Investments and Planning

This category contains 51 posts

Understanding Medicare

Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance to retired individuals, regardless of their medical condition, and certain younger people with disabilities or end-stage renal disease. Here are some basic facts about Medicare that you should know.   What does Medicare cover?   Medicare coverage consists of two main parts: Medicare Part A (hospital … Continue reading

Business Succession Planning

When developing a succession plan for your business, you must make many decisions. Should you sell your business or give it away? Should you structure your plan to go into effect during your lifetime or at your death? Should you transfer your ownership interest to family members, co-owners, employees, or an outside party? The key … Continue reading

Understanding Risk

Few terms in personal finance are as important, or used as frequently, as “risk.” Nevertheless, few terms are as imprecisely defined. Generally, when financial advisors or the media talk about investment risk, their focus is on the historical price volatility of the asset or investment under discussion.   Advisors label as aggressive or risky an … Continue reading

Active vs. Passive Portfolio Management

  One of the longest-standing debates in investing is over the relative merits of active portfolio management versus passive management. With an actively managed portfolio, a manager tries to beat the performance of a given benchmark index by using his or her judgment in selecting individual securities and deciding when to buy and sell them. … Continue reading

Keeping Your Business in the Family

What are some of the issues concerning keeping the business in the family? You may want to keep your business in the family, as opposed to selling it to an outside party or another business. If this is your plan, you should be aware of some of the issues that can contribute to the success … Continue reading

Understanding the Net Investment Income Tax

If your income hits a certain level, you may face an additional wrinkle in calculating your taxes: the net investment income tax (also referred to as the unearned income Medicare contribution tax). This 3.8% Medicare tax applies to some or all of your net investment income if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) exceeds certain … Continue reading

2017 Tax Rates and Information

2017 Tax Rates and Information including: Important Dates, Tax Brackets, Standard Deductions and Personal Exemptions, Alternative Minimum Tax Exemptions, Qualified Dividends and Long-Term Capital Gains, Net Investment Tax (ACA) Thresholds, Education Deductions and Credits, Estate Tax Rates and Exclusions, Retirement Plan Contribution Limits, Medicare Costs, Social Security Taxable Benefits. Request: Introductory Phone Call With Barnhart … Continue reading

What are Alternative Investments?

  These days the mention of alternative investments within the investment community is a bit like bringing up the presidential election, an interesting topic for sure, but you are likely to run into some pretty strong opinion or resistance, no matter where your personal views lie.   Before diving into the debate of whether or … Continue reading

Weekly Review and Sector ETF Performance

Weekly Review   The highly anticipated if hardly dramatic FOMC meeting on Tuesday yielded the expected bump in the federal funds rate by twenty-five basis points.  An indication of the potential for three hikes on 2017 was somewhat noteworthy, but then one should remember last December’s rate hike came with the pronouncement of an expected … Continue reading

Bonds: The Price and Yield See-Saw

While many investors could correctly answer a question about the direction of bond prices when interest rates rise, understanding such a relationship at an intuitive level in an ever-changing market place can sometimes be elusive. One way to better conceptualize and understand the relationship between bond prices and interest rates is to think of price … Continue reading

After a Tough November for Bonds What’s Next for Investors?

Bond investors are in for a rude awakening when it is time to look at November account statements. While the ten-year treasury yield jumped from 1.83% to 2.37%, the Lehman Brothers Aggregate Total Return ETF (AGG) was down 2.68%. The 7-10 year Treasury ETF (IEI) was down 4.23% for the month, and the Long Term Treasury ETF … Continue reading

When Is Social Security Income Taxable?

     The answer depends on your income   Your Social Security income could be taxed. That may seem unfair, or unfathomable. Regardless of how you feel about it, it is a possibility. Seniors have had to contend with this possibility since 1984. Social Security benefits became taxable above certain yearly income thresholds in that … Continue reading

Weekly Sector ETF Performance

BIA Tracked ETF and Fund Performance Week Ended September 2, 2016 ytd weekly 2016 2-Sep S&P500 SPY 8.23% 0.50% Dow Jones DIA 8.06% 0.57% Nasdaq 100 QQQ 5.30% 0.29% S&P Midcap MDY 14.04% 1.34% Russell 2000 IWM 11.50% 1.18% Dow Transports IYT 6.76% 1.68% 10 yr Treasury Yield ^TNX 2.27% (1/1) yield 1.6% 30yr Treasury … Continue reading

