What are some of the guiding principles of Larson Financial Group’s portfolio management philosophy?

A sound investment strategy involves taking a long-term, disciplined approach. We believe in employing cost-effective investments with minimal management fees and transactional costs. An effective asset location strategy that divides your assets between taxable and tax-advantaged accounts can add value to your portfolio over time. Rebalancing your asset allocation on a regular basis to minimize risk is also a crucial component of our investment philosophy. Larson advisors also assist their clients in developing a withdrawal order strategy that minimizes tax liabilities when the time comes to divest a portfolio.

What is occupation-specific disability insurance?

Physicians need to be cognizant of what type on income protection they carry. Doctors spend a substantial amount of time training to become a specialized physician. If they cannot work in their specialty due to illness or injury, all that time was wasted. The ideal disability insurance policy will let you work in another occupation if you choose to without reducing your benefits. Occupation-specific disability states that you are disabled if you are no longer able to practice your specialty, which means you can still technically work and continue to claim benefits.

How do I learn more about physician-specific mortgages?

Mortgage options can be complicated and they will vary from state to state and bank to bank. You can either talk to multiple lenders and decipher the information for yourself, or you can contract with a professional who helps clients navigate these decisions daily. Larson advisors know physicians and have extensive experience helping them navigate decisions regarding their mortgage and other financial planning topics.

What are some strategies for improving my credit score?

Paying bills on time is crucial, since payment history is the single largest factor that influences your credit score. If you have multiple outstanding bills, prioritize them by paying the most past due accounts first. The 2nd most influential factor is your credit utilization ratio, which is the percent of available credit you use. The lower your utilization rate, the better your credit will be. You calculate this by dividing your total credit balances by your total credit limit. You can improve your utilization rate by requesting higher credit limits from your card issuers as long as you don’t increase your spending habits accordingly.

While not as influential, the length of your credit history also impacts your credit score. Even if it’s hardly used, keep all of your cards open and in good standing. Finally, avoid any derogatory marks such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, tax liens and other civil judgements that can substantially hurt your score.

How do I determine which student loan repayment plan is the best fit for my situation?

The repayment option you choose for your student loans will have a major impact on your finances. Most of us have deeply held personal ideas about how to handle debt, and when personal beliefs are competing with your financial goals it can be a challenge to build a cohesive strategy.

There is always a range of considerations that must be factored into the big picture in addition to deciding whether paying off debt or accumulating assets is a higher priority. There is no “one size fits all” approach to tackling student loan debt, but Larson advisors have extensive experience with assessing repayment options in the context of your current financial circumstances and preferences to help you arrive at an informed decision.

How do you calculate the time value of money?

Let’s say you’ll be investing $10,000. In order to calculate the future value for that amount of money, you will need to know the interest rate being accumulated and how often it compounds. For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume an interest rate of 10% that compounds annually. The future value of your investment at the end of the first year would be $11,000. You calculate this by taking the amount invested ($10,000) multiply it by the interest rate (0.10) and adding that to the original amount invested (10,000). The formula would look like this:

Future Value After 1 Year = ($10,000 X 0.10) + $10,000

What is a Roth conversion?

Contributions to Roth IRAs are made with after-tax dollars and qualified distributions are tax free. The IRS sets income limitations on direct contributions to Roth IRAs, but those that fall outside of the income limitations may consider a Roth IRA conversion. In these instances, a Roth conversion allows you to fund a Roth IRA by making a contribution to a traditional IRA and then converting those funds to a Roth.

By paying these taxes now, you limit your exposure to taxes on your investment profits in retirement. You could also avoid potential estate tax liabilities because the income tax created by the conversion would reduce the value of your gross estate.

Before engaging a Roth conversion, consult a tax professional as there are conversion rules that must be followed and may or may not be advantageous in your specific situation. The pro-rata rule states that if an investor owns additional Traditional IRA assets that have never been taxed, such as a rollover IRA – in addition to the new Traditional IRA that she hopes to convert to a Roth via the backdoor – the taxes owed on the conversion will depend on the ratio of IRA assets that have been taxed to those to those that have not. Be sure to consult an estate planning expert or attorney as there are many nuances and complexities to using Roth IRAs for this purpose.

What is tax-loss harvesting?

Tax-loss harvesting is an active portfolio management strategy that involves selling a security within a taxable account at a loss to offset capital gains from other investments. The ultimate objective is to limit the impact of capital gains taxes. It won’t restore actual investing losses, but it helps to reduce the tax burden. The wash-sale rule from the IRS stipulates that in order to take a deduction on the loss, you can not purchase the same or substantially similar investment for at least 30 days after the sale date. Consulting a qualified tax professional is recommended.

What is the purpose of a will?

A will is a legal document that specifies a person’s wishes regarding the disposition of property, the guardianship of his or her children and the administration of the estate after death. Upon death, the residuary clause of a will dictates that the assets of the deceased are to be transferred to their beneficiaries. In many cases, other estate planning vehicles are more desirable for distributing assets. Consulting a licensed attorney is recommended when considering and drafting a will.

What is a 529 plan?

A 529 plan is a savings vehicle for qualified higher education expenses. 529 plans may offer attractive tax-advantaged benefits because the money contributed accumulates tax-deferred and the earnings withdrawn for qualified expenses are not taxed at the federal level. Some states offer tax incentives for 529 contributions. Check with your tax advisor for incentives offered from your home state.

What are some of the different types of ownership when titling property?

  • Sole Owner:You can sell, mortgage or gift the property at your own discretion and are entitled to all of the income. You can also designate an heir in your will who will inherit the property if anything were to happen to you.
  • Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship:This is common form of joint ownership between spouses, although non-married owners can also qualify. In this scenario if one of the owners dies, the property is automatically transferred to the surviving owner by operation of law. Any income generated from the property is evenly split, all members have the power to conduct investment transactions and liability is equally shared.
  • Tenancy in Common:A form of ownership between two or more persons in which each owns an undivided interest in the whole property. The proportion of ownership can be of any combination but it must be officially stated. Any income generated from the property is split based on these fractional shares. Each party can legally sell their share without the other party’s approval or consent.
  • Tenancy by the Entirety:This form of ownership may only exist between married spouses. This permits spouses to own property as a single legal entity by giving each spouse an equal and undivided interest in the property. Consent from the other spouse is always required before making the decision to sell or rent the property. It’s important to note that Tenancy by the Entirety is not recognized in all states.
  • Community Property:Another form of ownership that can only be held between spouses. It generally does not include property acquired prior to marriage or to property acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage. These laws generally presume that all property owned by a married couple while residing in that state is community property regardless of titling. However, it’s possible to have a written exception.

*Consulting a licensed attorney is recommended when deciding how to title various types of property.

Advisory Services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.

Larson Financial Group, Larson Financial Securities and their representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your legal or tax planning needs.