Monday, September 30, 2013

How will Obamacare affect you?

On October 1, state health care insurance exchanges are scheduled to open, in the first major implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—also known as the ACA or Obamacare.

There’s a lot of conflicting information in the media about how the exchanges will impact consumer health insurance. The highly reputable CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate blog has published several helpful articles, discussing the known or expected impacts for three distinct groups: 

For Medicare recipients, the impact will be smaller. The law makes no changes to Medicare eligibility or enrollment, and reduces the “doughnut hole”—the gap in prescription drug coverage. By 2020, the gap is scheduled to be eliminated. The law also includes free preventative care, including some vaccines and screenings.

We will continue to monitor the changes in health insurance, and will pass along helpful resources to you as we have access to them.

From Bob Smrekar, AIF®
Wealth Advocate

Friday, September 20, 2013

Jerry Wade quoted in Investment News

Investment News interviewed Jerry earlier this week for an article about how advisors are once more seeing opportunity in emerging markets.

Describing them as a “screaming long-term buy,” Jerry shared some of our recent moves in that area, which we discussed in an earlier blog post.

Read the full Investment News article. Investment News is a national newspaper covering the financial services industry.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tom’s Tax Tip #3: Defer and accelerate income and expenses to your advantage.

The timing of purchases and sales of assets affect whether they are subject to special long-term tax treatment or considered part of ordinary income. People with variable income from year to year should pay special attention to when they pay bills or accept income.
For example, some expenses can be prepaid or paid early to maximize a deduction, such as property taxes.

Bonuses and stock awards could be deferred from one year to the next if you are likely to be in a lower tax bracket in the future year. 

This ability to move income from one period to the next underlies the benefit of tax-advantaged retirement savings: Defer payment of taxes in high-tax earning years until the low-tax, lower income retirement years.

This is part of an occasional series of tax tips from Tom Brunberg, head of Wade Financial Group’s Year Round Tax Planning Service.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Investment update: Seeing a potential opportunity in emerging markets

Last week, we recognized a potential long-term opportunity in emerging markets…and we seized it.

A price gap—now almost a 50 percent difference—has grown between U.S. and emerging market equities and bonds.

At this point, we believe that emerging market equities and bonds are undervalued…and therefore present a long-term investing opportunity.

Sensing this, we took immediate action, adding emerging market exposure to our Paid to Wait®, Foundation, and Lifestyle Income Bond accounts.

For our Foundation accounts, this move was in addition to our normal rebalancing schedule, as we felt we needed to act quickly and proactively. We will perform the full rebalancing on this account as scheduled.

Also, for those clients with Wade Financial Group-managed 401(k)’s, we performed our regularly quarterly rebalancing a month early, so that we could increase exposure to available emerging market funds.

This move exemplifies our Contrarian Value (ConVal®) investment approach, with its focus on identifying and purchasing undervalued assets as we invest with a long-term view.

We continue to eye potential opportunities in emerging markets and elsewhere, and will continue to research and seize potential investing opportunities on your behalf.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Tom’s Tax Tip #2: Keep good records

Tom's Tax Planning Tips
Adequately documenting your income and expenses is essential for correct analysis and calculation of the taxes you owe. Throwing receipts into a desk drawer or relying upon memory is a sure way to understate deductions and overpay taxes.

Monthly statements from banks, brokers, mutual fund managers and others who provide financial information should be filed for easy retrieval and safely stored.

Remember, the IRS can go back a minimum of three years in a tax audit, and even six years in some serious violation cases, from the date a return is filed.  It's prudent to not only maintain good records to file correctly, but to keep them for at least six years after the filing date in case of an audit.

This is part of an occasional series of tax tips from Tom Brunberg, head of Wade Financial Group’s Year Round Tax Planning Service.