Enter GoToMeeting ID# Go

COINed: Commentary | Observations | Insights | News

Levin: Why you need to ask questions of your financial adviser

A new client recently was asking many questions in a meeting, ending with one about whether there are ways to see their account directly from the brokerage firm in addition to the portal that we provide. He said, “As a lawyer, I like to double check everything.” And he ended by saying, “I trust you enough to ask this of you.” This got me thinking about gifts that occur in a reciprocal planning relationship.

Tags:

Levin: Finding a middle way with money pays big dividends

The fog had come in over the harbor as the fireworks were set off. The sound was loud, but the colors were muted until the fireworks fell below the cloud covering and briefly sparkled.

We had not been to a fireworks display like this and before the fog became too thick to see much of anything, this faint display was transfixing. While this fireworks show did not create the rush of ones in the past, it stayed with me longer.

Let me make a case for the muted, or as I prefer to think about it, the middle way. Our attention is drawn to the extremes, but why? 

Tags:

Levin: Build on areas of agreement to resolve money dispute with partner

I have learned a lot in over 35 years of doing this. And I am still learning. But I can give you something I have learned which constitutes the greatest financial advice you will ever receive as it relates to dealing with money with your partner. No matter what needless package arrives, what cockamamie get-rich-quick scheme is suggested, or what conversation you are about to have for the umpteenth time, if you want to stay in relationship with your partner then never roll your eyes.

Tags:

Cybersecurity: Protecting Yourself & Your Personal Information

Every year, more and more aspects of our lives become inextricably linked to the digital world – our finances, our personal communications, our health records, and increasingly even our household appliances and electronic devices are all dependent on internet connectivity. While these connections can offer convenience and previously unimaginable levels of detailed information, they also subject us to new risks. And just as the web of digital connections to our personal lives continue to expand, so too do the efforts of cyber criminals to exploit these new connections. We offer some tips and best practices to help mitigate online risk and provide resources for additional information and tools.

Tags:

Powering Sustainability | Solar at Accredited

The importance of sustainability permeates everything at Accredited Investors Wealth Management. It is a main consideration in Accredited’s own business succession planning, as we implement a strategy to ensure a sustainable future for our firm. But it is also the driving factor behind our decisions to install prairie restoration landscaping and introduce bee apiaries on our property, and to add an electric vehicle charging station for our clients and staff members.

That focus on sustainability was also the reason for installing a solar panel array on the roof of the building at Accredited in late 2015.

We are often asked questions about our solar installation, including just how much green energy we are able to produce. Considering we are a financial firm, you might think our first instinct would be to simply list the numbers – after all, measuring energy output is a relatively straightforward mathematical calculation.

However, as we have learned through serving our client families, numbers rarely hold meaning simply on their own. It’s only after adding context around the numbers that true value can be revealed. So, with that thought in mind, we’d like to share some relevant statistics about the immense environmental benefits produced by our installation, that put our solar energy efforts in perspective.

Tags: ,

Economists Expect the Fed to Cut Interest Rates. Markets Already Have.

The Federal Reserve will announce its decision on interest rate policy tomorrow. After raising rates throughout all of 2018, markets now anticipate the Fed to reverse course and begin cutting rates – if not at tomorrow’s meeting then very likely in July. Expectations for economic growth in the remainder of 2019 have moderated, and interest rates throughout the economy have already fallen substantially as a result. While the direction of Fed policy is extremely important, in many respects markets have been well ahead of the Fed this year.

Tags: , ,

Levin: Coming to terms with our weird relationship with money

We spend a lot of time talking with our clients about how to not spoil their children and why their children have a weird relationship with money. Here’s why: because they do. And you do. And I do. And so does everyone.

The people who don’t think that they have a weird money relationship are similar to the people who say out loud, “I don’t talk to myself.”

Let’s not get defensive, let’s make our own weirdness less impactful to those around us.

Tags:

Levin: Financial planning jargon could be costing you money

Financial planning has a lot of confusing jargon. Here is a short course on what some of these things really mean.
Financial planners get paid in three ways: commissions, fees and commissions and fees. Period. Fee-only planners charge retainers, hourly rates or a calculation based on a percentage of net worth or assets that they manage. While some firms use the term fee-based, there is no such thing. These firms collect fees and commissions.

Tags:

We hired a nanny. Now what about the taxes?

As the kids settle in to the first couple weeks of summer break, many parents have gone the route of hiring a nanny to supervise the kids while parents work over the summer. Although this is a common practice, what often isn’t fully understood are the tax implications that can arise when someone chooses this option for summer daycare. The details can seem daunting, but a few key points can help to clarify a potentially complicated requirement.

Tags: