Yearly Archives: 2016

Feeling uneasy with the global economy right now? Remember: Portfolios that include international exposure have historically performed better (and with less risk) than those that don’t. The goal of diversification is to have broad exposure to different areas that are not perfectly correlated (such as the US and international markets). When one part of the portfolio goes down, it is offset by another part that behaves differently. Trying to time movement in the market is not a viable strategy. WeRead More

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Many believe the “gig economy” is here to stay and will continue to get bigger. I heard a futurist speak at a conference a couple years ago, and he predicted there will be a “match.com” for employers and workers. Work will become more project-based with workers not necessarily being employees of a company but functioning as independent contractors. With Microsoft’s recent purchase of LinkedIn, Microsoft may see LinkedIn as that matchmaking site. I will be asking our educational speaker nextRead More

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A health savings account (HSA) allows you to use tax-free money to pay for qualified medical expenses. The money you use to fund the account is not subject to federal income tax or state income tax in most states (California being one exception), and employer contributions are not taxable to the employee. In order to contribute to an HSA, you are required to be enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP). You cannot contribute to an HSA if youRead More

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The New York Times Your Money column had a timely article on renting versus buying by Tara Siegel Bernard. She interviewed a couple who are renting, by choice, in southern California due to high home prices in the area. She also interviewed a few financial professionals in the article. In summary, they agreed on the following: 1) In the short-term, no one can predict what the real estate market will do on a consistent basis. Therefore, if you are planningRead More

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Every year, I compile a list of the FAQ’s I get during tax season to share in the hopes it answers somebody else’s question.  This is not a substitute for tax advice.  Please check with your tax professional for questions specific to your situation. I have a taxable account, but I did not receive a 1099-INT form for it.  I looked online and I earned $7 of interest in 2015.  Do I need to claim this interest income on myRead More

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I asked Cinda Jones, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and owner of Divorce Financial Solutions, to help me answer this complicated question.  Please note that these answers are general in nature.  For answers to any specific questions, it is always wise to consult an attorney in your state.   Retirement Assets (401k’s, IRA’s, 403b’s, etc):  Contributions and benefit accrual during marriage are community property and will be divided in the settlement agreement upon divorce.  Even if only one spouse is contributing to a planRead More

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