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A couple reviewing their revocable trust with their Wealthspire Financial Planner.

Revocable Trusts vs. Irrevocable Trusts: What Is the Difference?

By Blog
A trust is an ideal way for individuals to transfer assets either during life or after their passing. At a basic level, a trust is a separate legal entity created to hold certain assets. Once these assets are placed in the trust, they are managed by the trustee. The trust document instructs the trustee on how to manage the trust assets and distribute them to beneficiaries. Individuals and families often use trusts for estate planning purposes, such as to avoid probate, minimize estate taxes, and seamlessly transfer intergenerational wealth.  Let’s take a look at revocable and irrevocable trusts and the…
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401(k)

Financial Dictionary
What is a 401(k) Retirement Plan? A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that allows employees to defer a portion of their wages to individual accounts. Generally, contributions to the plan are made on a pre-tax basis. However, some employer-sponsored plans allow for after-tax, or Roth 401(K) deferrals. Employers may also match their employees’ 401(K) deferrals up to a certain amount. Annual contributions are typically limited up to a maximum amount allowed by the IRS. What Should I Do With My Old 401(k)? When deciding what to do with an old 401(k), there are typically four options, each with pros…
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Volatility

Financial Dictionary
Volatility Definition Volatility is the amount and frequency with which an investment fluctuates in value. A volatile market gives traders opportunities to make money quickly, but also leaves room to lose money quickly as well. Planning Strategies for a Volatile Market Market volatility can bring about fear and loss for investors, but it can also provide some unique planning opportunities. One potential action to consider in volatile times might be capital tax-loss harvesting, a technique that enables investors to sell securities that have lost value in order to offset realized capital gains and maintain their desired exposures. Another strategy to…
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Power of Attorney

Financial Dictionary
What is Power of Attorney POAs are legal documents that allow you to name an “agent” (also sometimes referred to as an “Attorney-in-fact”) to act on your behalf for financial or health care decisions and are key components of any estate plan. This agent is expected to place the principal’s interests ahead of his or her own, which is why it is important to pick a trustworthy agent. Different Types of POA There are many different types of Powers of Attorney (POAs), including a Financial POA, a Healthcare POA, Non-Durable vs. Durable POAs, General vs. Special POAs, and Springing POAs. …
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Diversification

Financial Dictionary
Diversification Definition Diversification is the process of owning different investments that tend to perform well at different times in order to reduce the effects of volatility in a portfolio, and also increase the potential for increasing returns. What is an Example of Diversification Strategy? A simplified example of a diversification strategy is a street vendor who sells both umbrellas and sunglasses, with the addition of some tourist trinkets. Having a mix of products like this ensures that he or she can earn money on both sunny and rainy days and is also selling some products that can generate income regardless…
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Margin Lending

Financial Dictionary
Margin Lending Definition Margin lending is the practice of borrowing money from a brokerage account while leveraging investment assets as collateral for the loan. Is Margin Lending a Good Idea? Margin borrowing is neither “good” nor “bad”, but rather a strategy that is better suited for some investors over others. Ideal candidates are those who have more substantial assets to use as collateral and those who wish to solve liquidity issues.  There are several potential uses for margin lending, including as a “bridge loan” (a short-term loan used to cover cash flow needs), as a loan to pay down another…
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Required Minimum Distribution

Financial Dictionary
What is RMD Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are withdrawals that the IRS requires you to take from tax-deferred accounts (such as IRAs) each year. These withdrawals can be done in a lump sum, or can be taken out gradually over the year, but the RMD must be reached by December 31st of that year. You must begin taking RMDs by April 1st of the year following your 72nd birthday and then annually thereafter. The RMDs are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. See more about RMDs on the IRS website. How Do I Calculate my Required Minimum Distribution? You can calculate your…
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Trust

Financial Dictionary
What is a Trust? A trust is a legal relationship where the owner, or trustor, gives another party, the trustee, the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary. A trust is traditionally used for minimizing estate taxes and offers other benefits as a part of an estate plan. What is the Purpose of a Trust? While most typically associated with estate planning, trusts are created more broadly for the purpose of achieving certain goals in the transfer of assets. Many common goals in creating a trust include the reduction of…
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Impact Investing

Financial Dictionary
What is Impact Investing? Impact investing is the process of aligning various preferred values with the generation of financial returns. There are a number of ways investors choose to approach impact investing, all largely dependent on what values investors choose to align with. While the most commonly understood use of impact investing is an emphasis on support for environmentally-friendly investments, other themes include: Negative investment screens to avoid companies conflicting with an investor’s personal values, such as companies that use harmful labor practices Incorporation of shareholder engagement that allows investors more of a say in how companies are run Integration…
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Equities

Financial Dictionary
What are Equities? Equities are shares issued by a company which represent ownership in the company. Ownership of property, usually in the form of common stocks, as distinguished from fixed-income securities such as bonds or mortgages. Stock funds may vary depending on the fund’s investment objective. Equities vs. Stocks While often used interchangeably, the terms “equities” and “stocks” actually refer to slightly different things. Essentially, a “stock” is one of the most common types of equity, with “equity” referring to the general concept of ownership. What are Examples of Equities? Some of the most common forms of equity include: Common…
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