Archive for December, 2015

Research and Markets: Global Websites for Wealth Management Report – Analysis … – SYS

Research and Markets (
has announced the addition of the “Websites
for Wealth Management 2015 – Desktop and Mobile Sites: Essential
Elements of a Successful Digital Strategy”
report to their

This report tells you all you need to know for developing, optimizing
and implementing wealth management desktop and mobile websites with
maximum appeal to the demanding category of wealthy individuals.

This report focuses on desktop and mobile websites; mobile apps, as
another important channel, are covered in a separate report. To reflect
the growing importance of mobile website offers, further criteria to
assess the availability of mobile-specific features were added to the
2015 evaluation.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Benchmarking and ranking of the world’s Top 40 wealth management
    websites based on 48 detailed criteria for the desktop websites and 28
    criteria for the mobile websites
  • 40 comprehensive profiles of each wealth manager’s websites with an
    in-depth analysis and recommendations for each wealth manager
  • 12 best practices of wealth management desktop websites and 5 best
    practices of mobile websites in the areas of navigation and structure,
    content and interactivity and social media
  • Recommendations on how a winning wealth manager’s mobile and desktop
    websites should look
  • Recommendations on how wealth managers should integrate their
    different digital channels to follow a truly holistic strategy
  • Comprehensive data appendix of 40 pages containing thorough
    evaluations of each wealth manager according to 48 detailed criteria
    for the desktop websites and 28 criteria for the mobile websites

Companies Mentioned:

  • ANZ
  • Barclays
  • BBVA
  • Bessemer Trust
  • Bmo
  • Bnp Paribas
  • Bny Mellon
  • Charles Schwab
  • CIBC
  • Commerzbank
  • Coutts
  • Crédit Agricole
  • Credit Suisse
  • DBS
  • Deutsche Bank
  • EFG
  • Goldman Sachs
  • HSBC
  • ING
  • Investec
  • Jp Morgan
  • Julius Bär
  • KBL
  • Lloyds
  • Lombard Odier
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Northern Trust
  • Pictet
  • RBC
  • Santander
  • Societe Generale
  • Standard Chartered
  • UBP
  • UBS
  • Unicredit
  • Vontobel
  • Wells Fargo
  • Westpac

Report Structure:

1.0 Executive Summary

2.0 Rankings

3.0 Methodology

4.0 Strategy – The Mobile Disruption And Consequences For Wealth
Manager’S Website Strategies

5.0 Summary Of Findings

6.0 Profiles

7.0 Top 15 Best Practices

8.0 Authors

9.0 Disclaimer

For more information visit

View source version on


Thursday, December 31st, 2015 EN No Comments

ET Screenwriter’s Will Missing


Famed E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison passed away in November and nobody can find her will. TMZ obtained court documents, which reveal that Mathison’s business manager both confirms the existence of a will and the inability to actually locate it. Luckily, there’s unlikely to be much of a fight over Mathison’s reportedly $22 million estate. California courts recognize copies of wills, which should make an acceptable version much easier to find. Furthermore, the primary potential challengers are ex-husband Harrison Ford, whom it’s safe to say probably isn’t concerned about this amount of money, and their two children, who are reportedly on excellent terms. Though this family will likely avoid inheritance drama, the situation offers a reminder of the importance of noting the location of important documents, even in the best-planned estates.


CFP Designations Yanked After Improper Conduct

This week the CFP Board announced it was permanently revoking two advisors’ ability to use its industry designation, claiming the financial planners failed to respond to inquiries the organization made after the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority investigated the pair. Former LPL Financial advisor Marc H. Baldinger allegedly made unauthorized securities transactions, hid the fact that he managed two outside businesses and opened at least one account with a broker/dealer without his employer’s consent. Meanwhile FINRA barred Florida-based Ronald W. Vaught in August 2014 after finding he forged signatures on documents, misappropriated client funds and participated in outside business activities. Both advisors’ revocation of the CFP mark became effective over the summer. In addition to Baldinger and Vaught, the CFP Board also censured nine other advisors for improper conduct in recent disciplinary actions made public.


