April 18, 2014

About Matthew Illian

Matthew Illian is on the Investment Committee at Marotta Wealth Management, Inc., specializing in small business consulting and retirement plans. He loves spending time outdoors, the less pavement the better, with his wife and three energetic boys. Favorite trails: Forest Hill Park

Important Social Security Info for Widows and Widowers

Widows and Widowers

Most survivors are uninformed about how Social Security benefits are calculated and often overlook a careful analysis of this critical retirement asset.

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Is The Stock Market Rigged? (and how to create a media frenzy)

Is The Stock Market Rigged?

In order to inflame the public’s ire about market corruption, the author of “Flash Boys” carefully sidesteps a number of important facts.

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Helpful Mobile Budgeting Tool Free For College Students

you need a budget

The good people at You Need A Budget (YNAB) have made their budgeting solution free for college students; including part-time students.

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Where Are You in the Financial Lifecycle?

financial lifecycle

This may be considered a get rich slowly article but it has more to do with learning to manage your resources and emotions around money.

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Mutual Funds Offer Good Governance Assistance

my fund voted

Investing in mutual funds and ETFs offers an efficient solution for investors to engage in corporate governance issues. When you purchase a fund, you authorize fund managers to vote proxies on your behalf.

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Budgeting Lite

mindful money

With less than two minutes a day and a smartphone, Budgeting Lite will help you become more mindful about your spending and regain a sense of control over your finances.

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Three Lessons From Warren Buffett’s Big Bet

hedge funds and index funds race

For five of the last six years, the simple index fund has outperformed the so-called expert hedge funds, and Buffett’s competition is starting to feel the heat. Here are three important take aways from this big bet.

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Is the Federal Reserve Really Tapering?

tapering

The conflicting information of the Federal Reserve report has to do with the so-called tapering of asset purchases.

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How Much Should I Save for College?

college

I’ve learned to develop a thick skin when sharing ideas with the masses but if these commenters represent some general barometer of financial sanity, we appear to be losing the battle.

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Does Buy Term and Invest the Difference Still Work?

George Marotta

Imagine these two strategies competing in a track race. It’s as if one runner were told to wait until the other finished her first lap before beginning.

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How should investors respond to tender offers?

tender offer

Advice for those who own individual stocks when a response to a tender offer is needed. The research for this article turned out to be much more interesting than I first anticipated.

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Age-Based Benchmarks for 529 College Savings (2014)

college savings progress

529 Colleges Savings Articles: 1. Power Fund a 529 Account Via ’5 Year Election’ 2. The Beginning of the End for Skyrocketing College Costs? 3. 529 Gift to the Grandchildren

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When Helping Hurts

when helping hurts

Much of the assistance Americans provide to those in need is doing more harm than good.

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Social Security Optimization: Case Study

social security man

Social Security Case Study: The names have been made up, but the problems are real.

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Retirement Plan Asset Allocation: University of Virginia Case Study

uva wise owl

Many people lack the time and expertise to develop an intelligent retirement asset allocation plan.

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UVA Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan Asset Allocation Tools

uva wise owl

We have created several asset allocation tools to aid those seeking an intelligently diversified portfolio.

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Why Can’t Our Social Security System Be More Chilean?

social security

Both economists and reasonable citizens understand that reforming our Social Security system is inevitable.

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Who Are the Bogleheads?

bogleheads

At the reunion, Bogle shared that he’s just a common guy with some really good ideas.

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If Tiger Woods Can Contribute To A Roth, So Can You – Via Back Door

backdoor roth

A backdoor Roth IRA contribution requires some extra steps but allows high-income earners equal access to the tax-free benefits of a Roth IRA.

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Money Management Lessons From a Relay Race

winning team

Money meditations from the finish line.

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Marotta’s 2014 UVA Fidelity 403b Calculator

University of Virginia's Serpentine Walls

Age appropriate asset allocation for 2014 using the choices available in the University of Virginia’s Fidelity 403(b) Tax Deferred Savings Plan (TDSP).

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Marotta’s 2014 UVA Fidelity 401(a) Plans Calculator

University of Virginia's Serpentine Walls

Age appropriate asset allocation for 2014 using the choices available in several of the University of Virginia’s Fidelity Retirement Plans.

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Rules For Selling Highly Appreciated Stock

hurdle tables

Now that the Bush tax cuts have expired and Obamacare will add additional tax burdens, many people need to think twice before realizing a large gain on their investments.

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Continuing QE Helps Housing; But For How Long?

uncle ben supports housing_t

When the Federal Reserve decided to maintain the $85 Billion monthly stimulus at their September policy meeting, they cited elevated mortgage rates as a top concern.

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The Beginning of the End for Skyrocketing College Costs?

college bound

With this announcement, we are finally starting to see online education cause disruptions that can slow soaring college costs.

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Links Exist Between Your Generosity and Your Friends

Bert and Ernie

The study also found that when wealthy people are heavily clustered in a neighborhood, their generosity drops.

