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IRS Announces 2018 Inflation Adjustments

By Blog
Last week, the IRS announced its 2018 annual inflation adjustments. Below are the highlights for items that changed: Standard deductions: For married filing jointly, increases to $13,000 (up from $12,700 in 2017). For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, increases to $6,500 (up from $6,350 in 2017) For heads of households, rises to $9,550 (up from $9,350 for 2017). Personal exemption increases by $100 to $4,150. The exemption is subject to a phase-out that begins with adjusted gross incomes of $266,700 ($320,000 for married couples filing jointly). It phases out completely at $389,200 ($442,500 for married couples filing jointly.)…
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kiddie tax

What is the Kiddie Tax?

By Blog
As an advisor who works with clients in their 30s and 40s, I spend much of my time talking about children. Besides discussing how much fun kids are or how little their parents are sleeping, a majority of these conversations focus on the best way to save for children, now and for the future. We often discuss the pros and cons of 529 Savings Plans, custodial (UGMA/UTMA) accounts, and creating and funding separate trusts, as well as target annual savings rates for specific expenses (e.g. college, camp, etc.). One topic that is often overlooked, however, is the tax rules impacting…
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investment goals

Reaching Your Long-Term Investment Goals: Get Started with a Roadmap

By Blog, Guides & Whitepapers
You are interested in a Long-Term Investment Strategy but not sure where to start. Good! This is for you. Throughout the journey of our professional careers, we will encounter many major decisions, some of which we are more prepared for than others. Depending on your background and interests, you may understand that you need a plan for long-term investment goals, but do not know where to start. If so, know that you’re not alone. To build confidence in your plan, it is important to understand that building wealth through a long-term investment strategy is a journey with many options, detours,…
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financial goals

Get “SMART” with Your Personal Financial Goals

By Blog
So, you’ve finally graduated college and entered “the real world.” Maybe you have secured your first job, or are in a new city, and are feeling truly independent. Now that you have a professional income, you may think that you can spend money on whatever your heart desires. But have you taken a step back from all this newfound excitement to assess the state of your personal finances? For many young people, the answer is no. To take the next steps towards establishing a secure financial footing for yourself, first understand that personal finances are not to be left to…
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turning 18

The Impact of Turning 18

By Blog
Like many parents, the Labor Day holiday (or the U.S. Open, if you are a tennis fan) represents the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. If your child or children are younger, it is mostly about school supplies and making sure last fall’s clothes still fit. However, if they are of college age, there is more to consider. You may not consider your 18-year-old child an adult, but in the eyes of the law, it is a different story. Your child can now vote, serve on a jury (why should we have all the fun?), sign…
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Credit reports and credit scores

Equifax Data Breach – Suggested Next Steps

By Blog
There is much we still don’t know about the massive data breach that occurred at Equifax, one of the three credit reporting bureaus. As of now, it appears that over half of the adult population of the United States – about 143 million people – had their personal identification information stolen. This data could include social security numbers, names, addresses and dates of birth. In other words, all that a fraudster would need to impersonate you and open new accounts, credit cards, etc. Other information like credit card numbers and drivers licenses also seems to have been stolen from a…
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investments note

Monthly Economic Perspective: Did That Really Happen?

By Blog
It was November 2008 when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke announced the first stage of Quantitative Easing (QE) to combat the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), setting up an avalanche of central bank support to stabilize global capital markets. As the unwinding process begins domestically (and soon, abroad) we thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the oddest manifestations of all this central bank intervention. United States: Everyone knows about QE, but one often forgotten piece is how excess interest gets remitted to the Treasury. As rates fall, it takes less money to roll into new issues, resulting in pretty…
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end life planning

Pearls of Wisdom: A Retrospective on 30 Years of Professional Investing

By Blog
On July 1, 1987, I started work as an investment advisor. Frankly, I wasn’t too happy about it, having planned on taking the summer off after graduating from business school. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 2,418.53, and the S&P 500 was at 302.94. The 30-year Treasury rate was about 8.75%. Those numbers are not typos, if Google is telling me the truth. Of course, we didn’t even have PC’s on our desks, and Google was a noise you made when trying to entertain a baby. In fact, Larry Page and Sergei Brin were both just 14 years old.…
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Saving & Investing When You’re Just Starting Out

By Blog
Congratulations! After all the classes, exams, late nights, early mornings, interviews (so many interviews) you actually get to start the career you’ve spent the majority of your life working towards. In addition to the million things you need to keep track of at your first “real” job, you also need to start thinking about putting your financial house in order. You might be thinking: That sounds good, I want to do that – I like the idea of order in my finances. But, what does that really even mean? There are so many terms: Roth, W-4, 1099, dollar cost averaging,…
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tax law changes

Tax Reform Proposals at a Glance

By Blog
The White House unveiled its highly anticipated tax plan yesterday. As expected, the plan proposes steep tax cuts across the board. Most of the items discussed are in line with Trump’s initial plan, and with the Blueprint proposed by Ways and Means Republicans last summer. Although the final law will look different than these initial proposals, some sort of tax reduction is almost certain given Republican control over Congress. It remains to be seen how steep the cuts will go and for how long they will last. While Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin vows that the plan will be financed by…
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