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Featured Articles

Digital Assets 2022 Review

Dec 30, 2022
Richard Barnett, CFA
Digital Assets

Most digital asset investors and enthusiasts can’t wait to put 2022 in the rearview mirror. While it's hard to look away from the SBF/FTX collapse in November, that wasn’t the only impact from the meteor shower that was 2022. Before we say goodbye, let's take a look back at the big events that shaped the environment for digital assets this year.

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Digital Asset Weekly: Central Bank Digital Currency?

Dec 9, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

Those paying attention to economic news may have recently come across information about CBDCs (central bank digital currencies).

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Tracking Your Crypto Uses for Tax Purposes

Dec 2, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

Since the IRS treats cryptocurrency as property, you are required to track every transaction you make and calculate your capital gain or loss.

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Crisis of Confidence

Nov 18, 2022
Richard Barnett, CFA
Digital Assets

Last week saw the shocking and rapid disintegration of FTX and Alameda Research, the two vehicles controlled by Sam Bankman-Fried.

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IRS Updates Digital Asset Language, Boosts Revenue Forecasts

Nov 11, 2022
Digital Assets

I hate to be the bearer of bearish news, but preparing your (or your clients’) crypto tax returns just got trickier.

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Friday Focus: SBF vs Eric Voorhees

Nov 4, 2022
Richard Barnett, CFA
Digital Assets

Last Friday, two of the biggest names in crypto had a debate over the state of crypto regulation. The debate was sparked by an argument on Twitter, as Erik Voorhees, the head of crypto exchange ShapeShift, criticized Sam Bankman-Fried, head of 3rd ranked exchange FTX, for compromising too much in recent discussions with regulators.

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Greyscale’s Battle with the SEC over the GBTC ETF Conversion

Oct 28, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

Greyscale Investments has been in a long battle with the SEC to convert its widely held bitcoin investment vehicle, GBTC to an ETF structure

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Mainstream Finance is Partnering with Crypto

Oct 21, 2022
Richard Barnett, CFA
Digital Assets

Credit card giant Mastercard announced a partnership with Paxos, the company behind the USDP and BUSD stablecoins, to offer secure crypto trading and services through banks.

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Circle in the Spotlight

Oct 14, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

This week we take a close look at Circle, the company behind the second largest stablecoin, USDC, which has a current market cap of $46 billion.

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Tracking Your Crypto Uses for Tax Purposes

Oct 7, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

The IRS treats cryptocurrency as property and you are required to track every single transaction you make along with calculating your capital gain or loss. Let us say that you decided to use crypto to buy a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop. It is not enough to just save the receipt. You need to track the amount of capital you have gained or lost for each transaction.

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The Fed's Answer to Crypto?

Sep 30, 2022
Richard Barnett, CFA
Digital Assets

The US Federal Reserve announced that its real-time payment network, FedNow--10 years in the making--would launch in May or June of 2023. Is this Fed’s answer to crypto in a time of increasing scrutiny by the SEC and other global regulators?

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Friday Focus: Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act

Sep 23, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

The Senate Agriculture Committee held an important hearing last week to discuss the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act (DCCPA), a bill to regulate crypto spot markets.

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A Closer Look at the new Ethereum:

Sep 16, 2022
Richard Barnett, CFA
Digital Assets

We have given a lot of coverage to “The Merge” of the Ethereum blockchain in our Digital Assets Weekly Newsletter this year, and the merge finally happened yesterday. Ethereum holds a unique place in the cryptosphere as the second largest currency, and as the pioneer and still leading coin for smart contracts. 

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NFT Ownership and Copyright

Sep 9, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

In the US, copyright law protects original works that are created in any tangible medium. The law recognizes eight categories of tangible medium that are automatically protected by copyright...

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Ownership of NFTs: What you Need to Know

Sep 2, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

To fully understand NFTs, you need to understand licenses, types of copyrights, and transfers. In this first of a two-part series, we discuss copyrights and transfers of NFTs. First, let us look at what you buy when you purchase an NFT.

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How Often Should You Rebalance your 401(k)?

Aug 26, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Investing

Rebalancing a standard portfolio can be a challenge. Bond funds might be flat while stocks surge, as we saw for the past few years, or vice versa. Your carefully crafted 60/40 portfolio is out of balance and have significant tax implications on realized gains if you sell off stock to boost your bonds.

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Tornado Cash and Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control

Aug 26, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash, an Ethereum-based platform that mixes digital assets to hide the source of funds.

