Articles on various Wealth Management topics, including Financial Planning, Estate Planning, Tax Planning, and more.
The Market and Investing
Make Sure Your Financial Advisor is Qualified
Here are just a few of the professional designations you should be aware of when choosing a financial advisor, and the level of commitment it takes to earn them.
Second Opinions Are Good For Your Financial Health
If your doctor said you need open heart surgery, you would probably get a second opinion before you went under the knife. Experts say you should adopt the same proactive attitude about your financial health.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (“ATRA”)(Pub.L. 112-240, H.R. 8, 126 Stat. 2313) was passed by the United States Congress on January 1, 2013, and was signed into law by President Barack Obama the next day, effective as of January 1, 2013.
Are You Prepared Financially For The New Year?
We all know December 31 is the deadline for lawmakers to reach a deal on averting the “fiscal cliff” and the specter of paying higher taxes in 2013. The end of the year also presents all of us with a valuable opportunity to re-examine our finances to take the best advantage of current tax laws and prepare for the future.
Consider The Risks Before You Invest In Bonds
By definition, all investments present a balance between risk taken and the potential return. The risk is the chance you might lose some or all of the money you invest. The return is the money you can potentially make from the investment.
Making sure your portfolio is ready to provide you with a comfortable retirement. If you are approaching retirement age, you are not alone.
2013 Estate Tax Law Changes: What You Need to Know
It is no secret that changes in federal estate tax law are imminent at the beginning of 2013 when the Bush-era tax cuts expire. Some of the most important changes set to occur, unless Congress decides otherwise, may specifically impact estate planning.
No Easy Answer as Fiscal Cliff Looms
Tax increases and automatic spending cuts that take effect in 2013 will increase government revenue and significantly cut the budget deficit. However, that comes at the cost of economic conditions “that will probably be considered a recession.”
A Financial Advisor’s Credentials and Your Portfolio
When you are exercising due diligence in choosing someone to handle your finances, you will encounter a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms. With more than 100 credentials and professional designations out there, it can be easy to become confused about which ones are important and can have a positive impact on your portfolio.
Is The “Four Percent Rule” For Retirement Still Viable?
This October marks 18 years since a noted certified financial planner, William Bengen, published an article advocating what has become known as “The Four Percent Drawdown Rule.”
Are Social Security and Medicare on Solid Financial Footing?
It is another election year, and that means that Social Security and Medicare are being debated yet again. Combined, they are our two largest government programs, accounting for 36% of federal expenditures in Fiscal Year 2011.
Europe and the Summer of Uncertainty
It's no secret that what's happening in Europe is driving financial markets worldwide. Even if you have a sound asset allocation strategy and a well-diversified portfolio, it's hard to ignore the fact that this summer seems to have the potential for turbulence.
Update on the European Debt Crisis
The world continues to keep a close eye on Europe, and with good reason. The debt crisis there – and how it is or is not being handled – continues to affect world markets and, ultimately, your portfolio, regardless of the quality of your holdings or how well diversified they are.
Growth with ETFs
Is there a way to capture the developing world’s rapid growth while avoiding downsides along the way? We have recently seen the emergence of several exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which track stock indexes made up of dividend payers in emerging markets.
What Is Ahead for Personal Finance?
As the U.S. population gets older and the demand for money-management services increases around the globe, information technology – IT – will be forced to keep pace. Investors need to look for ways for use technology to help leverage risks in investing and retirement planning.
401 (k) Rollover 101
In today’s tough current economic climate, many of us are losing or changing jobs. If this happens to you, you may be wondering what to do with the money in your 401(k) account.
Building a Solid, Well Diversified Portfolio
When it comes to optimizing your portfolio, the theory of taking a balanced approach is also a good one to take. A balanced collection of funds will usually help you meet your financial goals better than investing in the latest, trendy fund.
Holding Equities for the Long Term: Time Versus Timing
Legendary investor Warren Buffett is famous for his long-term perspective. He has said that he likes to make investments he would be comfortable holding even if the market shut down for 10 years.
Things to Watch Out For As the Economy Improves
Despite the naysayers, the economy is improving, as debt is down, confidence is up and the employment picture gets (albeit, slightly) better.
Investing for Retirement
When they enter the workforce, most young people are consumed with their day-to-day lives and are not thinking about issues with long-term consequences, such as retirement planning. This is unfortunate, because waiting until you are a few years away from retirement is too late to begin planning.
