Category Archives: Investing/Financial Planning

Preview: Donald “The Brain” On Deck Speaker – History of Our Software – Annual Conference of Thousands – Travels

Mid-week, we (DC and I) travel to the West Coast for an annual gathering of thousands of our peers, along with consultants, asset firms, and as many technology firms that you could shake a stick at…. with a new cell phone (and more importantly camera and battery), twitter followers ( @johnkvale ) can check some pictures that will be posted – and of course we will have items here as well… hopefully later this week….

A History of Planning Technology

Technology allows great things as most everyone knows. Over the last several decades, the Financial Planning and Portfolio Management process has adopted technology… as has our firm.

Originally the seemingly unstoppable power of Excel continued to improve speed, make for greater accuracy, and ever detailed specifications.

As a firm, we gravitated from the powers of Excel (Once upon a time this was done with pencil and paper – we know some that still do it this way today!) on to a heavy server burdening system, then on to a slightly lighter in house/on-line system, finally to the web based/full on-line systems (each time with much heartache and heartburn.)

Enter Donald “The Brain

Donald “The Brain” On Deck this WeekDonald Capone

With an almost from scratch to modern day software background as mentioned above  – Excel to server/web/cloud systems, Donald, who has always been in charge of this, immediately understood the challenges, necessary views, and possibilities when an all-new, completely cloud based on-line system became available.

As a Beta tester, and later almost a technology consultant (offered up enhancements that were eagerly accepted) Donald has been a go-to person for our modern day software and the firm that created it!

In the spirit of helping as many as possible, Donald will be on panels during the annual conference this week helping fellow advisors understand the power, simplicity, accuracy and productivity enhancements that we utilize, much to our software providers pleasure.

It is a great honor to be asked to do this before thousands of your peers- Well Done DC!

Spirit of the Conferencemeetings-1149198__480

We know what your thinking … big party that you get to write off the expenses? Once upon a time many years ago – maybe! NOT TODAY – showing our age I guess…haha

Today, we have a working list of items to review with various providers (all of the team has been gathering wish lists and needed understanding items for the last month from each perspective), multiple meetings as soon as we hit the ground, specific questions from you guys/clients in the field on certain subject matters, as well as a full schedule of planned viewing of panels of others, that we are not specialists in!

Several years ago, while solo and a morning of too much coffee, multiple new items were agreed upon and contracts signed ( i.e. New Web site provider, other tech services). Upon return, the gang was NOT happy (sorry guys) as we tried to digest everything over the next several months… we have learned to keep things bite size, but we will certainly stay informed!

Look for an informative post on Wednesday as we travel, then likely a brief post of Friday as we make our way back home, with frequent twitter posts and likely a deluge of posts here once we get our feet back on the ground …. stay tuned – Can you tell we are excited and ready to go?

Have a Great “Inform and get informed” Day/Week!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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

January 2019 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our January 2019 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 as well as Video!

Newbies – We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets and current events!

January – 2019 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Get and Earlier than normal start on those Taxestaxes control-1027103_1280

Here in this post, we remind everyone that due to the new tax laws, it will be a good idea to get your tax information to your professional as soon as possible.

If your using tax software, be sure to do the recommended updates as we feel certain there will be necessary updates to the tables along the way.

Corrected 1099’s are the usual, with only a few last year, we will give everyone the green light once we get our first round of corrected tax forms – but again go ahead and get started with your taxes!

Stunning Findings about your old employer 401kabonded dawn-3358468__480

We had long suspected as much, but in this post we review a Cerulli study that interviewed over 800 401k providers, only to find out that less than 30% really want your funds once you leave.

We have experienced less than stellar service over the years with former employees 401k plans – leading to our long suspicion of these findings.

Make Pension Changes/Decisions Carefullythumbs-up-2056022__480

While our favorite commencement benefit for pensions (100% jt survivor) is fairly straight forward, the simplicity ends there.

In this post, we review recent trends in buy outs and what to watch for, as well as the many scenarios we have experienced that are not always in our best interest.

Capital Market Comments –

Good News – Recovery without a Re-test – So far

What a different a month makes – WOW! We literally have gone from the sky is falling to sunshine!

In our summary post in December, we mentioned that fast moving slumps, such as the one we had, frequently do not last long….

Here, earlier in the month we also mentioned that we fully expected some type of retest of those lows before we gained our footing.

We still do expect some type of re-test, but as of this date we have had the following positives that have added to the markets better mood:

  1. Federal Reserve (FOMC) have turned very cautious about raising rates further (We are happily surprised at their yielding, and even more surprised at market participants joy)
  2. Tariff talks are making progress – Interestingly, China has seen a slow down in their economy making for slightly more urgent talks – with a little compromise and statesmanship a resolve looks more likely – again a positive for capital markets.
  3. Earnings are still cranking along – For the prior 4-6 quarters, earnings were red hot and hitting on all cylinders, so hot, they were not sustainable. Companies are still reporting good earnings, just not the Red Hot, overheated earnings from prior quarters – this is good news as it avails the FOMC to not have to raise rates to slow the economy –

All in all a Win- Win!

Have a Great Day – Talk to you at the end of February!

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
street-cents

Neat Chart of each USA State’s Largest Private Employer – Care to guess who dominates? Short Video too!

In this interesting chart by our friends at Visual Capitalist, the 1.5 million workers that call Walmart home, show just how large their company’s foot print is as the dominant employer.

If you think about it, this is logical, due to the massive amount of products Walmart moves daily in all sorts of areas of our lives!

