Monthly Archives: November 2018

Walt Mozdzer Profile Picture

When it comes to reducing your income tax bill, giving to charity is one of the easiest ways to do that, and millions of Americans give generously each year. But when it comes to maximizing the tax efficiency of your charitable giving, the donor advised fund may be the best tool in the charitable giving toolbox. Often hosted by a community foundation such as the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines,...

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Moklestad Matt Profile Photo

A pencil can be a great learning tool. I’m not referring to the obvious fact that you can write and take notes with one. Many years ago, I went through a finance class where the teacher used a pencil to help me understand the inverse relationship between bond prices and interest rates. His explanation went like this: Hold a pencil horizontally in front of you. The left end of the pencil represents the...

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Ross Polking Thumbnail Photo

Market volatility, this year notwithstanding, tends to unnerve even the calmest of investors. When the market is dropping, investors like holding assets that maintain their value. When the market is going up, they prefer assets that are going up, not just holding steady. So how do we get the best of both worlds? How do we know what to hold and how much to hold at any particular time? That’s...

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Kent Kramer

“Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.”

Science Council, www.sciencecouncil.org

Consider the following two questions: Question 1: If you had symptoms of a potential serious health problem, would you:

a.) consult a physician, possibly more than one, undergo testing, and choose the doctor and treatment option that, through careful clinical...

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Brad Rempe, CFP®, AIF®

When the prices of goods and services increase over time, consumers can buy fewer of them with every dollar they have saved. This erosion of the real purchasing power of wealth is called inflation. Inflation is an important element of investing. In many cases, the reason for saving today is to support future spending. Therefore, keeping pace with inflation is a crucial goal for many investors. To help understand inflation’s...

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Paul Morf

Complexity is sometimes a necessary evil in estate planning. However with individual estate tax exemptions now more than $11,000,000, indexed to inflation, and portable between spouses, many families will find that existing complexity in their wealth succession plans is no longer necessary. Potentially, it could be counter-productive. An “audit” of the family’s wealth transfer plan by a qualified estate planning attorney may identify opportunities to simplify or eliminate existing irrevocable...

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Marcus Iwig

Chances are, you have been asked either to help one of your clients with their personal finances or to recommend a counselor to them. The problem is, all advisors look alike on paper. So how do you ensure that you are making a good recommendation for your client, especially when you are putting your reputation on the line? Here are five things you should consider before referring your client to a...

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Ross Polking Thumbnail Photo

Tax-deferred investment vehicles such as traditional IRAs and 401(k)s are excellent tools for storing and growing dollars for retirement. Getting a tax break with the initial contribution and having those dollars grow accordingly helps folks navigate life once careers come to a close. However, investors must be mindful, that, upon withdrawing these assets in retirement (or at least after age 59.5), Uncle Sam is going to want his money. Distributions at that...

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