It’s tax time--don’t lose sight of your financial planning goals. It’s not too late to make your IRA contribution for 2014. You can make 2014 IRA contributions until April 15, 2015. Be sure you are taking full advantage of the opportunity to save for retirement.
You may have heard about low interest rates in the newspaper, online or on the TV, but what do low interest rates really mean for the general public? Interest rates are based primarily upon the supply and demand for money. With the hope of stimulating the economy since the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve has flooded the marketplace with money via its Quantitative Easing program (dubbed “QE”), but the demand for money has simply not kept pace. Consumers and businesses have opted to save more and/or deleverage their balance sheets. What are some of the positives and negatives of low interest rates?
“Everything is Awesome!!!” is the theme song of the Lego Movie. It is a good theme song title for U.S. equity investors in 2014. The fourth quarter concluded with the S&P 500 returning 13.7% for the year (4.9% in the fourth quarter alone). This is even more impressive considering a violent downdraft after Thanksgiving. Almost all major market indexes are at record all-time highs. Small Cap U.S. stocks, while still slightly trailing large cap for the year, returned an impressive 9.4% in the fourth quarter. Since bottoming in March of 2009, the S&P 500 has posted a 246% total return.
Do you know how many buzzwords there are? Just the word “Buzzword” brings up over 6 million results on the Internet. There is even a Buzzword of the Day. Dictionary.com defines Buzzword as a word or phrase, often sounding authoritative or technical, that is a vogue term in a particular profession, field of study, popular culture, etc.
Financial planning has become such a buzzword resulting in over 22 million Internet search results. The term, “Financial Planning” appears quite often in all types of media. But, what is it?
Topics: Financial Planning
Last night, the Senate passed a one year extension on a number of tax items. One of them is an extension to individuals 70 1/2 years of age the ability to donate to a charity directly from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), without triggering taxes on such a donation as a withdrawal from the IRA. This exemption retroactively covers any such gifting done earlier in 2014.
But don't delay! This charitable transfer expires January 1, 2015. The President has indicated that he will sign the bill before leaving on his family vacation.
If you wish to proceed with such a gift, please let us know as soon as possible considering many custodians are already processing year end paperwork on a best efforts basis. Frustratingly, we will likely need to wait until next year to see if this is again renewed for 2015 giving.
Read full article here
Investing money successfully isn’t easy; if it were, then everybody would be rich! Moreover, there is no Holy Grail, or magic, risk-free formula that insures success and worry-free sleep. In short, investing involves some risk-taking, and despite what you may have been led to believe, there is no way to get around it—you can mitigate risk, but you can’t eliminate it.
The Federal Reserve has now held short-term interest rates at close to zero for over six full years. Six years – that is 2,190 days, and counting! It is no wonder that finding a reasonably safe way to earn a return on cash has become one of the biggest questions on investors’ minds.
In fact, some of the most frequent questions I field these days are about this topic:
- What should I do with my cash?
- Do you think interest rates are going to go up soon?
- Why hold any cash at all in my portfolio?
If you have children or grandchildren and have the soaring costs of college education on your mind, you might want to consider a 529 plan as part of an overall long-term savings strategy.
From clients looking at home repair and remodeling projects, from a new roof or windows to a new kitchen, I'm frequently asked which is the best way to withdraw money to pay for these “upgrades.” Should you use your investment account or retirement account, such as an IRA?
The latest salvo on the death of “traditional” investment advisors has been sent from those promoting the “robo-advisors” method of dispensing advice. The concept of automated wealth management is that the enlightened, new-Millennial are distinctive investors and they don’t have the time to talk with an advisor who can’t beat market performance anyway.