February 11, 2016

About Megan Russell

Megan Russell+ is the Chief Operating Officer for Marotta Wealth Management. She studied Cognitive Science at the University of Virginia and now specializes in explaining the complexities of economics and finance. Megan loves formal logic, creative writing, and kittens.

Marotta’s 2016 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio

Marotta’s 2016 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio

Here is a review of Marotta’s 2015 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio and a description of our changes for 2016.

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Marotta’s 2016 Gone-Fishing Portfolio

Gone Fishing

The gone-fishing portfolio provides suggested asset allocations for investors up to age 70 and up to $1 million.

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Why Invest In Chile?

Why Invest In Chile?

Adding a little bit of Chile to your portfolio can boost returns and reduce volatility.

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Six Creative Beneficiary Designation Ideas

Six Creative Beneficiary Designation Ideas

These are just some examples of the creative beneficiary designations, but the important part is to dream big about what your wishes are.

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A Fund Selection Case Study

A Fund Selection Case Study

We’ve written about how to select securities but in this article we are going to apply those principles to the process of selecting a specific fund for a specific sector of the economy.

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Should I Buy Commercial Real Estate?

Should I Buy Commerical Real Estate?

Here is a simple way to think about commercial property.

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Gifting Appreciated Stock To Family Members

Gifting Appreciated Stock To Family Members

For children with lower incomes, there is an opportunity to give them appreciated stock to shift the capital gains to a lower tax bracket.

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What is the Kiddie Tax?

What is the Kiddie Tax?

The kiddie tax was first added to the tax code in 1986 for children under age 14. Now, it can burden them until they are 23.

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Financial Christmas Gift Ideas

Colorful Gift Wrapping

Financial Christmas gifts don’t need to be a piggy bank. They can be more serious and more meaningful than that.

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Utilizing Uncommon Beneficiary Designations

Utilizing Uncommon Beneficiary Designations

Will substitutes sacrifice some of the customization of trusts but avoid the accounting complexities.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2

I encourage you to read the books and watch the film.

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Understanding Your IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

Understanding Your IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

After you reach the age of 70 1/2, the IRS requires you to begin taking minimum distributions from your traditional retirement accounts.

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Safe Withdrawal Rate Adjustments

Safe Withdrawal Rate Adjustments

Assumptions about these adjustments to your net worth should be made carefully and conservatively.

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How to Factor Social Security into Your Safe Withdrawal Rate

How to Factor Social Security into Your Safe Withdrawal Rate

Carefully computing and adding your Social Security early retirement safe withdrawal rate can safely boost your early retirement standard of living without jeopardizing your future finances.

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Why You Should Use a Donor Advised Fund

Why You Should Use a Donor Advised Fund

We highly recommend a Donor Advised Fund for generous investors.

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Can I Write My Own Estate Plan?

Can I Write My Own Estate Plan?

The shortest answer is yes, you can. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

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How Frequently Should I Redo My Estate Plan?

How Frequently Should I Redo My Estate Plan?

Here are the most common reasons that your plan might need to be updated or revised and what to do about them.

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How To Correct Excess Roth IRA Contributions

How To Correct Excess Roth IRA Contributions

Regardless of the reason, if you have put too much money in your Roth IRA, the solution is the same.

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What is a Backdoor Roth?

What Is A Backdoor Roth?

Even over the income threshold, you may still be able to add funds to your Roth IRA with what is called a backdoor Roth.

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When Should You Stop Funding Your HSA?

When Should You Stop Funding Your HSA?

You’ve opened your HSA and funded it for several years. When should you stop funding it?

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How to Avoid a Down Payment on a Mortgage

How to Avoid a Down Payment on a Mortgage

If you prefer to keep your down payment money invested in the markets for longer, there are two alternatives.

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How to Keep Your Identity Safe Online

How to Keep Your Identity Safe Online

Here are some rules for handling your digital security.

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Which Retirement Account Should I Fund?

Which Retirement Account Should I Fund?

Which account you should fund depends on your circumstances, but here are some general guidelines you can follow to make your decision.

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How Much Umbrella Insurance Do I Need?

How Much Umbrella Insurance Do I Need?

Umbrella insurance covers you for liability that goes above and beyond your auto and homeowners insurance.

