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Welcome to Wealthinking

The purpose of this blog is to show what comprehensive financial planning looks like and feels like on the day-to-day.  Each post is drawn from the actual work we do with clients and is rooted in the best of current economic thinking. You'll see such traditional topics as finance, taxes, retirement planning, and investment management through the lens of what real people actually care about—their own personal hopes and dreams, navigating various life transitions, and understanding the world around them.  We’re glad you’re here and invite you to join the conversation.


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Wealthinking by Paula Hogan

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Financial Planning April Fool's



Sometimes when you look at the big picture, you just have to laugh. See if you can guess the answer to these seven ridiculous riddles: 

  1. What has these characteristics:
    • It requires nuanced detailed planning, using information kept mainly behind a hyper secure web portal for which it is against the law for anyone to access except the elderly to which it applies.
    • If you have ever been married, you will likely apply for it several times, perhaps on the right date.
    • People complain when a portion of it is taxable, forgetting that 15% of it is never taxable. 

Answer: Social Security retirement income


So your 2014 Income Tax Return is filed. Now what?



When your 2014 tax return is complete, is your next step to heave a sigh of relief and drop it into the file for posterity?  Or do you take a few minutes to actually look at the return? What would you find if you did take a look?  There must be more than just getting the tax forms completed and signed each year, all the while feeling that the whole process is beyond your control, abusively complicated, and stunningly expensive.

Retirement Advice: Like a Good Woman, It's Hard to Find



The Society of Actuaries Committee on Post Retirement Needs and Risks has just published another paper about retirement policy in America. This interdisciplinary volunteer committee has created a stream of substantive data and insights about retirement planning that helps policy-makers, regulators, and consumers.  Retirement planning in our country is challenging and not at the moment optimally addressed. I’m proud to be a volunteer on this committee and grateful for all that I have learned from fellow committee members. 

An Unexpected Blend of Topics at the AICPA Conference



You might be surprised to see the agenda for the 2015 AICPA Advanced Planning Conference in Las Vegas, which I attended last week with Clint Wondra CFP® CPA, another advisor from our office.  This year, the content of the conference included a focus on the softer and more nuanced parts of retirement planning in addition to the more technical offerings traditionally offered by the AICPA, the world’s largest membership organization representing accountants.

Savvy Cash Flow Management – Part 3 of 3



In the first two posts on Savvy Cash Flow Management, we focused on monthly discretionary cash flow as a primary metric for financial freedom and then considered best practices for the use of that financial freedom.  In this third of three posts, let’s look at some specific nuts-and-bolts suggestions for Savvy Cash Flow Management.

Savvy Cash Flow Management – Part 2 of 3



In the first of this three-part series on savvy cash flow management, we identified monthly discretionary cash flow as the primary metric for financial freedom. The subject of this post is what do you do with that freedom? In other words, what makes someone happy in their day to day financial life? That question is at the heart of personal financial planning and so an obvious focus for savvy cash flow management.  

Savvy Cash Flow Management - Part 1 of 3



One of the most interesting parts of financial planning is cash flow management.  It’s where personal values are the most visible and where the most important planning decisions are made. This is the first of three posts which together might be titled: What Your Mother Never Told You about Cash Flow Management But Would Be Really Helpful for You To Know.

Here’s the first big idea:

Technology Induced Change in the Brokerage Industry



Two new financial firms reflect the convulsive, technology induced-change going on right now in the brokerage industry.  They also raise some interesting financial planning considerations. Let’s take a look.

What are we doing to our elders?



Have you ever been in a situation where you have been working really hard to navigate some new challenge or to work towards some high personal goal, and then midstream find yourself pausing and thinking: “Something’s not right here. We need a reset.”  I have had that feeling lately as a financial advisor helping people plan for their later years. I’m wondering if you agree that as a culture we need to press the reset button. Here’s why:   

Should you include small cap stocks in your portfolio?



Small cap stocks tend to outperform large cap stocks more often than not.  The amount by which they outperform is called the small cap premium.  From 1927 to 2013, the annualized average small cap premium for domestic small cap stocks was 3.58%. That’s a hefty spread between the two asset classes of small cap and large cap stocks.

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