tax benefits. You get tax deductible contributions, tax free, investment growth and tax free withdrawals, as long as you, those withdrawals on qualified healthcare expenses. So those benefits are even better than with a Roth IRA with a Roth IRA. You’ve gotta pay tax upfront on your contributions. You don’t even have to do that with an HSA. Now why you typically can’t invest your HSA balance in crypto the self-directed accounts.

Allow it again. You might wanna check out directed IRA and note that to qualify for an HSA. There’s no annual income limit, but you do have to be enrolled in a high deductible health plan for 2021. You can contribute up to $3,600 or 7,200. If you’ve got a family health plan, and that limit increases slightly 4 20 22 to 3,650 or $7,300. So maybe you’re thinking, should I invest in cryptocurrency? Well, whether you should invest depends on various factors, including your risk tolerance, your comfort with or knowledge of the technology and your retirement time horizon. The closer you get to retirement, the more conservative you need to be with your investments. Remember that all crypto is highly speculative and volatile. So my best advice is to maintain a diversified poor portfolio. That is the secret to successful investing, having a diversified portfolio, insulates you from market downturns, because it’s not likely that all of your investments are going to move the same way.

Some investments will go up while others go down and, and vice versa. If you wanna own crypto or any alternative investment, you wanna make it a small percentage of your overall portfolio. Maybe, you know, no more than 5%, but of course, this is gonna vary by your risk tolerance and perhaps maybe your age, if you’ve got more time to go before retirement, you can afford to take higher risks. Limiting your exposure to crypto allows you to profit from the upside without risking too much of your financial security. I hope this has been helpful and will give you a lot of resources to go out and do your homework to research your crypto currency investment options. Before we go, I wanna invite you to join my free private Facebook group called dominate your dollars. If you haven’t joined yet, it is a fantastic group. So I would encourage you to search for it on Facebook.

Again, it’s dominate your dollars. You will find a really helpful group of people who are helping each other. They’re asking questions and they’re reaching their financial goals. Again, just search for the group on Facebook. You can also visit Laura D adams.com where you’ll find my contact page and more about me, my books, and online courses. That’s all for now. I’ll talk to you next week until then hear to living a richer life. Money girl is a quick and dirty tips podcast. It’s audio engineered by Steve Eyberg with editing by Adam Cecil. Our operations and editorial manager is Michelle Marus. Our assistant manager is Emily Miller and our marketing and publicity assistant is Devina Tomlin.

You’ve probably noticed that the use of various cryptocurrencies is exploding! It seems like new coins and blockchain technologies are getting created every day. So, if you’re eager to learn more and invest in crypto but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading.

This post will review what cryptocurrency is, various ways to buy it, tax rules for crypto profits, and a strategy to start stacking coins. You’ll learn six ways to invest in crypto, including some clever, tax-advantaged options for avoiding capital gains taxes altogether.

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency or crypto is digital money, known as tokens or coins, that you can use to buy goods and services or hold as an investment. Bitcoin is one of the most well-known cryptos, with a total value of about $1.1 trillion in December 2021. Still, there are thousands of alternative or altcoins, such as Ethereum, Solana, and Polkadot. The total value of all cryptocurrencies is about $2.6 trillion.

To understand how cryptocurrencies work, you need to know something about their underlying technology, which is a blockchain. There are different blockchains in use today, but their purpose is to verify transactions and store data in a secure, open ledger that anyone can see.
Blockchains are decentralized databases spread across many computers all over the globe. No one person or organization owns or manages public blockchains, making them difficult for hackers to manipulate.

Blockchain technology was developed for Bitcoin; however, other crypto networks, such as Ethereum, are also powered by blockchains. Also, there are many other uses for blockchain technology besides cryptocurrencies. They include smart contracts that automate the terms of agreements, recordkeeping for assets like real estate, and supply chain management.

To sum up, a blockchain is a distributed database with many uses, including powering cryptocurrencies.

Why do people use cryptocurrency?

If you wonder why people are investing so much money into crypto right now, there are various reasons. Many crypto supporters, including me, believe digital currency is the future of money.

While blockchain transactions are fully transparent, crypto is anonymous. That means you can buy, sell, and exchange it without revealing your personal information or identity. Crypto transactions are peer-to-peer, removing banks as middlemen who control the money supply.