Robustly Drafted Will Survives Tornado

We often harp on this site about the importance of drafting strong legal documents, but this story is a bit ridiculous. During the rash of tornadoes that ripped through the midwest last week, Tennessee couple Antonio and Ann Yzaguirre were tragically killed when a twister completely demolished their home. Their last will and testament, however, somehow survived the destruction intact and was recovered—in the next county, over 40 miles away, according to local news affiliate Sharon Thompson, whose Dickson County home was untouched by the bad weather, found the document in her backyard, including the final page, which contained executor and beneficiary contact information, as well as what should be done with the estate in the event of a natural disaster, and returned it to the Yzaguirre family. Talk about ironclad.


AARP Wants New York to be Age-Friendly

AARP announced a new agenda for 2016 that it hopes will make New York the first “age-friendly” state in the U.S. The agenda takes aim at retirement savings for the middle class, and the lobbying group wants to create a state-facilitated, payroll-deduction retirement savings plan for the 3.5 million private sector workers in New York who don’t have one through their employer. “Helping New Yorkers help themselves to save for retirement in a world where fewer and fewer employers offer pensions or 401(k)s is common sense – and could help many avoid poverty in retirement,” said Beth Finkel, state director of AARP in New York. The lobbying group also plans to push for a $25 million increase to the budget for non-Medicaid services for the elderly and $30 million more for the State Office of the Aging.


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Thursday, December 31st, 2015 EN No Comments

Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (BPFH) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks …

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Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, AnalystRatings.Net reports.

According to Zacks, “Boston Private Bancorp, through its subsidiaries offers a full range of banking, commercial and residential lending, and trust and investment management services to its domestic and international clientele with a commitment to exceptional service. In the city of Boston, Boston Private Bank Trust Company offers a First Time Homebuyer program, and “soft second” mortgage financing. Under its Accessible Banking program, the Bank is an active provider of real estate financing for affordable housing, economic development, and small businesses. “

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on BPFH. RBC Capital lowered their price target on Boston Private Financial Hldg from $14.00 to $13.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, September 11th. Panmure Gordon reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $22.00 price target on shares of Boston Private Financial Hldg in a report on Sunday, September 20th. Sandler O’Neill lowered their price target on Boston Private Financial Hldg from $13.50 to $12.50 in a report on Friday, October 2nd. Jefferies Group lowered their price target on Boston Private Financial Hldg from $14.50 to $13.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 6th. Finally, FIG Partners downgraded Boston Private Financial Hldg from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 22nd. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Boston Private Financial Hldg currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $13.94.

In other Boston Private Financial Hldg news, insider Peter J. Raimondi sold 70,388 shares of Boston Private Financial Hldg stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.54, for a total transaction of $812,277.52. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 511,877 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,907,060.58. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Peter J. Raimondi sold 110,000 shares of Boston Private Financial Hldg stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $12.05, for a total value of $1,325,500.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 401,877 shares in the company, valued at $4,842,617.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Shares of Boston Private Financial Hldg (NASDAQ:BPFH) opened at 11.55 on Tuesday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $11.53 and a 200-day moving average of $12.11. The firm has a market capitalization of $966.18 million and a PE ratio of 16.04. Boston Private Financial Hldg has a 1-year low of $10.55 and a 1-year high of $13.82.

Boston Private Financial Hldg (NASDAQ:BPFH) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 21st. The company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.04. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.22 EPS. The company had revenue of $85.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $47.46 million. Equities research analysts predict that Boston Private Financial Hldg will post $0.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. is the bank holding company of Boston Private Bank Trust Company. It is a wealth management company that offers a range of wealth management services to high net worth individuals, families, businesses, and select institutions. The Company conducts its business through its four segments: Private Banking, Wealth Management and Trust, Investment Management and Wealth Advisory. The Private Banking segment is engaged in providing private banking services to high net worth individuals, privately owned businesses, private partnerships, and nonprofit organizations. The Wealth Management and Trust segment provides wealth management solutions for high net worth individuals and families. The Investment Managers specialize in equity portfolios with products across the capitalization spectrum. The Wealth Advisory segment provides planning-based financial strategies to high net worth individuals and their families and non-profit institutions.

