June 27,

Who's right about the employment situation?

Economic news can be confusing enough under normal circumstances, but nothing produces economic reporting contradictions like a presidential election year.  First, keep in mind that a politician (or their appointee) will always have an agenda. It may be to make things look better than they are (incumbent), or it may be to make things look worse (challenger). The result is emphasis on supporting evidence and dismissal of any which conflicts with the narrative. This is typically the... Read More

June 24,

Great Britain Says Goodbye to the EU (European Union)

In a surprising event last night, Great Britain voted to exit the European Union.  Before the results were announced, the Global Stock market closed up 1-3% in anticipation that Great Britain would vote "No" to leave the union. While in the car, I listened to my Sirius Radio and heard that 80% of pundits were anticipating a "No" vote. Commentators shared with the listening audience just how reliable experts have been in predicting past political outcomes; so much... Read More

June 22,

Don’t Be Surprised by Medicare’s Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA)

This blog will focus on one area of Medicare that often takes affected retirees by surprise: the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). If you have yet to turn 65 and/or have not signed up for Medicare, read my first Medicare blog to get the gist of what you can expect, find out when and how you need to sign up, and to gain access to helpful resources.  If you know the basics of Medicare then you know that Part A is typically free, but you pay monthly premiums for Part... Read More

May 31,

Reduce Your Tax Burden Through The Qualified Charitable Distribution

In year-end legislation, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 made permanent Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from individual retirement accounts (IRA).  A QCD permits direct transfers, on an annual basis, to a qualified charity totaling up to $100,000 of tax-deferred IRA savings.  The donor of a QCD must be 70 1/2 or older. QCDs offer a clear advantage over taking a taxable IRA distribution, rather than contributing those proceeds to a charity.  That’s... Read More

May 08,

1st Quarter Market Summary 2016

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW Before we start, let us preface by saying that the practice of portfolio management has evolved considerably over time. What started off primarily as a product driven industry has shifted to an extremely service oriented trade, with a focus on fiduciary responsibility, not much different to a doctor patient relationship. So to begin, I would like you to compare how we view investing to modern medicine. Prior to modern medicine, treatment was likely to be determined by... Read More

May 05,

529 Plan Information for Grandparents

For grandparents who want to help their grandchildren save for college, but also want to maintain control over the savings to make sure that it gets used for the intended purpose, 529 education savings plans are a good option.  Here’s a summary of how these plans work: Qualified Expenses 529 plans can be withdrawn tax free by beneficiaries for qualified post-secondary education costs (undergraduate and graduate) at eligible educational institutions tuition and fees... Read More