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The Capital Gains Conundrum

NOTE: This video was recorded prior to President Joe Biden's proposal to double the Capital Gains tax on individuals earning over $1,000,000 per year. Our view is unchanged.   With proposals to eliminate the capital gains tax for people earning over $400,000 a year, it leaves us with a conundrum. Should we deliberately be taking long-term capital gains at this point in time? Taxes are easy to manage, yet difficult to avoid. Typically strategies involve some combination of rescheduling strategies, such as: Roth conversions, tax-loss harvesting, holding onto gains so they're long-term, deferring gains indefinitely, qualified charitable distributions from an IRA, donor advised funds, charitable remainder trusts, and even more advanced strategies such as GRATs, trusts, investing in opportunity zones. And of course rebalancing at the household level instead of the account level can reduce turnover and reduce taxes. But in most of these examples we're managing taxes, not avoiding...
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A Focus on the New Threat of Inflation

$1.9 trillion in economic stimulus on top of $2.9 trillion in 2020. Will almost $5 trillion of economic stimulus - printing money - reignite inflation, and if so, what can we do about that? When I came to the United States in the Fall of 1979, with $200, inflation in the United Kingdom was 13.4%. Down from a high of 24% in 1975. Things weren't much better here, though. In fact, in 1980 inflation hit 13.5%. Now, 13.5% can chew up two hundred dollars pretty darn fast. Paul Volcker, who was put in charge of the Federal Reserve by Jimmy Carter and retained, in his wisdom, by Ronald Reagan when he was elected, broke the back of inflation. He did it in the 1980s through significant interest rate hikes. He took the Fed Funds Rate up to 20% in June of 1981. Prime rate of 21.5%. Can you imagine a...
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Women and Wealth: Taking Charge of Your Finances

When it comes to financial planning, women are likely to face different challenges than men. For one, they earn less than men on average, and they’re more likely to work part-time jobs or take time away from their careers to raise children and care for family. Time off and lower lifetime income means women face unique financial planning challenges. Here’s a look at some common financial issues women face and strategies to address them. Less income means less money to devote to savings On average, women earn just over $0.80 on the dollar compared to men, leaving them with less money available to pursue financial goals, like saving for retirement. If you work in a job that offers a retirement plan, such as a 401(k), be sure to save as much as you can. The tax advantages of these accounts can help boost your savings potential. If your employer offers...
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Donating Appreciated Bitcoin, Stocks and other Assets

Bitcoin's above $50,000, the S&P 500 is above $3,800. There's a lot of hurting out there with COVID. Is there a way that you can give back and also skip the taxes on some of these outrageous capital gains? So with all that's going on with COVID out there right now, there's a lot of pain and suffering, and a lot of people are very generous. They're giving back. Yet it's amazing how many people are giving cash while sitting on significant capital gains. Especially those of you who have Bitcoin at $50,000. I don't know when that party is going to end, but if you want to do a lot of good with that stock - with that coin, I should say - you can donate appreciated assets, not pay the capital gains on those assets and still deduct the value of the appreciated assets on your tax return....
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It’s Tax Season Again

Tax time is just around the corner. Here's a couple of pointers that may help mitigate the cost and difficulty of preparing your taxes this year. We've got a lot of different clients with a lot of different desires when it comes to how best to file their taxes. Some clients, every single document, as soon as they get it, they send it to their CPA. Something to keep in mind is when the CPA opens up that envelope, it's going to hack the clock and probably most CPAs have a minimum of 15 minutes, so you can start seeing where we're going here. Bundle the documents. You may send one bundle late January, another bundle late February, and another bundle late March. But bundle the documents because the less envelopes that CPA opens, the less it's going cost you. The second challenge we have is that the IRS requires...
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Gamestop: Robin Hood versus the Hedge Fund Insiders?

I'm sure you've heard in the news this week about GameStop - the Reddit traders who through Robinhood and various other platforms have been driving up the stock of GameStop to incredible Heights. 2500% above the beginning of the year. What on earth is going on? And should you even care? A lot of Interesting things have been happening with GameStop, and also a couple of other firms, that really bring to us the intersection between social media, the hedge funds, the clearing houses and the retail accounts. GameStop. What do we know? GameStop started the year at $18.84. On Thursday it had a $28 billion market cap at $483. Yes, that's up almost 2500%. And then yesterday (January 28th), Robinhood - AND major brokerages - basically told retail investors they could no longer buy any more. Horrors. The hedge funds can continue to trade this but the little guy...
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Capital Gains

So it's the last video in what has seriously been an eventful year for all of our clients, for all investors the world over and probably for you. At Avion Wealth, our goal is to protect your wealth. And of course, at the end of the year, we're worried about one last thing: is that, are they going to eliminate the capital gains tax for certain investors? Now, many advisors have been making a lot of noise and have latched onto some of Biden's remarks about imposing ordinary income tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividends for those earning more than $1 million a year. A lot of people will say "well, that's fairly rarefied air and it doesn't include me." But be that as it may, currently, individuals earning less than $441,000 pay only 15% capital gains, and those above that are paying 20%. And way down low...
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CARES Act – Charitable Giving

2020 is coming to a close. There are gifting opportunities. In fact, the CARES Act has added a few opportunities. Back in March, on the 27th, the CARES Act was passed. And what wasn't really given a lot of attention at the time is that some of the rules regarding charitable giving and deductions were changed. The easiest one for the vast majority of people is now the first $300 is above the line. And what that means in English, is you don't have to be itemizing deductions to allow it to reduce your taxes. That's a great opportunity. And there's also some increased deductions for food donations. As we know right now, the food banks and many other organizations are quite desperate for those donations. Cash donations - always of value - you can now deduct up to 100% of your AGI. So if for some reason with losses...
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Election Markets – Now What?

So it looks like Biden is on the cusp of taking the White House. And clearly the Republicans are retaining control of the Senate, and the Democrats holding onto the House. What does this all mean for you and your money? So this election has clearly increased pre-existing divisions. Most recently, the hurried installation of a Supreme Court justice added to that divisive atmosphere that's going on. The split government with the Republican Senate and the Democratic House and presidency pretty much means it'll be very difficult to get anything done in either direction. And with everything that's going on with the extremely severe recession for many sectors of the economy, COVID - some of the bigger challenges facing both the country, the planet - it's going to be very hard to get the things done that need to be done. And many of these things need to be "do...
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The Value Trap

Last week Dimensional released a report that showed an unprecedented negative outcome for value investing over the last few years. What is going on and how can we benefit from this information? So from July, 2010 to 2017 Value outperformed its historic performance by about one and a half percent, which is nice until we discover the Growth outperformed Value in the same period by 7.6%. That's a lot annualized over such a long period. In the last three years, Growth continued yet Value had an average annualized return of -3.3%. This has resulted in annualized spread of over -21%. That's pretty much unprecedented. We know the Value and Growth sort of do the seesaw thing, but right now we see this Growth's up here, Value's down there. Now for those of us who are diversified, who are disciplined, who've had a Value bias since basically the beginning of this...
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