A few weeks ago my son was in need of some Cub Scout gear, so I stopped at a local Scout Shop. Our den leader had told me the few specific items that we needed and that everything else was optional. Nonetheless, the Scout Shop employee made a good effort to sell me items that we didn't need. He even pointed out that the amount I was spending was way less than I would spend...
Bruce Primeau, CPA, CFP®, PFS |
Most people want to know how their investments are performing but what really matters is how they are performing on an after-tax basis. This is important because it is what translates into how much you can actually spend from your portfolio. At SWA, we have developed an Asset Location Strategy (ALS) that encourages each client to build a globally diversified portfolio utilizing a passive, tax-efficient investment approach. We do this by advocating that clients build...
Matt Wright, CFA® |
Kanye West recently met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in a highly publicized event. While the general discussion was outside the scope of our role as wealth advocates, one incident during the meeting prompted us to once again remind everyone about the importance of keeping your personal information safe. Mr. West pulled out his iPhone and, on live TV, punched in a password of 000000 to access it. While it's arguably better...
If you have children in or going to post-secondary school for the 2019-2020 school year, now is the time to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly referred to as the FAFSA. The filing period begins October 1 each year of the year prior to attending college. Why complete the form, let alone early? In order to gain access to federal financial aid the student and parents need to complete and submit...
Bruce Primeau, CPA, CFP®, PFS |
Well, Congress took their best shot at tax simplification for 2018 and, by doing so, has changed the way many people will make charitable contributions moving forward. For some, itemizing deductions will no longer be necessary as it will be difficult for them to come up with more deductions that the standard deduction amount affords them. For others that have total itemized deductions close to the standard deduction amount, a new opportunity exists. The opportunity...
Deep down, most of us realize we can't reliably predict future events with much accuracy. But the potential rewards of being right are so tempting that business leaders and investors spend enormous amounts of time and effort trying to get an edge over everyone else, despite the odds. While some people, through luck or skill, will find success doing this, it seems unlikely to us that there is a positive payback in aggregate. Many investment...
Becky Botzet, CFP®, EA |
Selecting the right retirement plan as a self-employed person (or a married couple as business owners) can be confusing and differences between options can sometimes be overlooked. The SEP IRA and Individual 401(k) are the two most common retirement plans chosen by successful self-employed individuals due to their high contribution limits and flexible annual contributions. However, there are key differences that should be considered. The Individual 401(k) and the SEP IRA have comparable maximum limits...
Bruce Primeau, CPA, CFP®, PFS |
I recently read an article entitled, "U.S. Workers Still Lag In Retirement Savings, But Execs See Hope," in Financial Advisor Magazine and I want to share some of the points they provided. According to an Insured Retirement Institute study of 806 people between the ages of 55 and 71: 42% of those surveyed have no retirement savings Of those that have some retirement savings, 38% have less than $100,000 saved Only 38% of those surveyed...
Becky Botzet, CFP®, EA |
According to the U.S. Department of Health, 70% of people 65 and older will need some kind of long-term care eventually. It is also reported that although nearly one-third of today’s 65 year olds may not ever require long-term care or assisted living, one out five (20%) will need it for more than five years. The costs vary depending on the degree of care, see below for the median costs. The average length of a...
Matt Wright, CFA® |
Most global stock markets had been on a rather astonishing run of low volatility since February 2016. Gains from stocks during this period were not unusually high for a bull market, they were just unusually steady and price dips were infrequent, small, and brief. We advised in our year-end commentary just a few weeks back: "Please don't count on a repeat this year." Lo and behold, volatility among stock and bond markets around the world...