Did Your Broker Move For A Bonus?

In the major sports world, we see elite athletes sign multi-million dollar contracts to move from one city to another all the time.    In the past decade, we’ve seen contracts to superstar baseball players like Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols get paid over $250 million dollars to sign a long term contract.   When financial advisors decide to move from one brokerage house to another, many clients aren’t aware that cash may have exchanged hands to get the broker to make the move.    The financial advisor business isn’t much different than major sports.   Banks, brokerage, and financial advisory firms alike are looking for the upper echelon of talent, and will pay large sums of money to get players to change teams.  So, how does this all work? Let’s use the brokerage world as an example.    If your financial advisor or broker works for a UBS, Morgan Stanley, Ameriprise Financial, Merrill Lynch, or any of the main brokerage houses, they are being ...

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Why Should You Go Grocery Shopping With Peter Lynch?

No modern-day investment “sage” is better known than Peter Lynch. Not only has his investment approach successfully passed the real-world performance test, but he strongly believes that individual investors have a distinct advantage over Wall Street and large money managers when using his approach. Individual investors, he feels, have more flexibility in following this basic approach because they are unencumbered by bureaucratic rules and short-term performance concerns. (Source: AAII Journal) Mr. Lynch developed his investment philosophy at Fidelity Management and Research, and gained his considerable fame managing Fidelity’s Magellan Fund. The fund was among the highest-ranking stock funds throughout Mr. Lynch’s tenure, which began in 1977 at the fund’s launching, and ended in 1990, when Mr. Lynch retired. (Source: AAII Journal).  Peter Lynch is known to most as a ‘story seller’ type investor.   Although he used a bottom up fundamental analysis to pick companies, most can remember a famous quote he once said, “I’d rather invest in pantyhose rather than ...

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IRS Announces Tax Changes For 2013

It’s that time of year where if you haven’t done some year end tax planning, you are sure to be behind the eight ball when it comes to saving as much money as you can with smart overall financial strategies.   Every year about this time, the IRS puts out changes that will affect what happens when the new year begins.   Here are some of the key things that you will want to know especially as you go through open enrollment season and assess your payroll deductions for the year ahead. 401(k)’s The IRS has increased the limitation on the maximum amount you can put away in 401(k), 403(b), and other types of retirement plans from $17,000 to $17,500. Depending on your marginal income tax rate (and where tax rates ultimately settle for 2013), this could save you several hundred dollars just by adjusting your percentage slightly up in your paycheck.  If you are over 50 or turn 50 in 2013, ...

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Should You Sell Your Business Now?

If you have owned a business for a long period of time and were considering selling, 2012 may be year for you find a buyer to take over your shop.   The Presidential election and many open tax patches/increases loom on the horizon in 2013 which could alter tax rates substantially.   2012 could actually prove to be a much more a favorable year to play let’s make a deal for your business.  Here are four reasons to consider selling your business now. 1.) Historically low capital gain rates –   Currently, we have long term capital gain rate of 15% on most items.    It has been very uncertain where this rate will head in 2012, but 20% at a minimum has been the number thrown about over the past year.    If that occurs in 2013, it will represent a 33.33% increase in your capital gains tax.   The Government will spin it as if it is only a 5% increase, but in really ...

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Should I Refinance My Mortgage?

These past couple of years many clients have asked about whether or not they should refinance their mortgage.    Along with people who have never refinanced, those that did even 18 months ago may be licking their chops to do the tango for another refinance in 2012.  For the week that ended December 23rd, the 30-year mortgage rate fell to 4.05% which was the lowest in 60 years according to HSH Associates which is a mortgage data firm.    The rates have gotten better in the jumbo market for those with a mortgage above $417,000 as well, but if you are below that number here are some considerations about whether a refinance is right for you. 1.) How long will you live in the home? –   One of the first questions you need to assess is how long you think you will stay at your current residence.  Or, if you leave the residence will you decide to use it as a rental ...

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