FINANCIAL PLANNING

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IN THE NEWS


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You Can Finally Order The Lobster: IRS Issues Guidance On Business Deductions For Meals & Entertainment

Forbes | Kelly Phillips Erb | October 5, 2018

The IRS intends to publish proposed regulations clarifying when business meal expenses are nondeductible entertainment expenses and when they are 50% deductible expenses. Until those regulations are published, however, taxpayers can rely on guidance issued in Notice 2018-76.

That guidance allows taxpayers to continue to deduct 50% of meals so long as the expense is ordinary and necessary to carry on a trade or business. Just as before, the costs can’t be lavish or extravagant under the circumstances (context matters). Further, the taxpayer or an employee of the taxpayer must be present when the food or beverages are served (you can't just offer up a smorgasbord and walk away. But what about food and drinks provided during or at an activity considered to be entertainment? In that case, if food and drinks are purchased or stated separately from the entertainment, the cost of the food and drinks would remain deductible.


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How Birth Year Shapes A Generational Experience In Stock Market Investing

KITCES | Michael Kitces | October 3, 2018

 The reason why the impact of return sequencing is so important when considering the trajectory of savings, investing, and wealth creation, is that the biggest driver of return sequencing is simply the returns of the market itself, which is beyond the control of any individual investor. Certainly “bad” investing behavior and poor market timing can make the results worse, but most of the uncertainty is driven by the volatility and unknown sequence of returns that will be delivered by the market itself. Which means when someone happens to begin saving and investing – merely as a result of when they happen to enter adulthood and become able to start saving and investing – can have a surprisingly large impact on the trajectory of wealth creation.


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How to Calculate the True Monetary Value of Your Time

Entrepreneur | Nathan Resnick | September 26, 2018

First, figure out the amount of time you spend to earn money. That’s not just time spent working... If it’s related to the time you spend earning money, add it on. Clear’s estimate guesses that most full-time employees and entrepreneurs spend around 2,500 hours a year on this.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Don't let these funds undermine your 401(k) savings

CNBC | Lori Konish | August 29, 2018

Two 35-year-olds may not want to invest in the same target-date fund, Pottichen said. If one wants to retire at 60 and the other wants to work as long as possible, that could mean the difference between a 2040 fund for one and a 2060 fund for the other.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Price Of College Increasing Almost 8 Times Faster Than Wages

Forbes | Camilo Maldonado | July 24, 2018

Student loans now make up the largest chunk of U.S. non-housing debt. Yes, more than both credit cards or auto loans... There is a tremendous disconnect between the rising costs of education and the flattening of wages, which is only making it harder for graduates to make ends meet while paying back staggering amounts of student loans.... Maybe it makes sense to work for a couple of years before going to college to save some money and better understand the investment of a university degree before jumping in head first.


Here's What the Average American Spends on These 25 Essentials

The Motley Fool | Selena Maranjian | August 10, 2018

Just in case you were curious to see what the average American spends on various items...


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

When Roths May Not Be Right

Financial Advisor Magazine | Ed Slott | August 1, 2018

Good read on when a Roth conversion may not be a good idea.


  Click here to access a PDF of the article

Click here to access a PDF of the article

Price Of College Increasing Almost 8 Times Faster Than Wages

Forbes | Camilo Maldonado | July 24, 2018

Student loans now make up the largest chunk of U.S. non-housing debt. Yes, more than both credit cards or auto loans... There is a tremendous disconnect between the rising costs of education and the flattening of wages, which is only making it harder for graduates to make ends meet while paying back staggering amounts of student loans.... Maybe it makes sense to work for a couple of years before going to college to save some money and better understand the investment of a university degree before jumping in head first.


