Category Archives: General Financial Planning

January 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our January 2018 Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

January 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Fraud Reminderthief

Two and 1/2 issues in one week… No one was harmed, but it was a great reminder, they are out there!

As we mentioned in our post just prior to this one, the Grand Enchilada of Tax Forms enters the mail and electronic systems this week. These most popular forms are due by the end of January and fraudsters are taking notice.

Keep your eyes and ears out for anything suspicious!

Vault Saves Day Twice

Here in our real life experience post, we ended up needing the Vault to help save time and a HUGE hassle at a far distant Tennis Tournament. Who would have thought they would be so strict in identification at a Tennis Tournament?

Here is a neat reminder of what might do into your very own Personal Vault:

Legal Documents □ Wills □ Deeds □ Revocable & Irrevocable Trusts □Power of Attorney □ Codicils (Supplements made to a Will) □Living Wills/Health Directives □Prenuptial Agreements □ Buy/Sell Agreements □ Contracts Social Security and/or Veteran’s Administration Info Insurance Policies (Life, LTD, Disability, Medical, Car, Property) Medical Records Bank & Investment Statements □Pensions, IRAs, passport-2642170__340Annuities etc. □Investment Accounts □Stock Options/Certificates Liabilities □List of Credit Cards with contact information □ Mortgages □Loans Taxes □Tax Returns □ W-2 Forms Identification □ Birth Certificates □ Drivers Licenses □Passports Family □ Adoption Papers □ Marriage License □Pictures □ Audio Files □ Video Clips Property □Titles to Homes, Autos, Boats, etc. □ Warranties Employment Benefits

Capital Market Comments

Interest Rates

10 Year Treasury touches 2.70% – Where to next?

After floundering in the low 2% range, it appears interest rates may be on the rise. This is just in time as the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) are set to raise short term rates several times this year and the one thing we DO NOT WANT is an inverted yield curve (more on this another time).

We have argued higher rates are helpful as long as they move gradually.

So far so good!

1-29-18 10 Year Treasury

Have a Great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

They are back … The Fraudsters that is !

This time garners the most important financial forms of the year flowing through the system … of course we are speaking of Tax Forms! (W-2, 1099, etc …..)

Tax Time = Fraudster Timethief

This week we fielded two and 1/2 possible fraud attempts. We are giving 1/2 to a email that we are not certain was fraud … No Matter.

Keep your guards up!

Last year we had double digit numbers of fraud during this season… the thing is, we did not see fraud until much later in the season. They may be starting earlier this year.

For the record, there has been no money lost on any of our known fraud attempts… we hope this never changes…. Stay Vigilant !

Happy Friday .. Enjoy Your Weekend ! Talk to you next week…

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

December 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our December 2017 Monthly review. If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

So Long 2017 … Hello 2018 .. Nice to see you!

December 2017 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

You have been IRMMAAtized – Options for Relief

In our post, here and here we discuss the Medicare Means testing levels, both historic and what we are faced with in 2018.

Due to the faster lower Tiers of income, the Social Security Administration has casted a wider net for all of us.

Here are the new levels, again from our post AND in even GREATER details in our Q1 2018 Newsletter.

2017 V 2018 Medicare IRMAA levels

A life event change may create relief – Life events not limited to the following-

  • Marriage
  • Divorce/Annulment
  • Death of Your Spouse
  • Work Stoppage
  • Work Reduction
  • Loss of Income-Producing Property
  • Loss of Pension Income
  • Employer Settlement Payment

Please see our Q1 2018 Newsletter for detailed instructions on how to get relief from these faster grabbing surcharges.

Personal Spring Cleaning in the WinterUnsubscribe monitor-608241__340

Personal Reminder Email Tip

In our post mid-month here we discussed cleaning your emails to lower the Tidal Wave of daily emails.

After almost four weeks we are down to a trickle.

What was most interesting were the different experiences of who was up front and nice about the “Unsubscribe” request and who was down right dirty about letting us off their list. Surprised and disappointed with some companies.

Capital Market Comments

VIX – Fear Index Goes into Hibernation

We initially wrote in our Newsletter article and Blog post here, the VIX went to sleep … after another few closes below 10, we are coining it “Hibernation”

VIX as of 12-15-17

From 1990 to 2016 this Fear index closed below 10 a total of 9 times. During the year 2017, it has closed below that level 52 times and counting !!

Wow … Hibernation!

Interest Rate Increases

Just few years ago, with former FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) chair Ben Bernanke running the show, a miscalculated mention of a pending interest rate increase threw the Capital Markets into a tail spin – and that was just a mention of one small .25% increase. WOW-

When the history books are written on this period of time, FOMC members “Listening” to markets may be prominent, and possible reason for success.

In 2017, the FOMC raised rates 3 times with very little market disruption. They are on record for 3 more in 2018. The best part of this, market participants are not throwing a hissy fit and seem to be welcoming the increases.

Today, we think NOT increasing the rates as forecasted would cause more harm than increasing – exactly the opposite of just a few years ago. Way to pivot FOMC officials.

