August 24, 2016

Economic Indicators: Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

basket of food

Under one theory, changes in GDP or the rate of GDP growth precede and could cause stock markets to react and move in response. This is usually not the case.

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How Much Can I Contribute to My Retirement Accounts?

potted flowers

With many types of retirement accounts available, it can be difficult to keep track of how much you can put away where, especially if you are eligible to contribute to multiple accounts.

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What NOT to Compare on Performance Reports

Odd Couple Dogs

By definition and design, different types of reports produce different numbers.

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Beware of Dire Market Crash Predictions

questioning chick

I receive dire predictions with such frequency that were I to act on even a fraction of them I would never be invested in the markets.

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Common Endowment Mistakes

Common Endowment Mistakes

Prudent investment practice is as much about knowing what not to do as it is about knowing what to do.

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Explain My Performance Report

TinkerbellShrug

Here’s a brief explanation of the basic terms you might find on your performance report.

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Where Should I Invest Money Which I Will Need in a Year or Two?

house money

Return comes with an element of risk. There is no safe investment which also pays a good rate of return.

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Why Would You Intentionally Realize Capital Gains?

handful of cherries

When you sell an investment that has appreciated, the IRS looks at your tax rate and taxes the gains accordingly.

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Selecting an Endowment’s Asset Allocation

Selecting an Endowment's Asset Allocation

Two rules of endowment investing: 1) Keep an equity bias and 2) diversify.

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The Golden Bear: The Bear Market of 1973

GoldenBear_w

This Bear market is considered one of the greatest challenges to retirement planning.

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How to Set Endowment Spending Rates

How to Set Endowment Spending Rates

Endowment spending rates can prove a catalyst for fulfilling or killing the life of the organization itself.

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Wealth Management Is In Your Control

latte

Many feel helpless to direct their own success, but nothing could be further from the truth.

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Billing Client Accounts to the Client’s Greatest Benefit

Billing Client Accounts to the Client's Greatest Benefit

Investment managers can bring clients greater savings by carefully considering how they bill different types of accounts.

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Planning for a Funeral

Planning for a Funeral

Funeral expenses are often a family’s fourth largest expense.

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Best Practices for Trusts, Foundations, and Endowments

Best Practices for Trusts, Foundations, and Endowments

Even if a committee has contracted with “prudent experts,” the Committee never delegates its fiduciary responsibility.

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Comparing Donor-Advised Funds

givingflower

Which company should you choose when you’re opening a donor-advised fund?

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Do Children Need To File A Tax Return To Fund Their Roth IRA?

Do Children Need To File A Tax Return To Fund Their Roth IRA?

The IRS does not require dependents whose gross income is only earned income to file a tax return if the amount is less than a certain amount.

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Fulfilling Your Fiduciary Duty as a Trustee or Board Member

Fulfilling Your Fiduciary Duty as a Trustee or Board Member

Despite the fact that millions serve in a fiduciary role, many are wholly unaware of their legal responsibilities.

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Recouping Losses Is Not As Hard As You Think

Deceptive Posts About The Difficulty Of Recouping Losses

Many advisors and most investors don’t really understand the math on how to compute investment returns.

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Radio: The Importance of Real Estate

rainbow row

David John Marotta was interviewed on radio’s Schilling Show discussing real estate and its importance in your total net worth.

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Understanding Virginia’s Tax Withholding Rules

Understanding Virginia's Tax Withholding Rules

We know how federal rules require you to either have tax withheld or make estimated payments of tax that will be due, but it is easy to forget that states have their own revenue departments and their own rules.

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Changing Your Financial Behavior Is Difficult

Financial Behavior Modification Is A Difficult Process

Our minds are wired to quickly generalize on perceived trends and react to them.

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Double Bottom Bear: The Bear Market of 1970

Double Bottom Bear: The Bear Market of 1970

Bear Markets are unpredictable, but there is no reason that they should be a cause of distress.

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How Much Can I Withdraw in Retirement?

Seaside Golf

We have calculated safe withdrawal rates for ages 0 to 100 based on age-appropriate asset allocation mixes.

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5 Reasons to Have Some Cash Equivalents

5 Reasons to Have Some Cash Equivalents

There are at least five reasons to hold cash. Without a good reason to hold cash, you may be holding too much.

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TD Ameritrade Trust Company President Gets “Fee-Only” Wrong

TD Ameritrade Trust Company President Gets "Fee-Only" Wrong

It should be clear that “fee-only” means “fee-only,” not “fees and third-party manager revenue-sharing and trailing mutual fund fees.”

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Roth Recharacterization: May Change Your Required Minimum Distribution

Roth Recharacterization: May Change Your Required Minimum Distribution

A Roth recharacterization is a true undo; it is as though you never converted those assets in the eyes of the IRS. This includes recalculating your RMD had you not converted the assets.

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Family Financial Lifecycle

squirrel eating

Before the children arrive, squirrel away some money. When the children go out on their own you get one last chance to save for retirement.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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Understanding the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

Understanding the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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