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Thursday, December 31st, 2015 EN No Comments

1st Global Honors Porte Brown Wealth Management as a Four Diamond Eagle Firm …

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill., Dec. 30, 2015 / — Porte Brown LLC,, a Chicagoland CPA firm providing accounting, audit, tax, technology and wealth management services, is pleased to announce Porte Brown Wealth Management has been recognized for its exceptional work and accomplishments by earning the Four Diamond Eagle Award at the 2015 1st Global National Conference at the Omni Amelia Island Resort in Fernandina Beach, Florida. In addition, Porte Brown Wealth Management’s champion partner, Bruce Jones, was honored with the 2015 Success to Significance Award.

Photo – 
Logo –

“Diamond Eagle firms set the standard of excellence in our industry by creating meaningful outcomes for the individuals, families and businesses these firms serve,” says 1st Global founder and CEO Tony Batman. “Diamond Eagle firms epitomize more than just success – they are significant because of their dedication to this noble pursuit.”

1st Global, a research and consulting partner for high-achieving CPA firms offering wealth management, is also pleased to congratulate Bruce Jones, CPA, on being named the winner of the 2015 Success to Significance Award. Jones received the Success to Significance Award for his remarkable commitment to ensuring Porte Brown will continue to serve future generations of clients by energetically leading the firms’ adoption of wealth management best practices and establishing a culture of teamwork, education and collaboration.

The Success to Significance award is one of six Founder’s Awards selected by Batman. The winners represent virtuous accomplishments reflecting 1st Global’s corporate values in the following areas: Advocacy, Wisdom Sharing, Knowing WHY, Challenging Conventional Wisdom, Being a Client Servant and Moving from Success to Significance.

1st Global is proud to celebrate Porte Brown Wealth Management LLC for achieving its sixth consecutive Diamond Eagle award. The Diamond Eagle award is given to firms based on the criterion of the firm’s production volume across all product lines. 1st Global admires Porte Brown’s commitment to serving its clients through comprehensive financial advice, and congratulate Porte Brown on its continued growth and success.

“Achieving the Four Diamond Eagle level is an incredible accomplishment. Only firms that reach specific goals set forth at the beginning of the year are presented with Diamond Eagle awards. I am especially proud to see Porte Brown Wealth Management continue its stellar growth and success,” said Batman. “This places Porte Brown Wealth Management among 1st Global’s top-producing firms.”

About 1st Global
1st Global was founded in 1992 by CPAs who believe that accounting, tax and estate planning firms are uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive wealth management services to their clients. 1st Global provides CPA, tax and estate planning firms the education, technology, business-building framework and client solutions that make these firms leaders in their professions through dedicated professional client relationships built around wealth management. More than 500 firms have chosen to affiliate with 1st Global, making the company one of the largest financial services partners for the tax, accounting and legal professions.

1st Global Capital Corp. is a member of FINRA and SIPC and is headquartered at 12750 Merit Dr., Suite 1200 in Dallas, Texas, 75251; 214-294-5000. Investment advisory services offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc., an SEC-Registered Investment Adviser. Additional information about 1st Global is available via the Internet at

About Porte Brown
For more than 65 years, Porte Brown LLC has provided accounting services to individuals and businesses throughout Chicago and the suburban areas. Porte Brown specializes in tax planning and preparation services, audit, business valuations, wealth management, retirement plan administration and consulting. Porte Brown also provides strategic consulting and leading-edge technology implementation for clients in cloud and non-cloud environments.

Securities offered through 1st Global Capital Corp., Member FINRA SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc. Insurance services offered through 1st Global Insurance Services, Inc.