Best Way to Donate Money
Effective estate planning involves more than deciding how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. You must also determine how much you want to give to others while you are still alive.
Growth vs Value: What's the Difference?
With the wide variety of stocks in the market, figuring out which ones you want to invest in can be a daunting task.
How to Prepare for Rising Tax Rates in 2013
Investors who have done well financially will most likely be looking at double- and even triple-digit increases in their tax rates beginning in 2013.
Ways to Strengthen Your Retirement Plan for 2012
Even the most carefully-structured retirement plan needs a periodic review, to make sure you are still on track toward meeting your retirement goals. Here are some ways you can maintain and strengthen your retirement portfolio.
Investment Strategies for 2012
The financial experts at WealthTrust-Arizona have developed seven suggested recommendations for dealing with your investments in 2012.
Long Term Investing
As the world’s financial markets continue to be mired in uncertainty, investors are looking for new ways to protect their portfolios from future market fluctuations..
Choosing a Financial Planner
When it comes to choosing a financial planner, choose wisely. Read our article on tips to selecting the correct financial planning expert for you.
Advantages of Dividends in Your Portfolio
What are the advantages of having dividends in your portfolio? WealthTrust-Arizona examines how dividends directly impact your financial portfolio.
Why Europe Matters to Your Portfolio
How can financial problems in Europe create such chaos in so many different markets? WealthTrust-Arizona examines how certain activities in Europe could directly impact your financial portfolio.
Putting Market Volatility in Perspective: Market Cycles
When markets are volatile, sticking to a long term investing strategy can be a challenge. The following video evaluates past market cycles and how to keep the ups and downs in perspectives.
The Budget Control Act of 2011
On August 2, 2011, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 (S. 365 Public Law 112-25) enabling the U.S. Treasury to avoid defaulting on existing obligations. The following article outlines some of the key provisions.
Beyond Traditional Asset Classes: Exploring Alternatives
Stocks, bonds, and cash are fundamental components of an investment portfolio. However, many other investments can be used to try to spice up returns or reduce overall portfolio risk. So-called alternative assets have become popular in recent years as a way to provide greater diversification.
Bonds, Interest Rates, and the Impact of Inflation
If you're considering investing in bonds, either directly or through a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund, it's important to understand how bonds behave and what can affect your investment in them.
Concentrated Stock Positions: Considerations and Strategies
Whether you inherited a large holding, exercised options to buy your company's stock, sold a private business, hold restricted stock, or have benefitted from repeated stock splits over the years, having a large position in a single stock carries unique challenges.
Deflation or Inflation? Be Prepared Either Way
Is inflation – a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money – headed our way? Or is it more likely we will be facing the opposite – deflation – and its decline in general price levels, often caused by a reduction in the supply of money or credit?
Exchange-Traded Funds: Do They Belong in Your Portfolio?
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have become increasingly popular since they were introduced in the United States in the mid-1990s.
What is Quantitative Easing, and How Could Its Ending Affect You and Your Portfolio?
Quantitative easing is the electronic equivalent of firing up the Fed’s printing presses to create money for buying financial assets in the market, which in this case are long-term U.S. Treasury bonds. The Fed had pledged to buy $600 billion worth of treasury bonds, in an effort to keep interest rates low and help spur economic growth and lending.
Family Limited Partnership (FLP) or Limited Liability Company (FLLC)
If you own and operate a family business, a family limited partnership (FLP) or family limited liability company (FLLC) could become a vital component of your estate plan. A properly formed and maintained FLP or FLLC can facilitate the transfer of your business to the next generation, protect assets from potential creditors, and minimize income, gift, and estate taxes.
Whether you're seeking to manage your own assets, control how your assets are distributed after your death, or plan for incapacity, trusts can help you accomplish your estate planning goals.
The Investment Tax Landscape: Countdown to 2013
In December 2010, Congress extended the so-called Bush-era tax cuts by passing the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. However, for investors, the legislation may represent not a pardon but a stay of execution.
Financial Planning--Helping You See the Big Picture
In today's tough economic times, planning for your financial future has never been more important. Creating a thorough financial plan can help you reach your goals by evaluating your whole financial picture, then outlining strategies that are tailored to your individual needs and available resources. The following article explains how the financial planning process is conducted and what to expect along the way.
What Is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional?
While others may call themselves financial planners, only those who demonstrate the requisite experience, education, and ethical standards are awarded the CFP® mark.