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Digital Asset Weekly | DeFi Dilemma

Aug 19, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

The last few months have seen a brutal realignment and reassessment of the DeFi landscape. Starting with the Terra/Luna meltdown in May, the systematic deleveraging of interdependent DeFi lending platforms, and continuing through the recent series of hacks of bridge protocols, the DeFi proposition is rightly being called into question. So is DeFi dead?

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Digital Assets | Eth Merge Update

Aug 12, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

ETH has rallied substantially over the last few weeks as news broke surrounding the pending completion of the “Merge” as soon as September. There is no guarantee; however, this is a positive data point during a highly volatile period for digital assets.

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Digital Assets | FDIC

Aug 5, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

While the digital asset markets have calmed over the last month, the news flow and activity has not abated. Two of the more recognizable names in crypto lending, Celsius and Voyager are under significant scrutiny by regulators. This past Friday, the FDIC issued a cease-and-desist order to Voyager- regarding any “false and misleading” statements regarding deposit insurance. The announcement by t

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Digital Asset Weekly | The State of Crypto

Jul 8, 2022
Richard Barnett, CFA
Digital Assets

Venture Capital powerhouse Andressen Horowitz, also known as a16z, recently published “State of Crypto 2022”. Then they put their investors' money where their mouth is by announcing last week that they raised a whopping $4.5 billion for their fourth crypto venture fund. To put that in context, their first fund was for $300 million in 2016, the second was $550 million in 2020...

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Digital Asset Weekly | Banking Innovation and Interagency Coordination

Jun 30, 2022
Richard Barnett, CFA
Digital Assets

Wrapping up our coverage of the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act, here is a review of Titles VII and VIII, Responsible Banking and Responsible Interagency Innovation.

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California Retirement Plan Mandate Takes Effect July 1st

Feb 15, 2022
Aaron Morris
Business Owners

In an effort to address Californians’ growing inability to save for retirement, the state of California has implemented an initiative known as the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program, which requires businesses with five or more employees to implement a retirement plan before June 30, 2022.

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Digital Asset Weekly | Consumer Protections

Jun 23, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

One of the most critical sections of the Lummis/Gillibrand bill discusses the plan for enhanced Consumer Protections within Digital Assets. The recent macro downdraft has brought turmoil to Stablecoins and Staking providers such as Celsius. We are here to discuss the key pieces of the proposed Consumer Protections.

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Digital Asset Weekly | Regulation...that is, Innovation, in the Spotlight

Jun 16, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

As part of our ongoing coverage of the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act announced last week, we examine Titles III and IV of the bill, which discuss “Responsible Securities Innovation” and “Responsible Commodities Innovation”.

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Digital Asset Legislation Finally Announced

Jun 9, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

The long-awaited Responsible Financial Innovation Act was finally introduced this week, by Republican Senator from Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis, and the Democratic Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand.

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Estate Planning and Digital Assets

Jun 2, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

Digital assets are becoming more and more common, which means when you are planning your estate, you must document your Digital Assets. It’s difficult to attempt to name a beneficiary for accounts, such as revocable or irrevocable trusts. Given the popularity of crypto, though, it is likely that things will start to change in the coming years.

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Digital Asset Weekly | Crypto and Macro all at Once

May 20, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

We were watching the Crypto market with great interest during last week’s Terra/Luna meltdown and the precipitous drop in prices that it seemed to have caused. Many Luna investors were wiped out or suffered serious losses, and the ripple effects on other Stablecoins and crypto prices continue.

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Digital Assets Weekly | (Un)stablecoin

May 13, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

The crypto complex was shaken this week as TerraUSD (UST), the largest algorithmic stablecoin in the crypto space, broke its peg to the US Dollar over the weekend.

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Digital Assets Weekly | Crypto Staking

May 26, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

Cryptocurrencies have become quite popular today, not just as an alternative to fiat currency, but as investment tools. Many ways to build wealth with crypto exist, and one of the more interesting is called “staking”. Staking offers a chance to earn passive income but comes with implications for your tax situation and overall risk objectives.

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Digital Asset Weekly | Friday Land Grab

May 6, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

Yuga Labs, the team behind the enormously successful Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, held an NFT virtual land sale over the weekend of Otherside, a metaverse-based game, which raised over $300 million in the biggest single NFT offering ever. 

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Digital Asset Weekly | The Ethereum Merge

Apr 29, 2022
Hugh Meyer
Digital Assets

As the second most valuable blockchain on the planet, Ethereum is already well known by people who invest in crypto. Anyone who follows Ethereum or other blockchains has likely heard the phrase "The Merge." The Merge is a massive tech upgrade going into effect potentially late in 2022, to change the underlying nature of the Ethereum blockchain.

