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Foster Group’s Top Ten Blogs From 2015

As we reflect back on a fantastic 2015, we want to highlight the top ten blog posts from the past year. Enjoy these various posts written by our advisory team.

1. No Holding Back

By: Ross Polking

Well, if you get tired of hearing us talk about timeless financial planning disciplines (aka avoiding pitfalls), then enjoy and embrace this quick read from another source.  Fantastic, simple advice we can all adhere to in bettering our investment experience while increasing probabilities for success.  No magic here.  You can do this, and we can help.  Stay diversified (#6 for those keeping score at home)…. (Read More Here)

2. Advice To The Average is Not For You

By: Brad Rempe

One way Foster Group looks to add value for our clients who are accessing their investment accounts for income (due to retirement or otherwise) is by optimizing withdrawals from their accounts and generating income in the most tax-efficient manner.

For our clients who have the bulk of their investment assets accumulated in tax-deferred accounts (such as an IRA or 401k) there’s not much strategizing to be done – withdrawals will be taxed as ordinary income, subject to our currently progressive tax brackets (the more you take out, the higher your taxes will be – in nominal dollars and as a percentage)… (Read More Here)

3. An ‘A’ for DFA

By: Brad Rempe

Back in June, Seth wrote a blog noting Dimensional’s receipt of the top Stewardship Grade from Morningstar.  I’m giving Seth’s piece a little spike here…and if you haven’t yet read the written rating on Dimensional, I would recommend it (you can do so by clickinghere).  It is a good overview into what makes DFA different.  Their tie to the academic community and resulting intelligent design and execution of fund offerings is extremely compelling…. (Read More Here)

4. Give It All Away?

By: Reed Rinderknecht

If anyone tells you they know where the market is headed, you know to run the other way as fast as you can.  If anyone would have told you they predicted that the Iowa Hawkeyes would be 7-0 to start the season, you also would have laughed and found a way to escape.  Well, the Hawkeyes ARE running wild on their opponents right now and the markets are having another classic up and DOWN year……much like the Cyclones!

Fall not only brings out great scenery, great weather, and great football, but it is also a time to start thinking about your final giving strategies for year-end.  There are some amazing ways to be generous to the people and the organizations that you hold near and dear to your heart… (Read More Here)

5. Annuities….Be Careful, Be Informed

By: Ross Polking

Investing is risky.  Not investing is also risky.  So, what’s a person to do in seeking a strong financial future and timely retirement?  Right or wrong, many venture into the world of annuities.  Their promise of a stream of income when your working years are complete can be appealing and comforting.

These products are often sold under the premise that they can take the risk out of investing.  In reality, annuities are complex investment vehicles that frequently come with significant fees, restrictions, and risks that may diminish their perceived safety.  Unless all the details are clearly understood, annuities can pose more problems than solutions for investors… (Read More Here)

6. What a Puppy Can Teach You About Investing

By: Jon Evans

This past Christmas, our family decided to get a puppy.  Some would say that’s a great decision while others would not (who doesn’t love puppies?!).  We thought it would be a fun addition to our family and give our kids a chance to learn some lessons in responsibility.  And learn we have!

We’ve learned that legs of our kitchen chairs can be used as chew toys, socks left on the floor will be found and often mangled, and if a strict “potty regimen” is not kept –  yellow puddles appear all over the floor!! (Read More Here)

7. Homework…for a kindergartener

By: Matt Abels

Most of you probably opened your 3rd quarter investment statements and were disappointed and, potentially, a bit worried. We saw a lot of volatility over the past few months, and it was hard to miss the headlines, especially the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) opened down 1,000 points on August 24th.

I was at home the morning of August 24th waiting to take my kindergartener to her first day of school.  Before the stock market opened that morning, I was bombarded with alerts on my phone notifying me about how far the futures markets were down and that the “experts” thought they might shut down the stock exchanges once they opened. (Read More Here)

8. IRS Battling Tax Return Fraud

By: Phil Kruzan

This article is very timely as we just found out that two more clients have had fraudulent tax returns filed.  Looks like the IRS is aggressively looking for ways to prevent this from happening… (Read More Here)

9. Time to Think Taxes

By: Marcus Iwig

It’s that time of the year again, football season, back-to-school, cooler temps, and time to think about year-end tax planning. Try to contain your excitement.  Here are a few things to be thinking about as you approach the end of the year:

  • Endow Iowa tax credits are gone; great for the state, but not if you were still hoping to score the 25% tax credit in 2015. Making a gift to Endow Iowa now will put you first in line to receive tax credits for 2016 or you might consider a gift to a Student Tuition Organization (STO); these provide a 65% state of Iowa tax credit. STO’s are charitable organizations that raise tuition funding for students who may not otherwise be able to afford a private school education in Iowa… (Read More Here)

10. Should Investors Sell After a Correction?

By: Ross Polking

Stock prices in markets around the world fluctuated dramatically for the week ended August 27. On Monday, August 24, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,089 points—a larger loss than the “Flash Crash” in May 2010—before rallying to close down 588. Prices fell further on Tuesday before recovering sharply on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Although the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively, for the week, many investors found the dramatic day-to-day fluctuations unsettling… (Read More Here)


*To view Foster Group’s full list of blogs, click here.



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