All about Asset Allocation

Norm Boone / May 17, 2018 / Investments

If your mother warned you against putting all your eggs in one basket, she grasped the basic concept of asset allocation in financial planning.

A well-balanced mix of asset types can help insulate your portfolio against severe market fluctuations that might disproportionately affect any one type of asset.

Read more...

What's the risk of living underinsured?

Norm Boone / May 15, 2018 / Risk Management / Insurance

If you’re underinsured, you’re taking an unnecessary risk that could jeopardize your long-term financial well-being and keep you and your family from achieving your financial goals.

If you’re living underinsured, you could be placing your financial health at risk, no matter how diligent you are about other aspects of wealth management. Insurance is a vital component of holistic financial planning.

How so?

Read more...

Upcoming Women’s Circles: Values, Goals, & Money

Liz Revenko / May 9, 2018 / Women's Events

I’m happy to announce our upcoming Women’s Circles! This will be a refreshing direction after spending last quarter on taxes. This quarter, we’re focusing on the intersection between your values, goals, and money.

How does making effective financial choices start with understanding your values and goals? 

Read more...

Bay Area home renovation in the works? What to know before you begin

Steve Branton / May 3, 2018 / Financial Planning

The region around San Francisco is one of the highest-priced home markets in the world, and it costs more to renovate here, too. However, your renovations can also have a much higher payoff when it’s time to sell your home.

Renovation can be a wonderful experience that elevates the value of your property and your enjoyment of your home for as long as you’re in it... It can also become a nightmarish drain on your finances that drags on for months or even years.

Of course, as with life, there are no guarantees of success when you decide to renovate or remodel your Bay Area home, but a bit of knowledge and planning will help make the process as smooth and beneficial as possible. 

Read more...

In the News: Podcasts, Personal Loans, Planning Pieces and Grad Presents

Mosaic / May 1, 2018 / Mosaic News

Mosaic experts were featured in a plethora of media over the past month, from articles to podcasts to press releases. We're proud to note Mary Ballin's new CDFA® certification, bringing her personal passion ever closer to her professional aims. Geoff Zimmerman tackles his first podcast, pulling out all the analogical stops.

Sabrina Lowell offers tips on gifting graduates funds earmarked for a Roth IRA, Norm Boone weighs in on how beneficial professional organizations are, and more, in our link roundup:

Read more...

5 Credentials to Know When Choosing a Financial Planner

Norm Boone / Apr 24, 2018 / Financial Planning

Finding financial advice is as easy as asking the guy in the cubicle beside yours what he thinks the next hot stock will be. Unfortunately, your cubicle mate might not be the most reliable source for financial guidance—and frankly, a lot of “professional” advice can be just as dubious.

It can be difficult to know where to turn for trustworthy financial planning advice, especially since there is no single licensing requirement in order for someone to call themselves a financial advisor.

Lets look at 5 top terms to know when searching for a financial planner.

Read more...

Circle Roundup: It's... the Tax Code Show!

Liz Revenko / Apr 19, 2018 / Tax Planning / Women's Events

Most people wouldn’t expect a discussion about taxes to be as riveting as a Game of Thrones marathon.

But then again, don’t you want to know what the recent changes in the tax code may have in store for your wallet beginning this year?

In our first-quarter Women's Circles series, aptly titled “The Tax Code Show,” we discussed a broad array of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of December 2017, so that participants could start to answer the big question: “How does this apply to me?”

Read more...

Market Watch 2018 Q1 - Mosaic’s Quarterly Market Commentary

Kevin Gahagan / Apr 17, 2018 / Investments / Market Watch

This is a tale of two market environments.

As clients can see in their quarterly reports, the one-year numbers show strongly positive returns with very few exceptions.

In contrast, the first quarter of 2018 was a different story. First quarter numbers were negative in a majority of investment asset classes.

It remains to be seen whether this represents the beginning cracks in the long growth run we’ve enjoyed since the end of the great recession in early 2009.

