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High Income Earners: Reduce taxes and cut future Medicare costs

Without the right planning, accumulating a large IRA can come along with some unexpected consequences, including higher future taxes and increased Medicare costs for high income earners. Here’s how the situation arises in the first place. Medicare charges premiums to participants in Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits, and Part D, the prescription drug benefit. In 2018, the basic premium for Part B is $134 per month, while it varies for Part D depending on the plan. However, high-income
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Do Mutual Funds Outperform Benchmarks?

Our analysis of US-based mutual funds shows that only a small percentage of funds have outperformed industry benchmarks after costs—and among top-ranked funds based on past results, only a small percentage have repeated their success.  

The ABC’s of Investing

We should expect that education costs will likely be higher in the future than they are today. With school back in session in most of the country, many parents are likely thinking about how best to prepare for their children’s future college expenses. Now is a good time to sharpen one’s pencil for a few important lessons before heading back into the investing classroom to tackle the issue. THE CALCULUS OF PLANNING FOR FUTURE COLLEGE EXPENSES According to recent data
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Beyond Wills and Trusts: 3 Documents Everyone Needs

When it comes to estate planning, you probably think of wills and trusts. But there are three other estate planning documents you should think about to make your plan complete: A Living Will A Healthcare Directive, also called an Advance Directive, Medical or Healthcare Power of Attorney, or Designation of Healthcare Surrogate Financial Power of Attorney Planning for Medical Emergencies with a Living Will and Healthcare Directive Having the right legal documents in place in case of a medical emergency
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Alternative Reality

Diversification has been called the only free lunch in investing. This idea is based on research showing that diversification, through a combination of assets like stocks and bonds, could reduce volatility without reducing expected return or increase expected return without increasing volatility compared to those individual assets alone. Many investors have taken notice, and today, highly diversified portfolios of global stocks and bonds are readily available to investors at a comparatively low cost. A global stock portfolio can hold thousands
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The Hierarchy of Tax-Preferenced Savings Vehicles for High-Income Earners

The Federal government has long incentivized saving for retirement and other financial goals by offering some combination of three types of tax preferences: tax deductibility (on contributions), tax deferral (on growth), and tax-free distributions. As long as the requirements are met, various types of accounts – traditional to Roth IRAs, and annuities to 529 plans to Health Savings Accounts – enjoy at least one tax preference, often two, and sometimes all three. For most households, these tax-preferenced accounts simply help
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The Tao of Wealth Management

The path to success in many areas of life is paved with continual hard work, intense activity, and a day-to-day focus on results. However, for many investors who adopt this approach to managing their wealth, that can be turned upside down. The Chinese philosophy of Taoism has a phrase for this: “wei wu-wei.” In English, this translates as “do without doing.” It means that in some areas of life, such as investing, greater activity does not necessarily translate into better results. In
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MFG Q2 2018 Market Commentary

In a year where stocks should be basking in the light of corporate tax reform, healthy consumer spending, and an expanding global economy, investor returns are not what we would expect to see. For the quarter, U.S. stocks advanced, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 3.4%, while non-U.S. stocks declined. Emerging markets, as measured by MSCI Emerging Markets, declined -8.0%, and non-U.S. developed markets, as measured by MSCI World Ex US, declined -0.8%. Despite robust earnings for U.S. companies during
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4 Charts Every Investor Should Know. #4: Stop Changing Lanes

Average Investors Underperformed: Major Indices 1998 – 2017   Stop Changing Lanes What This Chart Means to You: Don’t try to time getting in and out of the market. It’s like trying to go faster on a crowded freeway by constantly changing lanes, only to discover you are going slower than if you had just stayed in the lane you were in. Over the past 20 years, the S&P 500 returned an annual average of 7.20% but average U.S. stock investors
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4 Charts Every Investor Should Know. #3: Own Great Companies Around the World

Ranking of Stock Market Performance Around the World: Based on Ten-Year Performance in U.S. Dollars Annualized Returns Year Ending December 31, 2017   Own Great Companies Around the World What This Chart Means to You: America may be #1 in our hearts, but there are many other countries with great companies to invest in. The average U.S. investor has a portfolio made up of about 75% U.S. stocks1, which seems patriotic, but can mean missing out on a world of opportunity.
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