August 25, 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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Write Down Your Investment Plan

Write Down Your Investment Plan

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ten Principles for Teaching Children about Money

Ten Principles for Teaching Children about Money

Here are ten principles for teaching children about money.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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