Case Study: Home Offices: Specific Qualifications for Deductions but Many Expenses Qualify

Managing Associate, Shawna L. Theriault, CFP®, C.P.A., brings to the table a case study on a family that is wondering if the home office tax deduction will benefit them when the husband accepts a telecommuting position at work. She and hosts Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, discuss the IRS requirements for a home office deduction and what are considered deductible expenses.

Market Roundup: Market Slips Nearly 1.5% for the Week

Market indices closed Monday with mixed results; however, movement was relatively flat, likely a result of light trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 ended marginally lower while the NASDAQ added fractional gains. Trading was choppy throughout the day, including a dip in crude oil, causing Energy brands to sell off on the news. The markets closed well into red territory on Tuesday. Financial brands led the selloff, while Basic Materials stocks declined as well. Indices closed mixed on Wednesday, with the Dow shedding some points and the S&P 500 and NASDAQ eking out slight gains on a variety of economic news. Existing home sales dipped in February, as the National Association of Realtors data showed sales decreased by 3.7% to an annual rate of 5.48 million, versus an expected rate of 5.57 million. Crude oil prices slipped again following news of a greater-than-expected jump in inventories. Reserves increased by five million barrels over the last week, twice the anticipated amount. Indices found themselves in the red zone again on Thursday with stocks declining amid a voting delay on the repeal and replace health care bill. In housing news, new home sales jumped to a seven-month high in February. Commerce Department figures showed sales of newly built houses climbed by 6.1% last month to an annual rate of 592,000. The results exceeded estimates of 571,000. Department of Labor data showed initial jobless claims increased by 15,000 to 258,000, versus expectations of claims dipping to 240,000. Mixed results were on deck Friday as stocks rebounded slightly following news the GOP pulled the health care reform bill. In economic releases, durable goods orders for February were stronger than expected. Census Bureau data showed orders for goods designed to last several years climbed 1.7% last month, down from 2.3% growth in January but beyond estimates of 1.5% growth. Core goods orders slipped 0.1%, versus an anticipated increase of 0.5%.

Money Talks – March 18, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Principal Bil Lako, CFP®, and Director of Research Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by Principal Jennifer Thomas, CFP®, to discuss the release of President Trump’s tax returns and the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision to raise the fed funds rate. They also cover how the sectors fared in the market during the week and several economic releases, including the Producer Price Index and the Consumer Price Index. Jennifer and Bil discuss a common problem of investors who save the majority of their retirement funds in tax deferred accounts: taxes. They look at how required minimum distributions can bump a taxpayer into a higher bracket and the importance of having tax-diversification in your portfolio. The experts finish off the show with listeners’ questions on fair value; Dow darlings UnitedHealth Group, Home Depot and Visa, and whether or not it is a good time to buy bank stocks.

Case Study: Having Tax Diversified Assets for Retirement

Principals Jennifer Thomas, CFP®, and Bil Lako, CFP®, are joined by Director of Research Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss a common problem of investors who save the majority of their retirement funds in tax deferred accounts: taxes. They look at how required minimum distributions can bump a taxpayer into a higher bracket and the importance of having tax-diversification in your portfolio.

Market Roundup: Mixed Moves End in Slight Gains for the Week as Fed Increases Interest Rates

The markets opened the week mixed as investors anticipated the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later in the week. Tuesday’s action was marked by a selloff in the oil market, as investors worried that an increase in U.S. production could impede efforts to reduce supply, which has kept oil prices sliding since January 2016. In economic news, the Producer Price Index climbed 0.3% in February following a 0.6% jump in January. As expected, midweek, the Federal Reserve announced it would raise interest rates, and stocks rose on the news. Furthermore, the Fed officials indicated they expect to raise short-term interest rates three times this year. Indices ended with mixed moves on Thursday, with Financials ending strong while Health Care and Utilities took a breather. Housing starts ticked up in February, increasing 3% last month while building permits dipped 6.2%. The indices continued with mixed moves on Friday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 shed some points while the NASDAQ closed with fractional gains. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey showed that consumer confidence is on an upswing this month. The index hit 97.6 in a preliminary reading for March, versus February’s final reading of 96.3. Looking elsewhere, industrial production registered a flat reading in February. The result was shy of estimates for an increase of 0.3%.

Money Talks – March 11, 2017 Interview with Cyber Security Expert Michelle Thetford

This week on “Money Talks,” Bil Lako, CFP®, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, interview cyber security expert Michelle Thetford, Vice President Client Strategic Solutions for Schwab’s Advisor Services business. Michelle discusses how Schwab protects its clients from online theft and fraud, and provides steps individuals can take to reduce their chances of being a victim. Michelle also shares several stories of significant fraud cases and how they were eventually discovered and resolved. 

Money Talks – March 4, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Director of Research Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, to discuss interest rates and the possibility of an increase in rates in March and sector performance for this past earnings season. They also discuss the second reading of gross domestic product for fourth quarter 2016, home prices, consumer confidence and personal income. K.C. and Jarrett discuss a fictitious situation of a client who decided to invest in a “Trump Portfolio” without consulting his financial adviser. They cover the excessive fees the investor paid and how he inadvertently put himself at risk because his investment created an overexposure in several holdings. The hosts round out the show with listeners’ questions on 401(k) fees, Netflix, the choice between buying and leasing a car, and Skyworks Solutions.