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Defining Stocks and Bonds

December 2nd, 2010

Stocks and BondsHow often have you heard the term “stocks and bonds” in conversation and just let it pass?

It’s amazing how often we hear words but we don’t quite understand them. We all have heard about stocks and bonds one way or the other, whether it’s on TV, on the radio or via the Internet. Ironically, a large majority of those same people wouldn’t know how to purchase either, let alone explain the difference in the two.

Stocks, simply put, are shares of a company. These companies sell stocks as a business capital fund-raiser of sorts.  A stock is offered to an investor, making that person a partial owner of the company. Bonds basically are large loans borrowed by companies. It is a formal contract issued by the government or a company to repay borrowed money with interest in a specified amount of time.

Both stocks and bonds are securities, which are instruments that represent some form of financial value. A mortgage (for you first-time homeowners) is a security. Stock can be purchased through a stock broker or via online.

Stocks and bonds can really become an intriguing discussion once you know the jargon and once you familiarize yourself with the actual process. Our financial planning professionals in Fort Worth TX will be more than happy to assist you with additional information. Call us, or contact us online for details.

Which IRA is Best: Traditional or Roth?

November 19th, 2010

Whether you’re 17 or 70, there’s nothing wrong with thinking about retirement and primary investment retirement vehicles. An individual retirement account (IRA) can make your retirement a lot more relaxing financially. IRAs offer a way to save money for retirees while earning major tax benefits in the process. They provide tax advantages while saving.

Perhaps the two most common IRAs are the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA. Both offer excellent opportunities when it comes to tax benefits. Both also have specific advantages, depending on the person and his or her financial situation.

The real difference between the two involves the option of paying taxes now versus paying taxes later. Lots of people want to pay taxes up front so they won’t have to worry about it in the future – and also not worry about which tax bracket they’ll be in upon retirement.

With traditional IRAs, tax-deductible contributions are available depending on a person’s level of income. With Roth IRAs, there are no tax-deductible contributions. With Roth IRAs, you can take money out at any given opportunity without a tax penalty. With traditional IRAs, withdraws can occur for individuals at age 59 ½ and can be considered mandatory at age 70 ½.

While some like traditional IRAs, others are more comfortable with Roth IRAs. It all depends on you.

There are plenty of similarities and differences between the two, and our investment advisors in Fort Worth TX will be more than happy to assist you with your questions about IRAs or investment retirement. Call us today, or contact us online for more information.

Train Your Kids, Early and Often

November 8th, 2010

I’m sure we all have sat back, looked at our current financial states and said, “If I could do it all over again …”

Many of us who say that are now parents of young children, and the last thing we want is for our children to make the same mistakes that we did. Let’s be honest with ourselves, a lot of those mistakes were financial.

In order to make sure our children don’t repeat history, here are a couple of tips you can offer to them (and they are worded accordingly). Even if they are 10 or 11 years old, these tips can be very beneficial as they mature.

Take out the trash: When you see those pieces of credit card junk mail come through your mailbox, throw them away immediately. The last thing you need to worry about is a card that will give you 6 % APR for a couple months and then 25 % APR for the rest of your life.

Don’t touch the piggy bank: In other words, try to maintain a stable account, one that doesn’t have to be dipped in every other week (or day). Treat it as if it’s the emergency fund for your emergency fund.

Eat your food: By “your food,” we mean the healthy food that YOU purchased at the grocery store. You don’t need to buy a pizza or visit the local burger chain every day or every other day. Save that junk-food money and put it away for a rainy day.

Do your homework: Even though you receive advice here and there from everyone, it’s never a bad idea to do financial restoration research on your own. This, in addition to re-emphasizing important facts, also gives children a sense of achievement and teaches self-satisfaction and self-motivation.

Our financial planning professionals at Robinson Wealth Management Group are here for you for all money-saving questions – no matter what the age is. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Increasing Wealth Begins by Reducing Debt

October 8th, 2010
reduce debt, increase wealthIf you’re trying to plan for your retirement, your children’s education, setting aside savings or considering a plan to substantially increase your personal wealth, it all begins with eliminating or radically reducing your current debt load.

Sound impossible?

It’s not.

We’ve helped hundreds of clients who have come to us seeking advice and guidance to manage and grow their financial assets–and many of them have been saddled with debt, primarily credit card debt.

