September 30, 2014

Best Of

These are some of our favorite blog posts from various categories. If you aren't sure where to begin reading, we suggest browsing this list or checking out our list of Most Popular Posts.

The Wealth Of Nations Is Their Freedom

Berry Hard Work

“When institutions protect the liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all.” – Adam Smith

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Fourteen Ways to Avoid Paying Capital Gains

Like water for money

The capital gains tax traps wealth in an investment vehicle requiring special techniques to free the capital without penalty.

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Roth IRA Conversions and Roth Segregation Strategies

Roth Segregation Accounts

Roth accounts have several advantages over traditional retirement accounts.

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Microfinance: Loans That Change Lives

Kiva: Loans that change lives

With as little as $25 you can begin loaning money to developing world entrepreneurs.

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Every Business Should Start a 401(k)

Small business owners

The president’s hope to restrict the plans should actually make owners more interested in creating one.

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Index of Tax Tables

Tax Tables

Want the full list of tax tables? Here they are in one place for easy browsing.

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Marotta’s 2014 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

The fishes

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation that should do well with dampened volatility.

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Marotta’s 2013 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Review

Fish Measuring Station

A review of last year’s 2013 gone fishing portfolio returns.

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How To Prepare For The “Coming Financial Apocalypse”

The Disaster Diaries by Sam Sheridan

You should be just as prepared for the possibility that the world as we know it is not ending.

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Get Out Of Debt

Slack Palm

Getting out of debt is the first step to building real wealth.

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Retirement Planning

Retirement Planning

Retirement Planning is perhaps the single most important goal of comprehensive wealth management.

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Marotta’s 2013 Gone-Fishing Portfolio

Gone-Fishing 2012

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation that should do well with dampened volatility. Its primary appeal is simplicity. As a secondary virtue, it avoids the worst mistakes of the financial services industry.

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Diversification: Why Not Put Everything in Whatever Will Go Up the Most?

Graph with stacks of coins

Five principles from analyzing the last decade of returns.

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Essential Financial Advice for College Graduates

Graduation Advice

As the wife of a 2013 college graduate and a 2012 college graduate myself, I can boldly say this was the most helpful advice given to me.

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Gold, Silver and Resource Stocks

Pile of gold coins

The optimum asset allocation to physical gold and silver is 0%. Instead, we recommend you use resource stocks as an inflation hedge.

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Tax Planning

Dorothy and Toto 1040

A dollar saved on taxes is worth more than a dollar earned. If you earn another dollar, they will just tax you again.

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More Than 25% of Americans Are Making a Financial Mistake

A Waste of Money

If you look beyond the short term, making this move is pretty clearly worse than using a high-interest credit card to pay your bills.

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Financially Savvy Kittens on Size of Government

Doesn't Rely On Government

This kitten doesn’t rely on government. Be more like this kitten.

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Financial Planning Lessons from Downton Abbey: Part 2

downton abbey2_t

Lord Grantham, the master of Downton Abbey, continues to offer insightful financial lessons as he bumbles his wealth management responsibilities.

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Financially Savvy Kittens on Retirement in Retirement Planning

Financially Savvy Kittens on When to Retire

This kitten knows her retirement number. Be more like this kitten.

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Financial Planning Lessons from Downton Abbey

downton abbey_t

As a financial advisor, season 3 of Downton Abbey has become the most interesting as deep-level financial tension has begun to infiltrate the Crawley family drama.

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Financially Savvy Kittens on Retirement Plans

Financially Savvy Kittens on Retirement Planning

These kittens have retirement plans. Be more like these kittens.

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Financially Savvy Kittens on Retirement Planning

Financially Savvy Kittens on Retirement

This kitten knows how to retire. Be more like this kitten.

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Live Long and Prosper

live long_t

It’s not just Mister Spock who is living a long life. Japanese Jiroemon Kimura’s nearly 116 years, making him the oldest man in modern recorded history, is a reminder to have a retirement income plan that will last over the long haul.

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Financially Savvy Kittens on Goal Setting and Keeping

This kitten boldly shares her goals with others.

This kitten boldly shares her goals with others. Be more like this kitten.

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Financially Savvy Kittens on Market Timing

Financially Savvy Kittens on Market Timing

This kitten doesn’t time the markets. Be more like this kitten.

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Financially Savvy Kittens on Net Worth

Financially Savvy Kittens on Net Worth

This kitten knows what she’s worth. Be more like this kitten.

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Seven Tax-Planning Strategies to Dodge the Tax Bullet

1040-2013

The victors in the recent election have declared it open hunting season on the rich, which they evidently believe will solve our spending problems. Tax hikes everywhere are aimed at the most productive members of society.

