May 30, 2016

Articles

David John Marotta and Megan Russell co-author a syndicated financial column featured in several newspapers across the country. You can follow that column here.

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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Guidelines for Using Margin

Guidelines for Using Margin

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How Long Should I Give An Investment Plan?

How Long Should I Give An Investment Plan?

Even the most brilliantly crafted investment plan has to be given time to work.

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Streamline Your Finances with Schwab Checking

Streamline Your Finances with Schwab Checking

This Schwab checking account provides six impressive services not true for most local banks.

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Why We Do Not Use Active Management

Why We Do Not Use Active Fund Managers

Index investing seeks to track the return of a portion of the market. The opposite is active management.

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Nine Unfortunate Facts of Health Savings Accounts

9 Unfortunate Facts of Health Savings Accounts

An HSA is one of many accounts used in comprehensive wealth management for tax optimization and planning.

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How Roth Conversions Are Reported to the IRS

How Roth Conversions Are Reported to the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is notorious for misunderstanding the recharacterizations of Roth conversions.

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Asset Allocations for UVA Retirement Plans at Fidelity

Asset Allocations for UVA Retirement Plans at Fidelity

The University of Virginia plan includes funds sufficient to produce these excellent portfolios.

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Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from IRAs

Qualified Charitable Distributions

QCDs allow individuals age 70 1/2 or older to give directly to a charity from your IRA without counting the distribution as taxable income.

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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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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 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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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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