Personally Invested In Your Future™

The Retirement Tax Filter

In retirement, most people have much more control over taxes than they did prior to retiring. The reason for that is that there are a number of different buckets in which to pull money from; each with their own type of tax treatment. We’ve developed a tool called the Retirement Tax Filter to help ensure you maximize your lower tax bracket without creeping

Mar 24
Eleven Ways to Help Yourself Stay Sane in a Crazy Market

Keeping your cool can be hard to do when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. It’s useful to have strategies in place that prepare you both financially and psychologically to handle market volatility. Here are 11 ways to help keep yourself from making hasty decisions that could have a long-term impact on your ability to achieve your financial goals.

Mar 17
Coronavirus – Week in Review

Well, there is no sugar coating the past two weeks in world stock markets or the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The big indexes are down 20% from recent February highs. The coronavirus and the economic implications of reduced normal daily activity are very real. Driving to work this morning, the roads were quiet. Families are altering Spring Break plans. Warren Buffett moved his big

Mar 15
Sharply higher open, futures up “limit.”

This morning’s gains come after one of the biggest one-day declines in stock market history yesterday that dragged the S&P 500 Index into bear market territory, ending the longest bull market in history. Traders are taking their cues this morning from improving prospects for a stimulus package out of Washington, expectations of more policy responses from global central banks, and deeply oversold conditions. Asian markets bounced off their

Mar 13
Coronavirus Commentary: Thoughts Regarding the Ongoing Volatility

We’d like to offer you our latest thoughts regarding the ongoing volatility in the markets due to the coronavirus. By the end of February, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 14% from its high point just a couple weeks earlier. The scale and speed of the recent equity losses were stunning. Still, we were not particularly surprised by this, since downturns historically

Mar 04
What is a Cash Balance Plan?

A cash balance plan is a mix between a traditional defined benefit pension plan and a defined contribution plan (such as a 401(k). A cash plan allows workers to have the option of a lifetime annuity. In my most cases, employers will contribute a set portion of a participant’s salary to the plan each year (a “pay credit”; usually equal to between 5%

Mar 03
The Coronavirus & the Markets

Given the recent volatility in the markets, we want to provide you with our most recent thoughts on headlines pertaining to the coronavirus and its effect on the markets. A Brief History In late January, when news of the epidemic initially started to break, the stock market experienced several big drops. However, it bounced back pretty quickly, and on 2/12/2020 the Dow Jones

Feb 26
Handling Market Volatility

Conventional wisdom says that what goes up must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when your money is at stake. Though there’s no foolproof way to handle the ups and downs of the stock market, the following common-sense tips can help. Don’t put your eggs all in one basket Diversifying

Feb 25
A Closer Look At Election Years

2020 is off to a roaring start, picking up right where 2019 left off. Many investors are eyeing the upcoming presidential election as an impending storm for the stock market. In the four-year presidential cycle, pre-election years have tended to be the strongest for stocks, as sitting presidents have taken measures to boost the economy and stock market higher to garner votes. It

Feb 18
Redefining Retirement: Take Our Free Assessment

As a wealth management firm, our objective is to not only help clients reach their goals, but also define those goals as well. For instance, if one of your goals is to retire at age 62, we could not help you actually achieve that goal unless we know what “retirement” means to you. Often that means redefining retirement. The Changing Nature of Retirement

Feb 12
Paying the Bills: Potential Sources of Retirement Income

Planning your retirement income is like putting together a puzzle with many different pieces. One of the first steps in the process is to identify all potential income sources and estimate how much you can expect each one to provide. Social Security According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), nearly 9 of 10 people aged 65 or older receive Social Security benefits. However,

Feb 11
What Mideast Escalation Means for Markets

The U.S. airstrike that killed the top Iranian military commander last week was a major escalation in Mideast tensions. In fact, it would be difficult to overstate the geopolitical significance of this action. Iran likely will retaliate, possibly with attacks on American military personnel overseas. We cannot dismiss the risk that the situation may escalate further into a broader conflict. However, from a

Jan 29
Key Estate Planning Documents You Need

There are five estate planning documents you may need, regardless of your age, health, or wealth: 1. Durable power of attorney 2. Advance medical directives 3. Will 4. Letter of instruction 5. Living trust The last document, a living trust, isn’t always necessary, but it’s included here because it’s a vital component of many estate plans. Durable power of attorney:  A durable power

Jan 28
How Charitable Giving Can Benefit Donors

Kelly and Bob regularly set aside a small portion of their budget for charitable donations. In addition to feeling good about supporting a number of worthy causes, they’ve been able to deduct the value of their charitable gifts from their Federal income tax return. Now, the couple thinks it is time to make a larger charitable contribution. Their intention is to donate some

Jan 23
Top 10 Key Provisions of the SECURE Act

Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act As Enacted on December 20, 2019 · Prepared for LPL by Davis & Harman LLP Top 10 Key Provisions 1. Open Multiple Employer Plans / Pooled Employer Plans – The SECURE Act allows unrelated small employers to band together in “open” 401(k) multiple-employer plans (MEPs; also referred to as pooled employer plans (PEPs)). This

Jan 22
5 Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Business

We know how much time, effort, and dedication it takes to create a successful business.  At the end of the day, you want to know how to maximize the value of your business in order to meet your personal financial goals.  It’s never too early to begin thinking about exit and the ways you can increase how much your business is worth. Here

Jan 15
A New Tool for Business Owners: The Buyout Barometer™

The best financial advice always originates from good questions. Conversely, missed opportunities and poor advice often stems from conversations that never happened because the right questions were never asked. We’ve developed a new tool for business owners called the Buyout Barometer™ that is intended to prompt the types of questions that are crucial to consider, but might otherwise get overlooked. The tool addresses

Jan 09
Employee Spotlight: Meet the Team Member (Danielle Berz)

This is the latest in a continuing series of posts where we feature a member of our team using a Q&A format so you can get to know them a little better – both personally and professionally.  This week we’ll be interviewing Danielle Berz, who joined Brown and Company in April 2013 as a Client Relationship Manager. She began her career in July

Jan 03