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? 


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.


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?


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.

In the News: 401(k)s and Volatility, Startups Offering Retirement Benefits, Founders in Love

Mosaic / Mar 2, 2018 / Mosaic News

Mosaic experts were featured in financial news in February, weighing in on diverse topics, from benefits advice for growing startups, how market volatility really affects your 401(k) retirement plan, and how two founders find time for a full and loving relationship that survives on several coasts.

Heres financial food for thought from our experts, cited in publications ranging from InvestmentNews to the San Francisco Business Times. 


What is holistic financial planning?

Norm Boone / Feb 16, 2018 / Financial Planning

When you’re trying to lose weight, you quickly learn that no single health change is going to get the job done.

If you focus on nutrition but forgo exercise, you won’t reach your goal. (You might reach it, but you are not likely to maintain it or improve upon it.)

Likewise, you can exercise aggressively, but if you don’t get enough sleep or fail to drink enough water, your weight loss efforts will be thwarted.

All aspects of your physical health have to get attention, working together holistically, to help you achieve your ultimate goal.

At Mosaic, we believe financial planning works similarly.


Valentines Day relationship resources that last longer than flowers

Sabrina Lowell / Feb 14, 2018 / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Life Balance

Tired of giving the same old gifts to your valentine year after year?

Supplement the heart-shaped chocolates, red roses, and mylar balloons with an offering that displays a little more depth: financial literacy.


One-Day Point Drop: Reaction Commentary

Norm Boone / Feb 6, 2018 / Financial Planning

The market had the largest one-day point drop ever on Monday, February 05, 2018.

The markets are now down. Oh, wait, the markets have recovered. Are they recovered? Should you be worried?

We don’t think so.


Upcoming Women’s Circles: The Tax Code Show

Liz Revenko / Feb 2, 2018 / Women's Events

Everyone I’ve told about our upcoming Women’s Circles responds the same way.

I tell them we’re spending time on discussing taxes, and they say,  “Ooh, I need that.”



Market Watch 2017 Q4 - Mosaic’s Quarterly Market Commentary

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

2017 marked a year of widespread data breaches, the beginning of the Trump presidency, devastating hurricanes, wildfires that raged throughout California, and a cryptocurrency frenzy reminiscent of the bubble. However, through it all, 2017 saw a long, steady rise in the stock markets.

It was a year of record highs as we saw the NASDAQ surpass the 7,000 mark and the Dow Jones Industrial Average roar past the 25,000 mark. US large cap returns reached 21.8%, pushed by the technology sector’s rise of 35.4%. Although small cap stock returns were lower in comparison, they still returned a very positive 14.7%. As strong as US market returns were, international markets performed even better.

All of the encouraging economic trends seen in 2017 makes us optimistic about the prospects for 2018. We are currently in the second longest economic recovery in US history.

With this in mind, many argue a recession must be imminent.

But positive economic data in the US and in most countries globally gives us a less pessimistic outlook. Labor markets are strong, economies are growing around the world, and consumer and investor confidence is high.

In addition, consistently low inflation, falling unemployment, and rising standards of living around the world all offer reason for optimism about the year ahead.


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.



In the News: Student Loan Interest, Targeted Savings, Debt & More

Mosaic / Jan 5, 2018 / Mosaic News

Mosaic experts wrote and were featured in financial news in December, weighing in on diverse topics.

  • Much like cockroaches during the apocalypse, your student loan is highly likely to survive your filing bankruptcy.
  • If you attach emotional significance to a targeted savings goal, you're more able to keep to the habit of working towards that goal. 
  • Likewise, if you conceptualize a day in the life of yourself as a retiree, you will be more likely to plan a fulfilling experience once you exit the workforce.
  • Self-employed workers have far more benefits than just wearing pajamas to work.
  • Credit card debt is on the rise. This is not good. 

Here follows financial food for thought from our experts, cited in publications ranging from US News & World Report to Yahoo! Finance. 


2 payroll deductions to make right now

Norm Boone / Jan 3, 2018 / Financial Planning

With the new year come changes. For those of us in the workforce: here are 2 quick financial tasks to see to now.

Taking care of these small tasks now counts as a big win - theres a few feathers for your cap. 



How will the tax cuts impact your finances? Steps to consider now

Norm Boone / Dec 28, 2017 / Financial Planning

Well, they’ve finally done it.

The Republicans passed a major bill, in this case the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), without a single Democratic vote. Before explaining the key parts you should be aware of, let me just say that

a) I think there are more good parts than bad parts to this bill, and

b) it is a true shame any time the only way our democratic process works is when one party shoves a bill down the other party’s throat without any apparent attempt to find ways to work together.

So, what steps should you take now that the TCJA has been passed? What are your financial considerations, tax cuts and all? Let’s look at what the new tax legislation will change. 

Ive included some the key things you will want to consider doing before year end.


How to use the ADV to evaluate a financial planning firm

Norm Boone / Dec 26, 2017 / Financial Planning

Looking for a financial planner? I’ve got the ultimate pro tip to help you evaluate a financial planning firm.

Before you entrust your money to an investment advisor, you should learn everything you can about the firm or individual and how they do business. Fortunately, many resources can help you evaluate a financial advisor, including the SEC-required document Uniform Application for Investment Adviser Registration and Report by Exempt Reporting Advisers—the ADV for short. 

Here’s how to leverage this incredibly useful information.


Circle Roundup: The Smart Guide to Charitable Giving Policies

Mary Ballin / Dec 21, 2017 / Investments / Women's Events

Tis the season of giving… and in our fourth-quarter Women’s Circles, aptly titled “A path to giving,” we discussed aligning our desire for giving to charity with our core values, covering ways to clarify which charities to choose, and ways to give that are a little better for everyone involved than just giving cash.

Read on for some great tips and interesting research rounded up from our recent Circle into a handy guide—and you’ll learn how to craft a charitable giving policy that you can rely on.