Contact: Pam Metzger, Email, 847-956-1040

Source: PrNewsWire All
1st Global Honors Porte Brown Wealth Management as a Four Diamond Eagle Firm for 2015


Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 EN No Comments

Myer Family Company in warning to wealth rivals

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Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 EN No Comments

‘Affluenza Teen’ Collared In Mexico


Famed “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch and his mother Tonya were detained by authorities in Mexico on Tuesday after the two fled the country in the wake of a surfaced video depicting an apparent probation violation by the young man, according to The Guardian. Ethan is famous for being responsible for dragging the term “affluenza” out of the jargon of advisors to high-net-worth clients and into the legal realm when his lawyers successfully argued that his privileged upbringing and permissive parents prevented him from understanding the nature of his crimes after he killed four people and fled the scene while driving drunk in 2013. He received 10 years probation and rehabilitation instead of a prison sentence. That looks set to change.


Health Before Wealth

Perhaps Count Rugen said it best in The Princess Bride: “If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.” Americans apparently agree with the sentiment, according to a recent study by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. About 44 percent of the over 1,000 U.S. investors surveyed said their top focus in 2016 will be their overall health and wellness. Only about 29 percent cited financial stability. But Americans were slightly more confident in their ability to stick to resolutions when it came to their finances, with 41 percent resolving to manage their money better. In comparison, about 43 percent said they were likely to follow through with their plans to eat healthier and exercise. 


The Verdict is in: Bitcoin a Winner in 2015

Despite choppy peaks and valleys earlier in the year, 2015 turned out to be a big year for bitcoin, according to one report from CoinDesk. Since October, the digital currency has seen an impressive upward arch in the CoinDesk USD Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). Some pundits are pinning bitcoin’s turnaround on the growing enterprise interest in blockchain technology. According to a Bloomberg report, bitcoin lost 56 percent of its value in 2014.


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Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 EN No Comments

(BPRW) Global Wealth Management JT’s Ping Pong Smash presented by Publix

(Black PR Wire) Known for its share of prizefights, the Seminole Hard Rock Live hosted a heavyweight battle like never before. On Sunday, November 1, Jason Taylor, the legendary Miami Dolphins defender, squared off against current Dolphins Pro Bowl center, Mike Pouncey, in an epic table tennis match as part of the Global Wealth Management JT’s Ping-Pong Smash 12 – Presented by Publix (#JTvsPouncey). Raising nearly $50,000, proceeds from the event benefited the Jason Taylor Foundation, whose mission is to support and create programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life. Additionally, this year’s Smash also supported the Team Pouncey Foundation.

This one-of-a-kind event pairs generous community members with some of the Sunshine State’s most recognizable personalities from the worlds of sports and entertainment. This year, Taylor was joined by a host of current and former Miami Dolphins players, in addition to several South Florida radio and television personalities as well as the always lovely and talented Miami Dolphins cheerleaders. Participants then attended the Hooters Champions’ Celebration for food and drinks in addition to a silent auction.

Raising the championship belts for this year’s smash were former PGA professional Gary Nicklaus and his teammate, Steve Sadaka of Stephen Douglas Associates. The team of Nicklaus and Sadaka defeated former Gator basketball star Teddy Dupay and Owen Cantor. NBC 6’s Kelly Blanco and two-time defending JT’s Ping Pong Smash champion Dwight Rowe of Flanagan’s rounded out the top three.

Prior to the main event, the Ping-Pong Smash Kid’s Clinic was held, rewarding 100 deserving children from the South Florida community. The clinic, supported by UPS, gave the children in attendance an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the world’s fastest sport, table tennis, from former Puerto Rican Junior National Table Tennis Champion and three-time JT’s Ping-Pong Smash Champion, Juan Ly. Ly and his table tennis club team from the University of Miami demonstrated the rules of the game, scoring and sport-related vocabulary, along with general techniques, before allowing guided practice of each of the techniques. The clinic concluded with a period of free play during which time participants enjoyed fresh new music and crowd favorites played by Power Parties DJs and Lighting and had a surprise guest as TD, the Miami Dolphins mascot, stopped by for fun and photos.


Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 EN No Comments

The Top Five Wealth Management Posts from The Wall Street Journal’s Experts …

1. One Economics Book We All Should Read

OLIVIA S. MITCHELL: The college course that had the most profound effect on my entire career as an economist was taught by John Kenneth Galbraith, on the great stock-market crash of 1929.

Professor G, as we called him behind his back in the ’70s, was a giant of a man–6 foot 8 inches, to be precise. When I was a Harvard freshman, he generously held forth at an evening weekly seminar where I was one of a dozen or so fortunate enough to be invited to join his class. Clustered on benches gathered around his lanky frame, we collected his personal anecdotes with glee, worried with him about the massive problems caused by financial leverage, and chortled over his wry commentary. He was, quite simply, the best economic entertainment I had ever experienced.

During my own career as an economist, I have continued to recommend to my own students the book around which his course was constructed, The Great Crash: 1929. First published in the 1950s, his slender opus remains a witty and insightful analysis of how an optimistic and confident cohort of American investors forecasted an ever-burgeoning economy, yet ended up losing with underwater land deals in Florida, over-extended stocks, and poorly regulated banks. Even more chilling was his recounting of how regulators and politicians responded, intoning (where have we heard this before?!) “the economic situation is fundamentally sound.”

While the economy is far more complex today than it was in the 1920s, and financial-services firms have been required to become more resilient than before, Professor G did well to remind us of the risks facing economies everywhere.  In the wake of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008-10, we’d all do well to re-read Galbraith’s book every couple of years.

After all, those who believe history cannot repeat itself are fools indeed.

Olivia S. Mitchell is a professor of business economics and public policy at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where she focuses on pensions, household finance and risk management.

Other popular posts:

2. Why Buying a New Car Makes No Financial Sense

TED JENKIN: My father loved new cars. He loved the look of them, the feel of them, and even the new-car smell. There is something glamorous and glitzy about parading a new car through your neighborhood to impress your friends. Every three to four years, my mother and father would go out and purchase a brand-new automobile.

But there is nothing sparkling about buying an investment that will surely lose you money–no matter how much you convince yourself that it makes sense.

As a child, you don’t really consider financial matters such as depreciation and how a purchase can be one of the worst things you can do to your family budget. But what if I was to tell you that you should give me $70,000 and within two years it will be worth $45,000? Would you invest your money in that kind of asset class? No matter how much the car may boost up your ego or social status, it simply cannot add to your bottom line.

Watching my parents struggle with their finances taught me an invaluable lesson when it came to my own financial decisions: Only buy cars that are two to three years old, when the massive upfront depreciation has worn off. Take the cars in for their regular service, and you can always buy an extended warranty up to 100,000 miles on most of these used cars to protect you against some of your downside risk. You can drive the used car for another good five to seven years before you may need to buy your next car.

Take this one to the bank and I’ll buy you a spray can of new-car smell if you really want that new-car feeling in the morning.

Ted Jenkin (
) is the co-CEO and founder of 
oXYGen Financial
, a financial advisory firm focused on the X Y generations. He also blogs at

3. How My Mother Turned $8 into a Million

ALOK DESHPANDE: In 1969, my mother landed in New York with $8, a suitcase, and the sari on her back. She left India after receiving a scholarship to the physical-therapy program in Warm Springs, Ga. The fact that she left familiar surroundings for an unknown world was remarkable. But even more remarkable were the simple lessons on money that made her a millionaire and will impact our family for generations.

My parents were part of a community that followed two principles on money:
1) Avoid things you don’t understand.
2) Spend less than you make.

As an immigrant, the first principle eliminated most financial products. In their early years, my parents simply didn’t understand credit, insurance or investing. My mother never liked the idea of buying things she couldn’t afford. She preferred to wait until she could pay cash. In the same vein, she didn’t understand why she would take her hard-earned $100, put it into an investment and watch it go up and down with limited control. She preferred knowing exactly how much she had.

