Blog

Simon Sinek’s well-known TED talk, “Start with Why” is centered around the concept that an organization should start with their “why” and encourages individuals and companies to ask themselves questions to identify their beliefs, purpose, and why they get out of bed in the morning. One statement Sinek made in his presentation that stood out to me was, “Very few people and organizations know why they do what they do.” As...

Read More

By Jay P. Syverson of Nyemaster Goode 

Probate is the process by which a person’s estate is settled after death. Final bills are paid, final taxes are filed, and assets are collected and distributed to the beneficiaries. The entire process is supervised by the court, usually takes 9-12 months, and comes with expenses – court costs and attorney fees – that can exceed 4% of the estate. Additionally,...

Read More

Matt Abels

The concept is simple, but often gets overlooked, especially in our profession.  As financial planners, we spend a lot of time discussing with clients how to pass assets (what they earned) to the next generation in the most efficient way.  Typically, the goals are to ensure taxes and fees are minimized, assets are passed to the appropriate parties, and the individuals inheriting the wealth are financially mature enough to handle...

Read More

Gift with a tax deduction? In most instances, if you give a gift to a family member, you not only don’t receive a tax break, but you need to be mindful of the amount of the gift in case a gift tax return needs to be filed. Wow.  That sentence just put me to sleep. Let’s try that again. I want to help my kids and/or grandkids prepare to pay for college.  Is a...

Read More

Scott J. Snyder, JD, CFP®, CFA, CIMA®

For many years, Foster Group has approached asset allocation using an analysis we call our Lifeboat Drill.  Setting a proper mix of growth assets like stocks or real estate, and preservation assets like bonds, begins with understanding our clients’ future cash flow needs.  The answers to two questions provide the foundation for our Lifeboat Drill. First, we explore the minimum return rate you must earn on your portfolio assets to meet...

Read More

Scott Snyder and I were meeting with a 20-year client of Foster Group. We’ll call her Susie. She and her husband have done a great job with their finances. They’ve saved. They’ve given money away. They’ve been aggressive in paying down debt. Frankly, they’ve taken the advice we’ve given them and run with it. When we pulled up their financial plan on eMoney (the tool we use to help people make...

Read More

Ross Polking, CFP®, AIF®, MBA®

Physicians are busy, not just because of their practice of medicine, but also due to their community and professional involvement.  Physicians are leaders in their own right and often serve as board members for non-profits, associations, and organizations about which they are passionate.  Their understanding of the entity’s financial circumstances is critical, and their efforts to maintain financial viability long into the future helps realize the mission.  When these organizations...

Read More

Marcus Iwig

I don't like New Year’s resolutions very much. The whole thing feels overwhelming, especially after just surviving the holidays.  Also, it seems like a difficult time of year to make big, wholesale changes!  For instance, deciding to start exercising when it’s ten below out, kids have before- and after-school activities, and if you aren’t recovering from the flu or a cold, you are just about to get it.  It seems...

Read More

Mark Stadtlander

The total return of the S&P 500 index over the past five calendar years (2011-2015) is +80.7%.  The 13 best trading days during those five years (i.e., 13 days out of 1,258 total trading days) produced a 55.1% gain.  Thus, 1% of the trading days were responsible for 68% of the index’s total return. * 20-plus years ago, Jerry and I used to record a cassette tape--yes, that’s right, a...

Read More