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The Caldwell Trust Company Blog

Profit Sharing Plan Allocations – What’s Best for My Plan?

Posted by Tony Blasini, CPC, QPA

When it comes to retirement plans, there are many choices. One option that this article will dive into today, is the “profit sharing plan” which is a type of defined contribution plan that allows businesses to provide discretionary contributions -- meaning they can decide from year to year how much to contribute (or whether to contribute at all).

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Topics: Retirement Plan Services, Investments

Tips for Having Conversations with Your Family About Estate Planning

Posted by Sonya Kristie

Talking about estate planning with your loved ones isn’t always easy. In fact, it can sometimes feel a bit morbid and uncomfortable for everyone involved. However, having frank conversations now can be a valuable gift for those you care about most, helping avoid or limit frustration, confusion, and other potential issues later. When you’re able to engage in an open dialogue with loved ones, you can make sure they understand the reasoning behind your decisions. Such conversations can also help heirs feel prepared, so when the time comes to execute your plan, they are not in the dark.

Here are four tips that can help make family estate planning discussions somewhat easier for you and everyone involved:

1. Start Early (and Repeat)

While it makes sense to hold off on talking about specifics with young children, there is no reason you cannot engage your children and grandchildren in discussions about your personal and family values starting at a young age. Talking generally about what’s most important to you can help create a common understanding for your legacy. Having age-appropriate discussions with adult children, and with your nominated personal representative, trustee, attorney-in-fact, and health care agent is the best way to ensure your wishes will be honored and carried out. Don’t wait until you become ill or until a crisis strikes.

However, having the conversation once is just the start (and a good start). There are some key life occurrences that call for an updated estate plan, and possibly updated conversations as well. You can learn more about those here.  

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Topics: Retirement Plan Services, Investments

The Pros and Cons of Robo-Advisors vs. Personal Advice

Posted by Wendy Fishman

If you read the Wall Street Journal or listen to Bloomberg News, you’ve probably heard about robo-advisors. However, you may not know what it is or whether it’s the right service approach for your estate planning and investments.  

Although it sounds like something from a science fiction movie, robo-advisors are quite ‘real’.  They are automated digital investment advisory services – available online and through apps – that provide investment guidance without the intervention of a person, i.e. a human investment advisor.

Emerging in recent years as an alternative to traditional sources of advice, robo-advisors use computer algorithms, or sets of rules, to choose appropriate investments. The choices are based on a person’s risk tolerance, time horizon and other preferences indicated from an initial online questionnaire.

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Topics: Investments, In the News

Do You Come First with Your Financial Advisor?

Posted by Sandy Pepper

Caldwell Trust Company serves as a true fiduciary meaning we hold ourselves to a higher professional standard. Over the past 12 to 24 months the term fiduciary has been mentioned in several articles due to the Department of Labor’s ruling on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974.  What you may not be aware of is how a fiduciary differs from a Broker or Financial Advisor as it relates to the management of your retirement funds or other matters.

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Topics: Investments

The Importance of Knowing Who is Administering Your Company 401k

Posted by Tony Blasini, CPC, QPA

Saving for retirement should be easy, but there’s a host of federal regulations and financial considerations that can make providing a reasonable plan to your employees complicated. That’s where having a trustworthy 401k program provider becomes incredibly important. A provider is responsible for ensuring that the entire plan functions (including handling various tasks like onboarding new participants and filing the appropriate forms) and that it does so legally and to the benefit of both the sponsor and participants. Businesses can find a bundled or unbundled solution for each aspect: non-producing administrators (i.e., focus on compliance), record keepers, and fiduciaries (i.e., investment managers that take on a certain amount of liability), trustee and custodian.

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Topics: Retirement Plan Services, Investments, Corporate

What Employers Need to Know About 401(k) Rollovers

Posted by Tony Blasini, CPC, QPA

When an employee leaves your company, there’s a number of ways to handle the investments in their 401(k). You and the employee that’s leaving need to understand what’s the best fit for the money in question, such as whether to utilize 401(k) rollovers or withdraw the funds. Below we’ll discuss the pertinent benefits and costs to help you make the right decision.

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Topics: Retirement Plan Services, Investments, Corporate

The US is Moving to a Shortened Settlement Cycle

Posted by Kelly Caldwell

On September 5th 2017, the U.S. Securities Settlement Cycle will shorten from “trade date plus three days” or T+3 to T+2. The last time a move was made to shorten the settlement cycle was in 1995, when it changed from T+5 to T+3.  Whereas trading today is almost instant the settlement process is not. This push to a shortened settlement cycle is a beneficial step in aligning these two processes. 

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Topics: Investments

The Importance of a Fiduciary: What You Need to Know

Posted by H. Lee Thacker, Jr., CFP

When it comes to protecting your assets or ensuring your wishes are carried out when you are incapable of communicating them, you can hire fiduciaries to act with your best interests in mind and make decisions on your behalf based on their knowledge and area of expertise.

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Topics: Investments, Trusts & Estate Planning

Investment Letter Commentary

Posted by Chris McGee, CFA CAIA

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) crossing the 20,000 level we realize what a difference a year can make in domestic capital markets. At this time last year the domestic equity markets were off to one of their worst yearly starts ever. The S&P 500 corrected almost 15 percent between the first of January and mid-February before reversing and gradually moving higher through mid-year. The correction culprit was investors’ fears of a global slowdown. That fear of a slowdown was the result of weak economic growth numbers coming out of China and the U.S., as well as crude oil prices declining into the mid-$20 range and general fragility in the energy sector. As crude oil and commodity prices reversed and more favorable U.S. economic releases occurred, markets stabilized and moved higher. By mid-2016 most domestic equity markets had slightly positive returns. 

In late June the Brexit vote signaling the U.K.’s intention to leave the European Union took world markets by surprise. Most importantly, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield declined to 1.36 percent, reflecting general uncertainty about implications of the vote. The yield on the 10-year had commenced 2016 at 2.27 percent and most pundits had projected higher levels by year-end 2016. Domestic equity markets were initially down on the news but recovered quickly. Through the end of the second quarter of 2016, S&P 500 earnings had declined on a year-over-year basis for six consecutive quarters.
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Topics: Investments

Why We Endorse Pro Growth Policies

Posted by Chris McGee, CFA CAIA

If you missed it the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) made history this week as it crossed the 20,000 level this past Wednesday. We looked backwards and determined that it took the index approximately 17 years to double from 10,000. The index reached the 10,000 mark in April of 1999. We decided to go back and see how it did over the 17 years preceding the index obtaining the 10,000 level in 1999. At the beginning of 1982 the DJIA stood at the 785 level. So between 1982 and April 1999 the index doubled approximately 3 and 1/2 times versus it only doubling once over the subsequent 17 years.
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Topics: Investments

 


 

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