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Home Sale Gain Exclusion

Aug 18, 2021
Hugh Meyer
Tax Impact

The residential housing market has been on a tear and if you sold your home this year, your tax planning should begin immediately. A lesser-known part of the tax code allows homeowners to exclude some gains on the appreciation of their home as long as they meet two requirements. The home sale exclusion allows single individuals to exclude up to $250,000 of a gain and up to $500,000 for couples.

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Understanding Your Paycheck Withholdings

Aug 11, 2021
Jamie Rugg, CFP®
Managing Expenses

FICA taxes, OASDI, Withholding, etc. Understanding the money taken out of your paycheck. It’s your first job. You eagerly await your first paycheck, excited to be earning money, only to find that what you know you earned and what you actually receive are quite different. Most individuals at some point have wondered what the various deductions and taxes that come out of their paycheck mean.

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Additional Child Tax Credit Starts July 15th

Jul 15, 2021
Hugh Meyer
Tax Impact

Child Tax Credit Payments start arriving today, July 15th. The child tax credit payments, which were enacted earlier this year, amount to $3,000 annually per child ages 6 to 17 and $3,600 annually for children under 6. Eligible families will receive half of their credit in the form of monthly payments of up to $250 per school-age child and up to $300 per child under 6 from July through December.

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Developing an Aging Plan

Jul 8, 2021
Jamie Rugg, CFP®
Family Planning

Health care advancements over the past few decades have increased longevity, but also the need for having a detailed aging plan. Developing an Aging Plan should be a conversation with family members and a set of trusted professionals to ensure the wishes and needs of an individual or couple are accounted for well before an event occurs.

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SECURE ACT 2.0

Apr 6, 2021
Aaron Morris
Business Owners

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act) provided relief and improved retirement plans and IRAs for millions of participants across the nation. A new and improved act, “Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020”, is designed to increase access to workplace savings plans and enhance retirement savings opportunities by incentivizing Americans to save...

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Market Commentary: Farewell to 2020

Jan 26, 2021
Cyrus Amini, Esq., CFA
Macroeconomics

First and foremost, please join us in saying goodbye to 2020. While markets may have ended up on the year, the path they took to get there was one of the most volatile and unpredictable in history. The last weeks of 2020 saw a staggering variety of world events: Brexit finally happened, countries around the world began to deploy various vaccines for COVID-19, and the US government was able to comp

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It’s a Whole New (Monetary) World

Nov 30, 2020
Cyrus Amini, Esq., CFA
Macroeconomics

In 2020 we have seen many historic “firsts”, few of which can be categorized squarely as positive for either public health or the economy. One of these is an effect of the pandemic that we will call “trend acceleration”, for while many economists and analysts have discussed the idea it has not been formally given a “real name”.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Summary

Nov 5, 2020
Hugh Meyer
In the News

The most critical story of the year continues to be the race to create a comprehensive and safe vaccine for the Coronavirus.

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An Update on COVID Relief Options

Nov 23, 2020
Aaron Morris
Business Owners

As we all know, our nation's small businesses are facing unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We want to provide an overview of the various CARES Act and traditional SBA funding programs currently available to businesses.

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The SECURE Act and Your Estate Plan

Nov 16, 2020
Jamie Rugg, CFP®
Estate Planning

In December 2019, the SECURE Act was passed to change some of the longstanding rules that govern retirement plans. In a previous post we touched on a few of these changes, but with the end of 2020 already quickly approaching, let’s review some of the Act’s significant changes that likely could affect you or your family in future years.

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Macroeconomic Policy and Zero Interest Rates

Nov 9, 2020
Jon Rugg, CFA
Macroeconomics

Last quarter we explored and looked to explain the gap investors are experiencing between recent stock market performance (“Wall St.”) and the economic data we are experiencing in the broader economy (“Main St.”). In this article, we will expand on the path of economic recovery...

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Finding Your Silver Lining, With Some 2021 Vision

Oct 30, 2020
Cyrus Amini, Esq., CFA
Macroeconomics

We have spoken with many of you over the past weeks and months as we all navigate the challenging year that has been 2020. While happy to hear most are doing well, we know that doesn’t change the reality we face every day – there remains a great deal of uncertainty on many levels: economic, political, personal, and societal.

