Blog - Financial Planning
Early Signs Suggest Reopening Going Better than Expected
In the past week, we had some mixed news on the coronavirus pandemic. Testing continued to rise, although improvement in slowing the spread rate and case growth seemed to stall. Further, the number of active cases started to grow again, a negative sign. Overall, conditions still remain much better than they have been in recent weeks, but we did not see much (if any) additional progress in controlling the virus. Read more...
Best Practices, Financial Planning
The CARES Act: Impact on Individuals
There are provisions affecting individuals that range from the stimulus checks which are finding their way to bank accounts or mailboxes, penalty-free retirement plan distributions, increased retirement plan loans, enhanced charitable contributions, and education loan relief. Read more...
Best Practices, Financial Planning
Are We Seeing Signs of Progress in the Coronavirus Crisis? A Video from Commonwealth Financial Network®
We would like to offer you the opportunity to hear thoughts from Brad McMillan, managing principal and chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network®, our Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer. In this video, Mr. McMillan provides an update on the coronavirus crisis, including its effects on the economy and markets. Read more...
What does the Coronavirus Mean for Investors?
Despite attempts by Chinese authorities to contain the coronavirus, the numbers make clear that the virus is now spreading around the world. According to the World Health Organization, there are 79,331 confirmed cases, of which 77,262 are in China and 2,069 are outside of China (as of February 24, 2020). Unfortunately, the numbers only seem to be growing, with the Washington Post recently reporting that there were 833 confirmed cases in South Korea and 53 confirmed cases in the U.S. Read more...
Tax Reform May Bring a New Strategy for End of Year Giving
Charitable giving may get a shot in the arm. The new tax reform law has raised the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples and has reduced some itemized deductions. Deductions for state, local, and property taxes have been capped at $10,000, leaving charitable giving as one of the remaining available deductions. In addition, the limit on what people can deduct is increasing from 50% to 60% of adjusted gross income (AGI). Read more...
Market Thoughts in this Volatile December
As we approach year-end, the market continues to drop. Plus, the major U.S. stock market indices are now in or approaching bear market territory (i.e., down 20 percent or more). As such, there is a real concern that this drawdown signals something even worse ahead. Worry levels are rising. And as the worry levels rise, the problem gets even worse. Read more...
Legal & Regulatory Updates, Financial Planning
The Tax Law Has Changed: You Should Review Your Estate Plan
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Estate planning involves both of those certainties. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has changed the tax law as it relates to estate taxes, with lifetime exemptions doubling. While these changes are set to expire in 2025, families could take advantage of the new tax law in the interim. Read more...
Market Volatility & Your Strategy
With the recent market declines, U.S. markets are now in an official correction (a 10% decline as opposed to a bear market, which is a 20% downturn). A drop in the markets can initially seem scary; however, those with an established investment strategy can have a different perspective. At times like these, experts like Warren Buffet advise investors to stick with their strategy and, if cash is available, to take advantage of drops in the market. Read more...
What does the Market Decline mean for you?
Market drops are scary, especially when they come day after day. The decline on Monday, February 5, was particularly bad. In fact, it has been billed as the largest point drop ever for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Looking at that, it’s normal to think that the stock market is in a downward spiral. History shows, however, that this is often not the case. Although declines like we have seen in the past week are not fun, they generally are not reason to panic. Read more...