December 4, 2016

2017 Estate and Gift Tax Limits

ScottishEstate

Neither party has to pay taxes on gifts up to this gifting limit, and the limit remains unchanged from 2016.

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Radio: Why is the Media Liberal?

US Flag

Listen to a discussion on why journalists are usually liberal-leaning and what that means for reporting the news in America.

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How To Whitelist An Entire Domain In Gmail

floor cleaner

Since not receiving an important email can be even more dangerous as receiving too much spam, here is how to while list an email or an entire domain in Gmail.

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Healthcare Stocks And Asking “Relative To What?”

kiddoctor_t

Why do our portfolios systematically overweight healthcare stocks?

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2017 Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan Limits

three horses

Here are the limits for how much you and your employer can contribute to retirement accounts on your behalf.

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How The Markets Moved After A Trump Victory

bluegreenfractal

Beware of reading too much into three days of market movements.

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Mailbag: Which Investment Fund Should I Purchase To Minimize Fees?

stethoscope

On the surface it seems like option 3 (VHT) is the best deal. Is there anything I am missing?

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The Minimalist Budget

zen stones

If you want to be really minimalist about your budgeting, here’s what we suggest: the 65-25-10 rule.

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The Finance of Crowdfunding

crowd

There are three types of crowdfunding each defined by what people receive in exchange for the money they pay: Reward-based, Donation-based, and Equity-based.

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Interview of Dr. Randall Bell, Author of “Rich Habits, Rich Life”

rich habits rich life

Dr. Randall Bell develops strategies to overcome problems and maximize peak performance.

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How Can I Give Away Money from My IRA?

pile o' gifts

What if you do not need all the money from your RMD and you are also charitably inclined?

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The Case for Investing in Energy Companies

oilrig

Energy’s low correlation with nearly every other major asset class means even very conservative investors should consider over-weighting Energy stocks.

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How Much Can I Give Away to Charity This Year?

strawberries

If you give away more than 50% of this year’s income, you cannot deduct it this year, but you can carry it forward for up to 5 years.

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The Narrative Fallacy

reading upside down

No one would click on the headline, “Stocks went up today and we have no clue why.”

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How Does Compliance Differ Between Smaller Firms and Large Brokers?

tiger glare

It is relatively easy for an adviser who has a 400 lawyer compliance department to sit through some compliance continuing education and yet never understand what attitudes and behaviors need to be changed.

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Radio: Should the Government Use Force to Make College Education Free?

graduation caps

David John Marotta was interviewed on radio’s Schilling Show discussing the relationship between the government and college education.

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Three Strategies to Avoid Private Mortgage Insurance

trooper biking

Avoiding PMI, if possible, is better for your long term finances. Here are three strategies to avoid PMI.

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Are You Paying for Your Fund’s Advertising?

sparrow feeding

If you own some mutual funds, chances are you are paying a hefty marketing price.

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Why the Ending Value on your Performance Report Differs from your Statement

DogTeam

Here’s what you need to know to understand why the numbers may not match.

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Don’t Forget to Rebalance All Your Assets

stacked rocks

It can be easy to forget about your company’s 401(k) because you aren’t depositing the money yourself, your pre-tax contributions are deducted from your paycheck and are electronically deposited by your employer.

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What is Private Mortgage Insurance?

storm trooper race

PMI does not provide you, the borrower, any protection.

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How to Monitor Your Financial Advisor

trapeze jump

When seeking a financial advisor, you should find out if they are willing to sign a fiduciary oath putting your interests above those of their employer.

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What’s the Difference Between Time Weighted Return and Internal Rate of Return?

Abacus

There are 2 main types of returns you want to see on your performance report. What’s the difference?

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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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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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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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