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Retirement Plan Coronavirus Distributions Requirements

Sep 25, 2020
Business Owners

An update Q&A on the latest ERISA requirements every employer needs to know for coronavirus-related distributions (CQDs). Excerpt from the Money Talks podcast hosted by our own Hugh Meyer and prior blog post guest writer, ERISA Attorney expert, Chris Roberts Partner at Mullen & Henzel, LLP.

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PPP Loan Forgiveness for Self-employed individuals

Sep 28, 2020
Aaron Morris
Business Owners

Whether you are self-employed, a sole proprietor or an independent contractor with no employees, the paycheck protection program (PPP) is a COVID-19 relief program designed to help you survive the pandemic. Utilize the following highlights to help you successfully navigate the forgiveness process which began on August 10, 2020:

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Transferring Liability Risks

Sep 15, 2020
Jamie Rugg, CFP®
Risk Management

When we discuss the asset allocation and investing of your accounts, often a big component of what we think about and weigh has to do with risk management, and risk vs. return tradeoffs. The same principle applies when approaching, analyzing and monitoring your financial plan. Individuals and companies have a few options when it comes to how to handle risk; we can retain the risk, try to avoid...

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Fixed Income - Which Way is Up?

Sep 22, 2020
Cyrus Amini, Esq., CFA
Investing

For many, 2020 has been a year of significant uncertainty from both public health and economic perspectives. Since the initial wave of financial market instability in March, we have seen equity and fixed income markets swing in response to changes in pandemic projections, US presidential election probabilities, corporate earnings, China-US trade negotiations, macroeconomic data, corporate...

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Bridging the Disconnect between the Stock Market and the Economy

Sep 11, 2020
Jon Rugg, CFA
Macroeconomics

The great debate we are having internally, with our clients, and amongst industry peers is the growing disconnect between the broader economy, the stock market, and how much longer it can continue. In February and March, we experienced simultaneous supply and demand shocks that sent our economy off a proverbial cliff, with GDP for the 2nd quarter clocking in at -32.9% and unemployment holding...

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Market Update - The Summer of Social Distancing

Aug 31, 2020
Cyrus Amini, Esq., CFA
Macroeconomics

We are now several months into various stages of lockdown and it has been a challenging environment both for investing and living. Over the last three months, the global economy went through the initial pain of a sharp recession. The fear and turmoil of financial markets in March gave way to a significant recovery for much of the second quarter.

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Fiduciary Advisors: Everything You Need to Know

Jul 6, 2020
Hugh Meyer
Investing

Having a trusted financial advisor in your corner will help you in any stage of life, whether you're starting a family, approaching retirement, founding a company, or growing a business. But not all financial advisors are created equal. If you're looking for a financial advisor that will dedicate their time to making sure you get the maximum return on your investment—you want to hire a fiduciary.

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Net Operating Loss Changes Under the CARES Act

Jun 9, 2020
Hugh Meyer
Tax Impact

The CARES Act rewrites the rules on net operating losses, giving individuals and corporations more tax flexibility.

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The True Value of a Dollar Today?

May 22, 2020
Cyrus Amini, Esq., CFA
Investing

Like the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, the coronavirus panic has slammed into asset markets and the global economy. In times of panic, everyone from institutional to retail investors tend to rush for the exits, read: cash, or US Treasuries. This “flight to safety” phenomenon can create additional problems for financial markets as participants rush to sell certain “risky” bonds, loans...

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The CARES Act's Impact on Individuals

May 15, 2020
Jamie Rugg, CFP®
Financial Planning

As a result of COVID-19 there have been a number of changes to the laws and regulations this year that could influence your financial life and strategies. Federal and local governments have also created or adjusted numerous programs that are changing the rules for 2020. While you have likely heard much about certain elements of the CARES Act related to the Payroll Protection Program...

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Planning for Uncertainty

May 12, 2020
Jon Rugg, CFA
Financial Planning

Over the past couple of years, we have explored several themes that challenge core tenets upon which modern finance and portfolio theory have been built. Perhaps the most significant of these tenets is the subtle, but significant, difference between risk and uncertainty—and the resulting impact on markets. 

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Market Overview 1st Quarter 2020

May 6, 2020
Cyrus Amini, Esq., CFA
Macroeconomics

In the span of a few short months, the global economy fell into a deep recession of uncertain depth and duration. News headlines are universally dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, its current effect on the health of our society, and its evolving impact on the global economy. The US has taken the lead with an unprecedented set of monetary and fiscal stimulus measures, closely followed by...

