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Smart Estate Planning in College

Smart Estate Planning in College

Posted By Lineweaver Financial Group
October 07, 2021 Category: Blog, Education, Commentary, Finance, Planning, College

Many people think that estate planning is only for older people – but it actually starts as early as college! When most students go to college, they are adults. This means they can take out loans, manage their time and course load, and generally make decisions for themselves. It also means that their parents are often surprised by how little control they have over their children's lives.  While parents' lack of access to grades and other information can be frustrating, if children have not considered their estate planning, the surprises can be far more serious. Besides being the provider of food, housing, and often transportation, parents are the "natural guardians" over minor children.  This means they are their child's legal representative and can act on behalf of their children in financial and personal matters. For example, if a minor child falls off a trampoline and breaks their arm, their parents can legally make medical decisions on behalf of the child. The same goes for financial matters. Parents can open financial accounts for their minor children, apply for life insurance, and so on. When those children turn 18, their parents' power over them stops. If an adult child is incapacitated in a car accident, their parents cannot, by default, make health care decisions for the child. The same goes for financial matters. So, what do parents and college kids need to consider to protect themselves in these s

The WealthWatch: 2021 Biden Tax Plan and Federal Tax Proposals

The WealthWatch: 2021 Biden Tax Plan and Federal Tax Proposals

Posted By Lineweaver Financial Group
October 05, 2021 Category: Blog, Newsletter, Economy, Commentary, Finance, Portfolio

The Biden administration is proposing about $4 trillion of new federal spending over 10 years as part of their new infrastructure legis-lation. To partially fund this new initiative, the new tax proposal includes higher taxes on individuals and corporations. These changes could potentially include higher individual and corporate tax rates, higher taxes on capital gains and new individual and corporate tax credits. Let’s take a look at some of these proposed changes: •    The current top individual tax rate is 37 percent. The Biden proposal will raise the top rate to 39.6 percent. This would apply to taxable income over $452,700 for individuals and $509,300 for heads of households and joint filers. •    Tax long-term capital gains and qualified dividends as ordinary income for taxpayers with taxable income above $1 million. That would result in a top marginal rate of 43.4 percent when including the top marginal rate of 39.6 percent and the 3.8 per-cent Net Investment Income Tax. Current law has long-term gains and qualified dividends taxed at 20 percent for those same individuals, plus the 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax. •    Tax unrealized gains at death for unrealized gains above $1 million ($2 million for joint filers, plus current law capitals exclu-sion of $250,000/$500,000 for primary residences). •    Apply the Net Investment Income Tax to active pass-through business inc

HealthWatch: How Bad Are Carbs, Really?

HealthWatch: How Bad Are Carbs, Really

Posted By Lineweaver Financial Group
October 05, 2021 Category: Blog, Newsletter, Economy, Commentary, Finance, Portfolio

Carbohydrates often get a bad rap due to the association of their excessive consumption with weight gain, obesity, met-abolic syndrome, and diabetes. This phenomenon, which some researchers call “carbotoxicity” promotes the idea that the ex-cessive consumption of all types of carbohydrates favors the development of chronic diseases. For this reason, many low car-bohydrate diets have become popular among people interest-ed in losing weight or managing blood sugar levels. They are even in favor among seasoned athletes.   However, several other studies have demonstrated that the quality of carbohydrates that people consume is as important as the quantity. This finding suggests that rather than all carbs being “created equal,” some options are better than others for health. Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient, providing the body with energy and dietary fiber to support good health. Excessive consumption of car-bohydrates is associated with weight gain and an increased risk of the development of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Despite their bad rap, however, carbohydrates offer many health benefits when a person frequently consumes sources of complex carbs and dietary fiber in favor of refined carbs and sugar-sweetened beverages. Before making changes to their diet, people should speak with a doctor or registered dietitian to determine their specific carbohydrate needs to optimize their health

How To Protect Your Portfolio During Rising Inflation

How To Protect Your Portfolio During Rising Inflation

Posted By Lineweaver Financial Group
October 05, 2021 Category: Blog, Newsletter, Economy, Commentary, Finance, Portfolio