After experiencing relatively calm markets in 2017, volatility returned in the first quarter of 2018. Bond prices fell as interest rates rose, while US and international stocks declined. With tensions heating up between the US and leading communist countries (including potential trade wars with China, nuclear tension on the Korean Peninsula, and the expulsion of Russian diplomats), there is a great deal of uncertainty on the global stage, which all contributed to a weak first quarter.

The outcomes weren’t terrible, but all of this is a change from the positive growth trends we’ve enjoyed recently.

Our new issue of Market Watch is out now.

 

More insights are inside the issue, including a breakdown of current economic factors influencing the markets.

Read our quarterly market commentary today to get a better idea of our investment approach.

Click here for the full issue.

 

Read more...

Over 70 & Charitably-Minded? Here's How to Leverage the TCJA

Geoff Zimmerman / Apr 11, 2018 / Retirement Planning / Financial Planning

If you are a charitably-minded investor who is  age 70½ or older, and you have money in individual retirement accounts (IRAs),  the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) may provide some worthwhile planning opportunities to cut your tax bill more so than in prior years. 

How can charitably-minded seniors leverage the TCJA? Let's walk through a few scenarios.

Read more...

In the News: Lending Adult Kids Money? And Mosaic Receives Top Rank!

Mosaic / Apr 5, 2018 / Mosaic News

Our monthly link roundup featuring Mosaic experts in the news has a surprise or two this month. 

Read more...

7 Resources for Researching Financial Planning Firms

Norm Boone / Apr 3, 2018 / Financial Planning

Choosing a financial planner is one of the most important financial decisions you will make. Many factors should inform your choice, including how much you have to invest, your financial goals, the type of planner you are most comfortable with, and the history of the financial planning firms you’re considering.

When you’re ready to research a financial planning firm’s history, here are 7 resources that can help.

Read more...

Ask an advisor: What are my options for an emergency fund?

Kevin Gahagan / Mar 16, 2018 / Financial Planning

Regardless of your personal circumstances, having some of your assets in a readily-available reserve is prudent planning.

No one can predict the future, so it’s best to plan in case of emergency or market downturn. 

So what are your options for an emergency fund? What about for a liquidity reserve? And how do the two differ? 

Read more...

Tax Reform and the Alternative Minimum Tax for Couples and Individuals

Geoff Zimmerman / Mar 14, 2018 / Risk Management / Insurance

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 has drastically altered the alternative minimum tax (AMT) landscape for 2018 and beyond.

The TCJA completely eliminated the AMT for corporations; while the AMT still exists under the TCJA for individuals and couples, several material changes affect middle and upper-middle class taxpayers, making it less likely for this population to be hit by the AMT. Despite this welcome change, certain taxpayers may end up with a larger tax bill under the new system.  Lastly, some high earners may still find advantages to falling in the “AMT sweet spot.”

Let’s take a closer look at what’s changed.

Read more...

Should high earners make nondeductible IRA contributions?

Stephen Kepler / Mar 8, 2018 / Retirement Planning

When planning for retirement, you need to find ways to maximize the amount of money you put aside for your future. Key to that is finding ways to minimize your tax burden now and down the road.


So if you’re a high earner who isn’t self-employed, beyond contributing as much as the government allows to your employer-sponsored 401(k), what are your options?

Read more...

Mosaic Newsletter - 529s, Liquidity Reserves, Money Conflicts, and More

Mosaic / Mar 6, 2018 / Mosaic News

A new issue of the Mosaic newsletter, Effective Financial Strategies, is out now! 

 

read What’s Inside:
  • Learn about what benefits nondeductible IRA contributions can have for high earners,
  • Find out actionable ways to save for college with a 529 plan,
  • Understand the differences between an emergency fund and a liquidity reserve, and what both can do for you in different stages of your life,
  • Read about 4 smart tips for established couples to better deal with money conflicts, 
  • And even more takeaways and actionable tips.
Read more...