How Rich Do You Think You Are?

Wealth can be defined in many different ways, but classically it is measured through one’s net worth.  Your net worth is simply everything you own versus everything you owe.  The own part of the equation includes real estate, cash, stocks, bonds, 401(k)’s, IRA’s, businesses, and much more.   The owe part of the equation includes mortgage debt, student loan debt, car loans, credit cards, and more.  Once you subtract the liabilities from the assets, you can begin to determine just how rich you really are in today’s day and age. WHERE DO YOU RANK IN WEALTH (source: wsj.com) (If you have a household net worth of X … you rank in the Y percentile): $50,000 … 60th percentile $93,000 … 50th percentile $100,000 … 48th percentile $200,000 … 34th percentile $500,000 … 18th percentile $750,000 … 12th percentile $827,000 … 10th percentile $1 million … 8th percentile $1.4 million … 5th percentile $6 million … 1st percentile There is a really ...

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How to Invest in Facebook With Less Risk (If You Still Want To)

By Ross Kenneth Urken (As Published On – www.dailyfinance.com) Even for expert stock pickers, it’s difficult to make a fully educated investment in the social media sphere. As Friday’s Facebook IPO — and its gory aftermath — proves, any theory one might have is ultimately little better than speculation. After all, the first few trading days following any IPO generally bring a lot of short-term plays with share values jumping up and down — and Facebook was no exception. It’s also difficult to predict — as Groupon likewise demonstrated this year — when a social media stock will tank. However, if you’re still looking to get in on the Facebook action, but want to mitigate your risks, the social media ETF from Global X Funds might be the right choice. A New Breed of ETF Much like a traditional mutual fund, an exchange-traded fund is an investment fund that offers a stake in a pool of investments — stocks, bonds, ...

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Does Your 401(k) Offer An “In Service” Distribution?

For Generation X clients, the majority of their retirement savings are in the company 401(k).   While you do have a multitude of options of what you can do with your 401(k) if you leave your employer, often people feel like they are stuck if they stay with the same employer for a long period of time.  This is especially true with larger companies as most of those plans offer a limited number of investment choices and several target retirement funds.     I’m amazed that many people I sit down have never heard of whether their company offers an in service withdrawal or an in service distribution which can give them greater investment control of their 401(k) assets.    Since we have had two major market meltdowns over the past 12 years, 401(k)’s offer limited power to help you risk mitigate against a market crash.   This is why you need ask your employer today, do we offer an in service distribution? So, just ...

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Personal Finance 101 – The Tax Management Triangle

Don’t you wish that you had a crystal ball to know what the tax rates will be 20 years from now?   In 1970, the top tax marginal tax rate was at 70%.   In 1980, the top marginal tax rate was still at 70%.   In 1990, the top marginal tax rate hit a historical low of 28%.   In 2000, that top marginal tax rate had moved back up to 39.6%.   Just one year ago in 2010, the top marginal tax rate settled at 35%. (source: taxfoundation.org)  With all the uncertainty going on with our debt and taxes, how can you best plan your finances for the certainty of uncertainty when it comes to income taxes? Over the years, we’ve adopted a tax triangle methodology around taxes and investing.  This allows an individual investor or business owner to think about where they place their investments and tax strategy upon the accumulation and distribution phase.  Here are the three sides to the triangle. ...

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How Can A Business Owner Save Money?

Through the creation of a captive insurance company, businesses can cut their taxes and increase the value of their estate. A business creates a captive insurance company to insure its risk; the captive can issue property and casualty insurance. It can also collect and invest premiums, as well as pay claims. To be sure, the business can also use the captive for pretax wealth accumulation, to protect assets, for efficient estate planning and to retain key employees. The business determines the policy terms, whether to write new or renewable policies and the types of insurance coverage to write. The strategy works best for companies that generate at least $1 million in annual net income, making it viable for physician groups, associations, franchisees and other businesses. For instance, Stan and Joan Smart, 60 and 55, respectively, own ABC manufacturing company. They seek better risk management and estate planning. After meeting with their financial adviser, Stan and Joan decide to retain an ...

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