Market Insights

SilverOak Whitepapers

Periodically, SilverOak Wealth Management releases informational whitepapers covering financial topics that are relevant to our clients.  

 

See below for some of SilverOak's recent whitepapers.

Behavioral finance studies the psychology of actual individual financial decision making versus the traditional theory of individual behavior which tries to explain how markets and individuals should behave based on certain assumptions. One of the main pillars of traditional financial theory is the assumption that individuals are “rational” and that their financial decisions are well-informed, consistent and profit maximizing...Click on the title above to read more

FERPA, or Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, was passed in 1974 in order to give students over 18 years of age (or the student’s parents, if they are claimed as a dependent) the right to inspect, review, request corrections or stop the release of anything regarding the student’s educational record to third party entities. Read more >

Estate planning strategies evolve over time and can become more or less attractive depending on the current environment. One strategy that has drawn more attention recently due to potential changes in tax policy is the Spousal Lifetime Access Trust or SLAT. These trusts provide grantors an avenue to maximize the current lifetime estate and gift tax exclusion while it is at a 2020 amount of $11.58 million/per spouse. Read more >

Stock splits have become a popular topic this year, with a number of high profile announcements such as Apple’s 4-for-1 split and Tesla’s 5-for-1. Not only have the announcements garnered attention due to the fact that these are some of the largest public U.S. companies, but both stocks proceeded to rise 30%+ post-split announcement. Read more >

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is often used by the media as a barometer for the U.S. equity markets and economy. The index is the second oldest for U.S. equities, dating back to 1896, and is made up of 30 of the largest and most well-known U.S. public companies. Recently, there were a number of announced changes to the composition of the DJIA, which made headlines. Read more >

A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is an investment account that is used for charitable giving and has many tax advantages, including tax-free growth of assets. DAFs are tax-exempt vehicles, sponsored by 501(c)(3) organizations such as community foundations, national charities and single-issue charities. The growth in Donor Advised Funds over the past few years has outpaced other charitable giving options such as private foundations, charitable trusts and direct giving. This is not surprising, as DAFs can be one of the most effective ways to make charitable gifts. Read more >

As we all continue to deal with the coronavirus, Congress passed legislation late last week in an effort to provide relief to taxpayers during this difficult time. The following is a list of some of the provisions in the bill that may have an impact on you... Read more >

A 529 plan is a tax-favorable investment vehicle in the U.S. which promotes saving for future education costs. 529 plan accounts have a tax savings characteristic in that they provide for tax-free growth if the funds are used for qualifying educational expenses. When initially added to the tax code, the 529 plan qualified withdrawals were limited to only post-secondary educational expenditures. However, the 2017 enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, permitted K-12 public, private and religious school tuition as qualifying education expenses (up to a $10,000 limit).  Read more >

During a period of congressional bickering, a bipartisan Congress passed one of the more extensive legislative retirement reforms in recent years. The SECURE Act was signed into law by the President on December 20th and it became effective January 1, 2020. The SECURE Act legislation stands for “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” and it enacts numerous provisions that are intended to strengthen the retirement security of taxpayers across the country.  Read more >

Tax loss harvesting is a strategy in which certain investments held in a taxable investment account that are currently at a loss are sold in order to reduce the tax liability for the year. These tax losses can be used to offset realized capital gains or mutual fund capital gain distributions. Tax losses can also be used to offset up to $3,000 in ordinary income in a given year, thereby lowering income and taxes.  Read more >

With U.S. equities outperforming seemingly year after year, many investors may wonder – why invest in international equities? After all, the U.S. has many of the best companies in the world and despite a polarized political environment, the U.S. remains one of the most stable democracies embracing capitalism in the world. However, there are many reasons U.S. investors should look internationally for a portion of the portfolio.  Read more >

