MPW Think Pieces

Comprehensive & Advice-Based

  • 3 Better Investments Than Powerball

    The odds of winning the lottery are astronomically long. Yet, the allure of pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars can tempt even the staunchest penny pincher. While there’s no harm in playing your lucky numbers every now and again, coming down with a serious case of lottery fever can prove…

    Read More
  • Investing in Bonds

    Bonds may not be as glamorous as stocks or commodities, but they are a significant component of most investment portfolios. Bonds are traded in huge volumes every day, but their full usefulness is often underappreciated and underestimated. Why invest in bonds? Bonds can help diversify your investment portfolio. Interest payments…

    Read More
  • Five Strategies for Tax-Efficient Investing

    As just about every investor knows, it’s not what your investments earn, but what they earn after taxes that counts. After factoring in federal income and capital gains taxes, the alternative minimum tax, and any applicable state and local taxes, your investments’ returns in any given year may be reduced…

    Read More
  • The Charitable IRA Transfer

    If you are age 70½ or older and charitably minded, you may wish to consider tapping your individual retirement account (IRA). The qualified charitable distribution (QCD), also known as an IRA charitable rollover, allows you to donate up to $100,000 per year to qualified charities. A QCD can be made…

    Read More
  • Growth vs. Value: Two Approaches to Stock Selection

    Growth and value are two fundamental approaches in stock and stock mutual fund investing. Growth stock mutual fund managers look for companies that they believe offer strong earnings growth potential. Value fund managers look for stocks that appear undervalued by the marketplace. Some managers combine the two approaches.1 Growth and…

    Read More
  • A Business “Will” can Go a Long Way

    A business will is far more than a legal document designed to transfer assets upon the death of an owner or partner. It is a comprehensive estate planning tool that can include everything from management plans, and other documents necessary for a company’s continued operation and future health, to shareholder…

    Read More
  • Asset Allocation

    Asset allocation is a common strategy that you can use to construct an investment portfolio. Asset allocation isn’t about picking individual securities. Instead, you focus on broad categories of investments,   mixing them together in the right proportion to match your financial goals, the amount of time you have to invest,…

    Read More
  • Reducing Risk with Diversification

    Diversification is a basic concept that’s critical to building a portfolio able to withstand the test of time. It is the process of spreading your money among a variety of securities to reduce exposure to any one investment or asset class. The premise behind diversification is easy to grasp: When…

    Read More
  • Preventing Identity Theft

    Protect Your Personal Information Don’t carry your social security card. The key to identity theft is your social security number. Don’t provide your social security number to anyone unless there is a legitimate reason, which includes occasions when you are: applying for employment; opening a financial account; getting a credit…

    Read More
  • Plan Ahead For The Holiday Budget Crunch

    Every year, millions of Americans celebrate the holidays with traditions such as throwing parties and buying gifts for family and friends. Unfortunately, many also participate in a tradition that lands them in debt — spending more than they can afford. This year, break the buy-now, worry-later habit by creating —…

    Read More
  • Is Long-Term Care Insurance a Good Idea?

    There is a good possibility that you or your spouse will eventually require some form of long-term care (LTC). According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, at least 70% of people aged 65 or older will require some form of long-term care services and support during their lives.1…

    Read More
  • A Letter To Our Clients

    Dear Valued Investor: The Dog Days of Summer were on full display this past month, as a variety of concerns pushed stocks and bond yields lower. After reaching new record highs in late July, the S&P 500 Index dropped approximately 1.8% in August as trade concerns pressured investor sentiment around…

    Read More
  • Retiring Business Owners – Plan For Succession

    If you’re a small business owner, you’ve invested a great deal of time and effort into building your company. With day-to-day demands, it may be difficult to imagine your eventual transition into retirement. Yet, if you want to build personal financial security and ensure business continuation, it is important to…

    Read More
  • Helpful Tax Tips Before Year-End

    Tax planning can be more advantageous when done during the year and well in advance of year’s end. Opportunities may exist for you to minimize tax liability, which could leave more income for you and/or your family. Generally, people put off tax planning because paying income taxes is an obligation.…

    Read More
  • Six Basic Tax Planning Techniques

    There are no great secrets where tax planning and tax cutting are concerned. The principles around which all tax-cutting strategies revolve can be reduced to six basics: Income splitting. Taxes are reduced for the total family unit by shifting income among several family members or legal entities in order to…

    Read More
  • Midyear Outlook 2019

    We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, with investment insights and market guidance through the end of 2019. LPL Research believes that even as investors face prospects for periodic bouts of volatility, emphasizing…

    Read More
  • POP QUIZ – Tax Planning Basics

    Q: What’s the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction?A: A tax credit reduces your tax dollar for dollar—that is, a $1,000 tax credit actually saves you $1,000 in taxes. By comparison, a tax deduction reduces your taxable income, but is only worth the percentage equal to your…

    Read More
  • Advisor Assisted Robos

    If you’ve noticed a change to more targeted advertising from financial service companies in Memphis and beyond, it’s part of an industry-wide chase to connect with the next generation of clients. They’re coming into their own as mature adults and will inherit a tremendous amount of the wealth in the…

    Read More
  • There’s basis in my IRA. What do I do?

    It’s fairly common that people with basis (after-tax money) in their IRA’s don’t know they are sitting on unrealized opportunity. Often enough, this opportunity is unintentionally squandered or turned into a financial mess. It’s the kind of mess for which I have to invoke the imagery of a tangled slinky. First, lets presume you read “Basis…

    Read More
  • False Idols

    I’ve met with many clients in the Memphis area over the years who are in financial straits. I have sat with them patiently and done the budgets and shown them how they are getting further and further behind. Usually those meetings ended with a referral to a debt consolidation company to get everything…

    Read More
  • Time for a New Car! An Insider’s Guide On Your Next Purchase

    Like most men, I grew up idolizing cars. In the 80’s I remember participating in reading time in the library during school. For some reason, they had a ten year history of Car and Driver and MotorTrend magazine. I spent all my allotted time learning about Countaches, 911s, and Testarossas. Fast-forward to the…

    Read More
  • FREE STEAK!? Annuity Brokers Lure You In to Sell Fear and Guarantees

    If you ever heard a financial services professional say, “Are you afraid of losing all of your money?”  I can tell you what is coming next. Be wary of anyone who specifically sells fear, because you’re being set up to buy something to ease that fear.  Before you proceed any…

    Read More
  • How to Choose a Financial Advisor

    About a year ago I was waiting for someone at a local Memphis restaurant. I looked around and couldn’t help but notice… this place is full of financial advisors. We know our own, and we all dress pretty similar in the daylight. If I were a potential client, I thought, how would I…

    Read More
  • Basis in your IRA? How to Do Your 8606

    We commonly don’t hear from clients for a little while as they’re humming along on the path to financial success. Life is good, they’re feeling confident with where they are putting their money, then it’s time to do taxes. Unfortunately for some of them, this is the year their earnings have crossed the threshold…

    Read More