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401(k) Company Match on the Rise for Wrong Reasons

As companies shift away from defined-benefit retirement plans (i.e. we’ll pay you $x per year for the rest of your life) towards defined-contribution plans (i.e. you contribute x% per year) an inducement for employee participation is the company match.  It’s that free money 100% ROR of which we’d be foolish not to take advantage. One [...]

End of the Stretch IRA?

The powerful tax-deferral tool is likely nearing its end. WHAT IS STRETCHING: Sustaining and maximizing the tax-deferred status of an IRA when the beneficiary is a non-spouse such as a child. WHO LIKES IT: Beneficiaries who accrue years of compounded, tax-deferred growth while minimizing the Present Value of the liability (i.e. $1 in the future [...]

One Chart – 120 Years of the Dow Jones Industrial Average

As one of the oldest and best-known indexes the DJIA is not only a benchmark for the world’s largest stock market but, also, a barometer of global confidence.  This chart details the DJIA’s performance since 1896.     It’s interesting to note how the highs and lows have reflected the U.S. economy. Greater still is [...]

Mid-Year Investment Outlook

We recently completed and are happy to share with you Apollo's 2017 Mid-Year Investment Outlook. It incorporates q1 activity with projections for future economic, tax and political events. It is meant to be a general guideline - not specific advice/recommendations.  Specifics (cash flow, tax, estate, etc) dictate how this information may be incorporated into one's [...]

Boosting FICO Scores by Eliminating Negative Information from Credit Reports

In response to regulatory pressure and settlement of lawsuits with 32 states the Big Three of credit reporting – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – have decided to omit certain negative items from the credit reports of consumers. Examples include: Tax-lien and civil-judgment data that don’t include a complete list of at least three data points [...]

JPMorgan Chase Latest to Choose Themselves over Customers

Yesterday JPMorgan Chase & Co announced it sent some wealth management customers letters notifying them that they will be moved to the firm’s self-directed platform ahead of a pending Labor Department retirement regulation. Following their product-pushing brethren (banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies) it’s the latest move that puts themselves ahead of their customers. For [...]

If You Don’t Have a Plan the Government Has One for You

According to a recent study by caring.com just 40% of U.S. adults have a will (including only 36% of U.S. adults who have children under the age of 18). What’s more only 53% of U.S. adults have a healthcare power of attorney (“POA”). What’s the big deal? Without a will or similar trust agreement decisions [...]