July 2, 2016

Understanding the Estate Tax Return

Understanding the Estate Tax Return

The estate tax return is definitely complex, but that’s because it has to account for the multitude of special rules that only apply to a few households.

Read More...

BREXIT: Britain’s Independence Day

BREXIT: Britain's Independence Day

The future may be uncertain, but the markets are quite reliable in the long run.

Read More...

Roth Conversion: Take Your Required Minimum Distribution Out First

Roth Conversion: Take Your Required Minimum Distribution Out First

A simple summary of how to meet your Required Minimum Distribution in the same year as you perform a Roth Conversion is the axiom: RMD dollars must come out first.

Read More...

Narrowly Framed Questions Fail to Meet Life Goals

Narrowly Framed Questions Fail to Meet Life Goals

Purchasing investment products in isolation from the larger context of your specific situation is like pushing random buttons on a vending machine in order to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for your family.

Read More...

Radio: Nine Ways to Secure Your Finances

teal door and lock

Here are nine steps you should take to make it more difficult for criminals and identity thieves to steal your personal information.

Read More...

Bloomberg Article Gets Asset Allocation Exactly Wrong

Bloomberg Article Gets Asset Allocation Exactly Wrong

Investors should not have to deal with financial reporters that misunderstand the field they write about.

Read More...

Qualified HSA Funding Distribution

Qualified HSA Funding Distribution

There is an obscure tax rule that allows a one-time Traditional IRA-to-HSA conversion called a Qualified HSA Funding Distribution (QHFD).

Read More...

Testamentary Donor Advised Funds

colorful gift bows

An easy estate workaround is to set up a Donor Advised Fund as a Testamentary fund, meaning you aren’t funding it yet, but it will be funded upon your death.

Read More...

Understanding the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

Understanding the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

The fact that we have an 80% “generous grandparent” tax is ridiculous.

Read More...

Investing in a Donor Advised Fund

Gift on table

There are several strategies for using a donor advised fund which will help determine your asset allocation.

Read More...

A Guide to Investing in REITs

A Guide to Investing in REITs

REITs are one way to get some of the benefit of investing in real estate without as much of the risk.

Read More...

Language Matters: Robo-Advisor vs. Robo-Investing

Language Matters: Robo-Advisor vs. Robo-Investing

Robo-advisors do not provide personalized investment advice nor are their recommendations free from conflicts of interest.

Read More...

Language Matters: Fee-Based vs. Fee-And-Commission Based

Language Matters: Fee-Only vs. Fee-And-Commission Based

The term “fee-based” was created specifically to confuse consumers.

Read More...

Digital Estate Plan: Facebook Legacy Contact

Facebook Legacy Contact

Facebook added the “Legacy Contact” feature that allows you to grant a Facebook Friend access to your Facebook page after you have passed away.

Read More...

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

You can learn a lot about financial management from snapping turtles.

Read More...

Where to Find the Hidden Fees of Commission-Based Firms

Where to Find the Hidden Fees of Commission-Based Firms

Very few consumers actually read the SEC filings for the firms they have engaged.

Read More...

Can I Contribute to Both a SEP and a 401(k)?

Can I Contribute to Both a SEP and a 401k?

SEP plans offer a powerful way to provide for your own retirement in the same way that 401ks do.

Read More...

What Are The Problems With Illiquid Alternative Investments?

What Are The Problems With Illiquid Alternative Investments?

If you happen to hold alternative investments and can find a fair price for them, we recommend that you liquidate them.

Read More...

The Happy Habits of Appreciation and Gratitude

The Happy Habits of Appreciation and Gratitude

Life planning begins as thoughts and ultimately shapes our entire destiny.

Read More...

Investing 101: Things to Think About Before You Invest

lightbulb sunrise

With a little preparation, you can save and invest over your lifetime to meet your financial goals and dreams.

Read More...

One Powerful Method To Achieve Higher Investment Returns

One Powerful Method To Achieve Higher Investment Returns

Long-term investing does not require making quick emotional responses.

Read More...

You Want An Advisor Who Keeps You From “The Big Mistake”

You Want An Advisor Who Keeps You From "The Big Mistake"

Real financial advisors stand between you and the Big Mistake of buying high and selling low.

Read More...

Free Advanced Medical Directives from the Virginia State Bar

medicaldirectivescreenshot_t

The Virginia State Bar has even made a few variations of a simplified Advanced Directive free to the public on their website.

Read More...

Write Down Your Investment Plan

Write Down Your Investment Plan

To protect yourself from behavioral errors, write down your investment plan.

Read More...

Mailbag: The Practical Limits of 1031 Exchanges

Mailbag: The Practical Limits of 1031 Exchanges

Using a 1031 exchange to turn investment property into residential property is possible, but it takes careful planning from the outset.

