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Top Estate Planning Mistakes image

Estate planning is a crucial element of wealth management that our firm assists our clients with.  While we don't get paid to provide and write estate plans, we're very involved in this process for clients.  After countless meetings, conversations and research, below is a list of the most common mistakes in estate planning.   Failure to Create a Bypass Trust When First Spouse Dies:  In past years, the estate tax exemption was wasted when assets were left to the surviving spouse.  But under the current system, the deceased spouse's unused estate tax exemption can be used by the surviving spouse. Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship Account Titling:  This designation is common when opening bank and brokerage accounts, but prevents ...

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Italy’s Banking Crisis image

As Europe struggles to understand the fallout of Brexit, there is a real crisis brewing. A very large and real concern in Europe are non-performing loans sitting on Italian banks balance sheets. These loans represent roughly 17% of the market which equates to €400 billion (at today's exchange rate comes to 25% of Italian GDP!).  The future for Italian banks will either be a bail-in (think what happened to Cyprus depositors) or a bail-out which is harder under EU guidelines.  The bail-in is, of course, a formula for bank runs.  And this will not only affect Italy.  Italian loans are packaged and resold as others, and Italian banks take loans from other European banks. These banks in turn have borrowed ...

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The 10 Best Days Propaganda image

    I read a tremendous amount of research as I should as portfolio manager on behalf of my clients.  Some is good, some is bad, some is wrong and others are what I like to call Wall Street propaganda.  Having worked at 4 large financial institutions in my career, I've seen this propaganda take many shapes through the years.  I recently was sent a research report from a well known asset manager (that shall not be named) which was perpetuating a myth I have seen my entire career in wealth management.  This myth is regarding missing the best 10, 20 and 30 days in the market.  As the myth goes (and is perpetuated), if you missed  the 10 best days ...

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The Credit Strategists Thoughts image

On Wednesday, John Mauldin posted a recent research from Michael Lewitt, author of The Credit Strategist where he discusses corporate debt, commodities, climate change, Obamacare and private equity.  One of the many hats I wear is research analyst  and I enjoy sharing unique and thought provoking viewpoints.  This one's a doozy and a great read. As John Mauldin highlights in his intro, the opening paragraph is blunt and to the point.  It starts "Commodity prices are plunging, the dollar is powering higher, the yield curve is flattening, ObamaCare is collapsing, global trade is plummeting and terrorism is spreading across the globe. The high yield credit markets are sending distress signals and 10-year swap spreads are negative. Energy companies are going out of business ...

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Rise of the Machine Advisors image

In the past few years there's been many new investment firms created such as Wealthfront, Betterment, Personal Capital, and many others, that claim to use technology to create better portfolios at a fraction of the cost.  They eliminate high fees and offer "sophisticated investment management and advice" as one of the popular websites claims.  For someone who doesn't want to work with a human advisor and who doesn't have the knowledge or time to research investments, these services can offer value over opening an online brokerage account and guessing on what to do next.  Besides, haven't we all heard the horror stories about the guy who stole money from his clients or the broker who lost your friend all ...

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Quarterly Insights image

Each quarter Hoisington Management creates a quarterly update.  This quarter's update was very thought provoking so we thought we'd share it with our readers.  I've included a link to their update below and provided some bullet points that  I found most interesting.  Enjoy!   Q3 Highlights: U.S. government debt now stands at 103% of GDP. If private debt is included, the ratio climbs to about 370% of GDP. Scholarly studies indicate that real per capita GDP growth should slow by about one-quarter to one-third from the long-run trend when the total debt-to-GDP ratio rises into the range between 250% and 275%. Since surpassing this level in the late 1990s, real per capita GDP has grown just 1% per annum, much less than the 1.9% ...

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Danger Ahead, A Message From Carl Icahn image

I posted a video this week from Carl Icahn entitled "Danger Ahead".  In the video, Carl discusses some warning signs that he sees in the markets that have been building since 2007/08 in a way that anyone can understand.  It's 15 minutes long and well worth the watch.  I hope you enjoy.   Danger Ahead   Proper Wealth Management's blog is not an offering for any investment. It represents only the opinions of Jared Toren. Any views expressed are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as an offer, an endorsement, or inducement to invest. Jared Toren is the CEO of Proper Wealth Management, LLC, a Texas based Registered Investment Advisor.   All material presented herein is believed ...

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A Quick Thought On China image

China has been on everyone's mind the past few months and I believe it's important to understand it's impact.  A China whose growth is slowing is a China that buys materially less resources from around the world. Barry Ritholtz published the above chart, which shows the amounts of raw materials that China buys as a percentage of world production.  If growth slows down, this could have a dramatic impact on the prices of raw materials and on the companies of those who sell them...         Proper Wealth Management's blog is not an offering for any investment. It represents only the opinions of Jared Toren. Any views expressed are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as ...

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So You’re An Angel Investor and You Don’t Know This image

So you say you're an angel investor and you haven't heard of section 1202 of the IRS code?  Your first reaction might be, "how the hell didn't my accountant or angel buddies tell me about this".  Don't be surprised because according to my friend Joe Milam, most people aren't aware of this rule either.  It's a tricky one and instead of explaining it myself, I'll let Joe's well written post explain it. Without further adieu, section 1202.     Investment advisory services offered through Proper Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment adviser. This site is published for residents of the United States only. Investment Advisor Representatives may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, ...

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Lessons Learned From a Helicopter Crash, Bike Wreck and Using Only 1 Arm image

For those of you who've seen me recently know, I've only been able to use 1 arm the past 3 weeks due to a mountain biking accident in Colorado. The story goes...I was in Colorado the week of July 4th with family and decided to go mountain biking one day in Breckenridge.  I ended up going over a jump I had no business going on and ended up injuring my shoulder causing a grade 3 AC separation.  While in the ER room at the hospital, I noticed (it was hard to miss) the hospital staff was frantic and there were a variety of codes they were announcing over the loudspeaker that I didn't quite understand.  Nurses and doctors were running ...

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