Investments


22

Nov 2016

Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?

Investors at any level of income can convert assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. This article explains the potential benefits and tax implications of a conversion. Whether an investor benefits from converting assets within a traditional IRA to a Roth account may depend on the amount of time he or she plans to leave the assets invested, estate planning strategies, and his...

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08

Nov 2016

Gifting-During-Life Strategy: Does it Make Sense For YOUR Family?

When it comes to estate planning, one of the primary goals is to transfer as much of a person’s assets to their intended beneficiaries at the lowest cost or, in other words, by paying the least amount of tax. Today, the federal estate tax exemption is $5,450,000 per person. It is also portable (can be transferred) between spouses, giving them a maximum exemption of $10,900,000...

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23

Nov 2015

Is Your Team of Retirement Experts Truly Supporting Your Goals?

When is the last time your insurance agent, wealth manager, financial planner, attorney, and CPA sat in the same room to discuss your individual financial plan? Do they even know who the other professionals on your team are? Most professionals are classically trained in their particular discipline. Unfortunately, that means they do things their own way. Most don’t ask the right questions as it pertains...

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18

Nov 2015

Retirement Big Risk: Not Having A Comprehensive Financial Plan

The biggest risk that every retiree faces is failing to have a comprehensive financial plan in place. It’s a risk that you have direct influence on and can prepare for well in advance if you take action. Perhaps you have started some financial planning covering some basic wealth management and estate plan strategies, but does your plan cover all five key components of a holistic...

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03

Nov 2015

Ed Slott Press Release

LOCAL Tacoma ADVISOR Brad Berger LEARNS NEW TAX LAWS AND RETIREMENT ACCOUNT PLANNING STRATEGIES FROM AMERICA’S IRA EXPERTS Ed Slott and Company, LLC Holds Exclusive Workshop for Financial Advisors to Complete Advanced Training Tacoma, WA November 3, 2015: Brad Berger of Cornerstone Financial Strategies completed advanced technical training while attending Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group workshop in Denver, Colorado on October 22 – October 24....

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02

Nov 2015

The 6 Important Elements of Successful Investing

In their order of significance, these are the six important elements of the success fundamentals: How early you start investing How often you invest How much you invest Whether you stay invested How much you keep (avoiding tax erosion) Your rate of return You will note that your rate of return is not number 1. In fact, although it qualifies as important, it’s last on...

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26

Oct 2015

Make the Most of the Market

The best advice that I can provide to my clients is to implement strategies with the goal to take advantage of rising markets but also prepare them in the event of a surprise downturn. The market is something of an emotional beast. It has its scientific side, but it does not have to act by any particular set of rules. It is a truly free...

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16

Oct 2015

Understanding the Tax Implications of Your IRA or 401(k)

When it comes to retirement plans, remember that the government giveth and the government taketh away. When you open your IRA or 401(k) statement, you may be proud of the number—but are you aware that not all that money is yours? The government has a lien on it, and it’s called taxation. The portion of that account that’s not yours depends on your tax bracket....

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29

Sep 2015

Don’t Overrate Your Rate of Return

Numbers, as we all know, can be deceptive at first glance. Let’s consider this scenario: Your colleague at the water cooler, Ken Jones, starts bragging one day about how great a performance he has seen with one of his investments. “You should check out that rate of return!” Ken says. “Sure, there are some off years, but wow just look at how well it’s done...

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12

Aug 2015

The Three Varieties of Tax Treatment

This is my advice for most of clients: In your accumulation years, do all you can to get as much money as possible into your employer plan, and then we’ll talk about what’s next. You will have plenty of opportunities ahead, but it’s important to understand that assets come in three varieties when it comes to tax treatment. Whether an asset is always-taxed, tax-deferred, or...

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11

Aug 2015

Live Your Ideal Life

Before you do or buy or plan anything, you should ask yourself why—and whether you are meeting the standards you have set for yourself and your family. At Cornerstone Financial Strategies, we would like to help you identify what your family’s dreams might be and to start planning together with the goal to make them happen. You should strive to you live your “Ideal Life”...

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07

Aug 2015

Beware of Sequence of Return Risk

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. The media love the hare. The tortoise is boring. But we all know who wins in the end. Steady and slow. The race isn’t to the swift. While establishing your plan for withdrawing from investments, beware of the impacts of “sequence of return.” The timing of your good and bad years makes a major...

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07

Jul 2015

Your Ideal Life Tip: Investment Basics

“I skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been.” –Wayne Gretzky The fundamental problem with chasing market performance is that by the time you recognize that a particular investment has been doing well you likely will be too late to participate in the gain. It’s more likely that you will buy too high, and you could be in for a...

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