Over time, my parents were ushered into more mainstream financial products. Still, my mother kept physical bricks of gold and silver with the steadfast belief that they were all she could rely upon. From the perspective of most financial savants, using little to no credit and not investing for growth are financial suicide. They may have been right if my mother wasn’t a professional at the second principle–spending less than she made.

My mother was the model of saving. At restaurants, she ordered water, lemons and sugar instead of the $2 lemonade. She conserved water from the dehumidifiers to water the plants. She purchased airline tickets for peak flight times and then surrendered them for vouchers. In fact, every expense she made was filtered for how she could spend less. It was second nature. It was her way of life. It was done in a way that didn’t deprive the family. And it significantly reduced her financial stress.

By following principle No. 2, my mom had a foolproof plan where she was in complete control. She wasn’t dependent on market returns or a pending bonus for financial security. She didn’t lose sleep over her lack of financial knowledge because she was investing in herself. Sure, in hindsight, she didn’t maximize her portfolio, but that was far less important than the daily feeling of empowerment she gained from following the two principles.

Many immigrants took the same path as my mother. They saved 20% to 50% of their income every month for 40 years. Most didn’t do it to consciously make a sacrifice. Instead, it was part of their daily routine that simply made sense. Their stories are far less decorated than the rags to riches tributes of Oprah, Howard Schultz, and Jean Paul DeJoria. But their strategies are far more replicable.

No matter what your broader financial strategy includes, you can all apply the two principles. You have the ability to spend less than you make. You can avoid things you don’t understand or take the time to learn them. You can develop a deeper relationship with your money that creates a burning desire to keep it. And in the process, you can pass down more than money. You can pass down the principles that protect that money for generations to come.

Alok Deshpande (
) is the CEO and founder of

SmartPath, a financial education and wellness company.

4. The Biggest Mistakes People Make With Social Security

: It’s easy to get your Social Security retirement benefits wrong. The claiming rules are diabolically complicated. What you receive depends on all sorts of variables–such as how long you worked and what you earned, for whom you worked, your age at claiming, whether you’re married or have been married, the duration of your marriage, whether you have dependents and how many, and your blood type.

Actually, I am just kidding about the blood type. But you get the picture.

Adding to the complexity is the budget bill signed into law by President Obama on Nov. 2.  In it, two strategies–file-and-suspend and a restricted application for spousal benefits–have been deemed by legislators as unintended loopholes and were closed abruptly at a surprising speed, given the customary glacial pace of Congress. Married couples, and particularly those who can afford to delay a higher-earning spouse’s Social Security benefits, will likely be the hardest hit.

Nevertheless, the bill’s language appears to leave an open window to those 62 or older in 2015 to file restricted claims for spousal benefits. Divorced spouses 66 or older, who otherwise meet the rules for claiming on an ex’s earnings, can still make a restricted claim and delay their own benefits. Finally, those now 66 or turning 66 within the six-month period from the legislation’s enactment can still file and suspend benefits up until the end of that six-month period.

So to provide some guidance amid the complexity, let’s look at some of the biggest mistakes that can keep people from making the most of their Social Security retirement benefits, along with some corrective strategies that take into account the changes introduced by the new law.

For simplicity, this assumes that you’re at or between ages 62 and 70, the window for starting retirement benefits. This means that full retirement age–the age at which you can receive a full benefit–is 66.

You don’t bother filing for a spousal benefit because you earned more than your spouse. This is a mistake if you reach your full retirement age during or before 2019 and your spouse has already filed for his or her own benefits. You can build wealth by waiting until age 70 to collect your own retirement benefits, but also filing a claim at your full retirement age restricted to spousal benefits only. Thus you collect two benefits sequentially–spousal then your own–which will give you more over your lifetime than if you waited for one. There’s another bonus to this strategy. Even if your spouse is below full retirement age, and therefore receiving a reduced, early benefit, your spousal benefit will nevertheless be based on what your spouse would have collected at his or her full retirement age.

