Should I Use a 529 College Savings Plan to Pay for Private K-12 Expenses?

When qualified state tuition programs (QSTPs) were first introduced in 1996 and Section 529 was added to the Internal Revenue Code, the intent of Congress was to create a create a tax-friendly way for families to save for college costs.  At that time, the law provided that any earnings in a QSTP would be tax [...]

The Newly Expanded Tax Credit That Every Georgia Taxpayer Should Understand

Last week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 769, expanding a Georgia tax credit that supports rural hospital organizations across Georgia.  We explained the value of the rural hospital tax credit in this 2017 Astute Angle post but the recently expanded tax credit under HB 769 combined with provisions of the Tax Cuts and [...]

Children as Dependents, Kiddie Tax, and College Tax Planning Strategies – Updated

Back in 2014, we authored this article explaining why higher income parents may be well served to gift appreciated investments to their children and then have the children use the proceeds to pay for college.  The article further explained how taxpayers who faced alternative minimum tax (AMT) received no tax benefit from claiming their children as [...]

A Story of Correlation and The Greatest Team Ever Assembled

A respected portfolio manager presented recently at an investment symposium where she explained an investment strategy that has consistently maintained zero correlation to stocks.  Several times during her presentation, she described why the strategy should be expected to maintain a near-zero correlation to stock markets in the future.  During the break that followed, financial advisors [...]

How Apathetic, Ignorant, or Overcommitted is Your Financial Advisor?

All three of time, interest or passion, and knowledge are required to be successful at anything.  I might have the knowledge of how to mow my grass properly and I might enjoy mowing my grass but if I don’t have the time to mow my grass, then my lawn eventually becomes a mess.  Alternatively, I [...]

The Newly Expanded Benefit of the Qualified Charitable Distribution

What do Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Billy Crystal, and my father all have in common?  At least two things.  They will, God willing, all celebrate their 70 1/2 birthdays in 2018 and join the ranks of approximately 25 million others in the United States over this age (assuming, of course, that they all [...]

3 Things People Get Wrong About Gifts To Or From Family Members

On June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered one of the most important speeches of his presidency at the foot of the recently-built Berlin Wall.  During this speech, viewed as a turning point in the Cold War, Kennedy spoke the now famous words, "Ich bin ein Berliner."  His intent was to express solidarity with [...]

High Income Earners Fail to Appreciate the Math of 529 Plans – Part II

We made the case in this 2017 Astute Angle post that Section 529 College Savings Plans present a huge tax saving opportunity for high income parents but that most fail to exploit the opportunity.  Based on experience and observation, we cited five reasons that parents and grandparents fail to maximize the potential benefits.  Two of [...]

4 Secrets to Better Investing

1) Turn off the financial noise machine. Information overload is the norm in today’s world.  We demand it.  We expect it.  Your mind, my mind, and all of our minds are wired to digest information, emotionally respond to the information, and then to do something as a result.  This is why and how advertising works.  [...]

The Stock Market Sits Down for a Job Review

"Describe your perfect day." Such a simple interview directive rarely fails to provide the most telling of replies.  Responses are almost never scripted in advance and usually provide productive insight into what motivates the interviewee, what passions she has, her creativity, or how she organizes her day.  Responses from previous experience posing this question (even [...]