Posts By: Mark Prendergast
What’s an RMD?
The short answer: a Required Minimum Distribution. Do you have an IRA or 401K? You cannot defer your taxes indefinitely. The general rule states that, once you attain age 70.5, you must start taking taxable withdrawals from your account. To make the discussion easy, I will speak on IRA a...READ MORE
Is That Really Your Money?
When you look at your monthly brokerage statement, you see the values and what has happened in your account over the last 30 days. It’s pretty simple math: “You started there, you finished here, and what happened to cause the changes—dividends (increase), market gains (increase), market decl...READ MORE
Fee Only vs. Commission-Based Advisors
There are three primary ways that financial advisors are compensated:  Fee Only,  Commission, and  Fee and Commission. Each has its own set of conflicts of interest (none are conflict free!) but we believe that Fee Only has the least amount of conflicts. Let’s explore the definitions ...READ MORE
What is a Step-Up in Basis? Why should I Care about it?
(get ready for a whirlwind tax lesson!) A basis step-up is one of the basic concepts of estate planning. When a person dies, we say that their assets get a “step-up” in basis. Basis is short-hand for “income tax basis,” “tax basis,” or “cost basis” and is often shortened simply to...READ MORE
Benefits of a Professional Fiduciary
Family strife when a family member dies is a sad and often tragic thing. Yes, when funds are short, but I want to talk here about when the funds are plenty but the emotions of greed and fear get involved, or pride and even criminal behavior rear their ugly heads. What could a good parent do to h...READ MORE
Taxes & the Hidden Alpha
I am of the opinion that every wealth management firm should have someone with a strong tax background – very strong! Like having a CPA or Masters of Science in Taxation (MST). Why is tax expertise so important? Our client work is quite fluid and virtually every action we take has tax conse...READ MORE
On Your Road to Financial Success, What Car are You Driving?
Thoughts on the optimal process for achieving your financial goals (spoiler alert: this is our process!) In a word, it’s all about “efficiency.” I will make the comparison of your financial life to an automobile. Your financial assets (“money”) are the gasoline in the tank—the fue...READ MORE
Preparing Personal Financial Statements Effectively
What do you and Apple have in common? Or, how creating your personal financial statements contributes to your success. Ok, I’m a CPA. I can read, interpret, and analyze financial statements. But did you know that the two most common corporate financial statements—the Balance Sheet and the...READ MORE
Location, Location, Location! How Asset Placement Can Save You Taxes
Asset Placement is a popular discussion among financial planners (we’re a nerdy bunch). Asset Placement is determining what type of account (IRA, Roth IRA, trust, etc.) should hold what type of investment (bonds, US stocks, foreign stocks, real estate, etc.). If you ignore asset placement and you ...READ MORE
Zero Percent Capital Gains Tax Rate
0% taxes is a beautiful thing. It doesn’t apply to everyone. Let’s discuss. The Capital Gain rates are 15% (for most) and 20% (for very high income people). Then there’s this pesky 3.8% tax on Net Investment Income if you make over $200,000. Who knew that Capital Gains taxation was ...READ MORE