FINANCIAL PLANNING: WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT

Am I saving enough? Will I have enough to maintain my current lifestyle in retirement? Should I convert my IRA to a Roth? What’s the best way to save for college? How much risk do I need to take in my portfolio to meet my goals?  What ARE my goals? If you have ever asked yourself one of these questions, you could benefit from doing some financial planning. In a Financial Plan, you evaluate your entire financial picture, set short and long-term financial goals, develop strategies to achieve those goals,…

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MONTE CARLO SIMULATIONS AS A TOOL IN RETIREMENT PLANNING

Financial planning for retirement can be a tricky exercise, requiring both the client and the planner to make many assumptions about an uncertain future. Monte Carlo simulations try to address this uncertainty by acknowledging the very wide range of possible outcomes in a portfolio’s value over time and assigning a probability to the outcomes based on thousands of random trials. A Monte Carlo simulation is a statistical tool that has been used in many disciplines to look at the variety of outcomes from a given set of inputs. It gets…

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WHY TAKE CAPITAL GAINS?

Even though capital gains taxes make selling appreciated securities less attractive, there are often compelling reasons to reduce or liquidate a position. The two most common reasons to sell appreciated stock are to increase portfolio diversification and boost long-term returns. Capital gains taxes are the main deterrent to selling a stock which has appreciated in value relative to its purchase price. The Federal government currently assesses a maximum combined long-term capital gains/investment income tax of 23.8% on appreciation that has occurred more than one year from date of acquisition. Stock…

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