Because our services are highly customized to meet every individual client’s financial goals given their unique circumstances, we don’t advise blanket plans for reducing debt, but here are a few general tips that can help you start to tackle your debt–in particular your credit card debt–so you can save more:

1) Pay off MORE than your minimum credit card balance each month. This may not be new news–and it may be hard news to swallow on a monthly basis. Usually, the interest on a credit card is the highest APR you’re paying on any of your unsecured debt (and secured debt for that matter). You’ve heard the refrain before, but this is why it holds true, the sooner you pay off your credit card debt the better.

2) Enroll in 0% balance transfer programs if you can. If you qualify for a 0% interest transfer, you’ll be able to pay off the principal that much quicker that your current APR rate. Be cautious though of the plans you enroll in. The 0% interest may be for a limited time. So be aware of these time limits and if future interest rates could exceed what you’re currently paying.

3) Just say “no” to offers of higher credit limits. Despite these hard times and the temptation to take “the easy way out,” it really is in your best interest to avoid an increased credit limit altogether–and no credit cards if possible.

When our clients come to us looking for help to improve their financial circumstances, these are some of the guidelines that have proven helpful. Our goal is to help everyone who walks through our door achieve a state of financial fitness and a healthy perspective for their future. The first step begins by following at least one of the above.

If you have questions about how to achieve financial fitness, give us call at 817-479-9245 for a free consultation today.

Roth IRA Explored

September 20th, 2010

Nest Egg ImageA Roth Individual Retirement Account (Roth IRA) is one of many retirement vehicles. You can make contributions to a Roth IRA account regardless of whether or not you contribute to a 401K plan or similar through work. Unlike a traditional IRA, you don’t receive a tax deduction for the money you contribute to your Roth IRA; however, you are able to withdraw money from a Roth IRA tax free during your retirement years. The maximum yearly contribution you can make to your Roth IRA is determined by the U.S. tax code – your tax professional or Fort Worth investment advisor can provide you with more detail.


What Are the Main Advantages of a Roth IRA?

When compared to the traditional IRA, the Roth IRA has a few potential advantages. These include the following:

  • Tax-free withdrawal when you are over 59.5 years of age and at least 5 years have passed since the Roth IRA was created.
  • No required minimum distributions. With a traditional IRA, you are forced to begin withdrawals when you reach 70.5 years of age.
  • Certain early distributions may be made without incurring early distribution penalties.

Is a Roth IRA Right For Me?

This is a question that is best answered by a professional. A high income level, for instance, may prevent one from participating in a Roth IRA. So, while Roth IRAs may benefit most people, it is important to have your Fort Worth retirement planning professional analyze your individual situation to determine the appropriate retirement savings strategy for you.

401k Expanded Upon

September 7th, 2010

Whether you have no idea what a 401k is, or you’ve been planning for years, our Fort Worth TX wealth management firm can lend a helping hand.

When one hears of a “traditional” mode of investment in the USA, one usually thinks of 401k planning, mostly because it is the longest running “quality-tested” retirement option for generations. It has remained a conventional choice for most Americans. This direction allows the employees to decide consensually on a sum that the employer will take out of their wages to be put in their individual 401k accounts. This way, a fixed saving has to occur every month. On many occasions, employer contributes to the employee’s 401k planning account too.

These days a new type of 401k planning called participant-directed plans is being undertaken everywhere. Under this scheme, the employee has the choice of picking up a package of bonds, mutual funds, and the lot. A lot of companies these days are providing their own stocks to employees as 401(k) plans. Whatever is earned through these investments is also, thankfully, tax deferred. And on top of it you also have compound interest too.

So, if you want to ensure a good retirement income, do not forget to read between the lines. If you’re putting your chips on our Fort Worth retirement planning firm, we can make a solid outcome into a reality.

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The Changing World of Retirement Planning

August 26th, 2010

If you’ve tuned in to any news program over the past year or two, you’ve probably noticed that our economy is changing. Our Fort Worth Wealth Management Group can help provide you with a custom-tailored plan to suit your needs, but here are the basics.

