Tax Law Changes in 2018: What You Need to Know


In late 2017 congress finalized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) which was effective beginning in January 2018.   There were a number of changes to both corporate and personal income tax rules.  A number of these tax laws have a sunset provision that is due to expire beginning 2026.  Let’s take a look at…

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How to understand high yield/junk bonds


The high yield fixed income market, also known as “junk bonds” is often one of the most misunderstood asset classes by many investors.   In recent years with interest rates at historically low levels, many investors have attempted to look at different investments to enhance the cash flow generated from their portfolio.   One such area has…

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Should you worry about market volatility?


How often have we heard that markets are volatile, and you simply need to stay invested rather than panic? To the average investor, the answer is likely countless times. So how reliable are such cliché like statements about investing? The answer is; extremely reliable, so long as you don’t attempt to out think financial markets….

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Back Door Conversions: A Tax-Free Growth Opportunity


Many investors find the thought of using the ROTH IRA for tax-free growth as a very attractive option, but ultimately never participate. This is typically due to their income, which can phase out an investor from making a contribution to a ROTH IRA if it exceeds certain thresholds. However, investors are offered the opportunity to…

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Rising Interest Rates and the Bond Market: What is the Risk?


As many investors have started to take note, interest rates have begun to rise.   The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) has signaled at least three interest rate hikes for the calendar year 2018.    As the additional concerns of rising inflation begins to mount in the eyes of many forecasters, it is entirely possible that…

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When Should You Collect Social Security Benefits?


Among the most consistent questions my colleagues and I have received as financial planners from investors relates to the timing of when they should take their Social Security (SS) benefits.  Social Security is a relatively complex system with many rules that pertain to various circumstances.  Let me first emphasize that there are no absolute answers,…

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How To Handle Your Pension Options


Over the years, one common choice individuals are faced with is how to receive their pension benefit when it is offered to them at retirement. There are more numerous options routinely available, such as a single life payment, joint life payment or even more common in recent years, the lump sum option. Let’s first start…

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Tax Loss Harvesting – How To Limit Your Tax Liability


There are few things people dislike more than having to pay taxes. Investors are no different in that regard, and perhaps even more so as it pertains to capital gains taxes. When an individual goes to work, they know at the end of their work day that they will typically be paid based on specific…

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How To Understand The Gift Tax


One of the more confusing taxes to grasp for the average American is the gift tax. Despite what many people think, although you can give an unlimited amount of assets to a charitable organization, you are effectively limited to that which you can gift to your own family and friends. A gift in the eyes…

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How To Understand Municipal Securities


The bond market is the largest public securities market in the world, and substantially larger than the stock market. When investors allocate assets in their investment portfolios, oftentimes those in higher tax brackets will opt to utilize municipal securities for the added tax benefits.   What are municipal bonds? A muni bond, like any other…

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