Alternatives to the 529 Savings Plans


There’s no doubt that a 529 savings plan is one of the best available options for college funding. It has a high contribution limit ($14k annual eligible for gift splitting up to $28k annual and it can even be super funded in the initial year up to $140k). The owner of the 529 savings plan can direct the investments (within plan constraints), and is even allowed to change the beneficiaries. Depending on state of residence, contributors may be eligible for a state tax deduction based on 529 contributions.

Monthly Markets Memo - May 2017

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Market Update

As we work our way through earnings season, companies are broadly reporting growth in both revenues and net income that is higher than what analysts expected.  Despite this positive news, investors have been reassessing their growth and inflation expectations as the feasibility of the Trump administration’s pro-growth agenda is being called into question.  This move has benefited the fixed income markets with yields declining off their recent highs.   

Market Minute - May 5, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA
History of the Option Market

Option contracts trace their origins back to ancient Greece where they were used to speculate on the olive harvest.  If someone thought the harvest in a given year was going to be plentiful, they paid the owners of the olive presses for the right to use them in the future.  If they were correct and the harvest was large, then the rights to use those olive presses would be very valuable and could be sold for a profit. 

The Alphabet Soup of Planned Giving Vehicles

RMD Image.jpg 

It is easy to get lost in the alphabet soup of Planned Giving vehicles.  CGA, CRAT, CRUT, and DAF are common abbreviations for Planned Giving Vehicles used by charity groups, financial advisors, non-profit groups, and estate planning attorneys. People in these groups, myself included, can slip into “industry speak” and lose the charitably minded audience we are trying to help.  My hope is to briefly explain a few of the different Planned Giving Vehicles and the tax benefits to donors.

Monthly Markets Memo - April 2017

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Market Update

The U.S. Equity markets had a good start to the year adding to the post-election rally.  Much of the performance was attributed to an improving economy and the potential of regulatory and tax reforms contained within the new administration’s agenda.  More recently however, the U.S. equity markets have hit the pause button, seemingly taking a breather while assessing the feasibility of these reforms. 

Required Minimum Distributions: The Good News and The Bad News

RMD Image.jpg by Thomas Rueger, JD

With the post World War II baby boom generation typically being defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, and with the first members of that group now reaching the age of 70 ½; 2017 unofficially marks the beginning of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for an entire generation. It’s the typical good news bad news scenario.

Faith, Family, and Finances

Father Daughter.jpgDo you have a gap in your understanding of the gospel? What would it look like to be an all-out radical parent? What can I do to save on my healthcare costs? Take a look at the articles below for insight on answering these important questions.

Monthly Markets Memo - March 2017

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Market Update

The post-election rally may be over for now.  Over the past month, the major U.S. Indices are mixed.  Large companies represented by the S&P 500 Index are up a little over 1%.  At the same time, mid and smaller sized companies, represented by the S&P 400 and Russell 2000 respectively, were slightly negative over the past month. 

Market Minute - March 31, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA
Free Cash Flow

One sign of a healthy business is the amount of cash it produces from its operations. The cash from operations minus any investments to maintain the business (capital expenditures) is considered free cash flow (FCF).  

Market Minute - March 3, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA
Market Valuation and P/E Ratio

The stock market has climbed double digits since the election and now has investors starting to wonder if it has moved too high too quickly.  One of the most common measures of stock market valuation is the price to earnings ratio (P/E).  When you hear in the news or from your neighbor that a stock looks cheap or expensive, they are most likely referring to the P/E ratio. 

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