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The Ring of Fire – Part 2

Ring of Fire of countries high in debt and deficit

“Unless we begin to close this gap, then the inevitable result will be that our debt/GDP ratio will continue to rise, the Fed would print money to pay for the deficiency, inflation would follow, and the dollar would inevitably decline.”

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Marshmallows and Investing?

marshmellows_t

Parents take note: Research on delayed gratification shows connections from children through adulthood.

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Assuming a Will is All You Need–Mistake #2

Older Women

Taking the time to create your estate documents may protect your interest as much while you are alive as they will after your death. No matter your age, in addition to a will, you need two additional documents.

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Not Having an Estate Plan–Mistake #1

Young Girl

The worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all and assume everything will pan out in the end. No matter how much (or how little) money you have, you need at least a simple will.

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How Much Should I Have Saved Toward Retirement?

Measuring Progress

Measuring progress regularly on the path toward retirement is critical. Fall too far behind, and you risk not being able to save enough to catch up. There is no downside to arriving early.

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How Much Should I Save Toward Retirement If I’m Starting Late?

Starting Late

Knowing how much you should save for retirement is critical. But what if you are late getting started? The longer you delay, the shorter the time that compound interest can do its magic on your savings.

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Suddenly Wealthy

Windfall

Studies show that onetime windfalls can actually impoverish you. They make you feel rich, which inevitably leads to overspending. But wealth is what you save, not what you spend.

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A Progressive Tax Code is Economically Destructive

Marginal Rate -100

Most Americans assume a progressive tax code is needed to promote equality and remove some of the burden of other taxes on those with the lowest income. But the progressive nature of the tax code changes behavior in many ways.

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How Much Should I Save for Retirement?

Retirement Planning

You should save 15% of your take-home pay for retirement over your working career. As your situation varies, you must adjust your safe savings rate.

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How keeping your money “safe” might lose half of it in 16 years.

The Fading Dollar

“Anyone who’s bought gas, paid a medical bill or sent a child off to college recently knows that the Consumer Price Index doesn’t tell the whole story of inflation.”

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Smart Tax Planning for the Gap Years

Three Generations

Many families seek financial planning advice specifically for retirement. But if they wait too long, they miss an important tax-planning opportunity. A great strategy is to take advantage of the time between retirement and Social Security at age 70, the so-called gap years.

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Why We Don’t Rebalance

Don't Lose Your Head

“Perfectly rational individuals exhibit changing risk aversion that makes it hard for them to rebalance into high-return assets that have had steep price declines.”

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Fund a Teenager’s Million-Dollar Retirement

Megan

We teach teenagers a lot more about sexuality than we do about money. This can confuse them about what they should be learning. Give this article to a teenager and encourage him or her to start a Roth IRA.

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Squirrel Away Money While You Can

Squirrel

Franco Modigliani won the Nobel Prize for a simple technique that squirrels know intuitively from birth. You have to squirrel away some nuts during times of plenty so you can survive during times of scarcity.

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What Equality Should We Seek in Society?

Dogs

Studies suggest that brains may be wired with either a utopian or a tragic view of the world, corresponding roughly to liberals and conservatives. We continue to talk past each other in political debates.

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What Is Comprehensive Wealth Management?

What Is Comprehensive Wealth Management?

Advisors who offer comprehensive wealth management are like financial concierges. Their only goal is to meet your needs. If you ask for fresh strawberries, they try to find them for you.

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Tax Efficient Investing

Wizard of Oz Money

It can be useful to maintain a grid where all of the available asset classes are arranged in order, by tax efficiency and potential return based on time horizon, so clients can clearly see when and where tax-deferral can offer the greatest benefits.

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Are Investment Management Fees Tax Deductible?

Wizard of Oz Money

I often get asked, “Are investment management fees tax deductible?” The answer is not a simple “yes” or “no.” Like many tax questions, the answer is “It depends.”

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A fiduciary standard is good, old-fashioned common sense

We trust

“Unfortunately, some are also misleading the public by saying that a fiduciary standard would prevent the delivery of financial services to middle-American Main Street investors.”

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How Do Financial Advisors Earn Their Fee?

How Do Financial Advisors Earn Their Fee?

Investment fees are generally about 1% of assets under management and drop as assets rise. The critical question to ask is “Where do financial advisors add value that might exceed the 1% fee they charge?”

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What is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary?

fi306's Accredited Investment Fiduciary

Fi360 promotes a culture of fiduciary responsibility and improves the decision making processes of investment fiduciaries and other financial service providers.

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Fee-Only Financial Planner: What’s the Difference?

Fee Only

Fee-only financial planners are registered investment advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients’ best interest. They do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales.

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