Blog


April

2014

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Andy Young, CPA, CFP for passing the Certified Financial Planner national board exam!  Andy is now a CPA and a Certified Financial Planner Professional.  

We are proud to have him on our team.

Q1 Newsletter – A shifting landscape

Hello, volatility, our old friend. It’s been a while. We take a look at the return of uncertainty, its impact on the market for the near future, as well as continuing positive indicators for the U.S. economy, in our most recent quarterly newsletter.

Bogus tax returns – a big problem

When all it takes to file for a bogus tax return from the IRS is an Internet connection and a stolen identity, the barriers to such a crime are low. And those low barriers are a big reason why bogus tax returns totaled more than $4 billion in 2012 – and why the Justice Department and IRS are getting serious about combating it. 

Combined with this week’s news about the Heartbleed bug potentially impacting personal information on many of the web’s most popular sites, it’s a big reason to consistently and vigilantly monitor any and all online account activity and credit ratings. 

Getting a handle on Heartbleed

Heard about the Heartbleed bug this week, but not exactly what it is or how it may affect you? It’s a critical security gap that opens up many of the web’s most popular and widely used sites (gmail, Amazon, Yahoo!, etc) and their users to hackers and viruses.

The best thing for you to do is change your password on any and all potentially impacted sites where you have login information and/or an account. The list at this link provides a handy rundown of many of the most well known sites on the web and if users for each of them should change their passwords.

The IRS changes its tune on IRAs

A big change in rules announced last week could impact how you manage your retirement savings, especially if you have more than one IRA.

The ruling from the IRS states that the one-rollover-per-year rule that applies to the 50-plus million Americans with an IRA now applies to all IRAs under a taxpayer’s name – not to each IRA individually. 

The ruling from an IRS tax court surprised many industry observers and experts and runs counter to years of advise from the IRS itself. 

To learn more about the ruling and how it may impact your IRA, read the article at this link or give us a call.


March

2014

U.S. GDP growth revised upward for fourth quarter

U.S. GDP growth for the fourth quarter was revised upward to a 2.6 percent annual rate, a slight increase from the 2.4 percent previously forecasted. A notable increase in health care spending seems to be the biggest driver in the slight upward revision, with most other key categories – sales of U.S.-produced goods and services, business investment, structure spending/investment – were little changed.

Nonetheless, it’s another sign of the economy’s resiliency, if not outright strength, in the face of a very harsh winter and mixed sentiment.

Comedian in Chief

“Go where your audience is,” the old marketing and sales saying goes. And that’s just what President Obama did this week as part of his push to get as many young people as possible to enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act before the open-enrollment deadline at the end of this month.

So the president took his message to where that specific audience is – online, and specifically to a guest spot on “Between Two Ferns,” a web-only talk show spoof starring actor and comedian Zach Galifianakis. Obama’s appearance put the president’s sense of humor on full display and, it seems, had its intended effect – traffic to HealthCare.gov spiked nearly 40 percent in the days following the episode. 

You can watch the video here. 

Bull market rages on – Schwab’s March Monthly Snapshot

The bull market rages on, continuing to confound skeptics in the process. As she does each month, Schwab chief strategist Liz Ann Sonders shares her insights on the positive drivers propelling our economy, as well as drag factors like reduced federal spending and unusually harsh winter weather. She also looks at if ongoing woes in emerging markets will have a long-lasting impact. Watch her March Monthly Snapshot here. 

Watch her March Monthly Snapshot here.