You file at 62 because you need the income, but stop working because your benefit will be reduced by the “Earnings Test.” This can be a “cutting your nose off to spite your face” mistake. While benefits may be reduced depending on the amount of wages you earn after filing, those reductions are not necessarily “lost.” They will be repaid at full retirement age pro-ratably over your remaining life expectancy. Furthermore, continuing to work–even past the age of 70–can have the effect of increasing your annual benefit going forward.  Too many Americans assume, to their financial detriment, that filing for Social Security means a hard stop to work.

You figure there’s no point in waiting beyond 62 to file because you may die young. Yes, you may, and in fact, the extra benefits you’ll receive by waiting are calculated to be statistically equivalent to the additional benefits you’ll receive by filing early based on an average life expectancy of approximately 85 years. In other words, it’s a 50/50 bet, but only if you are single.  If you are married, the odds are 50/50 that one of you will live into your 90s – i.e., well past the break-even date for singles.  It makes sense to bank on those odds, by having the higher earner in your marriage delay benefits for as long as possible. In this way, you lock in that higher benefit as either a retirement or a survivor benefit for that longer joint life expectancy, regardless of who dies first.

You urge your spouse to take benefits at full retirement age so you can get spousal benefits. It’s true that you can’t take spousal benefits unless your spouse has filed for his or her own benefit. (This is not true for ex-spouses filing for a spousal benefit). However, if your spouse is at full retirement age now or will be within six months of the law’s enactment (which was Nov. 2), he or she can file and suspend at full retirement age up until the end of the six-month period and delay his or her own claim until 70–thereby enabling you to get a spousal benefit, while also increasing his or her own benefit by delaying.

You screwed up by taking benefits early, but there’s no point crying over spilt benefits, right? But there may be reason to start over. There are two ways to do this.  If you‘ve been taking benefits for less than a year, you can repay those benefits, and start over later, as if you had never filed.  If you’ve been receiving benefits for more than a year, you can voluntarily suspend those benefits at full retirement age, and let them earn delayed credits until age 70 when you can again start drawing a check.  This is relevant to those whose financial circumstances have changed for the better after they took an early benefit.

You’re single and assume “filing and suspending” is just a strategy for those who are married. Not necessarily  true.  As a single person, if you are now 66 or will turn 66 within six months of the law’s enactment (Nov. 2), you can file and suspend when you reach full retirement age at any point between now and the end of the six-month period. You would do this not to open up benefits for a spouse since that is not relevant, but to essentially bank those benefits and earn 8% annually until age 70.  By suspending rather than just delaying your benefits, you retain the option to change your mind about delaying your benefits and to request  a lump sum of all the benefits suspended since your full retirement age (though not the “accrued interest”).  So for singles meeting the new age and time-frame requirements, file and suspending is a form of taking out an insurance policy against the risk of dying before 70, as well as a form of ready liquidity in the event of an emergency.

You get your Social Security advice from family, friends or non-professional sources. You’re in good company–most Americans get their advice in this way–but you’re not getting richer. With tens of thousands of lifetime dollars at stake, it pays to get advice from an accountant or financial adviser who will consider a multitude of factors in developing solutions that make most wealth-sense for you. There are many do-it-yourself projects you can usefully undertake in your retirement, but figuring out the complexities of Social Security is probably not one of them.

Eleanor Blayney (
) is consumer advocate of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

5. A New Tax-Saving Tool for 401(k) Participants

 The Internal Revenue Service has issued a notice that permits a 401(k) rollover strategy starting this year—something it had been fighting for some time. This strategy opens up some valuable planning opportunities for current 401(k) participants.

First, a bit of background. Some 401(k) plans permit aftertax contributions by participants in excess of the pretax or deferral limit.  For 2015, the pretax contribution limit is $18,000 with an additional $6,000 catch-up contribution for participants who are 50 years of age or older. After-tax contributions can be made up to an overall limit that combines pretax, aftertax and matching contributions. This overall limit is $53,000 for 2015.