2017 Fed Funds Rate Bar Graph

 

Happy New Year!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

So Long 2017 … Thanks for EVERYTHING!

Today we bid farewell to 2017 as Sunday is the last day of the year.

When we set out to watch the Movie that was 2017 … we had minimal expectations.

Some of the Best Surprises come from low expectations!

Withstanding multiple hits from Mother Nature …

World Political Events passing the headlines frequently …

Interest Rate Increases that once would have been feared were actually welcomed …

Just to name a few…

Most of all thanks for EVERYTHING!

2017 to 2018 design-2711676__340

Talk to you on the other side …. in 2018!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

 

 

Top 10 Posts You May Have Missed in 2017

This is our 148th … all original, all in-house, post of the year … we will have one more on Friday!

With over 3200 different visitors, one of you MAY have missed something good.

Not to worry, we scrolled back through 2017 and are happy to announce the following … Drum Roll please …….

 “Top 10 Posts of 2017” by Popularity and Pertinence- Enjoy

Job Change and Retirement Checklist – January 2017^D930EF057D0BC16336F1561C33AD98DBA5725D9F6C77E7D905^pimgpsh_thumbnail_win_distr

In this post we discuss 10 important, handy and often forgotten items to grab at retirement or job change.

Will the European Union Survive – February 2017

Recounting thoughts from a few terrific speakers at a national convention in the late Winter, we posted their comments and our thoughts, only to be totally lit up from both positive, and negative thoughts of the EU Survival.

What to do if you overfunded your 401k? – April 2017

In this article, fresh off tax season we recount how you can accidentally overfund your 401k, what to do to fix it, and the end result if a fix is not possible (hint, not the end of the world!)

Why you need to know your credit Score – May 2017

In an updated post from several years prior, we discuss the trends in technology being used to cross reference high risks from a company standpoint – In English, your credit report is being used more often for risk analysis. Keep it clean, and here is how to check it, and protest.

How to share your Financial Life without Giving up control –  May 2017

Sometimes it may be a desire to let your children or other family member know your situation, other times it may be just plan necessity .. either way it can be uncomfortable opening up your financial life. In this article we discuss how you can open as little, or as much, in a professional, comfortable, soft way.

Equifax Breach and What to Do about it – September 2017

Stay calm! It may seem like a distant memory, but when news broke of the large Equifax data breach, many were tip toeing to the edge of the window seal.  In this timely post, we discuss the breach, staying calm, and what to watch for moving forward!

Found Money – Log into that Old 401k Account – October 2017

With multiple parties having “Found” money in old accounts, especially former 401k accounts, we remind to take a moment and check out an old account, it might just make your day!

Social Security Increase for 2018 – October 2017

Upon the announcement of an increase in Social Security, we shared the news, and the background, along with the calculations and index for those skeptics.

Medicare Part B Means Testing – December of 2017

In this post we discuss the Means testing of Part B Medicare background, thresholds, and coming changes in 2018.

IRMMA Letter, and Solutions – December 2017

In a follow up to our Medicare Part B discussion and a preview to our coming Newsletter we take a deep dive into an  IRMAA (Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount) our new term of IRMMAtized and more importantly, what to do about it, and helpful hints on lowering your future premiums, along with the links to forms you will need.

Have a Happy “Cliff Notes Posts” 2017 Review Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

November 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our November 2017 Monthly review. If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

Enjoy!

November 2017 Video

 Thank You Holiday Party Goers!

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Financial Planning Tip(s)-

RMD – Required Minimum Distribution Reminder

In our post here this month, we reminded all of those with birthdays between 7-1-46 and 6-30-47 that have the unique option of deferring their first mandatory RMD taxable distribution to next year, but if you do that will mean you need to take two distributions in the same year.

Considerations:

  • Higher/Lower Income
  • Bigger/Smaller Expenses
  • More/Less Donations

The first year is the only time we get this option, all the future years are mandatory with not option.

Capital Market Comments

A lot of positive indicators – Markets taking notice

It appears the US and Global Economies are finally making a synched recovery. Capital Markets are taking notice.

As we mentioned here, Unemployment rate hit a very low 4.1%

11-1-17 Unemployment rate 10 year trailing

This time, International Markets have wind in their sails as well….

MSCI Global Index

11-30-17 EFA Global

See you on the other side of a New Year !

Happy Fall Season!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

Did you point-and-click shop over the weekend?

With an economy relying over two thirds in consumer spending, we keep a constant eye on consumers mood/sentiment and what they are doing, not just saying.

By most counts the most recent “Black Friday” shopping day looks good, which bodes well for our investments as the consumer continues to feel good and well … shop until they drop!

E-Commerce as a % of total Retail Sales – 10%?

In most circles this seems like a dramatic understatement. If Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chairman, has his way this will continue to grow dramatically.

Break-in – According to most monitoring services, E-Commerce sales were up major double digits, far out pacing slightly declining brick and mortar.

Hard to believe E-Commerce is only 10% … so far, stay tuned!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

http://www.jkfinancialinc.com

http://www.street-cents.com