Weekly Sector ETF Performance

BIA Tracked ETF and Fund Performance Week Ended August19, 2016 ytd weekly 2016 19-Aug S&P500 SPY 8.31% 0.04% Dow Jones DIA 8.33% 0.04% Nasdaq 100 QQQ 5.42% 0.05% S&P Midcap MDY 12.71% 0.32% Russell 2000 IWM 10.09% 0.61% Dow Transports IYT 6.42% 1.57% 10 yr Treasury Yield ^TNX -30.40% 3.95% 30yr Treasury Yield ^TYX -24.17% … Continue reading

Financial Considerations for a Second Marriage

  Some of us will marry again in retirement. How many of us will thoroughly understand the financial implications that may come with tying the knot later in life.                       Many baby boomers and seniors will consider financial factors as they enter into marriage, but that … Continue reading

Weekly Sector ETF Performance

BIA Tracked ETF and Fund Performance 27-May Week Ended May 27, 2016 ytd weekly 2016 27-May S&P500 SPY 3.66% 2.31% Dow Jones DIA 3.69% 2.14% Nasdaq 100 QQQ -1.26% 3.44% S&P Midcap MDY 7.40% 2.95% Russell 2000 IWM 2.07% 3.44% Dow Transports IYT 3.90% 1.34% 10 yr Treasury Yield ^TNX 2.27% 1.85% 30yr Treasury Yield … Continue reading

Yield Shopping: The Most Expensive Shopping You’ll Ever Do

  In an environment of ever falling interest rates, what is an investor looking for income to do? A recent cover story in Barron’s Magazine “How to Get Safe Annual Payouts of 7%”  illustrates some of today’s challenges in the fixed income world. The article offers that “yields of 5% and 7% are attainable, but you have … Continue reading

Tell Your Beneficiaries About Your Accounts and Policies

  Let them know how they will receive retirement assets and insurance benefits.   Will your heirs receive a fair share of your wealth? Will your invested assets go where you want them to when you die? If you have a proper will or estate plan in place, you will likely answer “yes” to both … Continue reading

Weekly Sector ETF Performance

BIA Tracked ETF and Fund Performance 20-May Week Ended May 20, 2016 ytd weekly 2016 20-May S&P500 SPY 1.32% 0.36% Dow Jones DIA 1.52% -0.06% Nasdaq 100 QQQ -4.54% 0.92% S&P Midcap MDY 4.32% 0.77% Russell 2000 IWM -1.33% 1.05% Dow Transports IYT 2.53% 2.41% 10 yr Treasury Yield ^TNX -18.50% 8.19% 30yr Treasury Yield … Continue reading

Doug Dachille on CNBC – Perhaps the Best Investment Mind You Haven’t Heard Of

  One of the best investment minds you have probably never heard of is Doug Dachille. Mr. Dachille is currently the Chief Investment Officer for AIG, who bought his firm to bring him aboard back in June of 2015. Read: 6 Things That Have Happened Since the Last Time the Fed Raised Rates I first … Continue reading

Explaining the Basis of Inherited Real Estate: What is cost basis? Stepped-up basis? How does home sale tax exclusion work?

  At some point in our lives, we may inherit a home or another form of real property. In such instances, we need to understand some of the jargon involving inherited real estate. What does “cost basis” mean? What is a “step-up?” What is the home sale tax exclusion, and what kind of tax break … Continue reading

Weekly Sector ETF Performance

BIA Tracked ETF and Fund Performance 13-May Week Ended May 13, 2016 ytd weekly 2016 6-May S&P500 SPY 0.96% -0.47% Dow Jones DIA 1.58% -1.05% Nasdaq 100 QQQ -5.41% -0.08% S&P Midcap MDY 3.53% -0.86% Russell 2000 IWM -2.35% -1.15% Dow Transports IYT 0.12% -2.98% 10 yr Treasury Yield ^TNX 2.27% 1.71% 30yr Treasury Yield … Continue reading

Is the Gold Trade Back?

One of the longer running and at times nastier debates among the investment community may be set to ignite again. For some reason the debate on whether or not one should own some gold triggers emotions like few others – at least when it comes to finance. Indeed gold enthusiasts or gold bugs are called … Continue reading

College Funding Options

  How can you cover your child’s future college costs? Saving early (and often) may be the key for most families. Here are some college savings vehicles to consider. 529 plans. Offered by states and some educational institutions, these plans let you save up to $14,000 per year for your child’s college costs without having … Continue reading

Weekly Sector ETF Performance

Weekly Recap: Stocks finished down for the second week in a row.  Friday’s jobs report delivered a less than expected growth in payrolls of 160,000.   According to Briefing.com Fed Funds futures is pricing a a 50% chance of a rate hike at the December FOMC meeting. Also of note during the week was Puerto … Continue reading

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