Before the IRS notice, when participants left their employer they could not separate the 401(k) rollover into pretax and aftertax components with different IRA destinations for each. Each IRA would have to receive a pro rata portion of the pretax and aftertax components. The portion of the distribution to the Roth IRA would, therefore, contain both pretax funds and aftertax funds. This meant that the pretax contribution would have to be characterized as a Roth conversion amount and fully taxable. Obviously, this reduced much of the benefit of creating a separate Roth IRA account to contain a portion of the 401(k) rollover.

The new rule changes the pro rata requirement by allowing the participant to designate the particular IRA accounts to which rollovers of pretax or aftertax funds are sent. This means that a 401(k) participant with a value of $100,000 in their account that includes aftertax contributions of $25,000 can create a rollover IRA account and a Roth IRA account and direct the plan administrator to send $75,000 to the rollover IRA and $25,000 to the Roth IRA. The $75,000 in the rollover IRA will be deemed to be pretax money and the $25,000 in the Roth IRA will be deemed to be aftertax money. There will be no taxes due on the funds transferred to the Roth IRA as there is no conversion of pretax money.

This change provides a valuable planning tool to participants who are able to contribute more than the basic tax-deferred amount to their 401(k)s. By contributing aftertax money to their 401(k), they can avoid taxes on income from the aftertax contributions until the income is distributed due to need or required minimum distributions. And by being able to rollover the aftertax contributions to a Roth IRA upon retirement, income from investments in the Roth IRA are shielded from tax forever.

Michelle Perry Higgins (
) is a financial planner and principal at California Financial Advisors.


Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 EN No Comments

Ensure Top Estate Planning Glendale CA

It is now convenient to get estate planning services for any individual, now with the arrival of reputed companies backed up by may years of experience in wealth management and estate planning Glendale CA.

Beverly Hills, CA – December 29, 2015 – (

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Ensure Top Estate Planning Glendale CA


Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 EN No Comments

Genworth Financial Inc (GNW) Stake Sold by Northcoast Asset Management

Northcoast Asset Management closed out its position in Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm previously had a 87,050 share position in the company, valued at approximately $342,106. Northcoast Asset Management had fully closed out its position in company by the time it had filed its quarterly disclosure.

Separately, Saba Capital Management increased its position in Genworth Financial by 17.1% in the third quarter. Saba Capital Management now owns 547,258 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,528,000 after buying an additional 80,000 shares during the last quarter.

Shares of Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) opened at 3.93 on Monday. The stock’s market capitalization is $1.96 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $4.43 and its 200 day moving average is $5.61. Genworth Financial Inc has a 1-year low of $3.46 and a 1-year high of $9.19.

Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 29th. The company reported $0.13 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $2.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.19 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned ($1.70) EPS. Genworth Financial’s quarterly revenue was down 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Genworth Financial Inc will post $0.89 EPS for the current year.

GNW has been the topic of several research reports. Keefe, Bruyette Woods cut their target price on Genworth Financial from $8.00 to $6.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, September 2nd. Macquarie reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $7.00 price target (up from $5.00) on shares of Genworth Financial in a report on Thursday, September 17th. JPMorgan Chase Co. reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $8.00 price target on shares of Genworth Financial in a report on Monday, October 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Genworth Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 13th. Finally, BTIG Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $13.00 price target on shares of Genworth Financial in a report on Friday, October 23rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $7.94.

Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE:GNW) is a financial security company. The Company provides insurance, wealth management, investment and financial solutions. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had more than 15 million customers, with a presence in more than 25 countries. The Company operates in Insurance, Mortgage Insurance and Corporate and Runoff. The Mortgage Insurance Division includes the business segments, such as International Mortgage Insurance and U.S. Mortgage Insurance. The Corporate and Runoff Division includes the Runoff segment and Corporate and Other activities. In September 2013, Genworth Financial, Inc closed the sale of its Wealth Management business, including Genworth Financial Wealth Management and alternative solutions provider, the Altegris companies, to a partnership of Aquiline Capital Partners and Genstar Capital.

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Monday, December 28th, 2015 EN No Comments