What may surprise you (or not) is the massive amount of health care companies that dominate many of the other states – Aging Population = Health Care needs.

Next, the University/Education – happily this is the third most dominant employer, as the future of our country can be dependent on higher education.

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Here is a pretty cool video as well … interesting Amazon comparison included

Have a Great “Largest State Employer” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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

 

 

Why you should Be Careful before taking that Lump Sum offer of your Pension, especially if your are receiving a monthly benefit already – Careful analysis is needed with ANY Pension decision

We have seen pensions that actually give you less money on a monthly basis if you wait longer! Not Kidding…

We have seen pensions dramatically lose money on their present value lump sum benefit over time (very short time in a few cases) monitoring is needed.

We have seen pensions that never break even, if you take them early versus waiting (similar to first point mentioned.)

We have seen offers to buy out monthly pension benefits in the form of a lump sum that are horrible.

We have seen lump sum offers that are too good to pass up (fewer times, but it happens)

We have run into pensions that if the participant passed away before the pension commenced, the spouse received NOTHING, but once the pension commenced the spouse was a full 100% beneficiary.

We have seen random offers from outside companies to buy pensions off – out of no where- usually not a good deal.

Be Careful with Pension DecisionsTrade - handshake-2056023_960_720

Most pension decisions are irrevocable, due to the actuary calculations that are put into place once a decision (contractually binding the company) is made.

While our favorite pension benefit decision (Jt survivor- as mentioned here) in great detail) is fairly straight forward, little else about pension decisions are easily understandable, compound that with the irrevocable nature of the decision, caution and analysis is warranted.

Recently we have run across a few buy out offers from different sources, reminding us of the complexity of pensions and bringing our thoughts to you in this post.

By reverse engineering these offers, a very complex situation can be turned into black and white.

Use caution when deciding on pension decisions as they are mostly irrevocable and frequently offers and changes, may not always be in the participants’ favor.

Have a Great “Clear Pension Benefit” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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

It’s that time of year again, Tax Season – Tax forms update and important information concerning those using a tax professional as well as Tax software – Friday

We are beginning to get 1099 tax forms, however all of them are not complete for everyone.

With a corrected schedule that lasts over the next few weeks to months, please do not file your return until we give you a greenlight and get past the first corrected 1099’s!

Please reach out to Jen at jen@jkfinancialinc.com  if you want to know if your tax form is available as we will be glad to electronically send it to you or upload it to your vault as soon as we have sight of it – please follow the next instructions.

Tax Professional and Tax Software taxes control-1027103_1280

For those using a tax professional we highly recommend that you get your information to them as soon as possible as this tax season will most certainly be much more complicated due to all the new tax laws. It would be much better to have already been in line with your tax professional and have a few missing documents than to  bring all of the information late this year.

We feel certain your tax professionals will appreciate it.

For those using tax software, we are fine with you beginning to put your information into the software, however, we would hold off on filing your tax return as we expect multiple software updates, due once again to the tax law changes!

This tax season will likely have a few curveballs as many documents that we may have used in the past, may not be needed due to the tax law changes, however don’t throw anything away, and  be sure and either give it to your tax provider or enter it into your software – let both of them tell you it’s not necessary.

It’s Friday, enjoy your weekend, and thanks so much for reading our posts!

Have a Great “Beginning of Tax Season” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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

Something we have long suspected, Cerulli Report Confirms: They Don’t Want your 401k Money Once You Leave the Company – WOW!

Over the years we have noticed once an Employee leaves a company, certainly their status goes down, but often times they seem to have trouble getting answers, controlling their old plans, and in particular, working with their old 401k provider.

From our perspective, as you may imagine a latest Cerulli report not only clarifies why these experiences occur, but also confirm our suspicions!

Cerulli Report Confirms “They don’t want your old 401k Money!”

As of this post, we have requested a copy of the report that will certainly make a full appearance again here at street-cents and likely in our Newsletter – (This report is only a week old and privy to professional media members AT THIS TIME)abonded dawn-3358468__480

This Financial Advisor Article  caught our attention as in disbelief we read the abbreviated story on the Cerulli Report:

This from the article:

Overall, plan sponsors don’t seem especially interested in keeping their retired workers’ assets, according to Cerulli. A recent survey by the firm of 800 plan sponsors found that 59 percent preferred that workers take their assets and leave. About 27 percent of respondents said they preferred keeping such assets in their plan

The problem with this is that workers forced (or feeling forced/neglected) to take their funds, without direction – frequently tend to cash out their plans, sacrificing their future!

We look forward to expanding on this story as we receive more details. We will also give you the real life experiences we have come across along with the limitations many providers have.

For now, if you have left your company and are not feeling the love, so to speak… you know why!

Have a Great “Understanding of the Lost love 401k” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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

 

RMD Adjustment Season – Holiday Weekend – Friday

Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) are the mandated distributions of funds from Qualified plans such as IRA’s, 401k’s and the like.

Here, here and here we discuss RMD’s and differing techniques to appease Uncle Sam/IRS in great detail…Uncle Sam

Since RMD’s amounts are based on age and prior year ending account balance the mandatory amount changes year by year.

One option we like is spreading your RMD out over the year, creating your own “Person Pension” plan – of course as long as you take at least what Uncle Sam says, you are good…

Bottom Line – this is RMD adjustment season.

Monday is a holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, and as such markets, banks and our office will be closed.

Ahhhh….. today is a Friday as we brace for the coldest front of the year – and of course an out-door tennis tournament is calling (the girls get warm in about 5 minutes – parents freeze! All good)

Have a Good Weekend!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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