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February Planning Action Items

Review your W2 and 1099s with your Independent CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM. Your 1099s and W2s provide valuable information about your earnings and investing habits. If your salary has increased, have you also increased your savings and investment rates? Apply income/salary to living expenses, and bonuses and stock options proceeds to retirement goals. If your mutual funds made sizable capital gains distributions, would you be better off holding low cost, tax-managed institutional funds in your taxable account(s)? Bump up contribution rates
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10 Major Trends in US Audits

Most taxpayers envision Internal Revenue Service audits as intrusive investigations resulting in criminal sentences. Today, nothing could be farther than the truth: The IRS’s auditing power has been greatly diminished in the past decade. IRS audit resources have been reduced by 28 percent in the last decade and the audit rate has dropped from 0.9 percent in 2010 to 0.5 percent in 2018. In fact, the number of IRS audits in 2018 (991,168) dropped by almost half compared to 2010
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2020 and Beyond – Where’s Your Focus

Welcome to “Projections Season” where every financial personality and even your friends and family will provide an insight into their crystal ball on how the “market” will perform next year. They will back up their projections with strong data and sound reasoning, yet history continues to show us just how futile it is to spend time predicting any future, much less that of how over 20,000 worldwide securities will perform over the short term. As we move into 2020, I
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How Markets Work and the FAANG Mentality

November 2019 The stocks commonly referred to by the FAANG moniker— Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google (now trading as Alphabet)—have posted impressive gains through the years, with all now worth many times their initial-public-offering prices. The notion of FAANG stocks as a powerful group holding sway over the markets has sunk its teeth into some investors. But how much of the market’s recent returns are attributable to FAANG stocks? And does their performance point to a change in the
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A Tale of Two Decades: Lessons for Long‑Term Investors

The first decade of the 21st century, and the second one that’s drawing to a close, have reinforced for investors some timeless market lessons: Returns can vary sharply from one period to another. Holding a broadly diversified portfolio can help smooth out the swings. And focusing on known drivers of higher expected returns can increase the potential for long-term success. Having a sound strategy built on those principles—and sticking to it through good times and bad—can be a rewarding investment
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Do You Have a College Student?

Once a child reaches age 18, he or she is an adult by law.  Parents lose the right to learn about their child’s health, tuition bills and even their grades once their child becomes an adult. It can be rather worrisome if your child is miles away and becomes ill or suffers an accident and is hospitalized.  What if they need assistance with a bank account or filing a tax return? These unnecessary worries can be avoided if your child
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Investing Is Hard — Get Help from a Trusted Advisor

Some things are just too difficult or stressful to do on your own. Like a dietitian or a personal trainer, a financial advisor can help set up the right plan for you, then monitor and motivate you so you end up with the results you want. There are four key benefits to working with an advisor: Competence: Financial advisors provide the critical actions that help drive successful long-term outcomes, including planning, asset allocation, rebalancing and working with other financial professionals. Coaching: An advisor offers education and
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Common Factor Investing Myth

William Sharpe, Jack Treynor, John Lintner and Jan Mossin are typically given most of the credit for introducing the first formal asset pricing model — the capital asset pricing model (CAPM). It was important because it provided the first precise definition of risk and how it drives expected returns. Fama & French Take It Further The CAPM looks at returns through a “one actor” lens, meaning the risk and return of a portfolio is determined only by its exposure to
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Estate Planning Projects to Tackle in the New Year

                As the end of the year approaches and you begin to look back on 2018, what changes need to be reflected in your estate plan? Have you gotten married or divorced in the past year? Perhaps you’ve welcomed a new child or grandchild, or experienced a change in your health. So much can change in a year, and it’s important not to let too much time pass before those changes are reflected
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Talk to Your Advisor

In addition to the usual resolutions, the new year is a great time to talk to your financial advisor, revisit your goals and your long-term plan, and discuss any changes in your life or circumstances. This way, you can make sure that your plan accurately reflects where you are now and where you want to be. A great place to start is the Financial LifeMap below. Your financial advisor — working in close partnership with other experts, such as your
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