Blog posts by Rodgers & Associates on the subject of investing in the stock market and bonds, including topics like mutual funds, municipal bonds, interest rates, volatility, portfolio balancing, and investment strategy
Ask the Adviser: How do I know if my investments are insured?
As an investor, you do not need to worry if you’re covered—if you have your investments through a SIPC member brokerage firm, coverage is automatic.
Ask the Adviser: How can I best maintain my financial plan?
Much like caring for a vehicle, financial planning is an ongoing process—not a once-and-done event.
Ask the Adviser: When should I change my asset allocation?
The asset allocation of your portfolio is a key driver of performance and returns. Do you have the right mix of stocks and bonds in your portfolio?
Homeownership: The Good, the Bad, and the Expensive
A home is both an asset and a liability. It can be sold like an asset at some point in the future, but there are ongoing expenses that come with homeownership.
Your 2022 Guide to Year-End Tax Planning
Minimizing your tax exposure requires a strategic and holistic plan. Here, we will look at various tactics and consider important tax-law changes for 2022.
Ask the Adviser: Is it ever okay to sell investments during a bear market?
However, this doesn’t mean that you should never sell during a market decline. Here are three scenarios when doing so may be a shrewd move.
The Pros and Cons of Paying off Your Mortgage Early
Wondering whether to close out your home loan ahead of schedule? We’ll look at the benefits of doing this—and when it might be better to invest in bonds instead.
The Fundamentals of Inflation and How We Recover
How much do you know about inflation? Take our simple quiz to find out, and learn about the factors driving inflation today.
5 Ways to Take Advantage of the Market Downturn
Look for opportunities created by lower markets, which include evaluating employer stock, performing Roth conversions, and investing before the market rebounds.
Ask the Adviser: What are the pros and cons of Series I savings bonds?
Series I savings bonds combine relatively high returns with minimal risks—as long as inflation remains elevated.
Year-Round Tax Planning Strategies
With the top marginal tax rate now at 37%—and the Medicare surtax on investment income adding another 3.8%—tax efficiency is more important than ever.
Save Early, Save Often, and Save Tax Efficiently
Opportunistic tax planning can help extend the life of your retirement savings. Here’s how.
What’s a Bond Ladder and How Does It Work?
This strategy of diversifying bonds can help smooth out the ups and downs of the market.
How to Make the Most of a Downturn
When the market is in decline, we take these proactive steps with our clients.
You May Be Able to Reduce the Taxes from Inherited Assets
If you’re the beneficiary of retirement accounts or other inherited assets, it pays to learn about the IRD deduction.
Tips for Enduring Inflation in Retirement
According to a survey conducted at the end of 2021, about 88% of Americans are very worried about inflation and many say they are planning to cut back their spending.1 Prices…
Using the New Three-Legged Stool™ Strategy to Support the Weight of Your Income
Protecting your portfolio from avoidable income tax is key to creating a sound income strategy for retirement.
Know the Biases That May Affect Your Investment Strategy
The best way to avoid investing bias is to learn how it commonly shows up—and to pursue an objective investment strategy.
How the New Three-Legged Stool™ Strategy Helps Reduce Taxes in Retirement
Learn how diversifying your taxability (not just investments) is key to creating a sound retirement plan.
Immediate Fixed Income Annuity: Is It Right For You?
Immediate fixed-income annuities are often sold quoting an interest rate that is not available in certificates of deposit or bonds. Generally, the interest rate quoted far exceeds more traditional fixed-income products and is quite a lure to investors.
Six Retirement Tips That Should Go Away Forever
These misperceptions can end up costing you a lot of money, and more importantly, years of your life working for someone else rather than pursuing your passions.
High Earners: Maximize Your 401(k) Match Using This Simple Tool
Don’t leave money on the table.
Becoming Financially Independent Part 3: Build Your New Three-Legged Stool™ and Help It Grow
It’s just as important to diversify how funds are saved as it is to diversify how they are invested.
Financial Challenges of Losing a Spouse in Retirement
Widows and widowers whose spouses were younger than 72 at the time of death need to examine their options carefully before rolling over their spouse’s IRA.
Becoming Financially Independent Part 2: Do Not Disturb Accumulation, Do Not Overlook Consolidation
Do not spend money that has been accumulated for financial independence. Invading long-term savings extends the time it will take to achieve a goal.