Many people buy crypto because they think it will increase in value despite its volatility. Bitcoin was trading around $20,000 in December 2017, hit an all-time high of $69,000 in October 2021, and is now bouncing around $48,000.

If the crypto roller coaster ride scares you, there’s a special crypto class called stablecoins pegged to specific assets, such as the US dollar. That gives you a way to own digital currency without any price volatility.

Bitcoin is a unique cryptocurrency because it’s hard-coded never to have more than 21 million coins created. And more than 18 million have been mined to date. Many people buy and hold Bitcoin because they believe its limited supply will cause the price to rise over time. This strategy is known as HODLing, which stands for “hold on for dear life.”

How do you buy cryptocurrency?

To buy cryptocurrency, you must have a wallet, which can be an online app or offline hardware device, to store it. If you use an exchange, such as BlockFiCryptoGemini, or Coinbase, it’s as easy as opening an account, transferring your dollars, and making crypto purchases. They act as an investing platform and a “hot” online wallet. However, you can move your crypto into a “cold” offline wallet at any time for added security.

How is cryptocurrency taxed?

Crypto is taxed just like any other asset, such as stocks and mutual funds, where you must pay capital gains tax when you realize a gain. For example, if you buy $100 of crypto and sell it for $150, you must pay tax on your $50 profit.

Also, when you buy something with crypto or trade crypto that’s increased in value, it’s a taxable event. Let’s say you bought a bitcoin for $20,000 that’s now worth $50,000, and you use it to buy a car. You’d have a $30,000 capital gain to report.

Other taxable events include:

  • Receiving crypto as payment for a service or mining it.
  • Lending crypto and receiving interest payments.
  • Staking crypto and earning interest or rewards.

So buying and holding crypto isn’t a taxable event. You only owe tax when you sell, spend, or trade crypto that’s risen in value, or you get paid interest on crypto you own. If you sell crypto for a loss, it can offset your gains, up to annual limits, just like other assets.

What are cryptocurrency capital gains taxes?

Capital gains tax rates depend on your tax filing status, income, and length of time you own an asset. If you own a coin (or other assets) for fewer than 365 days and sell it for a profit, you owe short-term capital gains tax, which equals ordinary income taxes. Today’s tax brackets range from 10% to 37%, depending on how much you earn.

However, if you own a coin for longer than a year, you owe long-term capital gains tax, which ranges from zero to 20%, depending on your income. So, holding assets for longer than a year is a wise strategy for cutting taxes, especially if you’re a high earner.

Another smart way to avoid capital gains tax on crypto is owning it inside a tax-advantaged account, which we’ll cover in a moment.

Taxable options to invest in cryptocurrency

Here are three popular ways to buy cryptocurrency that will trigger capital gains tax when you sell, use, or exchange it.

1. Crypto exchanges

As I mentioned, buying crypto through an exchange is an easy and popular way to buy and sell it. Just open your account and fund it, and you can buy just about any coins you like and keep them in a handy digital wallet.

2. Crypto savings accounts

Many crypto exchanges allow you to earn interest on specific coins. Like bank savings, you make a deposit, the institution lends it out, and pays you interest. You can receive earnings in crypto of your choice and at significantly higher rates than a regular bank.

Right now, you can earn these impressive interest rates on your crypto savings, depending on your balance and the duration you lock it up without being able to make a withdrawal, such as for one or three months.

  • BlockFi pays up to 9% APY on USD Coin (USDC), Gemini dollar (GUSD), Paxos (PAX), Dai (DAI), 5% on Ethereum (ETH), and 4.5% on Bitcoin (BTC).
  • Gemini pays approximately 8% on Gemini dollar (GUSD), TerraUSD (UST), and USD Coin (USDC), 1.76% on Ethereum (ETH), and 1.49% on Bitcoin (BTC).
  • Coinbase pays up to 5% on Cosmos (ATOM).
  • Crypto pays up to 10% on USD Coin (USDC), 5.5% on Ethereum (ETH), and 4.5% on Bitcoin (BTC).

3. Crypto-rewards credit cards

If you’re not sure you want to buy crypto or stablecoins, there’s another way to earn crypto without risking your own money: using a crypto rewards credit card. You earn crypto on your spending or points to convert to cryptocurrency.

The BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card has no annual fee and earns 3.5% back in Bitcoin during the first three months and an unlimited 1.5% back after that. Your rate bumps to 2% if you hit $50,000 in annual spending.

If you want to earn other cryptocurrencies, the Venmo Credit Card pays cashback you can redeem for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash. You can earn 3% on a top spending category of your choice, 2% on a second category, and 1% on all other purchases.

Tax-friendly options to invest in cryptocurrency

Here are three clever ways to buy cryptocurrency that don’t trigger capital gains.

1. Crypto Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Most investment platforms, such as Vanguard and TD Ameritrade, don’t support crypto trading, so you need a self-directed IRA that offers it. Using a crypto IRA is a smart way to buy and sell crypto because you never have to pay capital gains tax!

With a traditional IRA, your contributions are tax-deductible, and you pay ordinary income tax on amounts withdrawn in retirement. Contributions are taxable with a Roth IRA, but withdrawals (including all investment growth) are entirely tax-free in retirement.

Bitcoin IRA is the oldest and largest cryptocurrency IRA company. It allows you to earn up to 6% APY, invest in Bitcoin, many altcoins, and even physical gold. So, if you want to diversify your IRA with precious metals, it’s a great option. Another company, BitIRA, says it’s the most secure crypto IRA with a fully-insured cold wallet storage solution.

For 2021 and 2022, the annual contribution limit for a regular or crypto IRA is $6,000 or $7,000 if you’re over age 50. Anyone with at least that much earned income is eligible for a traditional IRA; however, there are annual income limits to qualify for a Roth IRA.

2. Crypto Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs)

A Coverdell ESA is a great way to save for a child’s education, from kindergarten through graduate school. And yes, you can open a self-directed ESA and invest in crypto. Check out Directed IRA, where you can buy over 20 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Contributions to a Coverdell get taxed, but withdrawals are tax-free if you use them for qualified education expenses, such as tuition, books, equipment, and supplies. There’s an annual income limit to qualify for Coverdell contributions, and you can save up to $2,000 per student per year.

3. Crypto Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Using a health savings account to save for current and future healthcare expenses is one of the best financial moves you can make. They give you the following three tax benefits:

  1. Tax-deductible contributions.
  2. Tax-free investment growth.
  3. Tax-free withdrawals (if you spend them on qualified healthcare expenses).

While you typically can’t invest your HSA balance in crypto, self-directed accounts allow it, such as Directed IRA. Note that to qualify for an HSA, there’s no annual income limit, but you must be enrolled in a high deductible health plan.

For 2021, you can contribute up to $3,600 or $7,200 if you have a family health plan. The limit increases slightly for 2022 to $3,650 or $7,300. And if you’re over age 55, you can contribute an additional $1,000 per year.

Should you invest in cryptocurrency?

Whether you should invest in crypto depends on various factors, including your risk tolerance, comfort with or knowledge of the technology, and retirement time horizon. Remember that all crypto is highly speculative and volatile.

My best advice is to maintain a diversified portfolio that insulates you from market downturns. If you want to own crypto or any alternative investment, make it a small percentage of your overall portfolio, such as no more than 5%. Limiting your exposure allows you to profit from the upside without risking too much of your financial security.

This article originally appeared on Quick and Dirty Tips.

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About the Author

Laura Adams, Quick and Dirty Tips

Laura Adams, Quick and Dirty Tips

Laura Adams is an award-winning author of multiple books, including Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Grow Rich. Her newest title, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, is an Amazon No. 1 New Release. Laura’s been the writer and host of the popular Money Girl Podcast, a top weekly audio show in Apple Podcasts, since 2008. She’s a frequent source for the national media and has been featured on most major news outlets including NBC, CBS, ABC FOX, Bloomberg, NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Money, Time, Kiplinger’s, USA Today, U.S News, Huffington Post, Marketplace, Forbes, Fortune, Consumer Reports, MSN, and many other radio, print, and online publications. Millions of readers and listeners benefit from her practical financial advice. Her mission is to empower consumers to live richer lives through her podcasting, speaking, spokesperson, teaching, and advocacy work. Laura received an MBA from the University of Florida. Visit LauraDAdams.com to learn more and connect with her.

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