News & Events

The 4% Rule

by Michael Velazquez

Every now and then, there are ideas and so-called rules of thumb about retirement planning that creep their way into the mainstream consciousness and then back into oblivion. Sometimes, however, they linger no matter how inaccurate they might be, like undesirable guests at a party who outlast their welcome. This is exactly my opinion about the 4% rule.

New Grandson

 

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Benjamin Franklin

 

New Grandson

by Bob Crawford

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Grandpa Bob and baby Joseph

On September 4, 2018, my wife Renee and I, were blessed with our second grandchild, handsome baby Joseph. Although he was 4 weeks early, he was a big 6 pounds 8 ounces and 20 inches in length with a full head of hair and a small cute little dimple appeared whenever he smiles.

 Of course we wanted to begin contributing to his educational opportunities via a 529 saving plan as soon as possible, just like we did with his cousin Nicholas.  We know that since 2001, the 529 contributions can be deposited into plan account and that the accumulation of assets would have the possibility to grow income tax free, as long the account funds are used for the benefit of the beneficiaries qualified higher education expenses. 

Mission Impossible the 101 Freeway

"Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting"

Joyce Meyer

 

by Gaby Velazquez Wealth Manager Assistant

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Getting to work in the morning can be a real adventure, but when you live in Los Angeles it can become a Mission Impossible! Sometimes I summon my inner Tom Cruise. I pretend a rope could fall at any moment from the sky and save me from the SUV riding my bumper, trying to swallow me like a snack. Most of the time in traffic though, I simply churn on. I like to stare at the person riding in the lane next to me and wonder if they’re enjoying their trip, what music they’re listening to, or if they’re low on gas.

Succeeding at Succession

by Michael Velazquez

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”  It is the foundation for success. This applies to the succession of your business or your family or loved ones’ businesses.

 We have seen many businesses go through this, some by design, and others by default. I promise not to preach but here are a few simple ideas to keep in mind. They may come in handy to keep things in perspective.

Social (in) Security

by Michael Velazquez

The title is attempting to poke a little fun and bring some attention to this very misunderstood topic. First, we need to debunk some myths and redirect some flawed thinking.

Myth #1: Social Security will probably not be there for me.

California Thankful

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Be Thankful - An affiliate and friends house in Paradise, California

 

"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power."

Article by Carol Duschinsky

It is the time of the year when we all remember to be thankful. And recent California events have tested those emotions. The fires have been long and deadly. Lives destroyed, property gone, our beautiful terrain marred. And then too close to our homes was the shooting of innocent young people, out for an evening of clean fun and celebration. One would think “what do we have to be thankful for?”  One would think that would be the chant, but that is not the tenor I am hearing.

I am hearing strength, faith and commitment from survivors speaking and from families of survivors speaking. For the communities a commitment to rebuilding, and from the families who lost people in the shooting, a determination to make the community a safe place to be in. How humbling is that!

California Thankful

Lauries House (3)_0_0.jpeg

Be Thankful - An affiliate and friends house in Paradise, California

 

"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power."

Article by Carol Duschinsky

It is the time of the year when we all remember to be thankful. And recent California events have tested those emotions. The fires have been long and deadly. Lives destroyed, property gone, our beautiful terrain marred. And then too close to our homes was the shooting of innocent young people, out for an evening of clean fun and celebration. One would think “what do we have to be thankful for?”  One would think that would be the chant, but that is not the tenor I am hearing.

I am hearing strength, faith and commitment from survivors speaking and from families of survivors speaking. For the communities a commitment to rebuilding, and from the families who lost people in the shooting, a determination to make the community a safe place to be in. How humbling is that!

Making Cents: The Ups and Downs of Family Owned Real Estate

By: John P. Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST

Some families intentionally pool their resources to make investments in real estate. Others inherit properties and become partners, whether that was their plan or not. Either way, owning real estate with family members can be a great way to benefit from family resources or be the straw that breaks the camel’s back with respect to family harmony.

Whether the real estate in question is a three family inherited from Mom or a collection of commercial properties, the essential issues to resolve surround the management of the properties, the division of cash flow and profits and the estate planning consequences of owning valuable illiquid properties. The ownership of real estate is a business with active moving parts, not a passive investment, and must be dealt with accordingly.

How Long Will the Money Last

 

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by Michael Velazquez

 

“There are times when you run a marathon and you wonder, why am I doing this? But you take a drink of water and around the next bend, you get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going.”

An incredibly fit, silver haired couple with perfect teeth is walking along the beach in their short shorts, with a beautiful Golden Retriever alongside. The couple appears to not have a care in the world, and their whole universe is in balance. This hopeful association is what some TV ads want us to project ourselves into, to feel like one of these characters. They hope we conclude that we need their product or service to be happy, just like the subjects are in their retirement commercial.

Real Estate as an Asset Class

by Michael Velazquez

Ideally, your financial plan includes real estate, which offers the kind of attributes that will often take the pressure off the rest of your portfolio to perform. Having the right allocation of real estate in your portfolio provides enhanced diversification and non-correlation, (assets behaving in different ways, not related to the general markets at large) not to mention certain tax advantages, cash flow, and equity appreciation. Of course, there is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.