Category Archives: Monthly Review

May 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our May 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.

May 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Social Security Website and Items to check while you are perusing

In our Social Security related post here, we discuss the tons of new options for use as well as the fantastic updates the Social Security Administration has done with their website.

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The most important item to check if you are not already drawing Social Security is your credits… which can be done on this site… recall there is a possible time sunset of loosing your benefits if you do not have the Social Security Office notified, leading to a possible lower benefit.

New Tax Table and Rates – Personal

Here are the new tax tables… if they look complicated, well it is because they ARE !

Marginal-Tax-Rates-Chart-for-2018-1

Expect much more on this throughout the coming months as we dig DEEP into the actual rates and the planning techniques necessary to optimize our tax liability …. One Important five letter word…. CLUMP – more later on this!

Capital Market Comments

Interest Rate Yield Curve – Rates – Inverted Yield Curve

Bottom line, at its most basic level the yield curve should go upward and outward just as our home made chart below (the starting point for our discussion.)

20180424_122733630_iOS

When it does completely the opposite or inverts, as seen below… a recession is just around the corner for as long as the eye can see!

2s 10s Spread W Recession sfredgraph

Expect a complete detailed video over the summer on this phenomenon … along with another review in the coming Newsletter… It can be boring info, not to worry … we will liven it up!

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

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

April 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our April 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.

April 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

With Tax season finally over, here we mentioned how it seemed to never end…but we digress…

It appears the Cyber Thieves are back at it again, and have a new technique involving Social Security. Here in our Social Cyber Post, we discuss just how they are doing this.Cyber Attack

Bottom line, if you see something suspicious, be sure to notify the appropriate agency.

Capital Market Comments

Early Discussions of the Interest Rate Yield Curve – Rates

This is going to be fun …. In the first of a multi-part series here, we discuss the basics of the yield curve.

Bottom line, at its most basic level the yield curve should go upward and outward just as our home made chart below (the starting point for our discussion.)

 

20180424_122733630_iOS

 

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

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

March 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our March 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.

March 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Final of FIVE Tax Savings Ideas you can do NOW for LAST Year’s (2017) TaxesUncle Sam

We completed the five part series … Three were let out of the box last month …. Let’s quickly review them and then the two final parts from this month!

HSA or Health Savings Account

Our post here, speaks of the terrific opportunity to set aside Pre-Tax dollars to use now or later for medical expenses.

SEP – Simplified Employee Pension

As mentioned in our Post Here, there are very high limits of contribution, and the SEP can be done during mandated RMD’s, as well as in tangent with a 401k program, as long as the upper limits collectively of contribution are not violated.

Pre-Tax Deductible IRA

As the one of the original retirement vehicles and so vintage many forget (We Don’t!) we want to remind here in our post about the IRA – Individual Retirement Account.

Tax Savings reach back reminders from THIS month/March

Maximizing the Sales Tax Deduction

Here in our post this month, we remind everyone to be sure and maximize your Sales Tax Deduction.

From the post …

Here are a few items that may make your standard sales tax deduction drastically inaccurate and woefully low- thereby costing you tax dollars:

  • Bought a large Asset – Think Car or other similar item
  • Had more then normal personal taxed expenses – for whatever reason
  • Large Taxable Asset of any kind purchased
  • Major expense where you paid sales tax – Think Wedding, Large Party

Be sure to maximize this deduction as it looks like the new tax rules will greatly mitigate it’s use moving forward.

Medical Expense Deduction

We all some type of medical expenses each year. What is a challenge if determining what is and is not deductible.

The IRS does a terrific job with their Publication 502 of reminding and outlining what may be a deduction. In our post here, we remind of a few favorites that we find are frequently missed …

  • Capital Expenses for home improvements
  • Transportation Cost
  • Television
  • Telephone

Are possible (check to make sure) deductions we find interesting and easily forgotten.

 

Capital Market Comments

Finding our Footing After Getting Ahead of Ourselves

 

Another month and our thoughts are the exact same…so much we did not even have to change the title of this part of the review from last month… the chart is updated … looks about the same…

We think patience is needed as this will take time to digest and again find our footing.

Patience will be needed!

Here is where we are now —

3-31-18 SPX w JK Trendline and 200 DMA

For those wondering …. for now, it looks like the 200 Day Moving Average (line below our trend line) is the lower level of support … It may break, which is fine, but for now, looks like someone wants it to hold.

We will keep watch and keep you updated!

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

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

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

Hello and Welcome to our February 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.

February 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Three Tax Savings Ideas you can do NOW for LAST Year’s (2017) TaxesUncle Sam

With the official kick off of Tax Season occurring some time in February … we are not sure what the “Official” start to Tax Season is, but we know it is sometime in February if not earlier .. haha

In an yet to be completed series – we still have two more parts, the first Three were let out of the box this month …. Let’s quickly review!

HSA or Health Savings Account

Our post here, speaks of the terrific opportunity to set aside Pre-Tax dollars to use now or later for medical expenses. In true Reach Back Tax Savings form, this contribution can be made now for last years taxes.

Be Careful though, you must make the contribution by the regular filing deadline i.e. No extensions to get the benefit applied to last year.

As mentioned above this account does not have to be used completely and can be delayed for highly likely future medical needs.

A handy trick we have used over the years when an employer makes some type of a contribution is to remind participants that in most cases you can make up the difference and get a tax savings.

Check with your Health Insurance Carrier to see if you qualify for an HSA contribution. If you do, we highly recommend you make the contribution.

SEP – Simplified Employee Pension

This beefed up IRA is another super Reach Back Tax Saver and the contribution can be made as late as your extended filing deadline.

The SEP offsets income that make come to you as non W-2. Think consulting, temporary work, as side business that generates income to you directly or any non W-2 regular pay.

As mentioned in our Post Here, there are very high limits of contribution, and the SEP can be done during mandated RMD’s, as well as in tangent with a 401k program, as long as the upper limits collectively of contribution are not violated.

Pre-Tax Deductible IRA

As the one of the original retirement vehicles and so vintage many forget (We Don’t!) we want to remind here in our post about the IRA – Individual Retirement Account.

Notice our careful heading of Pre-Tax Deductible IRA – We are not fans of the after tax IRA (contributing and not getting a write off) and in most case recommend you pass if you cannot deduct the contribution.

There are more limits to a Pre-Tax Deductible IRA under current tax laws, again be sure to see our post for limits and restrictions, but if you qualify, it is worth the savings as this is another “Reach Back Tax” saving idea.

Like the HSA, contributions must be made by the regular filing date- extensions do not  help you. So do not wait until the last minute.

Capital Market Comments

Finding our Footing After Getting Ahead of Ourselves

In a coincidental oddity, we had been putting the finishing touches on a post prior to the ugly 10% FAST FAST correction that occurred in late January and February.

In our post here, we spoke on where we may get back on trend- No one knows, of course, but simple logic of an unsustainable path was our analysis.

We think patience is needed as this will take time to digest and again find our footing.

Patience will be needed!

Here is where we are now — Our Trend line is looking pretty good – So Far.

3-1-18 SPX W JK trendline

 

We will keep watch and keep you updated!

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

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

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

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

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