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Tax Considerations of Supporting Family Members

| April 3, 2016 | 0 Comments

Last month I wrote about some basic rules to frame a decision of whether and how to lend money to a family member. Here are some additional considerations, with this very important caveat: giving a gift or lending money to a family member can have very important tax and estate planning implications. You should discuss […]

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Six Rules of Lending to Family Members

| March 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Bank of Mom and Dad is a popular institution these days, generally offering favorable terms and frequently more sympathetic treatment in the event of a late payment. That said, there need to be ground rules when you are considering supporting a family member with a loan or gift, and some of these rules can […]

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A Very Rough Start

| February 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

Over the past few weeks, we have received a stark reminder that investing in the stock market involves risk. From March 2009 through 2015, the S&P 500 has gained over 200 percent, with only a couple of significant hiccups along the way. So what has investors so spooked, and what can those of us with […]

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What Social Security Changes Mean For You

| December 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

The federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 came as a mixed blessing for Baby Boomers who are at or near retirement. While the deal passed by Congress in late September avoided an ugly political fight and government shutdown, it also dramatically altered some beneficial Social Security optimization strategies for married couples who are near retirement. […]

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The Promise and Pitfalls of Genetic Testing

| October 31, 2015 | 0 Comments

There seems to be an ever-expanding number of companies looking to help you understand your genes. Some of my family have had their genes tested to try to find out “where they come from” and learned they’re part Sicilian, part Arab and part Viking. You could learn what health risks might lie waiting for you […]

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A Case Study in Evaluating a Mutual Fund

| October 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

Suppose I offered you a mutual fund that promised a six percent annual distribution yield (it pays out six percent per year)? Sounds attractive, right? When we evaluate a mutual fund for our clients, here are some of the factors we consider as we perform our due diligence. Are the costs reasonable? Low expenses are […]

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Layoffs Happen, Even in a Good Economy

| September 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

Within the next few weeks, it seems that Qualcomm is set to lay off about 15 percent of its workforce. This has become fairly commonplace in the American workplace, though it’s been a while since it happened locally on such a scale. Still, Haggen’s team reductions and this news item got me thinking about how […]

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The Debate Over A Fiduciary Standard

| August 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

Back in April of this year, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule that would require investment advisors to retirement plans to follow a Fiduciary Standard. The proposed rule has sparked a fierce debate in the industry, as brokers who do not want to be held to this standard argue that the new […]

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What on Earth is a “Liquid Alternative”?

| July 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

Scarcely a day goes by that I don’t receive a call or at least two emails from somebody trying to sell me a “Liquid Alternative” mutual fund. Thankfully, only one of my clients has come to me saying “I’ve got to have some of these.” So what are these things and why might you want […]

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Should You Buy Earthquake Insurance?

| June 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

Recent events in Nepal got me thinking about a couple of things. The first was how I might be able to help such poor people so far away. The second was what would happen here at home if (when?) we were to be hit by the proverbial “Big One.” Unlike a lot of people, I […]

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