Becoming Financially Independent, Part 1: Where to Start
Time is the most important word in our investment vocabulary. If financial independence is the goal, starting today beats waiting until tomorrow.
What’s the Difference Between Premium Bonds and Discount Bonds?
A premium bond has a coupon rate higher than the prevailing interest rate for that particular bond maturity and credit quality. A discount bond, in contrast, has a coupon rate lower than the prevailing interest rate for that particular bond maturity and credit quality.
Common Traps That Could Catch Early Retirees
Until you reach age 59 ½, attempting to access tax-deferred retirement accounts could trigger taxes and penalties.
How Does the SECURE Act Affect Legacy Planning for Large IRAs?
With the passage of the SECURE Act inherited IRAs from those who passed after December 31, 2019 are no longer allowed to stretch the withdrawals over their life expectancy.
Passive Investing: Index Mutual Funds vs. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
The difference can be summed up in two words: intraday trading. Unlike mutual funds, ETFs can be bought and sold anytime throughout the day.
Are Pennsylvanians Saving Enough for Retirement?
Only 51% of Pennsylvanians have tried to figure out how much they need to save for retirement—and just 31% are satisfied with their current financial condition.
How to Determine Your Bond-to-Stock Asset Allocation
One way is determining your risk tolerance.
Why is Time-Weighted Return a Good Way to Track Performance in Retirement?
Learn why we use time-weighted return as a reporting metric and see how it gives you an accurate picture of portfolio changes over time.
Cut Your Taxes in Half During Retirement?
Many people believe all they need to do for retirement is defer as much money as they can. This is rarely the case.
The Three Things That Matter Most in Our Retirement Investment Strategy: Allocation, Allocation, Allocation
The myth that security selection and market timing are keys to investment success may drive many to make poor investment decisions.
Prudent Withdrawal Rate
Even if the probability of success for a 4% withdraw rate is less than some thought, it’s still strong when your portfolio is monitored actively.
Non-working Spouses Can Contribute to an IRA: Here’s How
Income earned by one spouse can be used to fund retirement accounts for both spouses.
Why Chasing Yield Is a Bad Idea
A better overall strategy is to invest for total return.
Important Age Milestones in Retirement
59½? 70½ ? How does the IRS come up with these?
IRS Says Gold Is Not an Investment
Gains from gold and gains from investments are taxed differently.
Do Stock Splits Increase a Company’s Value?
A stock split is when a company decides to increase the number of shares outstanding.
The Future Has Always Been Better Than the Past
A well-diversified portfolio of stock market indices has a history of recovering after each downturn.
Annuity Traps Part 1: Living Benefits
Learn about different types of annuities and understand how they can become a valuable component of your retirement plan.
What You Need to Know about Tax Loss Harvesting
It’s best to approach tax-loss harvesting cautiously and keep your broader financial plan in mind when making any tax planning decisions.
The Potential Dangers of Rolling Your Company Stock into an IRA
If you own large quantities of company stock held within a retirement plan, rolling it into a tax-deferred IRA may not be the best strategy. Learn when a Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) transaction is the right choice to maximize your tax efficiency.
Avoiding the Unpleasant Surprise of a Mutual Fund Capital Gain Distribution
If you’re investing in mutual funds at the end of the year, exercise extra care to avoid paying tax on gains that are earned internally by the fund.
Does Who Wins in November Make a Difference in Your Portfolio?
While presidential elections can influence market performance, many other factors do, too. It’s important to recognize the complexity of the stock market and be careful not to confuse correlation and causation.
Give Your 401(k) an Upgrade with Fidelity BrokerageLink®
Does your employer-sponsored retirement plan offer brokerage services? If so, you may gain access to expanded investment choices, including a range of mutual funds.
Traditional IRAs Are Not Like Other Assets in Your Estate. Here’s Why.
Traditional IRAs are subject to a unique set of complex rules. Here are 6 significant differences between IRAs and other financial assets.
6 Ways to Help You Reach Your Retirement Goals
It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. By setting a strategy— and sticking to it—you can help achieve your goal of financial independence sooner.
Converting Paper U.S. Savings Bonds to Electronic Format
Converting your paper savings bonds to an electronic format allows you to access their current rate and value, which is especially important as you plan for retirement.
What should you do if your employer offers a lump-sum cash payout?
Learn how to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of taking a lump-sum cash payout from your pension plan.
Dos and Don’ts of Retirement Planning
Use these tips and strategies about spending, saving, and asset allocation to reach your retirement goals.
