In the third quarter of 2019, more than 2,400 small businesses were sold. The median sale price was roughly $278,000, up 3.3% from 2018.1 All Business Valuation models are different. How should you value yours? (more…)
Where were you on March 9, 2009? Do you remember the headwinds hitting Wall Street stocks then? When the closing bell rang at the New York Stock Exchange that Monday afternoon, it marked the end of another down day for stocks. Just hours earlier, the Wall Street Journal had asked: “How Low Can Stocks Go?”1
The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index answered that question by sinking to 676.53, even with mergers and acquisitions making headlines. The index was under 700 for the first time since 1996. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled to a closing low of 6,547.05.2
To quote Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It was the bottom of the bear market – and it was also the best time, in a generation, to buy stocks.2 (more…)
“Audit” is a word that can strike fear into the hearts of taxpayers.
However, the chances of an Internal Revenue Service audit aren’t that high. In 2017, the most recent statistics available, show the I.R.S. audited 0.5% of all individual tax returns.
Being audited does not necessarily imply that the I.R.S. suspects wrongdoing. The I.R.S. says that an audit is just a formal review of a tax return to ensure information is being reported according to current tax law and to verify that the information itself is accurate. (more…)
Trust deeds may seem to be a fairly straightforward form of financial investment. You may have heard of them in passing without being certain exactly what they are. It’s also referred to as a private trust deed.
What are they? At the core, these private trust deeds are sort of like mortgages that are used by real estate investors to borrow money to purchase property or finance buildings. The “sort of” part comes from the fact that these private trust deeds are not exactly like the mortgage a homeowner might take from a bank or other mortgage lender to buy a house. (more…)
As a consumer, when you purchase an expensive item, like a car or refrigerator, you expect to receive a warranty that the manufacturer will repair or replace that product if it breaks down.
A warranty makes sense for big-ticket purchases, but what about for a home? (more…)
Probate subtly reduces the value of many estates. It can take more than a year in some cases, and attorney’s fees, appraiser’s fees, and court costs may eat up as much as 5% of a decedent’s assets. Probating a “routine” estate valued at $400,000 could cost as much as $20,000.
What do those fees pay for? In many instances, routine clerical work. Few estates require more than that. Heirs of small, five-figure estates may be allowed to claim property through affidavit, but this convenience isn’t extended for larger estates.
So, how canyou exempt more of your assets from probate and its costs? Here are some ideas. (more…)
Do you regularly donate to charities and other non-profit organizations? Then you may want to open a donor-advised fund.
Donor-advised funds are becoming popular. It is easy to see why. They offer potential tax perks, and in some instances, a chance to grow money set aside for charitable gifting. (more…)
Do you have to make a multimillion-dollar gift to a charity to receive immediate or future financial benefits? No. If you’re not yet a millionaire or simply a “millionaire next door,” yet want to give, consider the following options, which may bring you immediate or future tax deductions. (more…)
“Why is my portfolio underperforming the market?”
This question may be on your mind. It is a question that investors sometimes ask after stocks shatter records or return exceptionally well in a quarter.
The short answer is that even when Wall Street rallies, international markets and intermediate and long-term bonds may underperform and exert a drag on overall portfolio performance. A little elaboration will help explain things further. (more…)
Does your vision of retirement align with the facts? Here are some noteworthy financial and lifestyle facts about life after 50 that might surprise you.
Some retirees are taken aback when they discover this. In addition to the Internal Revenue Service, 13 states levy taxes on some or all Social Security retirement benefits: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. (It is worth mentioning that the I.R.S. offers free tax advice to people 60 and older through its Tax Counseling for the Elderly program.)
2. Retirees get a slightly larger standard deduction on their federal taxes.
Actually, this is true for all taxpayers aged 65 and older, whether they are retired or not. Right now, the standard deduction for an individual taxpayer in this age bracket is $13,600, compared to $12,000 for those 64 or younger. (more…)
Across the country, people are saving for that “someday” called retirement. Someday, their careers will end. Someday, they may live off their savings or investments, plus Social Security. They know this, but many of them do not know when, or how, it will happen. What is missing is a strategy – and a good strategy … Continue reading “Creating a Retirement Strategy”
Overview As we expected, the Federal Reserve (Fed) raised the fed funds rate by 0.25%, pushing the upper bound to 5.00%. Financial conditions were stable enough for the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to release updated projections, unlike the Fed’s decision back in March 2020 to delay updated projections due to financial instability. Yesterday, the … Continue reading “Market Update: Three Takeaways from the Fed Decision”
You’ve probably heard the saying that “cash is king,” and that truth applies whether you own a business or not. Most discussions of business and personal “financial planning” involve tomorrow’s goals, but those goals may not be realized without attention to cash flow, today. Management of available cash flow is a key in any kind … Continue reading “Cash Flow Management”
You may have seen this statistic before or one resembling it: the average 65-year-old retiring couple can now expect to pay more than $250,000 in healthcare costs during the rest of their lives. In fact, Fidelity now projects this cost at $285,000. The effort to prepare for these potential expenses is changing the big … Continue reading “Healthcare Costs are Cutting into Retirement Preparations”
When you think about your estate, you may think about your personal property, real estate, or investments. You also have other, less-tangible assets – and they deserve your attention as well. We consider these your digital assets. A digital footprint of your life – and you need to consider them within your estate planning.
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