WrapManager's Wealth Management Blog
When life changes, we can help you thoughtfully respond.

Don’t Confuse 401(k) Withdrawals with 401(k) Rollovers – It Could Cost You

Posted by Michael J. O'Connor | CWS®, Vice President Investments

May 9, 2018

One of the reasons investing gets confusing for most people is that there are too many rules, requirements, products/options, and terms. The website “Investopedia” claims to have a “comprehensive financial dictionary with over 13,000 terms and counting.” Insanity!

The world of retirement planning – which is just a subset of investing – is not much better. But the definitions do matter. A 401(k) withdrawal, for example, could mean paying penalties and taxes that could cost you dearly if done wrong, or done at the wrong time. A 401(k) rollover, on the other hand, could provide you with several benefits and advantages for moving your retirement plan in the right direction.

In this case, a single word makes all the difference – and not knowing it could cost you.

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Retirement Planning Wealth Management Investment Planning 401k

Should You Still Own REITs in a Rising Interest Rate Environment?

May 8, 2018
When interest rates spiked in early 2018, income related investments such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) experienced a sell off. The FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT Index returned a negative 8.2% in the first quarter of 2018.¹ Income producing investments will frequently experience a sell-off in the face of a sudden spike in interest rates. Does this mean that you should not own REITS when interest rates increase? [+] Read More

Lord Abbett Weighs in on Appreciating Net Unrealized Appreciation

May 3, 2018
Net unrealized appreciation allows for favorable tax treatment of withdrawals of an employer's stock - but understanding the rules is crucial. Of all the various ways to reduce one’s taxes in retirement, net unrealized appreciation (NUA) is often misunderstood or overlooked altogether. The rules may be complicated, but a plan participant who owns company stock and is separating from service or retiring should be aware of NUA before rolling his/her retirement account into an IRA or a new employer’s plan. Net unrealized appreciation of employer stock held in an employer-sponsored retirement plan permits gains that occurred inside the plan to be taxed outside the plan (e.g., brokerage account) at preferential long-term capital gains rates. [+] Read More

How to Financially Plan for Natural Disasters and Other Unexpected Events

January 31, 2018
2017 was a historic year for multiple reasons, but perhaps none more impactful than in the context of natural disasters here in the United States. 2017 was a record year when it came to cumulative damages from “weather events,” with the total cost reaching $306.2 billion. This number shattered the previous record set in 2005 of $214.8 billion, which was disproportionately caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. When people think about 2017 in terms of natural disasters, Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the California wildfires probably come immediately to mind. But there were also hail storms in Colorado and Minnesota, drought and fire in the Plains states, three sizable tornado outbreaks, and flooding in California last February. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration created this insightful graphic detailing the major weather events, many of which may still come as a surprise. In all, there were 16 weather events whose damages exceeded $1 billion. [+] Read More

Why High Income Earners Can Still Benefit from a Budget

January 23, 2018
A high-income earner can benefit from a having a budget much like a professional athlete can benefit from having a personal trainer – even though the extra help and attention may not be completely necessary, it can serve to make a good situation even better. Much better. Consider that, simply put, two goals of closely maintaining a budget are to: Minimize waste Maximize efficiency Isn’t that what everyone wants when it comes to your hard-earned dollars? Let’s start with minimizing waste. One of the first steps in creating a budget is to itemize each and every monthly expense you incur. Mortgage payments, insurance, cable and internet, phones, memberships, subscriptions, utilities, food, entertainment, and so on. When was the last time you sat down and closely scrutinized all of these expenses? Doing so could very well reveal fat that needs trimming. [+] Read More

Navigating Your Finances Through Divorce

January 22, 2018
There’s really no way to sugarcoat it – though relationships are often filled with love and beauty, they can also be complicated and sometimes difficult to sustain over time.   In recent years, January has earned the dubious honor of being nicknamed “Divorce Month,” as analysis of divorce filings between 2008 and 2011 revealed a spike in divorces in January through March.1 Life changes like divorce or separation almost always call for major financial adjustments, which can often feel like insult to injury. But it doesn’t have to be that way – working with your financial advisor can help you work through the process professionally, and can also prevent emotion from sifting into financial decision-making. That’s key to eliminating some of the financial consequences of divorce.   [+] Read More

Calculating the Impact of Expense Ratios on Returns: Doug's Quiz Corner

January 19, 2018
How Does An Expense Ratio Impact Returns? Consider this scenario: Your friend Martha has just invested $100,000 in a mutual fund that has an expense ratio of 1.50%.  She has discovered an alternative investment that is very similar to the mutual fund she purchased but has an expense ratio of 1%. She is considering switching to the lower cost investment but isn’t sure if 50 basis points in an expense ratio will make much of a difference in her returns going forward. Assume both investments return 8% per year, each year for the next 10 years before expenses. What is the difference in ending dollar value between the mutual fund with an expense ratio of 1.5% and the alternative investment with an expense ratio of 1% at the end of 10 years? [+] Read More

Financial Planning for…Pet Owners?

January 17, 2018
For about 85 million Americans, owning a pet is a joy and marvel of everyday life. Indeed, according to the 2017 - 2018 National Pet Owners Survey, about 68% of US households own a pet. This marks a remarkable 56% increase from pet ownership levels in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted. That’s a lot of furry and fuzzy (and fishy and flighty) friends across the country. Many of these pets are considered a part of the family because of the companionship they offer. According to a 2015 poll, 95% of pet owners in America think of their animal as a member of the family; even going so far as to buy them birthday presents! This perhaps explains why for many, no amount of money can replace the happiness and health benefits of owning a pet. [+] Read More

Have you heard of the “January Effect”?

December 27, 2017
You many have heard people speak about the "January Effect," but what does it actually mean? In short, the January Effect is a concept suggesting that the first month of the year tends to experience a seasonal increase in stock prices. Some even take the anomaly a step further, suggesting that a positive January means a positive calendar year. With January around the corner, does the “January Effect” concept hold water? Let’s investigate. [+] Read More

High Earners Still Need an Investment Plan

October 18, 2017
What does it take to be a top income earner in the United States? We found some data recently that breaks it down, telling us just how much you’d need to earn in order to give you a place at the top. Here are some of the numbers by age. In other words, you’d need to earn this much each year to be a top 1% earner in the US:1 Age 35: $291,000 Age 45: $458,000 Age 55: $453,000 Age 64: $473,000 Having a high income may seem like it’s an automatic for also having financial security, but it isn’t. High earners still need an investment plan. Making a lot of money also often means having high living expenses, which makes management all the more important. Case in point: multi-millionaires who find themselves bankrupt far too early in retirement – and sometimes even before they retire. We’re going to pick on professional athletes here, for two reasons: 1) they often qualify to be top 1% earners in their active years; and, 2) there are numerous instances where financial mismanagement led to bad outcomes. [+] Read More