  Click here to access a PDF of the article

Click here to access a PDF of the article

One of the biggest — and often costliest — retirement mistakes investors are making today

CNBC | Jeff Brown | July 16, 2018

Vanguard Group reported recently that 51 percent of investors in 401(k) plans with the firm put all their money into a single target-date fund in 2017... This hands-off approach can backfire by failing to account for factors like the investors’ life expectancy, risk tolerance, income changes or loss of a spouse ... Two 30-somethings with three decades to retirement could choose the same Target 2050 fund that would put 90 percent into stock funds and 10 percent into bond funds. On the verge of retirement, the mix would be closer to 50/50. But by then one of the two might have other savings, paid off the home and finished with college expenses. One might have a spouse with a good income, have a traditional pension, maximum Social Security benefit and an inheritance. The other might not be in such good shape. But their different investing needs would not be reflected in their identical TDF holdings.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Why You Need a Retirement Policy Statement

Morningstar | Christine Benz | July 3, 2018

Creating either an investment and/or retirement policy statement is an important first step in articulating your strategy and creating a long-term plan. These can help to keep you on track with your financial goals as it is easy to reference solid documentation, whether it be asset allocation limits or basic guidelines of your retirement outlook. Benz explains that the two types of policy statements can work hand in hand, "In the investment policy statement, you are getting into what's my asset allocation that I'd like to maintain; what are the investment criteria that I'm looking for when I pick investments; how do I decide when it's time to sell...The retirement policy statement...is a little bit more holistic in that it considers not just the investment portfolio but the nonportfolio assets as well."

Here at GCM, creating these policies is an imperative first step in our process. 


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH TO RETIRE?

Morningstar | Christine Benz | June 25, 2018

"But what if you're getting close to retirement? Savings benchmarks can be a useful starting point to gauge retirement readiness for you...and you can refine them further by factoring in your marital status, salary, expected retirement date, anticipated/desired standard of living in retirement, and non-portfolio sources of income."


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

you might want to rethink this 'Dead' Retirement plan if you have a small business 

Forbes | Robert Pagliarini | May 2, 2018

This article is for small business owners who want to pay less income tax and is ideal for those who have few employees, excess profits, and a frustration by the low contribution limits to traditional IRAs or 401(k) plans. If this describes you, you should get familiar with how a defined benefit pension plan might be the perfect solution to cut your taxes and save for retirement. 


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Don't Wait For Social Security's Crisis — It's Here

Investor's Business Daily | Editorials | June 8, 2018

"We are nearing a crucial time where our political leaders have to implement plans to make social security solvent.  Unfortunately unless we see a real pick-up in wages, only other ways are to raise taxes, cut benefits or increase the retirement age.  The situation can no longer be ignored and passed to future legislators."


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Know the Difference Between a Broker and a Registered Investment Adviser

Kiplinger | Pete Woodring | September 22, 2015

A broker, or “Registered Representative” as they are sometimes called, is required only to recommend investments that are “suitable” for their clients. This means that a broker can legally put his or her own interest above yours when recommending financial products for your specific situation. RIAs are ethically and legally responsible for acting in your best interests at all times, thanks to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. They serve as fiduciaries, and one definition of a fiduciary is “a person who occupies a special trust and confidence when working with clients because he/she is legally required to act ethically and with undivided loyalty to the client.”


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Few people know about this key college savings plan

CNBC | Jessica Dickler | May 29, 2018

Not only can you get a tax deduction or credit for contributions (more than 30 states and D.C. offer a direct state tax deduction for your contributions), earnings grow on a tax-advantaged basis and, when you withdraw the money, it is tax-free if the funds are used for qualified education expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and room and board. The new tax law even expanded the use of plans to include private-school tuition from elementary through high school. Families now have the option to use up to $10,000 in annual tax-free 529 plan withdrawals to cover those early expenses.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Open up more than the books with your financial advisor

LA Times | NERDWALLET | May 11, 2018

There's a reason it's called personal finance. Almost everything about your life can influence your financial decisions, so get ready to talk about more than dollars and cents... Be prepared to think through such questions as: What and who is most important to you? What do you want to do with the rest of your life? What keeps you up at night?


