April 27, 2016
Beneficiary of Your IRA

Should a Trust be the Beneficiary of Your IRA? Pros and Cons

Should a Trust be the Beneficiary of Your IRA? Pros and Cons For many Americans, the assets in their Individual Retirement Account represent a significant portion of the wealth they hope to leave to their loved ones. You may have heard that creating a trust and naming it as the beneficiary of your IRA is a good way to direct how your assets are distributed after your death and force your heirs to “stretch” the IRA for generations. However, trusts and inherited IRAs are complex vehicles that have a lot of details to get right. Here are some of the pros and cons of naming a trust as a beneficiary of your IRA: Advantages to Naming a Trust as an IRA Beneficiary While directly inheriting an IRA is perfectly fine for many heirs, it can be inappropriate in some situations. Under these circumstances, a trust may be able to help […]
April 26, 2016
Tips for Gift Taxes

Missed the Tax Deadline? Here’s What to Do

Missed the Tax Deadline? Here’s What to Do April 18 was the tax filing deadline for most people in 2016. If you didn’t file a tax return or an extension to file, it’s not too late to take action. Here’s what you can do: File and pay soon. If you owe taxes, you should file and pay as soon as you can to minimize the interest and penalties that you will owe on any taxes due. Pay as much as you can. If you owe taxes but can’t pay in full, you should pay as much as you can when you file your tax return. Remember your refund. If you are owed a refund, you should file as soon as possible to get it. If you don’t file your return within three years, you could lose your right to the refund. For more information on filing late taxes, speak to […]
April 25, 2016

Stocks End Mixed as Tech Falls on Earnings

Stocks End Mixed as Tech Falls on Earnings WEEKLY UPDATE – APRIL 25, 2016 Stocks ended last week mixed on earnings that were largely better than expected, though the tech sector disappointed. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.52%, the Dow grew 0.59%, and the NASDAQ lost 0.65%.[1] First-quarter earnings reports drove a lot of market activity last week. Though analysts expect overall S&P 500 earnings to be negative for the fourth quarter in a row, the news so far is more about earnings surprises and fewer negative revisions to estimates. Given how low the bar was set by many corporate teams, it’s not so unexpected to see positive surprises. With reports in from 132 S&P 500 members, overall earnings are down 7.9% on 1.1% lower revenues, though nearly three-quarters beat their earnings estimates.[2]   However, the tech sector is another story. Tech stocks sold off after disappointing results […]
April 21, 2016
Tips for Gift Taxes

Tips for Gift Taxes – Financially Simple

Tips for Gift Taxes If you gave someone money or property, you may owe taxes on the gift. Here are some tips to help you determine if your gift is taxable: Tips for Gift Taxes Non-taxable Gifts. While the default assumption is that gifts are taxable, the following are nontaxable gifts: Gifts that do not exceed the annual exclusion for the calendar year ($14,000 in 2016) Tuition or medical expenses you paid directly to a medical or educational institution for someone Gifts to your spouse Gifts to a political organization for qualified uses Gifts to qualifying charities Annual Exclusion. For 2016, the annual exclusion is $14,000. Gifts under that amount are not subject to the gift tax even if they don’t fall into one of the categories above. If you give a gift to someone else, the gift tax usually does not apply until the value of the gift exceeds […]
April 20, 2016
Best Week in a Month

Dow Ends Best Week in a Month

Best Week in a Month WEEKLY UPDATE – APRIL 18, 2016 Stocks rallied again last week on better-than-expected earnings and some reassuring news about China’s economy, giving the Dow its best weekly performance since mid-March.[1] For the week, the S&P 500 gained 1.62%, the Dow added 1.82%, and the NASDAQ grew 1.80%.[2] Earnings reports are trickling in and the news so far is not as bad as expected. Since advance estimates had prepared investors for very weak earnings reports, the weak reports we’re seeing are being treated as victories. Out of 35 S&P 500 firms reporting in so far, total earnings are down 9.0% from Q1 2015 on 0.1% higher revenues with 71.4% beating their earnings estimates.[3] As earnings season continues to unfold in the weeks ahead, we may see more of the same, which could give markets room to rally. On the other hand, investors could take the weak […]
April 19, 2016

VIDEO: April 2016 Education Economic Update

April 2016 Education Economic Update March 2016 was interesting for us in the markets. Here is the script for our video. Heritageinvestor Planningisfun Hey Guys, this is Justin Goodbread with Heritage Investors bring you this April 2016 educational economic update. In this video, we’ll talk about some of the economic events that influenced markets in the last month, and give you some insight into what they could mean for you as an investor. Please stay tuned at the end for a required disclosure statement. After several rocky months for financial markets, March turned out several straight weeks of gains, giving investors hope for the Spring. Let’s talk about what happened. After months of strength, the U.S. dollar weakened against other currencies. A strong dollar makes domestic goods more expensive to foreign buyers, which has hurt corporate profits. A comparatively weaker dollar will help make U.S. products more competitive on the […]