Investment Review and Financial Planning

Investment Review and Financial Planning

We will act as your sounding board. We will review your investment ideas with you and your investment advisor and suggest the best structure to maximize your after-tax return.

Don't ignore the impact of taxes on your investments. While taxes should not drive your investment strategy, understanding how taxes affect your earnings will help you minimize taxes and maximize your return. Consider these items:

Capital gains carry a favored tax status. Consider putting more dollars in investments that return capital gains.

You can take an annual deduction of up to $3,000 of capital losses in excess of capital gains. Consider balancing your winners and losers to maximize this deduction.

Investments which produce high taxable annual income can be given to family members who are in lower tax brackets, thereby saving taxes for the overall family group.

Depending on your tax bracket, you may benefit from investing in municipal bonds. The level of these investments may need to be adjusted as your total income picture changes.

Financial Planning

Financial Planning
(Use the excellent calculators at the end of this page.)

Start planning and stop worrying!
In a recent Gallup poll, 60% of those surveyed said they worried about their financial future.

There are a few simple steps you can take to help reduce your worries.

Put aside some amount regularly in savings or other investments. The compounding of earnings can be substantial. The longer your investment period, the greater the beneficial effect of compounding.

Invest in what you know. The better informed you are, the better your investment decisions will be. If you don't want to learn about investments, consider hiring a money manager and paying him or her to do your investing for you.

Diversify your investments. Have some of your money in an investment that is easily converted to cash in case of emergencies. The old adage "don't put all your eggs in one basket" is good advice when it comes to your investments.

Prepare an annual balance sheet, a list of all your assets minus all your debts. A comparison of your annual balance sheets will reveal your success at growing your retirement funds.

Plan where you want to be financially by retirement age. The calculators listed below will help you determine your savings requirements. Once you know how much you need to save, put your plan into action. Over 90% of Americans must rely on the government or others for assistance during retirement. With proper planning and diligence, you may be among those who can retire in comfort.

Don't use credit to purchase consumption items. Wait until you can pay cash for things which decrease in value. Borrowing money to purchase a home is usually a sound idea. Using credit to purchase household furnishings is not.

Monitor your investments to maximize your after-tax return. Use the calculator below to compare the long-term results of different interest rates. The differences can be dramatic.

Have your insurance agent do at least an annual review of your insurance needs to determine that you are neither under- nor over-insured.

The Magic of Compounding!
If you could have one of the following as your pay for thirty days' work, which would you choose? (A) $10,000 or (B) a penny the first day, two cents the second day, four cents the third day, eight cents the fourth day, and so on, with each day doubling on out to 30 days.

The $10,000 sounds very attractive, but the fact is that the penny doubled each day for 30 days adds up to over five million dollars. Of course, that is 100% interest compounded daily, a rate not available to most working folk. Nevertheless, you see the power of compounding your earnings.

Here are some easy-to-use calculators.
Do you know how much you need to set aside to fund a college education for your child?

How much must you save each month for your retirement?

What will your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) be worth when you get ready to start drawing on it?

You can get rough answers to these and other questions very quickly by using the following calculators and a few estimates on your part. If we can be of help or answer questions for you, please call us.

Education Funding Calculator
Retirement Calculator
Retirement - How much to save and how long will it last?
How much house can you afford?
Mortgage Payment Calculator
Benefits of increasing your mortgage payments.
Prepaying your mortgage vs. investing.
The actual interest rate on a mortgage.
Simple Savings Calculator
Simple Loan Payment Calculator
Prepaying a loan, paying off credit card balances, etc.
The payment needed for different loan amounts or different interest rates.

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S.J. Wiesenthal & Co.

Steven J. Wiesenthal, CPA
Walnut Creek, California
925.210.0950  bluedia.gif Fax: 925.210.0989
E-mail: steve@sjwiesenthal.com

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