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Portfolio

How to Increase Your Returns with Tax-Savvy Investing

Published October 28, 2016

After market-risk and inflation-risk, which investors take great strides to mitigate through sound investment practices, taxation-risk presents the biggest obstacle to building wealth. A sound investment strategy not only seeks to generate returns on your capital, it also seeks to preserve as much of your capital as possible to keep it working for you. One of the surest ways to preserve your capital is to reduce the amount of taxes you pay on investment income and gains. By incorporating tax-saving strategies into your investment plan, you can minimize the impact that taxes have on your capital-at-work.

With your asset allocation it’s all about location

One of the first rules of wealth accumulation is to sock away as much of your income as possible into a tax-qualified retirement plan, such as a 401k, 403b, or an IRA. This gives you an immediate and long-term tax advantage. However, in terms of an overall asset allocation strategy, the placement of various types of investments among your tax-qualified plans and your non-qualified investment accounts is nearly as important as the selection of investments for meeting your particular investment objectives. At its simplest, you should place your tax efficient investment in your non-qualified investment accounts, and your non-tax efficient investments in your qualified accounts.

A Prescription for Reducing the Pain

Published August 19, 2016

There’s no question that we experience emotional pain and anxiety when our portfolios are losing money due to market downturns.  Behavioral scientists tell us that we feel losses twice as intensely as positive returns.

But that doesn’t tell us what we really want to know, which is: other than selling at the wrong time and locking in losses, how do we make these downturns less painful?

Will You Outlive Your Income? How to Improve the Odds You Won’t.

Published August 12, 2016

While our extended longevity should be greeted with gratitude for the possibility of enjoying a longer life with our friends and families, many retirees are approaching it with trepidation, wondering if their hard earned assets will be sufficient to fulfill their vision of a good life for the rest of their life – however long it should last. At the critical point when assets are to be converted to income and a spend-down plan is launched, retirees need the assurance that they won’t outlive their income, which, to some is their greatest fear.  

Old Rules of Thumb Have Become Dangerous Assumptions

Unfortunately, the traditional and outdated retirement planning models espoused by the media and the general financial services population only serve to generate more angst among retirees. Not only do many of them still adhere to the old “allocate for your age” asset allocation strategy, they continue to base their spend-down plans on the traditional life expectancy model that requires us to die on time in order for the plan to work. In today’s near-zero-interest rate environment and in the face of life spans that can expand to age 100, these planning assumptions dangerously defy current realities.

Asset Allocation = Risk Allocation

Published September 2, 2014

While the current stock market boom has some people rejoicing it doesn’t appear as though their level of anxiety has abated much. Investors sometimes have short memories, but a stock market rally is not likely to make people forget the carnage left behind in their 401(k)s and stock portfolios after one of the worst market declines in our history. Perhaps at no other time in our recent history have investors been so acutely aware of the risk of investing.

The Importance of an Investment Philosophy

Published July 22, 2014

If you listen to any of the world’s leading investors they will tell you that nothing is more important to long-term investment success than a clear investment philosophy. More important than a sound investment strategy? Yes, they will tell you, because strategy, while important, is nothing more than a manifestation of an investment philosophy. Strategy can evolve as circumstances might warrant; however, an investment philosophy is based on the intractable belief you have in the principles and practices that guide your decision-making. In times of market upheaval and through the dark of uncertainty, your investment philosophy enables you to control your emotions, shut out the noise and focus on the things that really matter over the long term.

Understanding Your True Risk Tolerance is Vital to Portfolio Performance

As anyone would have expected, the extraordinary convergence of extreme stock market volatility, low interest rates, declining home values, diminished retirement savings accounts, and chronic economic sluggishness has taken a severe toll on the American psyche. For many investors, it may have forever altered the way in which risk is perceived and managed.

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