The country is opening again after the severe disruptions we saw over the last year. But, the stimulus of the past year, coupled with the growing economy and some of the shortages we have experienced are causing rising prices. In fact, the Labor Department is reporting the fastest pace of inflation since 2008. So, what is inflation, and how you can help protect your portfolio? First, let’s go over the differences between reflation and inflation. Reflation is more akin to what we are seeing now –price increases due to the reopening and growing economy, as the economy works its way back to full employment. Inflation is generally increasing prices in a more stable situation – when an economy is at full capacity, and unemployment is generally low. To most of us, higher prices affect us negatively, regardless of the root cause. Shopkick, a retail marketing app, surveyed 19,000 con-sumers to see what their experience with inflation was. Of those, 86% have noticed increased prices, and 83% plan to tighten their belts because of it. Inflation is a problem because it eats at the value of your retirement savings. Average inflation is about 2.9% according to trading-economics.com. So, even in optimal economic conditions, you’re losing 2.9% or more of your savings most years. But there are some strategies you can use to help protect yourself, your family, and your hard-earned money.  First, there are certain asset classes that are historically more r

Marketing Outlook: End of 2021

Marketing Outlook: End of 2021

Posted By Lineweaver Financial Group
October 05, 2021 Category: Blog, Newsletter, Economy, Commentary, Finance, Portfolio

If the year ended today, it would qualify as a better than average year for the financial mar-kets. Despite a rocky September, through the first three quarters, the S&P 500 was up about 15%; this despite a 5% decline in September. While we’ve seen volatility in September, if the market can hold this watermark, returns would be above the historical average of 11-12%, and it would qualify as a good year. So, what about the rest of the year? We are currently in a seasonal weak period for the financial markets. Since 1926, September ranks as the weakest month of the year.  The decline this year was larger than the historic average decline of about 1%. Taken together, September and October are historically the weakest 2-month period of the yar. However, the fourth quarter is historically the strongest quarter of the year. Importantly, our July portfolio rebalance was designed to better weather interest rate volatility and tempered cyclical exposure slightly. In my view, there are three key issues as we head toward the end of the year: 1) The economic restart, 2) Fed Policy and interest rates, and 3) inflation.  Even though the Delta Variant has caused concern, the economic restart, while not bullet proof, appears real and is being driven by availability and efficacy of vaccines, economic stimulus, pent up demand for goods and services, and high consumer savings.    According to the CDC, as of late September about 77% of US Adults have had at

Understanding Payment Apps

Understanding Payment Apps

Posted By Lineweaver Financial Group
September 23, 2021 Category: Blog, Technology, Economy, Commentary, Finance, Portfolio

  With the advent of the pandemic over the last year and a half, more and more people are switching to digital payment apps to help them with banking, payments, and to move money between accounts. These have many advantages, especially in our increasingly touchless world. But which of these are the best to use, and how secure are they?   According to Forester Data, 61% of adults who use the internet transferred money digitally to a friend or family member in 2020, compared to 51% the year before. There are no shortage of these apps available, with offerings from tech companies like Google and Apple, companies that partner with banks like Zelle, and the largest and perhaps most popular companies, Venmo and PayPal.   With so many available, it may be hard to choose one to use and it may be best to use different apps for different situations.   For example, PayPal may be best for large purchases – you can transfer or make a purchase of up to $60,000 in a single transaction. It also provides purchase protection.   For instant transfers, Zelle may be offered alongside your bank’s mobile app. Transfers are instant, but irreversible and there’s no payment protection. It is, however, the only app that doesn’t charge a fee for an instant transfer of funds.   Different apps may make sense for different scenarios, but what about privacy and security? Last year, Venmo found itself in hot water when reporters were abl

The Power of Dividends

The Power of Dividends

Posted By Lineweaver Financial Group
September 09, 2021 Category: Blog, Economy, Commentary, Dividends, Portfolio

  If we look at the data over the past 90 years, dividends were responsible for over 40% of the total return of the S&P 500 index, according to a 2021 publication by Hartford Funds. And over the last 50 years, dividend paying stocks have produced average annual returns largely in line with the S&P 500 Index, but with a lower degree of volatility.   While dividend stocks may not receive the same popularity as growth stocks in the current environment, dividend paying stocks can meaningfully contribute to total return over time, with potentially lower price fluctuations. This is especially important in the continuing low interest rate that we’ve seen persist over the last couple of years.   In the past, investors focused on producing current income, such as retirees or individuals nearing retirement, have been able to do that through bond allocations, when yields were much higher. However, in today’s low interest rate environment, it’s become increasingly difficult to achieve that investment objective though fixed income alone.   There are many investment vehicles that can help you combat low interest rates. With the 10-year Treasury bond paying just over 1% and similar bonds in Europe and Japan paying 0% or slightly negative interest rates, but in our view, there are a number of high-quality dividend paying stocks out there that pay a 2%, 3%, or even 4% dividend yield.   Income from bonds, such as Treasury or corpora

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