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
How much do you know about the tax implications of investing? This quiz tests your knowledge and gives you a chance to brush up on the basics.
When your financial life is complex, decreasing your tax liability requires a strategic plan. Here is where to start.
While there’s no magic formula for balancing a portfolio, there are some key factors to consider—from asset allocation to sector concentration.
Real Estate Investment Trusts offer a way to invest in real estate without having to actually manage property. Yet it’s wise to understand the taxation first.
ESG ratings evaluate how socially conscious a company is, serving as guideposts for selective investors. And their impact is only growing.
While more investment choices may be appealing, there are some issues to be aware of before taking this direction.
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.
Much like caring for a vehicle, financial planning is an ongoing process—not a once-and-done event.
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?
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.
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.
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.
How much do you know about inflation? Take our simple quiz to find out, and learn about the factors driving inflation today.
Look for opportunities created by lower markets, which include evaluating employer stock, performing Roth conversions, and investing before the market rebounds.
Series I savings bonds combine relatively high returns with minimal risks—as long as inflation remains elevated.
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.
Opportunistic tax planning can help extend the life of your retirement savings. Here’s how.
This strategy of diversifying bonds can help smooth out the ups and downs of the market.
When the market is in decline, we take these proactive steps with our clients.
If you’re the beneficiary of retirement accounts or other inherited assets, it pays to learn about the IRD deduction.
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…
Protecting your portfolio from avoidable income tax is key to creating a sound income strategy for retirement.
The best way to avoid investing bias is to learn how it commonly shows up—and to pursue an objective investment strategy.
Learn how diversifying your taxability (not just investments) is key to creating a sound retirement plan.
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.
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.
Don’t leave money on the table.
It’s just as important to diversify how funds are saved as it is to diversify how they are invested.
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.
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.
Time is the most important word in our investment vocabulary. If financial independence is the goal, starting today beats waiting until tomorrow.
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.
Until you reach age 59 ½, attempting to access tax-deferred retirement accounts could trigger taxes and penalties.
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.
The difference can be summed up in two words: intraday trading. Unlike mutual funds, ETFs can be bought and sold anytime throughout the day.
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.
One way is determining your risk tolerance.
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.
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.
Income earned by one spouse can be used to fund retirement accounts for both spouses.
A better overall strategy is to invest for total return.
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.
59½? 70½ ? How does the IRS come up with these?
Gains from gold and gains from investments are taxed differently.
A stock split is when a company decides to increase the number of shares outstanding.
A well-diversified portfolio of stock market indices has a history of recovering after each downturn.
Learn about different types of annuities and understand how they can become a valuable component of your retirement plan.
It’s best to approach tax-loss harvesting cautiously and keep your broader financial plan in mind when making any tax planning decisions.
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.
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.
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.
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 subject to a unique set of complex rules. Here are 6 significant differences between IRAs and other financial assets.
Our approach to retirement planning combines the seven-step process outlined by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards with our own unique focus on maximizing tax efficiency, managing risk, and minimizing expenses throughout retirement.
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 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.
Learn how to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of taking a lump-sum cash payout from your pension plan.
Use these tips and strategies about spending, saving, and asset allocation to reach your retirement goals.
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.
Managing an investment portfolio efficiently requires knowledge of income taxes and your tax bracket specifically.
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.
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.
What happens when the paychecks stop, and retirement begins? It is one of the most pressing questions we hear from people approaching retirement.
Complexity abounds with respect to a RSU or option decision.
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.
Understanding how your assets are titled is a major tool to protect your wealth.
How to pay it forward in 5 easy steps
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Withdrawing extra funds from your retirement account can diminish your future income stream.
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…
It doesn’t mean you missed something when you filed your taxes.
Know your options and follow these rules to help prevent costly rollover mistakes.
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…
Volatility often causes people to make decisions that may not be in their best interest.
When comparing results between retirement projections make sure you understand the assumptions of each plan.
The benefits of choosing a single financial custodian.
Investors are questioning the wisdom of holding bonds during what looks to be a rising interest rate environment.
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…
Does this sound familiar?
Doing so could be a serious liability if not done properly.