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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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Finally, Finally  After months and months of experiencing an extraordinary period of muted volatility, we finally encountered stock market fluctuations that have grabbed investors’ attention.  Below is a weekly bar chart of the S&P 500 Index:Each bar represents the high and low for one week, starting with the first week of January 2017 and ending with the last week of March 2018.  In case you have been glued to the Winter Olympics and March Madness and have not surfaced long enough to appreciate what has happened, this chart shows the incredible differences between the first 13 and the last 2 months of that period.  Not only was the difference between the weekly highs and lows dramatically tamer during the first 13 months, but the direction of the bars was primarily up or sideways, with no meaningful down periods. During February and March 2018 those trends changed.  There were meaningful differences between the highs and lows, and the direc...
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Donor-Advised Funds

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Donor-Advised Funds
In conjunction with our tax advisors at DHG, we have helped many clients over the years fulfill their goals for charitable giving while enjoying a reduction in their tax obligation during the calendar year of the donation.  A Donor-Advised Fund is one way to accomplish that goal.  It works particularly well during a year of a significant positive change in circumstances; such as an unexpected bonus or a large deferred compensation payment.  For example, an individual may make a regular donation to a specific charity each year.  In the year of a significant bonus, they may choose to fund 5-10 years of charitable intent at once, by making a deposit to a Donor-Advised Fund.  It allows an individual to take a deduction for the whole amount contributed; but doesn’t require the donor to distribute the funds to charity right away.  Instead, they’ve created a “charitable checkbook” allowing for the funds to be paid out to qualifie...
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10 key principles to improve your odds of investing success.
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