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Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credits

Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credits

Virginia taxpayers can give generously and offset the cost of those gifts through tax credits and the avoidance of capital gains taxes.

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How to Convert Taxable Savings Into Your Roth IRA

How to Convert Taxable Savings Into Your Roth IRA

Most tax professionals don’t think of such tax planning opportunities, because they have to focus on complying with tax accounting regulations.

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Our 10 Most Popular Posts So Far

Monopoly House on Coin

We have 1,292 posts on Marotta on Money, but here are the 10 most visited posts on our blog.

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Lessons From The Lottery

Lessons From The Lottery

For those of us who don’t like playing the lottery, does the lottery have anything to offer us?

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Fund Your Roth IRA Even When You Can’t Afford It

Fund Your Roth IRA Even When You Can't Afford It

Sometimes, there isn’t enough to do it all. Even then, fund your Roth.

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How to Save for Large Fast-Approaching Expenses

How to Save for Large Fast-Approaching Expenses

The average married couple has dreams of multiple children, annual vacations, and homeownership, but planning for these expenses can be challenging.

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How to Take Advantage of Student Loan Forgiveness

How to Take Advantage of Student Loan Forgiveness

You might think that you can’t qualify, but many well-paid families are eligible.

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How Quickly Should I Pay My Student Loans?

How Quickly Should I Pay My Student Loans?

For those who do not want to be investors, a fast-track repayment may be best. But for those willing to save and invest, there is a better option.

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How to Intentionally Realize Capital Gains

How to Intentionally Realize Capital Gains

Careful tax planning can avoid much of the capital gains tax.

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The Complete Guide to Automating Your Savings

The Complete Guide to Automating Your Savings

After automating your entire investment plan, you can save and invest without even having to watch.

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How to Select Securities

How to Select Securities

Your investment strategy is critically important but the implementation requires wise fund selection.

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Should I Fund a Roth or a Traditional Account?

Should I Fund a Roth or a Traditional Account?

As with many financial decisions, our gut feelings deceive us on this matter.

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Defining Your Sectors

Defining Your Sectors

The process of defining your sectors is an attempt to identify the quintessential features of your strategy and formalize your selection criteria.

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The Asset Allocation Within Your Asset Allocation

The Asset Allocation Within Your Asset Allocation

It is good to take the two categories which are most similar and use them as underlying sector divisions within the same larger asset class.

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Your Asset Allocation Should Be Priceless

Your Asset Allocation Should Be Priceless

The value of not running out of money when making withdrawals cannot be measured.

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Radio: Employment Tips for Recent Grads

UVA Grad

David John Marotta and Megan Russell were interviewed on the radio discussing ways recent graduates can make themselves more attractive to employers in today’s tough job market.

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The Art of the Rebalancing Bonus

The Art of the Rebalancing Bonus

Portfolio design and rebalancing is both a science and an art. Knowing that rebalancing boosts returns is useless unless you as the investor follow through.

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How to Get Jobs for “Unemployable” Degrees

How to Get Jobs for "Unemployable" Degrees

The list of jobs for a History major seems quite short: Historian and Historic Preservation come quickly, then maybe Politics, if you think particularly hard about it.

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The Science of the Rebalancing Bonus

The Science of the Rebalancing Bonus

Rebalancing can both boost returns and lower volatility, but most investors do not understanding how.

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The A’s of Government (2012 Budget)

The A's of Government (2012 Budget)

This is a complete list of the budgets and purposes of the federal agencies that begin with the letter A.

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Cost-Benefit Analysis for Financial Planning

Cost-Benefit Analysis for Financial Planning

The cost of commission-based advisors are so hidden that you may be paying more than you realize.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Services Not Provided

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Services Not Provided

A computer algorithm cannot help you with these things.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Incomplete Rebalancing Algorithm

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

See our review of the two pros and nine cons of how Schwab monitors and rebalances portfolios.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise

It is a great marketing campaign, and the service is a wonderful idea, but the asset allocations of SIPs aren’t actually that intelligent.

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Stock Ownership Is a Bad Strategy for Social Change

Stock Ownership Is a Bad Strategy for Social Change

You cannot help a company by buying its stock.

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Did Obama Violate an SEC Regulation?

Did Obama Violate an SEC Regulation?

From the blind eye of the law, this seems like a violation of SEC regulation.

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