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The Psychology of Wealth Creation: How the Brain Influences Financial Decisions

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The creation of wealth and achieving financial health involves more than data driven spreadsheets. There are behavioral risks along the path of wealth creation that can impact both those who have already successfully accumulated wealth as well as those aspiring to increase their personal net worth. 

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You are the Culmination of Your Experiences

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“You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, and the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, breath of the fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every day.”   -Jac Vanek

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Using Tax-Loss Harvesting to Improve Investment Returns

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Tax-loss harvesting is a strategy that can help investors minimize any taxes they may owe on capital gains or their regular income. It can also improve overall investment returns. As a strategy, tax-loss harvesting involves selling an investment that has lost value, replacing it with a reasonably similar investment, and then using the investment sold at a loss to offset any realized gains. 

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2020 Gift Tax Rates: I’m Generous, but Do I Have to Pay This?

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Taxes can be confusing, and the gift tax is one of the most perplexing of the Internal Revenue Code.  

 What is the gift tax?

The gift tax is a federal tax on the transfer of money or property to another person while getting nothing (or less than full value) in return.  Many people don't get hit with the gift tax, because the IRS generally doesn’t care about what you give away to other people unless that giving exceeds some lofty amounts. And even if it does, it might mean you just have to fill out some paperwork.

How much can you gift?

Two things keep the IRS’ hands out of most people's pockets: the $15,000 annual exclusion in 2020, and the $11.58 million lifetime exclusion in 2020. Stay below those and you can be generous under the radar. Go above, and you'll have to fill out a gift tax form when filing returns — but you will still likely avoid having to pay any gift tax at all.

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Could a 2020 Roth Conversion Be Right for You?

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The year is 2020. A global pandemic has swept the nation and a highly controversial presidential election looms on the horizon. The market fell significantly in Q2 and has been highly volatile ever since. So, why could now be the right year to take advantage of a Roth IRA conversion?  

Essentially, three conditions unique to this year could make a conversion more appealing: the waiver of Required Minimum Distributions under the CARES Act, the volatility in the stock market, and the possibility that you may have earned less income this year than in year’s past.

Of course, there are a number of conditions to understand in order for you to decide if a conversion in 2020 would be advantageous for you. 

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The Young Professional’s Roadmap to Financial Freedom: Embarking on the Journey

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It’s pretty simple: having financial resources translates into freedom—the freedom to travel, live where we want, help others, send our kids to the best schools, and decide when, how, or if we want to work. Wealth grants us the freedom to enlist the help of others when time or energy is limited, help those we love when they are in need, or contribute to the community at large in generous and impactful ways. Fundamentally, wealth grants us options and choices to live a fulfilled life. 

Even though it may feel overwhelming at first, accumulating wealth doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. There are a few key financial concepts and habits that once mastered, increase your odds of living a fulfilled life. However, many young professionals don’t know where to begin. After all, no one is born with an innate knowledge of how to handle money, and with so many competing priorities, saving and investing can often get pushed to the back burner.

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The 2020 Presidential Election and the Markets

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2020 has been an eventful year thus far, and this November will be no exception when millions of Americans cast their vote for the next President of the United States. Although we cannot predict the outcome of the election, we can expect there to be plenty of speculation regarding the election’s impact on the markets. But, should long-term investors focus on the impact the presidential election could have on the markets or stick to their long-term plan?

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Seeking Financial Independence in an Uncertain World

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Seeking Financial Independence in an Uncertain World

As the world at large has learned in recent months, unexpected events can alter the intended trajectory of our lives in a moment's notice.  These life-changing transitions impact our finances in many ways. When life transitions happen, being financially independent can help you weather the storm and regain the stability needed to begin adjusting to your “new normal”. 

Financial independence is typically defined as having enough resources to make working optional. Having this financial security translates into flexibility and freedom. It allows us to be self-insured against a financial catastrophe and take care of those we love when they might not be able to. It gives us the peace of mind that our spouse will continue to live comfortably in our absence. It even grants us the ability to set up our own long-term care in the way we feel most comfortable without becoming a financial or physical burden on our family members. 

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Change and Uncertainty Along Your Life’s Journey

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If there is a single inarguable truth about our experience living in this pandemic fraught world, it may be that all of our lives have changed in ways we did not foresee. Everything from our personal relationships to our professional lives to our finances has been affected. Of course, some have been challenged with more changes than others, but it is doubtful there is a single person this virus has not impacted in some way. The process of adapting to change is termed “transition.”

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Roth IRA Conversions in COVID-19

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There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted almost every aspect of our lives.  From business shutdowns, to school closings, and orders to stay “safe at home,” we are currently facing challenges we certainly did not foresee. 

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How to Approach Turbulent Economic Conditions

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Uncertainty. It’s a feeling we are all a little too familiar with right now. We are uncertain when it will be safe to leave our homes again, uncertain if our children will finish their school year online, and uncertain when the market and economy will recover from this recent blow. 

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