3 Quarter Market Review

This report features world capital market performance and a timeline of events for the past quarter. It begins with a global overview, then features the returns of stock and bond asset classes in the US and international markets.

Consider Roth Conversions

The SECURE Act significantly reduced the benefits of an inherited traditional or Roth IRA, by requiring the non-qualified heir (typically anyone other than the spouse) to take the full amount out of the account within ten years of receipt.  Interestingly, that provision makes it somewhat more beneficial for some people to make Roth conversions today. …

2020 Second Quarter Investment Market Report

This year, investors have been treated to a rare real-world lesson in the mathematics of investing—namely, the fact that after a market decline, it takes a greater market recovery to get back to even.  The first quarter saw a frightening downturn that delivered 20% losses across the U.S. and developed foreign markets.  Then we experienced …

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act — Summary

RECOVERY REBATES $1,200 for individuals; $2,400 for married couples + $500 per child under 17 Phase-out based on income (AGI) on 2019 tax return; if 2019 tax return has not been filed, based on AGI on 2018 tax return $150,000 for married filing jointly (phase-out to $0 at $198,000) $75,000 for individuals (phase-out to $0 …

Earned Income Confusion

If you were voting for the most misunderstood part of the U.S. tax code, a strong candidate would be the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC (as professionals call it) represents a refundable federal income tax credit for low- to moderate-income workers. Since it was installed in the tax code way back in 1975, it …

Staying on Track: The Five Technical Principles of Financial Success

When it comes to your financial future, there are things you cannot control such as the stock market, the economy, or major world events. To increase your odds of financial success, I believe it is more important to focus on the things you can control. My Five-by-Five formula for reaching your financial goals includes five …

Pay Down Debt or Save for Retirement?

You can use a variety of strategies to pay off debt, many of which can cut not only the amount of time it will take to pay off the debt but also the total interest paid. But like many people, you may be torn between paying off debt and saving for retirement. If you’re not …

The Three Ghosts of Gift Tax

Gifts are not taxable income. However, they can come back to haunt you! Be aware of the three ghosts of gift tax. The first ghost will come if you are applying for a mortgage and the bank is trying to determine where you’re getting the money for your down payment. They want to make sure …

Minimize Taxes to Build Wealth

Because we pay attention to all aspects of your financial life, we know when you can realize tax savings by: Restructuring your investment portfolio, Shifting income to dependents in lower tax brackets, Claiming appropriate office-in-home deductions, Maximizing retirement plan contributions, Identifying all the deductions that apply to your small business, Using charitable gifting strategies more …

Objective Investment Advice to Grow, Protect, and Manage Your Wealth

Growing, protecting, and managing your wealth requires answers to many questions, including: Do I buy individual stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, Treasuries, commodities, gold, or just leave my money in my savings account? How much am I really paying for my investments? What are the tax implications of the investments I select? Which investments should I …