4Thought Investing Resources

4Thought Investing Resources

Financial News Investment Strategy Personal Finance Business Finance For Professionals Compass and Crosshairs

Financial News


Subscribe for free tips and articles to help you lead a smarter financial life.

Recent Posts by Martin E. Levine, CPA, ChFC, CAP

Financial News ,Investment Strategy ,Financial Advisor ,Financial News

Managing Expectations: Income Investors Often Take Investment Results Out of Context

Comparing the S&P 500 to a diversified investment portfolio designed to generate monthly income is an apples-to-oranges analogy. Here's why.

When a client and I first meet, we prepare a financial plan. Within the plan, we assess cash flow needs and determine how much the portfolio must generate in order to make up any monthly income shortfall, and thereby provide for the client’s lifestyle. By figuring out what the shortfall is, we can determine how to position the investments and other income sources.

Read More

Financial News ,Investment Strategy ,Financial Advisor ,Financial News

Long-Term Care Insurance vs. Hybrid Life/LTC Insurance Policies

Should long-term care insurance be purchased as a stand-alone policy or as a feature of a “hybrid” life insurance policy?

Having been in the life and health insurance industry since 1984, I have become skeptical when insurance companies include language in the fine print such as: “may be,” “ordinarily excluded,” “check with your tax advisor,” or “the rider is not long-term care insurance and is not intended to replace long-term care insurance.”

Why are those disclosures included within hybrid life insurance and long-term care policy contracts? Do we have to find out at claim time exactly how they apply? The purpose of this article is to address some of these issues.

Read More

Financial News ,Investment Strategy ,Financial Advisor ,Financial News

April 1 IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Start Date: What You Need to Know

April 1 marks the starting date of Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) withdrawals for IRA owners who've turned 70 ½, with significant tax ramifications, as well as a costly penalty for those who don't comply.

Besides the infamous April 15th tax return deadline looming this year, there is also the infamous April 1st date.

Why is this date also infamous?

It is the “Required Beginning Date” (RBD) for Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) withdrawals from traditional IRAs following the year the IRA owner turns 70 ½. This is only the beginning. Every year thereafter, withdrawals must be taken. The result is more taxable income and income taxes. Ouch! With more and more boomers turning 70, this date will live on in infamy until the IRS changes the rules.

Read More

Financial News ,Investment Strategy ,Financial Advisor ,Financial News

What Accountants Should Know About Their Clients' Financial Advisors

Important information for CPAs to know about their clients' financial advisors include: how they're compensated, who they represent, what strategies they utilize, and whether or not they are true fiduciaries.

(Co-authored by 4Thought Financial Group Operations Associate Michael C. Duvally)

The time is now for CPAs to step up to the plate and learn how their clients’ financial advisors are being compensated.  

The financial services industry has not been up front or transparent about this historically. Now that the Fiduciary Rule by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is in tatters, all compensation options are once again on the table. A recent client meeting proved onerous fees are still being charged and incentives are still misaligned in many cases. 

Read More

Financial News ,Investment Strategy ,Financial Advisor ,Financial News

What Is the Best Way to Transfer Ownership of a Business?

Choosing the right business succession strategy is critical to facilitating a smooth transition and ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. Potential methods include leaving your ownership to your family via your will, gifting the business to family member employees, or selling ownership to a third party.

Business succession is one of the most complicated subjects that all privately held business owners are eventually faced with.

Business owners do not want to give up control. I recently heard a great comment from a former business owner, who finally at age 85 decided to sell to an unrelated third party: “I should have sold 15 years earlier!” In this business owner’s family, no one was interested in going into the business. But it is much more complicated when family is involved versus not. Either way, there are many reasons to wait. There are also many reasons to act expeditiously.

Below are some issues and approaches to consider when dealing with business succession. Your accountant or tax advisor and lawyer should be consulted before any strategies are implemented.

Read More

Financial News ,Investment Strategy ,Financial Advisor ,Financial News

'How Can I Make Gifts Without Paying Taxes?' & Other Gift Tax-Related Questions Answered

Knowing the requirements, limitations and annual tax exclusions pertaining to gifting—such as cash gifts, educational and medical contributions, 529 plan funding, and more—is critical to minimizing personal liabilities while maximizing benefits to loved ones.

This is a common topic that never seems to go away. From parents to grandparents, each year the questions arise: "How much am I allowed to give to my kids and grandkids? Should I set up a 529 plan? What are the limits on how much to give?"

Read More

Financial News ,Pro Tips ,Wealth Management ,Financial News

Charitable Giving Ideas to Benefit Those in Need & Your Family

Listed here are some ideas to ponder for 2018 and beyond that would benefit the charity of your choice, and your family. Anything you read below should be discussed first with your accountant or tax advisor before you take action.

Charitable giving has certainly changed in 2018. A new tax regime has been passed into law, called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” The main change that is relevant for charitable giving is whether (or not) you can still itemize your deductions on your income tax return. Why is that relevant? Charitable giving is part of your itemized deductions.

Read More

Leave a Comment

Search 4tfg.com

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

Recent Articles