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Protecting Your Family, Beyond the Face Masks and Gloves

May 6, 2020
Estate Planning

By: Estate Attorneys: Jenna Glassock, and Bahar Geslin. As estate planning lawyers, one of the first questions we receive is “What can I do to best protect my family?” The onset and growth of COVID-19 has made that question increasingly relevant. This article is intended to give you an overview of estate planning and provide some counsel as to next steps.

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How the CARES Act Impacts Retirement Plans

Apr 30, 2020
Retirement Plans

We had the opportunity to interview ERISA Attorney, Chris Roberts who is a Partner at Santa Barbara, CA-based, Mullen & Henzel, LLP regarding how the CARES Act can impact Qualified Retirement Plans and some responsibilities of plan sponsors.

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What is the Main Street Lending Program?

Apr 20, 2020
Hugh Meyer
Business Owners

In addition to the Payment Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, the Federal government through the Federal Reserve has unveiled details about an additional program to assist in getting loans to small and medium-sized businesses. This program, called the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP), was part of the approved funding outlined in the historic CARES Act past...

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Navigating the Markets amidst COVID-19

Apr 3, 2020
Hugh Meyer
Investing

When stock markets experience sudden downturns, investors can feel anxious and make decisions detrimental to their long-term goals. After all, when you’ve worked hard for the money, it’s painful to see your account balances drop. This is a natural reaction, even with savvy investors who’ve experienced market volatility before. These extremes are enough to test your nerves.

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Staying the Course During Volatile Times

Mar 12, 2020
Cyrus Amini, Esq., CFA
Macroeconomics

The past two weeks have been historic in many ways, especially with respect to financial markets and the swift decline we have seen from the highs of just 3 weeks ago. Now that we are faced with the reality of a worldwide pandemic, what comes next?

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The Potential Impact of the Coronavirus

Feb 27, 2020
Jon Rugg, CFA
In the News

Anyone viewing recent news headlines has likely seen the negative market performance and fear surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. The market performance the past few days are the most volatile we've seen in the several years. In the post below, we share our views on the situation as well as some of the factors at play.

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Brexit - To Leave or Not to Leave?

Feb 18, 2020
Cyrus Amini, Esq., CFA
In the News

Brexit actually happened, did you miss it? One of the biggest headline stories of the last few years finally culminated on January 31st with the United Kingdom officially leaving the European Union. Other than trade tensions and global monetary policy, virtually no situation...

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Monthly Articles

Keeping Emotions at Bay During Volatility

Investing
Featured Post

Fear, uncertainty, volatility, panic—these emotions are nothing new to the world of investing. In fact, they seem to reappear on a fairly consistent basis. The outbreak of Covid-19 has brought them back with a vengeance, but wise investors know to stay the course, keep their emotions in check as much as possible, and take advantage of new opportunities.

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Be Prepared: 7 Estate Planning Tips

Estate Planning
Featured Post

No financial plan is complete without an estate plan. Estate planning covers all aspects of your life, from creating your will to planning medical decisions. Due to the complex and emotional nature of estate planning, many people avoid creating or updating their estate plan. Though this is understandable, estate planning is an important part of your financial plan.More importantly, it gives you the peace of mind knowing your loved ones will be taken care of and your wishes followed. The following seven tips can help you address your needs when drawing up your estate plan.

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5 Financial Wellness Tips for the Sandwich Generation

Personal Finances
Featured Post

Are you in the ‘Sandwich Generation’? If you have the responsibility of simultaneously raising kids and looking after your aging parents, then this article is for you. We know you have an extremely challenging lifestyle that requires a lot of resilience and patience, so this article will provide tips on how to better manage your day-to-day responsibilities. Forty-seven percent of American adults are in the Sandwich generation, and that number is expected to rise as Baby Boomers age. Americans live until 78 years old on average, so the amount of adults sandwiched between their parents and kids continues to grow.

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8 Simple Tips for Organizing Your Finances

Personal Finances
Featured Post

Disorganized finances can make it difficult to plan and set your goals. Following a pattern of established management guidelines can help you stay on-top of your financial situation throughout the year. Whether you need to overhaul your budget, assess your credit standing, or get a better handle on your investments, stick to these 8 daily habits to make it easier to manage your financial life.

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The information above is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice or an offer to purchase securities. Individuals should not apply information to a specific situation and should consult their financial professional. Highline Wealth Partners is not responsible for any errors in or omissions to this information, or for any consequences that may result from the use of this information. Please see full disclosures here.

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