Some Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding Employee Stock Options

February 14, 2020, by Mac Frasier

What are my options?  Employee stock options can be a great way to build long term wealth and participate in the growth of a company.  However, when it comes time to utilize those options there can often be confusion on what is the best strategy to implement.  While everyone’s approach will be unique to their specific circumstances, hopefully this blog can help you begin thinking more about your options strategy. Stock Options Terminology Before we...

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I don’t have a lot of money, so why do I need a will or estate plan?

January 24, 2020, by John Norris

You need to have a will if you meet any or both of the following conditions: 1) have a net worth in excess of, say, $10, and; 2) there is any one in the world about whom you care. If neither of these apply, you probably don’t need to worry about a will or an estate plan. If either do, it is probably best to jot a few ideas down on a slip of paper...

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How is a Roth IRA different from a regular IRA?

, by John Norris

Both Roth IRAs and Traditional IRAs are great ways for individuals to save for retirement with tax breaks to incentivize doing such. There are several differences between a Roth and traditional IRA such as a Roth never requires you to pull money out at a certain age, and it is easier to pull cash out of a Roth before you retire. However, the main difference between the two is when you get this tax break....

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What does the term asset allocation mean? What should mine look like?

, by John Norris

Asset allocation is an investment strategy that whether they know it or not, every investor uses. Asset allocation essentially is the diversification of a portfolio across non-correlated asset classes that will produce the maximum return for the risk that an investor is willing to take on. We all know that over time, stocks generally outperform bonds. The increased risk that an investor takes by purchasing an equity demands a greater level of return. This leads...

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Can I have a growth portfolio and sell needed shares each year if I need a set amount of income at retirement or is it best to invest in dividend yielding stocks?

, by Sara McPherson

Written by: Sam Clement, Portfolio Manager The total return of any asset is made up of: 1) the income the investment generates, and; 2) the principal appreciation. How do you want your return? Assume the stock market will have an annualized return of 8% over the next decade. You have $100,000 to invest, and you have to choose two between two different securities. One has a 4% dividend yield, and the other doesn’t pay one....

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What is the Difference Between a Trustee and an Executor?

, by John Norris

To understand the difference between the two, it is best to understand what each is. The following definitions are from Investopedia.com. A trustee is: “A trustee is any type of person or organization that holds the legal title of an asset or group of assets for another person, referred to as the beneficiary. A trustee is granted this type of legal title through a trust, which is an agreement between two consenting parties… A trustee...

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Can I Own Real Estate in my IRA?

, by John Norris

The quick answer is: yes, you can hold real estate in an IRA. However, a better answer is: yeah, but there is a catch, if not catches. First, your IRA cannot buy property from or sell property to you or anyone the IRS deems a disqualified person or entity. The latter would include your direct lineal relatives, a service provider who works for you, and any other legal entity majority-owned by you, a disqualified other,...

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What is the Difference Between a Mutual Fund and an ETF?

, by Sara McPherson

Written by: Sam Clement, Portfolio Manager Mutual Funds and ETF’s are actually very similar; however, they have a few distinct differences that may make one better than the other for certain investors. Both Mutual Funds and ETFs which stand for exchange traded funds hold a portfolio of more than one individual asset. This can include things such as stocks, bonds, and event things like gold, silver, or other commodities. You can even find mutual funds...

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How Much Money Should I Have for Retirement?

, by John Norris

There isn’t a ‘one-size fits all’ amount you should save for retirement. There never has been and never will be. People are different. They have differing definitions of retirement, spending patterns, priorities, number of beneficiaries, etc. As a result, some people can retire with a significantly smaller amount in assets than others. When calculating how much you should have set aside for retirement, there are a lot of questions to ask yourself. First things first,...

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What happens if I inherit an IRA?

, by John Norris

A lot people have an IRA or some other form of tax-deferred retirement account. As the owner doesn’t deplete the account(s) prior to their death, someone else will have to deal with the IRS’s rules regarding inherited IRAs. For the surviving spouse, the rules are pretty straight forward. According to the irs.gov, you have the following options: Treat it as your own IRA by designating yourself as the account owner. Treat it as your own...

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