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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.

Role of Cash - SilverOak Whitepaper
With today’s interest rates at levels not seen in a decade, it is important to revisit the role that cash plays in financial management to ensure that you are on track to meet your goals... Read more >
Inflation Explained - SilverOak Whitepaper
Inflation has been discussed heavily over the past few years as we have experienced levels not seen since the 1980’s. While inflation has been declining from the recent peak in June of 2022, its effects continue to ripple across the economy from government policy to labor, housing, business expenditures, consumer spending and more... Read more >
Best Practices Checklist to Prevent Identity Theft - SilverOak Whitepaper
The following whitepaper will provide you with a checklist of best practices to protect yourself against identity theft, as well as steps to take in the event that your identity is stolen... Read more >
Minnesota Tax Law Changes - SilverOak Whitepaper
The May 2023 Omnibus Tax Bill (H.F. 1938) resulted in several changes to Minnesota’s tax code. Although this whitepaper doesn’t address all provisions in the tax bill, we have summarized a handful of notable changes below... Read more >
SECURE 2.0 Act - SilverOak Whitepaper
As part of the omnibus spending bill signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022, Congress took the opportunity to include the bipartisan-supported SECURE 2.0 Act in the legislation. The SECURE 2.0 Act builds upon the SECURE Act passed in 2019 by providing taxpayers additional opportunities to strengthen their retirement savings while also addressing deficiencies in prior legislation... Read more >
Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 - SilverOak Whitepaper
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) was signed into law on August 16th after the bill was passed in Congress earlier in the month. Although the most significant provisions of this legislation are primarily directed at corporations and commercial activities, there are several provisions that may affect individuals. The following content outlines the provisions SilverOak has identified as the most likely to impact individual taxpayers directly. Read more >
Moving Checklist
Though moving to a new home is often a time of excitement, it can be hard not to feel overwhelmed by all of the planning and logistics that come along with the transition. Whether relocating across town or across the country, starting the process with a detailed plan will help minimize stress and ensure a smoother transition to your new home. The following whitepaper contains a week-by-week checklist of moving-related tasks and ideas to consider as you plan for your move. Read more >
Transfer of Wealth Using a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust - SilverOak Whitepaper
One method of transferring wealth to family members is through the use of a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT). Taxpayers can use a GRAT to minimize their estate tax exposure by transferring future appreciation of trust assets to their beneficiaries. The utilization of a GRAT becomes even more effective during periods when interest rates are low. Furthermore, funding the trust with assets with higher potential for appreciation during the trust term, will obtain the best results. Read more >
State Change of Residency Considerations & Checklist - SilverOak Whitepaper
When changing residency, states consider a number of different factors to establish whether or not a taxpayer has taken sufficient steps to break residency with their state and sufficiently establish residency in a new state. The following document is provided as a tool to monitor progress and highlight considerations used by states in residency disputes. Read more >
Behavioral Biases - SilverOak Whitepaper
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...Read more >
FERPA: A Guide to Educational Privacy - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 >
Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 Explained - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 >
Donor Advised Funds - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 >
The CARES Act: How Might it Impact Me? - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 >
529 Plan Tax Benefits - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 >
Recent Passage of the SECURE Act- SilverOak Whitepaper
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 - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 >
Why Invest in International Equities - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 Tax Update - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 >
Minnesota Tax Update - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 >
HSA Opportunity for Independent Children Covered on HDHP with Parents - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 >
Comprehensive Services - SilverOak Whitepaper
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) - SilverOak Mini-Whitepaper
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 >
Portfolio Benchmarking - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 - SilverOak Whitepaper
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 >
Active vs. Passive Investing - SilverOak Whitepaper
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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