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Shopping Around For Your Mortgage Can Save You Big -- Here's How To Do It

Forbes | Aly J. Yale | May 2, 2018

In general consumers search too little, get confused while evaluating complex alternatives and are slow to switch from past choices, even if it costs them.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Knowledge Gap on Social Security May Lead to False Sense of Security

NAPA | Ted Godbout | May 1, 2018

Not surprisingly, those who work with a financial advisor appear to be much better prepared to maximize their benefits. Those working with an advisor report receiving over 20% more in Social Security benefits than those who do not.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

what should you do with your 401(k) plan when you leave your job?

Fox Business | Linda Bell | April 18, 2018

Your new employer’s plan may be limited in investment choices or it may be expensive...Rolling your funds into an individual retirement account (IRA) is the best choice for a lot of employees.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

New York Takes Aim at Active Share Disclosures

NAPA | Ted Godbout | April 9, 2018

The report emphasizes that investors should not assume that a high fee, or expense ratio, for a mutual fund means that the fund will have a high active share. It notes that funds with average expense ratios of 0.55% to 1.75% were found to have a broad range of average active share, ranging from 60% to 100%, suggesting that there may be a limited relationship between fees and active share. The report further contends that many mutual fund firms gave unequal access to information about actively managed funds to institutional and professional investors, while excluding retail investors.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

America’s new great migration in search of lower property taxes

MarketWatch | Andrea Riquier | April 9, 2018

Taxes aren’t the most important determinant of where home buyers will locate, jobs are. But taxes are “the icing on the cake” in areas that are seeing strong population inflows anyway.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

New York State Enters Private Retirement Savings Push

NAPA | Ted Godbout | April 3, 2018

If all goes according to plan, New Yorkers without access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan could begin enrolling in the program in about two years, although the legislation does allow for an additional one-year delay if necessary.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

10 Myths About IRA Contributions

Morningstar | Christine Benz | March 26, 2018

With Roth and traditional IRA contributions come a bewildering array of rules about tax treatment, income limits, and age limits. For many, analysis paralysis is no doubt a part of IRA procrastination.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Fifty-Three Percent of Women Plan to Retire After Age 65

Plan Adviser | Lee Barney | March 5, 2018

A sobering read -- 48% of women fear that they will be unable to meet the basic financial needs of their family in retirement. Only 12% of women are very confident that they will be able to retire with a comfortable lifestyle. 33% percent of women say that Social Security will be their primary source of income in retirement. 21% of women have less than $10,000 in retirement savings.


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Click here to access a PDF of the article

When Adult Children Wreck Parents’ Retirement

Financial Advisor | Greg Sullivan | March 1, 2018

Many parents try to soften the blow for their children. They don’t want to think of their kids sitting in a tiny apartment eating instant Ramen (even though that’s what they did), so they pony up until the kids can get on their feet... Sometimes, parents are wedded to the idea that they are so important in their children’s lives that the kids can’t get along without them. They want to stay relevant. But there are better ways to be relevant in your children’s lives than to encourage them to depend on you.

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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Why The Best ROI On College May Be For Those Who Would Have Been Successful Anyway

Nerd’s Eye View | February 28, 2018

The key point is to acknowledge that the ROI of a college investment varies greatly based on the characteristics of a student – primarily by amplifying the positive results for good students, while mostly amplifying the downside risk for bad students – and many other factors that are often overlooked. College may be a great investment for some, but it is not for all!

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Click here to access a PDF of the article

Why investors can't gauge their own risk tolerance

CNBC | Ted Jenkin | February 21, 2018

The two main emotional drivers in the stock market are greed and fear...Fear is a much stronger emotion than greed...Fear is the real driver that can tell you what your real risk tolerance is because, when the roller coaster hits, its first large drop will really reveal whether or not you are ready for the ride.