Investment Advice

 Wealth Management  Comments Off on Investment Advice
Feb 272015


It looks like even Dilbert is getting into the investment advice business.

In yesterday’s Pantagraph, there was an interesting, and perhaps telling explanation of how investment advice actually works.

Hopefully it’s not true, but it does make you stop and think.

Broker Fees on Retirement Accounts

 Retirement Planning, Wealth Management  Comments Off on Broker Fees on Retirement Accounts
Feb 272015

Investment Fees & Retirement Savings

I know it does cost money to provide services to retirement accounts – not in small part due to all of the rules and regulations imposed on them.

However, some of the fees on the account’s assets seem to be really hard to justify – especially due to the lack of transparency for the individual account holder. Are they really getting value for those fees?

How much should they pay for this service if they have a $100,000 account balance? How about a $500,000 balance? Maybe $1000 per year is right for a $100,000 account, but do the $500,000 balance account holders get $5000 in value for their fees?

Not sure how the President’s proposal will really play out on this, but you can regard his comments from this Reuters article

This is getting a fair amount of press at the current time. As usual it is probably not entirely black or white, but costs are one of the key elements one should work to control to have a successful investment plan.

Tax Aware Investing

 Retirement Planning, Wealth Management  Comments Off on Tax Aware Investing
Feb 252015

Control what you can Control!

I came across this blurb in this morning’s emails about taxes and investing.

Taxes can’t and shouldn’t be the only driver for your investment decisions, but being tax aware when you make investment decisions is potentially quite  beneficial.

After cost, the decision to invest, and your asset allocation, this may be the next most important step.

Check out the Wall Street Journal article for more information.

Ignoring tax impact is a common mistake. Advisers generally promise to be tax-sensitive in managing clients’ money, but “one of the biggest mistakes advisers make is ignoring the tax ramifications,” says Oregon-based adviser Julia Carlson. In a story on Wealth Adviser at, she describes how she helped redesign a client couple’s portfolio to reduce their tax liability. One of her moves involved shifting $1.3 million in a taxable account from actively managed funds that generated a lot of dividend income and short-term capital gains to index funds with lower turnover (and lower expenses).

Social Security – What do you know?

 Retirement Planning, Social Security Withdrawal Planning  Comments Off on Social Security – What do you know?
Feb 232015

There was an article in the WSJ last year by Glenn Ruffenach titled What You Don’t know About Social Security – But Should.

It starts talking about an imaginary new employee who meets with his boss to talk about salary. The boss states that their payroll system is impossibly complicated. In fact, you can pick from dozens of different ways to be paid and hundreds of different start dates. Not surprisingly these all result in different salaries.

Seem odd? Welcome to Social Security!

How can this be? Well the good news is that Social Security benefits can be customized and applied for in a manner that best meets you and your family’s needs. Of course the bad news, is that knowing all or even some of these rules is really quite challenging. As a result most beneficiary’s end up using some quick short cut rules of thumb, based on “general knowledge” not a fact based analysis.

Check out the article, but if it is time for you to begin the process of determining when to draw your hard earned Social Security benefits contact DLW Planning for help creating your optimized benefit withdrawal plan.

Steps to build up your retirement savings

 Retirement Planning  Comments Off on Steps to build up your retirement savings
Feb 172015

Here are a few steps to consider for ways to add to your retirement savings:


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  1. Maximum your salary deferrals to your employer retirement plan
  2. Establish a Roth or Traditional IRA if you qualify and have maximized your employment savings
  3. Set-up an automatic transfer to an account with an organization like Vanguard to build savings that are not part of a qualified plan

Obviously these start as small steps, but given time and appropriate investment choices, they can go a long way to improving your chances of have a successful retirement.