If you’re receiving Social Security, you are likely aware that the government is paying out more benefits than they’re receiving. By 2037, Social Security will be exhausted and beneficiaries will begin receiving only about three-quarters of what they should be, barring any Social Security reform. When Social Security was instituted in 1935, the life expectancy was 62; that’s not that case now. Retirement planning is crucial to avoid the eventual downward spiral of the Social Security program.

We all know that private pension plans have failed all over the place, and many more companies have just discontinued their plans without any warning. To pour salt on the wound, the government backup for failed plans is massively underfunded by billions of dollars. Even state and local government plans are at risk of failure. Contacting a Fort Worth financial advisor is key to planning past your pension.

Inflation is also important to consider. While the rate of inflation hasn’t generally seen any major spikes yet, they will soon – because of our country’s financial state. Inflation has, in the past, gone up to nearly 14%. If it got that high again, what would happen to your hard-earned savings? Robinson Wealth Management Group can help you plan for the unthinkable – give us a call today.

Annuity Factors for Consideration

August 19th, 2010
Fees: Determine whether the yearly fees imposed on a considered annuity plan are worth the benefits you may receive; and find out if the plan puts “surrender fees” into effect if you want to make a premature withdrawal. A wealth management firm in Fort Worth TX can help you consider these options.
Return Rates: Make sure that the rate of return promised by the insurance company selling the annuity is the actual rate that you will receive. Confirm the time period during which that rate will apply. Occasionally, the guaranteed fixed annuity rate decreases after the introductory period. Double-check the long-term financial qualifications of the insurer, since it has promised to pay you benefits over the course of many years.

Tax Advantages: Consider this: you will have to pay income taxes on payouts your receive from your Fort Worth annuity program. You will be forced to pay a tax penalty if you withdraw money before you reach the age of 59 1/2.

Inflation: The amount of income provided by an annuity may decrease in the face of adverse inflation. You and your financial advisor in Fort Worth can decide to take part in an inflation protection program.

Contract Terms: Consult a Fort Worth financial advisor before you obtain an annuity contract. These contracts can be extremely complicated. Also be aware of advice to switch to a new annuity plan, however. High surrender charges could apply if you change plans before the original surrender period has run its course.

For more information, please contact our Fort Worth wealth management firm.

Reducing the Stress of Taxes by Tax Planning

July 8th, 2010

Doing your taxes will be easy and a lot less stressful if you get started early. Start early and you may be able to reduce your taxes and get more back when tax season comes around.

Here are a few tips for early tax planning:

1. Write down all expenses. Saving every receipt will aide you, especially if you are an independent business owner.

2. Increase your withholding. If you owed money and withheld $0 last year, try withholding $5 to $10 per paycheck. Ask your employer for the withholding sheet.

3. Donate the extra cash to an IRA account. IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account, and it provides tax benefits when used to save money for retirement. IRA contributions are deductible as well. An IRA account holds the investments so you can invest in stocks, mutual funds, CDs and more.

If you would like more information about tax planning, contact Robinson Wealth Management Group in Fort Worth, TX.

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Do you have a retirement plan?

June 23rd, 2010

Have you really given serious thought to retirement?  Come on, who thinks about the future right?  Wrong!  Retirement is a serious subject that deserves your undivided attention. I mean seriously, if you view retirement that way, I guess you don’t have a life insurance policy either.  Death is inevitable and should you live a long and prosperous life retirement is as well.  Let’s plan for both so you can relax knowing your future is taken care of.

I recommend you contact a Fort Worth investment advisor immediately.  This will get the ball rolling towards establishing a retirement plan that works best for you.  Your investment goals will assist your advisor in picking the right product to suit your needs.  In the end the choice is yours, but keep in mind you investment advisor has years of experience at connecting people with strategies toward financial freedom.  Review the product list below:

Traditional IRA

ROTH IRA

Rollover IRA

Simple IRA

SEP IRA

401K

ROTH 401K

Solo 401K

Profit Sharing Plans

Defined BEnefit Plans

403B

The goal is to make sure the money you’re setting aside towards retirement is producing the level of return you desire.  If you’re not seeing the value, you may need to switch to a Fort Worth wealth management group that can optimize your investments and present you with the best strategy to reach your goals.  If retirement is something you’ve had on the back burner like your child’s education or estate planning, get busy now.  Proper retirement planning today will provide you and your family a much brighter tomorrow.

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