Virtual currency is identified as a digital or internet-based asset that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value. These currencies, also referred to as altcoins or cryptocurrency, often use tokens or “coins” as their unit. The majority of these virtual currencies exist only in a digital or intangible form, though some have moved into the physical world with the issuance of credit cards. Virtual currencies are mostly unregulated. They are issued and usually controlled by their respective developers, and used and accepted among members of a specific virtual community. The more well-known brands of virtual currency in the market include Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, Litecoin and Monero. There are currently more than 2,500 versions of virtual currencies in existence as of the printing of this article.  Read more >

It’s been nearly eighteen months since the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was enacted in December 2017. However, many states are just now getting around to adjusting their own laws in order to comply with the magnitude of changes that the legislation brought about. Taxation at the state level is determined by each respective state, as each state has the authority to adopt the various provisions of the Federal legislation, or choose to enact their own variation of the law. The provisions of the TCJA significantly impacted both business and individual taxpayers.  Several of the provisions took effect for the 2018 tax year, with some beginning in 2019. Read more >

Contributions to a heath savings account (HSA) can be made by, or on behalf of (for example, by a family member) any eligible individual and are deductible by the eligible individual above the line in arriving at AGI. Furthermore, you can then withdraw the money to spend on IRS-approved medical costs – tax free – or you can keep it invested, from one year to the next. The money can also be invested along the way, and eventually used as an emergency fund, or as an extra retirement account. Read more >

SilverOak Wealth Management, LLC (SilverOak) is an independent boutique advisory firm serving individuals and families throughout the United States. Our comprehensive and customized approach to financial planning utilizes the knowledge and expertise of our team by integrating services such as income tax strategies, investment advice, cash flow management, estate planning, and many others. We believe that providing prudent and thoughtful financial advice can only be accomplished by thoroughly understanding our clients’ personal values, beliefs and long-term goals. Our multi-disciplinary team of experienced, thoughtful advisors partner with each of our clients throughout their life’s journey.  The members of our team have achieved a wide range of professional accomplishments and credentials, such as CFP, CPA, CFA, and MBT... Read more >

Health Savings accounts (HSA) are one of the primary investment vehicles to save for future medical expenditures.  However, they also a great source to help build one’s future retirement assets.  The accounts require that participants be covered under a high deductible health insurance plan in order to make qualifying pre-tax or deductible contributions.  For tax year 2019, the self-only HSA contribution limit was increased to $3,500, and the family contribution limit was increased to $7,000.  For individuals age 55 and older, an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution is permitted.  The accounts are set up with the account holder listed as the beneficiary, and a spouse, estate or other individual identified as a designated beneficiary.  Because there can only be one account beneficiary... Read more >

When planning for the future, individuals, many times with the help of their advisors, create financial plans that incorporate a wide range of objectives such as the purchase of a new home, saving for retirement, funding college expenses, etc. The achievement of these objectives is highly predicated on two basic principles:


1) The simple exercise of saving. - - - Although not all objectives in life are financial, those that do revolve around finances will not be achieved unless funds are set aside to meet the specific goal.


2) The growth of saved assets. - - - This is especially important for longer-term financial objectives where the “power of compounding” can be significant... Read more >

 

Socially responsible investing (SRI) has seen increasing interest over the past decade as endowments, foundations, institutions and individual investors have sought to align their capital with personal values and goals. This interest and investors’ increased awareness of global climate change, demographics, resource scarcity, and generational trends are some of the reasons that have brought responsible investing from a niche market and made it one of the fastest growing investment areas ofasset management  According to the 2014 US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends report, there were $6.57 trillion of assets in SRI strategies at the start of 2014 in the United States, which is up from about $2 trillion fifteen years ago... Read more >

 

Recently, there has been a unique market environment that is challenging the discipline of some investors. Passive investing significantly outperformed active management in 2014, compelling many active investors to question their current investment philosophy. Unfortunately, active and passive investing are often portrayed as polarizing philosophies, but they do not need to be. Utilizing both active and passive strategies in the same portfolio is often beneficial, as both strategies have unique advantages and disadvantages. Media attention will likely continue to surround this topic as it continues to be a favorite issue to debate. However, investors should take a step back and consider the active versus passive debate objectively, as there are multiple factors to consider... Read more >

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