5 Ways to Save for Retirement…before it’s too late
Are you saving enough for retirement? Read about target savings rates and see our strategies for closing the retirement savings gap so you can achieve financial independence.
Tax-Efficient Investing: Why Tax Planning and Investments Should Work Together
Managing an investment portfolio efficiently requires knowledge of income taxes and your tax bracket specifically.
10 Years Later: Lessons Learned from the Bernie Madoff Scandal
Since his deceit was revealed, there are still many unanswered questions. Despite these questions, there are lessons that fraud can teach all investors to avoid becoming victims of the next Madoff.
Why Optimism Can be Good for Investing
You only need to look at historic returns for equities to see that this has been true. Yet it appears that despite this evidence, whenever the equity market is falling, many investors start selling.
How Do Retirees Get Paid in Retirement?
What happens when the paychecks stop, and retirement begins? It is one of the most pressing questions we hear from people approaching retirement.
The Difference Between Stock Options and Restricted Stock Units (RSU’s)
Complexity abounds with respect to a RSU or option decision.
Understanding the Tax Implications of Company Stock Based Compensation
If you are an executive at a large company, you may receive stock in your company at some point as a form of compensation.
Should you sell when the stock market is high or buy more? We’ll help you plan an investment strategy on this edition of Project Wealth.
How To Title Your Cars To Limit Liability
Understanding how your assets are titled is a major tool to protect your wealth.
Why You Should Consider Donating Stock to Your Church in 2018
How to pay it forward in 5 easy steps
How To Avoid Being Double Taxed On Your After-Tax IRA Contributions
The primary goal of income tax planning is to pay the least amount of tax possible. Good tax planning should include avoiding paying tax on the same income twice. One…
When and Why You Should Convert an IRA to a Roth
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) eliminated the ability to use recharacterization to reverse the conversion of a Traditional IRA into a Roth IRA. The process of undoing a Roth…
How We Choose Funds for our Clients’ Investment Portfolios
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has just passed 23,000 as I am writing this newsletter. Clients typically ask if there are any good places to invest, and this topic comes up…
What Does It Mean to Be a “Retirement Specialist”?
The Rodgers & Associates logo includes “The Retirement Specialists.” The home page of our website says we “specialize in financial planning for those who are retired or expect to retire within…
5 Ways to Close the Retirement Gap and Increase Savings
Last fall The Washington Post reported that 71% of American’s aren’t saving enough for retirement. The article was based on a national survey commissioned by Experian in collaboration with Get Rich…
Don’t Retire Broke!
The New Three-Legged Stool A Tax-efficient Approach to Retirement Planning was published in June of 2009. People had been told for years that they would be in a lower tax bracket…
Retirement Withdrawal Mistake #1: Killing the Goose that Lays Golden Eggs
Withdrawing extra funds from your retirement account can diminish your future income stream.
Variable Annuities: How To Evaluate Whether You Should Keep One
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to meet prospective clients who attended an “informational” seminar, got a nice steak dinner, and ultimately purchased an annuity that may cost them thousands of dollars…
This Is Why You Got a Form 5498 After Filing Your Taxes
It doesn’t mean you missed something when you filed your taxes.
Follow the Rules When Rolling Over Your Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan
Know your options and follow these rules to help prevent costly rollover mistakes.
7 Steps To Follow When You Receive a Pension Buyout Offer
Nearly 200 companies have made significant changes to their pension plans over the past 10 years. Plan terminations, freezes and benefit formula adjustments are some of the changes companies are…
Why Standard Deviation Matters When Choosing Investments
Volatility often causes people to make decisions that may not be in their best interest.
Three Key Assumptions To Make in Financial Planning
When comparing results between retirement projections make sure you understand the assumptions of each plan.
4 Reasons Why We Believe Wealth Consolidation is Worth the Effort
The benefits of choosing a single financial custodian.
Should Bonds Still be a Part of Your Portfolio?
Investors are questioning the wisdom of holding bonds during what looks to be a rising interest rate environment.
Five Strategies for High Income Earners to Deal with the New Tax Rules
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA12) prevented higher taxes for many taxpayers but those in the top two tax brackets will experience an increase in taxes in 2013…
The Death of Equities — 33 Years Later
Does this sound familiar?
Be Careful if You Serve as Trustee for Friends and Family!
Doing so could be a serious liability if not done properly.