Review Category : Investments

What You Should Know About The Current Trump Tax Plan

Almost a year after President Trump was elected to office, none of the main agenda bills have passed in Congress.  With Thanksgiving looming around the corner for a Congress shut down here in 2017, one of the big questions will be whether the major tax bill passes before the end of the year.  This single tax plan could have a big effect on how the market finishes here in 2017 and its potential impact into 2018.   Here are the key points you should know about the current Trump Tax Plan. Businesses Get The Biggest Cut The current proposal is to reduce the tax rate of “C” Corporations (currently mostly large corporation) to move from the current 35% down to 20%.   Consider this impact for a company that makes $20 billion dollars and currently pays $7 billion dollars in taxes.  Those companies would in theory get back another $3 billion dollars in freed up cash flow.   The current proposal still considers ...

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What Fantasy Football Can Teach You About Diversification (or Your Financial Plan)

The football season is upon us again here as the fall rolls around and neighborhoods and workplaces are buzzing with Fantasy Football fever.  The Fantasy Trade Sports Association commented that the Fantasy Football market is more than a 70 billion dollar industry today and growing.   With so many people joining multiple leagues, what can this popular game teach us about how we manage our portfolios and diversify our assets. Do Your Homework? It’s shocking how many people don’t know what they own in their 401(k), IRA, or their brokerage accounts.  You may have purchased a target fund or some growth and income fund, but you don’t actually know what you own.   Moreover, you may not understand the risks on how much you could gain in one year or how much you could potentially lose in one year.  It’s important to read the prospectus before you invest, look at the track record of the investment you will be making, and learn ...

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What Blackjack Will Teach You About Retirement

sponsored by Midland National You have made it to Las Vegas and settled into your favorite hotel.   After a few quality minutes of checking out your luxurious room, you decide it’s time to hit the main gambling floor.  Choices, choices.  You walk by the sports book, past the slots, the screaming at the craps table, and you wind up sitting down to play your favorite game – blackjack.   So, what in the world can playing blackjack teach you about your retirement? More importantly, HOW can blackjack teach you one of the most valuable lessons about protecting your retirement assets? Blackjack is an interesting game.  It’s part strategy and part social chatting depending on whether the dealer is giving you a run of easy cards to play or a set of more difficult choices depending on what the dealer doles you out.   In a perfect world, you would be getting blackjack after blackjack (or 21 after 21), but in reality you’ll ...

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Is It Time To Consider I Bonds

I was reminiscing the other day about the gifts that my grandmother used to give me for my birthday and at holiday time.    She wasn’t a great gift giver, especially when I would get a sweater vest with the big letter “T” etched right in the middle of the sweater. Oh yeah, I also got socks a few years which is a swell gift if you want to end up on the loser list at middle or high school.   But, the one gift that didn’t mean much to me at the time and paid dividends later were the series EE savings bonds that I stuck in an envelope and let sit in my drawer until they matured.   Those very bonds helped me be able to put a down payment on my first car so I can thank my grandmother for that. With interest rates hovering at an all time low over the past seven or eight years, hardly anybody talks ...

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Should I Leave My Kids A Million Dollars

Just the other week, I had one of the more interesting conversations with a client which sparked me to write this article. I’ve never been the kind of advisor that wants to ‘sell’ my clients insurance. I have always felt it to be best to implement risk management products for the best cost possible or utilize insurance vehicles in the best way to accumulate cash based upon each individual client situation. One of my clients called the other day and said they were considering buying a second to die policy. When I initially heard the request, I said, “Well, you don’t really have a need for more life insurance and we have really good accumulation strategies set up for your other goals.” As the conversation deepened, he told me that he wanted to be 100% certain that when he and his wife died that each child would get 2 million dollars no matter what happened with the rest of his ...

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Is It Time To Make A Roth IRA Conversion?

Over this past year, more clients have asked me about whether or not it makes sense to do a conversion from their Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.   I’ve written before on the merits of a back door Roth IRA (http://bit.ly/2jNBfFA) before on Your Smart Money Moves, but the larger question about converting an existing account can be a tricky one to approach in your personal finances.   More importantly, if you are not proactive in your tax planning, you could miss a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of a bad year with your business or if you have a substantially down year of income.  Given the volume of planning cases I see every month, especially those in their late 40’s to late 50’s should be looking at this strategy very closely if you are in a transition phase. With the potential upcoming changes in the tax code suggested to move from seven tax brackets down to three, each family needs ...

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