Top of Mind (Q4 2017)

Each quarter, we will share three things that we are keeping Top of Mind

Here's our latest list:

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1.) What will the future bring? None of us know the answer to that question.  However, that doesn't mean we can't look forward and form our own best guess of what tomorrow may bring.  Many investment/market thought leaders do just that each January, taking their shot at predicting what the next year will bring, including Bob Doll of Nuveen, Byron Wien of Blackstone, and Jeffrey Gundlach of Doubleline.  Ian Bremmer, founder of Eurasia group, shares his outline of the top risks of 2018.  What do you see for the year ahead?

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2.) An alternative for charitable gifting.  As you have likely heard, with the new tax bill, the manner and timing of which individuals gift to charity may change.  While it is a somewhat complicated topic, here is the shortened version:  With the standard deductions increasing (and certain itemized deductions being capped or eliminated), a strategy may emerge that individuals "double up" charitable contributions in one year (and then take a year off).  This would allow their itemized deductions to exceed the standard in the "double up" year and give them the full tax benefit of the charitable gift in the.  An efficient way to accomplish this idea (ie: multi-year gifting in one calendar year) is to utilize a donor advised fund.  These funds, available thru the major broker/dealer firms, like Charles Schwab, allow you to gift an amount to the fund in a given year (at which time you receive the deduction) - and then allocate those funds to various charitable organizations over future periods of your choosing.  It is also very easy to donate appreciated stock to these accounts.  Of course, we understand charitable gifting has a higher purpose and may not be driven by tax consequences alone.  But to some, it's an important consideration.  And of course - as with all topics discussed in our newsletters, we caution you that you should speak to your advisors and determine what is best in your unique situation.  This does not in any way represent tax or charitable gifting advice. 

 

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3.) The independent difference - It can be difficult to tell financial advisors apart.  How does a firm like Windermere (an independent Registered Investment Advisor) differ from a Broker/Dealer or from a financial planning business or from a mutual fund company?  A new advertising and educational campaign from Charles Schwab & Co., Inc (Windemere's chosen custodian) is making every effort to inform investors of the differences and what they should look for in selecting when selecting an advisor.  You can take a look at the campaign here (and you may also see it on your TV soon!).  Windermere is proud to be an independent advisor and would also be more than happy to discuss the differences with you