Category Archives: Financial Planning

Not “If;” “When”

You’re starting to hear people talk about “if” there’s a bear market during the Trump Administration, when the real truth is they should be talking about “when.”  And it won’t necessarily be triggered by a poorly-worded tweet, a global-trade-stopping new tariff regime or tax and entitlement reform.  Every presidential cycle has its share of market drawdowns, seemingly regardless of presidential policies.

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Protecting Your Parents — Financially

People reach their peak decision-making abilities sometime in their 50s, and then decline slowly until after age 70, when the decline starts to take off more dramatically.  This helps explain why sweepstakes frauds, Nigerian investment schemes and other scams target seniors and retirees.

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How to Reset Your Portfolio (Regardless of What You Think of the Markets)

Over the last few weeks, professional financial planners have been fielding calls from clients who are asking the kinds of questions that every professional investor hates to hear.  The Dow has reached (and then fallen back below) 20,000.  Should I take money off the table?

My preferred candidate didn’t win the election, and I think the world is going to hell in a handbasket.  Don’t you think I should sell my stocks now before it’s too late?

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No Leverage = Higher Costs

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We hear all the time that medical costs are too high in the U.S., and that Medicare is going to go bankrupt in the future.  The President-Elect recently told us in a press conference that drug companies are “getting away with murder.”  So how high are drug prices, and are those prices contributing at all to the high medical costs in the U.S.?

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Investments to Avoid

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Every year, the Morningstar mutual fund tracking organization releases a list of the worst new ETF investments—and generally, these tend to be trendy new offerings that are designed to catch the eye of investors who are responding to yesterday’s  headlines rather than their long-term economic future.

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Preliminary Tax Forecast

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Many of President-Elect Donald Trump’s policy proposals are too vague to analyze, but one area where he has been clear is on reforming our tax system.  Here’s a quick primer on the changes that you can expect to be introduced to Congress in the coming year.

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Roth Conversions and Mandatory Distributions

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You probably know that the IRS requires you to start taking mandatory distributions from your IRA when you turn 70 1/2, even if you don’t actually need the money.  But can you do a Roth conversion at that late date, and thereby defer distributions forever?

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