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Is Angel Investing For You?

angel

You may be a good candidate to become an angel investor if….

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Power Fund a 529 Account Via ’5 Year Election’ in 2013

happy grandparents

Investing a large lump sum amount into a college 529 savings plan using a special ’5 year election’ can offer substantial tax savings.

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Danger Of Investing In Startups: My Nephew Bart’s Donut Shop

bart's donut

No matter how near and dear to your heart, investing in a startup is risky business

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How quickly should 401(k) deposits be remitted? ($ ?s)

$ Questions

As the payroll processor at our company, how quickly do I need to deposit 401(k) contributions into employee accounts? -Sincerely, Payroll Pam

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Is Your 401(k) Plan Secure?

raccoon stealing

Money deducted from your paycheck for retirement typically gets deposited quickly into your 401(k) plan. But this isn’t always the case.

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Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Tesla

tesla_t

Since it is inevitable that each group of friends will represent a spectrum of financial capacity, healthy relationships require that all be prepared to manage these pressures.

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The Cost Matters Hypothesis Wins Again

grave stone

Chasing historical returns or a so called star manager is a poor investment strategy.

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What Charles Dickens Can Teach Us About Personal Finance

The Micawber Principle

My article, What Charles Dickens Can Teach Us About Personal Finance was recently featured on Yahoo Finance. Another title I considered for this article was The Micawber Principle: The Cornerstone of Financial Security.

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What is the best type of S&P 500 Index?

s&p 500

Rather than deciding between active or passive investing, the debate now rages about what type of index fund is best.

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Subscribe and receive the free presentation: Social Security: How to Get $250,000 More!

Carnival - Retirement2

Subscribe and receive the free presentation: Social Security: How to Get $250,000 More!

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The Optimist’s Antidote

RIP best ideas

Behavioral psychology research suggests that you should send your best ideas to the grave.

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Improve Your Financial Decisions (Book Review)

lazy brain_t

Behavioral psychology is uncovering many common mental lapses and offers new ideas for improving decision making in light of these heuristics.

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Roth’s Less-Known Strengths

Roth IRA gymnast

Mr. Roth can also help with transferring gifts to your heirs, setting up your first emergency reserve account, and paying for a new house or college expenses. But don’t ask him to iron your clothes. That’s where he draws a line.

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The Powerful Roth IRA

Roth IRA gymnast

Tax-free saving for retirement is only one of the many talents offered by Mr. Roth. If you have yet to become fully acquainted, consider this your formal introduction and start getting to know Mr. Roth today.

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8 Worst Money Tips for New Grads

Worst Advice For Grads

My recent column, 8 Worst Money Tips for New Grads, was recently published on Yahoo Finance. I originally wrote this column with the voice of a Dutch Uncle admonishing college students to stay out of financial ruin.

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Recent Market Advances Fail to Overcome Mental Accounting

satisfactionsanp500_t

The S&P 500 has nearly doubled in the last four years. Yet many investors are left feeling more disillusioned with their investments than ever before. Some of this discontent can be combated by understanding the psychological effects of market volatility.

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Making Peace with your Money Past

money peace

Money plays such a personal role in our lives that most people learn early on to keep their financial affairs a secret. These shadows promote many different varieties of financial pathologies and distress.

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Three Ideas for Improving Annual Shareholder Meetings

shareholder meeting2_t

Most annual shareholder meetings are nothing more than a required dog-and-pony show. Genworth Financial’s annual shareholder meeting held on May 15, 2013, was no exception. Several improvements could be made to make these meetings more inviting.

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Social Security Earnings Penalty?

early ss_t

A good deal of misinformation is published about a so-called Social Security earnings penalty. Many are led to believe that if they earn money while collecting Social Security, they’ll lose some of this benefit forever.

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Shareholder Elections: Why Vote?

I voted_t

Does it really matter if you cast your votes in shareholder elections? Probably not if you are a small investor. But if so few are participating, can we blame corporations for forgetting whom they serve?

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Shareholder Meeting: Why Go?

shareholder meeting_t

My first experience with these shareholder meetings was a major turnoff. In March 2009, I purchased a limited number of shares of Genworth (GNW) stock for reasons I do not proudly share among value investors.

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Three Reasons Medicare Advantage Can Be Called Medicare Dis-Advantage

medicare

Approaching 65? Or perhaps you need to review your current Medicare choice. Consider these three reasons to avoid Medicare Advantage.

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Medicare Advantage Plans: Are They For You?

medicare3_t

Those planning to enroll in Medicare have lots of homework to do. In this article I cover the essential benefits of Medicare Advantage which is the private insurance option for Medicare recipients.

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How Manipulations to the CPI Affect Your Retirement Planning

inflation_t

Retirees must plan to supplement this slowly dwindling paycheck or risk having to make hard sacrifices during what is supposed to be their golden years.

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