AdviceIQ Articles

  • Advisors: Trust but Verify

    You can never be too careful with the major matters of life – especially your financial future. Take a lesson in caution from a former U.S. president and the heavily armed guards at the gates of a military facility. Trust but verify your financial advisor’s bona fides.

    I have the honor to provide financial counseling to service members, going to military installations to talk to soldiers and their families regarding financial issues such as buying a home, saving for retirement, reducing debt or creating a budget.

  • Inflation Is Our Friend: Huh?

    Since when was increasing the inflation rate a goal? Not long ago, inflation was an enemy. Rising prices erode your purchasing power. Now, policymakers greet it as salvation. They think it is an antidote to slow growth. It really isn’t.

    Curing what ails the European economy will take more than higher prices. But Wall Street reacted to the European Central Bank’s inflation-boosting efforts by setting new records.

  • When to Call a Professional

    Can you handle your investments on your own? Some can. Many can’t. That’s not to say that you don’t have the brains for it. You may simply lack the time to master the investing world. That’s when you should consult a professional financial advisor.

  • Capital Gains: More Complex

    How you deal with the new capital gains rates hinges on your tax bracket. Strategies to deal with capital gains differ for each level – part of their new complexity starting last year.

    When you sell certain assets, such as stocks and bonds, you may incur capital gains. A capital asset also includes most property you own and use for personal or investment purposes. If the original purchase price of the asset plus associated expenses (the cost basis) is less than the proceeds you receive from the sale, you incur a capital gain.

  • VA Mess Shows Deeper Woes

    The problems plaguing the Veterans Administration underscore an unpleasant truth about aging: Ever-increasing costs and red tape endanger quality health care for older Americans, whether they are veterans or not. Their best defense is to build up enough personal capital to pay for better care on their own.

  • Asset Caregiver Guides (Pt. 1)

    We almost all seem to know someone who helps older family members with financial affairs. If legally appointed to help someone with their money, find out all you can about the potentially confusing role.

    To help fledgling financial caregivers, the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) publishes four guides for “Managing Someone Else’s Money.” Each guide addresses a specific role:

  • Under-Used College Savings

    Some good news on the college cost front: More parents with college-bound kids are saving for education, some 51%, a recovery from the recession. Trouble is, most of those parents aren’t putting away money the best way. A terrific savings vehicle, called a 529 plan, exists for that purpose, but people don’t use it nearly enough.

  • Countering Bonds’ Rate Drop

    If your portfolio depends heavily on bonds, you may be on an investing path to financial shortfall in retirement. Here’s what you can do about that.

    Bond returns over the next 30 years will probably come in substantially less than such returns over the past 30 years. Given changes in the direction of interest rates and current yields at historical lows, bonds face a strong headwind to generate much return – even in a nominal, non-inflation-adjusted sense. Bonds may actually show net negative returns, depending on interest rates and inflation.

  • Mechanics of 401(k)s (Pt. 1)

    Many folks have a retirement plan, such as a 401(k), available from their employers. It is a relatively straightforward savings vehicle, but can still be very confusing if you don’t know what exactly is under the hood.

    When you sign up for your company’s retirement plan, there are a few things you need to decide. Examine the mechanism carefully, because your livelihood in retirement depends on these decisions you make now.

    Here are some questions you may encounter when you start a 401(k) plan:

  • Biz Owners’ Money Planning

    Your life as a business owner is a long and crowded road. Developing customer relationships, managing employee issues and paying bills consume a lot of your time.

    Unfortunately, if you’re like most business owners you often neglect your personal financial goals.

    Owners like you commonly put off planning for their own financial future. This delay can cost you dearly, just as an undeveloped business plan may harm business growth. Lack of time often causes you to fall prey to two outcomes:

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