Read More...

Radio: Budgeting Benefits

moody hills

Having a budget as a boundary for your spending gives you the freedom to work within that boundary, and keeps you on track to save for your goals.

Read More...

How Cookie-Cutter Powers of Attorney Fail

How Cookie-Cutter Power of Attorneys Fail

This style of Power of Attorney certainly gets the job done, but there are a few ways that the cookie-cutter POA most frequently fails to meet people’s wishes.

Read More...

What To Do With That First Paycheck

plant in the rain

You probably know that you should spend less than you earn, but that is only part of the equation.

Read More...

How to Pay Off Student Loans While Building Wealth

How to Pay Off Student Loans While Building Wealth

While your student loans may be a daunting sum, it is still possible to build wealth even while paying off student debt.

Read More...

Ten Principles for Teaching Children about Money

Ten Principles for Teaching Children about Money

Here are ten principles for teaching children about money.

Read More...

What Is Settlement Date And Why Does It Matter?

What Is Settlement Date And Why Does It Matter?

Most investors think that whenever you buy or sell a security the money is immediately deducted or deposited into your account. This is not true.

Read More...

Family Budgeting

Family Budgeting

If a budget isn’t a team effort, one member of the family will hold the purse strings and everyone else will be resentful.

Read More...

Is Margin Loan Interest Tax Deductible?

Is Margin Loan Interest Tax Deductible?

Margin loan interest is tax deductible, but the amount you can deduct is limited.

Read More...

What is a Roth Conversion?

What is a Roth Conversion?

If you don’t have retirement savings in Roth IRAs, it’s time you considered their benefits. Assets in traditional IRAs can be rolled into Roth IRAs without a withdrawal penalty.

Read More...

Guidelines for Using Margin

Guidelines for Using Margin

Too much leverage is risky because it endangers meeting your goals.

Read More...

Inflation Illustrated

stamp pile

We tracked the price of a first class stamp over the last 130 years, noting the changes, to show the steady erosion in buying power during that time.

Read More...

Fund Analyzer Shows Value Of Lower Fees

Fund Analyzer Shows Value Of Lower Fees

Continually curating a list of low cost funds is valuable for long term investors.

Read More...

Government Requires 2.5 Hours of Daily Work

Government Requires 2.5 Hours of Daily Work

Without the burden of federal, state, and local taxes, you could leave your job at 2:27pm every day and earn the same salary.

Read More...

What is Margin?

What is Margin?

We don’t normally recommend being on margin, but we recommend having the option in case it is needed.

Read More...

Radio Interview: The Burden of Government Taxation

Radio Interview: The Burden of Government Taxation

David John Marotta was recently interviewed on radio 1070 WINA’s Schilling Show, discussing taxation and the burden of government.

Read More...

Gifts, Taxes, and IRS Form 709

Gifts, Taxes, and IRS Form 709

Most people are unaware that giving a gift can be a taxable event because they themselves have not yet experienced the tax.

Read More...

Investing Strategies for an Irrational Brain

Investing Strategies for an Irrational Brain

Recency bias is perhaps the most difficult natural bias to overcome.

Read More...

Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary Ruling

Department of Labor's New Fiduciary Ruling

Any legislation which can include FINRA’s commission-based advisors will dilute what it means to be a fiduciary.

Read More...

A Year of Financially Healthy Habits

Perpetual Calendar

It is the season of spring cleaning, so here’s a calendar of ways to clean up your finances one step at a time.

Read More...

Mailbag: How Is Capital Gains Tax Calculated?

Mailbag: How Is Capital Gains Tax Calculated?

The IRS does not do a good job of helping people understand capital gains taxes. They provide a worksheet to help you calculate it, but it has so many steps that it’s nearly impossible to figure out what’s going on.

Read More...

Dimensional On: Staying in the Market

Dimensional On: Why Should We Invest Internationally?

“It is always a difficult experience for investors to stay in markets.”

Read More...

Tax Loss Harvesting and Wash Sales

Tax Loss Harvesting and Wash Sales

Wash sale rules need to be followed when realizing capital losses for taxes but can be burdensome to track and monitor.

Read More...

Financial Planning Beyond Your Wedding Day

hearthands

In addition to registering for a blender and picking floral arrangements, make sure that your marriage has the financial accounts and monetary habits necessary to meet your shared financial goals.

Read More...

How To Instill Good Financial Habits In Your Children

How To Instill Good Financial Habits In Your Children

Give your children experience spending their own money.

Read More...

Dimensional On: Why Should We Invest Internationally?

Dimensional On: Why Should We Invest Internationally?

“Historically there has been a wide variety of returns from US and International stocks, and when one does poorly often another does well.”

Read More...