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1
Ruminations on Tax Planning for 2009
2
Lessons Learned in 2008
3
Developments in the Financial Advisory World
4
Will Investors Be Better Off Post-Madoff?
5
5 Money Pitfalls to Watch Out For In Divorce

Ruminations on Tax Planning for 2009

It’s too early to say with certainty what changes will be made in the tax laws this year. But it’s possible to make some educated guesses.

Tax Cuts, or Increases?
Things seem to be skewing towards tax cuts for middle income taxpayers in 2009. Moreover, higher income earners probably won’t see tax rate increases this year.

If the present economic malaise does not extend past 2009, chances are good that tax rate increases will be enacted for the highest tax brackets in 2010. Instead of topping out at the current 35%, the top income tax rate could return to 39.6%, …

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Lessons Learned in 2008

Finally, it’s over! The worst year of stock market performance since the Great Depression ended last Thursday with the S&P 500 down 37%. In 2008, there was no place to hide in the financial markets, right? Wrong. An analysis of the following chart presents yet another argument for the value of diversification in an investment portfolio:


The return on government bonds is not a misprint: 22.59%. An investor with a well-diversified portfolio and an appropriate asset allocation mix of stocks and bonds felt a vastly reduced sting from market declines as compared to a pure stock investor in 2008. This
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Developments in the Financial Advisory World

Developments in the Financial Advisory WorldThe Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards periodically modifies the standards that it sets for the individuals that it certifies. In May 2007, the Board announced the adoption of new Standards of Professional Conduct. The standards took effect July 1, 2008 and began to be enforced as of January 1, 2009.

Among several changes made is a new requirement that CFP® certificants giving financial advice must always provide certain disclosures to clients and prospective clients.  Certificants will be required to disclose:

  • a description of the services being provided,

  • any conflicts of interest the CFP® certificant may have, and

  • the costs

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Will Investors Be Better Off Post-Madoff?

Today the House Financial Services Committee will hear testimony from the SEC inspector general on the Madoff scandal. It promises to be the beginning of what Rep. Paul Kanjorski (chairman of the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises) is calling “the most substantial rewrite of laws governing U.S. financial markets since the Great Depression.” Wall Street could not have escaped congressional scrutiny after the year that we’ve had even if Madoff had never happened, but the failure of regulators to protect the public from his massive fraud has drawn fresh attention to the shortcomings of existing

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5 Money Pitfalls to Watch Out For In Divorce

If you are going through a divorce you will experience many different emotions; fear, anger, resentment and distrust are just a few. All of these emotions can wreck havoc on your finances. You will be making major financial decisions while your emotions are influencing your choices. The decisions you make during a divorce will impact you for decades, so here are five common mistakes to watch out for during a divorce.

1. Choose your attorney with caution

If you can end the relationship without a legal fight, you will begin your new life with far more money. Legal battles are …

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