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Happiness is a warm puppy  Many people would agree with the above statement.  A little, fuzzy, snuggly puppy keeping your lap warm would indeed make most people happy.  But what if the warmth was coming from the puppy urinating on you?  Would you feel the same?  Would your feelings about  a “warm puppy” be different in that scenario?  We have purposely used this tasteless example to underline the fact that a person’s expectation has a lot to do with their feelings.  If someone’s expectations are met, or exceeded, then most people are happy about that occurrence.  If something doesn’t meet expectations, then typically there is an unhappy or disappointed result.You may be asking what any of this have to do with your investment portfolio?  Quite a lot. With financial markets, there are known expectations.  Some basic, some more complex.  An example of a basic financial expectation is that stocks...
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DHG Wealth Advisors Podcast Episode 03:  Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans
In this episode, we're joined by DHGWA financial advisor Jason Lunsford.  Jason helped created and currently leads our retirement plan services division – which means Jason is involved in the design, implementation, and advising of employer sponsored retirement plans. Together we discussed three of the most common retirement plan options: The SIMPLE IRA, the SEP IRA, and the 401(k).
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The Benefits of Company Sponsored Retirement Plans
As a business owner, establishing a retirement plan at your company can serve many purposes.    Having a plan will provide your employees an opportunity to reduce their taxes and save for retirement.   It can be an important tool in retention of existing employees as well as attracting new employees.It also has quantifiable benefits for the business and the business owner.  In particular, salary deferrals can be shielded from tax and employer contributions can be utilized as expenses for the business.   A business with a small number of employees can take particular advantage of these breaks and often has a wider array of feasible plans to choose from.   The establishment of a retirement plan has become particularly attractive given the reduction in deductible items for many high-earners brought about by the most recent tax legislation.Plans range from the SIMPLE IRA, which allows $12,500 annually to be deferred from tax ($15,500 those over 50), a 3% match...
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DHG Wealth Advisors Podcast Episode 02: 529 College Savings Accounts
In this episode, we’ll be joined by Amy Manning, CFP® and Justin Baas, CFP® to discuss one of the most powerful and tax-advantaged tools to help you save for a child or grandchild’s college education: 529 College Savings accounts.

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529 Savings Plans

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529 Savings Plans
529 Savings plans were introduced in 1996 as a convenient way to save for future college education expenses.   They are used widely, but misunderstandings about their design and use also exist widely.The primary benefit of 529 plans are that they provide tax free growth of contributions as long as the funds are used for qualified college expenses.  More recently, laws changed allowing for 529 plans to be used for k-12 education as well, with the limit annually per student being $10,000 for grades prior to college.  Setting up a 529 plan can be especially valuable if funds are deposited early and have time to benefit from tax-free growth.  Some states also allow for a reduction in state income tax during the year the funds are contributed.Potential asset growth within a 529 plan comes from a set list of mutual fund investments inside the plan.   The fact that the assets are permanently segregated from your spendable assets allows for the growth to occu...
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DHG Wealth Advisors Podcast Episode 01:  Sustainable Investing
In our first episode, we have a special interview with Marcus Axthelm, Senior Portfolio Manager and Vice President at Dimensional Fund Advisors, who is part of the team that develops and manages Dimensional’s sustainability funds. Tune in to learn about what sustainable investing is, and how you can take a more sustainable approach to your portfolio.
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Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)
Socially Responsible investing (SRI).   Sustainable investing.  Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) investing.  Impact investing.  Whatever you call it – and however you define it – the desire to manage investments in a way that aligns with personal values continues to grow. According to a report from the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, the market size of sustainable, responsible and impact investing in the United States in 2016 was $8.72 trillion, or one-fifth of all investment under professional management. Since 1995, when the US SIF Foundation first measured the size of the US sustainable and responsible investing market, to 2016, the SRI universe has increased nearly 14-fold, a compound annual growth rate of 13.25 percent.SRI has been around since the 1970s but over the last 40+ years it has evolved.  Initially, the approach was to avoid investing in companies whose products or services were considered objec...
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The Incredible Shrinking Market  Over the last 20 years there has been an interesting phenomenon in the US stock market.   Simply stated, the number of listed stocks on US stock exchanges has decreased dramatically.  See Exhibit 1 below:Source: DFA Inc.Note that the number of listed stocks peaked in 1997 and has continued to decrease almost every year since.  Also notice that the number of foreign listed stocks has increased or remained stable during that time. To view this in another way, see Exhibit 2 below:Each year there are new stock listings and delistings. Note that in most years since 1996, there are a greater number of Delists than New Lists.  This continuing trend is happening for three basic reasons:   Public mergers and acquisitions   Private mergers and acquisitions (private equity)   Many new companies are staying longer in the private sector  Public mergers, such as Amazon buying Whole Foods or AT...
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Should You Consider a Roth Conversion?
Roth IRA Conversions are a source of interest and confusion for many investors.   A Roth IRA conversion involves moving assets already in a Traditional IRA or other retirement account* into a Roth IRA.   The growth of assets in a Roth IRA and the distributions from a Roth IRA after age 59 ½ are tax free.   Some investors who have assets in a Traditional IRA may benefit from transferring their assets to a Roth IRA in a conversion.   Upon completion of this conversion an individual will have a tax liability related to the amount converted.  That amount will be taxed at ordinary income rates up to 37%, like your salary.  The 10% penalty applicable to early (before age 59 1/2) IRA distributions does not apply to Roth conversions, so they can be completed at any age. Normally contributions to a Roth IRA may be limited if income levels are too high.   However, there are no salary restrictions that would prevent someone from completing a Roth conversi...
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Clay Thornton | AAMS®, AIF®

Bill Laird | CFA, CFP®

Jason Lunsford | MBA, CRPS®, AAMS®, AIF®, PPC™

This webinar, provided by DHG's Wealth Advisory Group, will focus on the basic skills and knowledge you need to better manage your money and plan for a happy and healthy retirement. Initially created internally for DHG and now available publicly.
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