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Articles on Wealth Management Topics

DJIA vs. S&P 500: Which Should You Use As An Indicator of Stock Market Performance?

If you rely on the media, and particularly the local media, for your coverage of the stock market, you will find that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is the most oft-quoted measure of how the stock market performed on a given day. And yet most stock market professionals - portfolio managers, analysts, strategists and the like - will refer to the S&P 500 Index instead of the DJIA as their preferred yardstick of market performance. Why is this?

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Financial Advisory Standards of Care and Rollovers to IRA's

The decision as to whether or not to rollover a retirement plan account to an IRA should be based on more factors than just the associated mutual fund management expenses. On its website, the Dept. of Labor provides guidance to retirement plan participants, i.e. employees, on how to evaluate the fees and expenses associated with their plan: "... don’t consider fees in a vacuum. They are only one part of the bigger picture including investment risks and returns and the extent and quality of services provided. Keep in mind the importance of diversifying your investments."

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"Stealth" IRA Contributions

As we begin to prepare for tax season, IRA contributions are on the minds of many taxpayers. This should be no surprise since not only do tax-deductible IRA contributions reduce current tax bills, but non-tax-deductible IRA contributions have the potential to reduce future tax bills as well. With these tax benefits in mind, here are three ways to effectively increase your household's IRA contributions that often fly under the radar:

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"Ten Ways You're Probably Leaving Money on the Table" Updated for 2018-9

The Tax Policy Center estimates that recent changes to the tax code in the form of last year's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) "... will cut individual income taxes for 65 percent of households overall, but raise taxes for about 6 percent of households." Even so, why not resolve to improve your financial situation even more in the New Year. Depending on your circumstances, there may be a variety of moves to make to reduce your tax bills (or to offset them by saving money in other ways).

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Use a 457 (Retirement Plan Account) to Blow Away Your Tax Bill

457(b) plans are retirement plans for government workers and for highly-compensated employees of non-profit organizations. As such, 457's are offered by some of Utah's largest employers, including Intermountain Healthcare and the University of Utah. These plans are analogous to 401(k)'s and 403(b)'s, but they differ in one critical way.

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An Introduction to Closed-End Mutual Funds

One of the investment universes that Five Seasons Financial Planning monitors in an ongoing search for value to exploit for the benefit of client portfolios is that of closed-end mutual funds. At this time of year, when tax-loss selling is prevalent, there are often compelling values to be found, and this year is no different. Since you may be somewhat less familiar with the concept of closed-end mutual funds than with other types of mutual funds, here's a quick primer:

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