Navigating A Market Correction

Corrections are anxiety-provoking.

They make us wonder if we got it wrong. If we’re going to be ok.

If this time is “different.”

After all, the S&P 500 plunged “at unprecedented speed,” and this was the “worst point drop in history.”1

Should we give in and get out? Sit on the sidelines until it all blows over?

No.

Market corrections are completely, boringly normal.

Whether it’s an epidemic, geopolitical saber-rattling, natural disaster, or a financial event, corrections happen regularly. They’re a natural part of the market cycle.

Here’s the historical take: Markets experienced 26 corrections between 1946 and 2018. On average, markets declined 13.7% and took four months to recover.2

To a long-term investor, a correction is a speed bump.

We can’t predict how long or how deep this correction will be, but we’ve been here before.

And markets have recovered.

Corrections are not something to panic about. Even when panicky headlines are everywhere. The 24-hour media cycle is all about stoking fears to draw eyeballs and shares.

The biggest mistake a long-term investor can make right now is to give in to the fear and make a big change in response to the selloff.

Emotional reactions to markets — whether it’s euphoria during a rally or anxiety during a correction — are deadly to long-term success as an investor.

It’s easy to answer a risk tolerance questionnaire and commit to a strategy when the market’s up.

It’s much harder to stick to the strategy when your portfolio drops. When it’s gut check time.

But you can’t reap the rewards of long-term investing if you don’t take the bad days along with the good.

We created your strategies to withstand turbulent markets. To pursue your long-term goals in all market environments.

We’re watching markets closely and will communicate with you if calculated changes to your portfolio are necessary.

Right now, we’d like you to do 3 things:

  1. Take a deep breath and remember that you’ve got a team of professionals behind the wheel.
  2. Trust the process. Remember the conversations we had about your goals and the reasons behind the choices we made together.
  3. If you’re experiencing anxiety, turn off the news, stay off social media, and go do something fun.

If you need a pep talk or to discuss your investment strategy, please reach out to your advisor. We’re here for you and happy to talk.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC
813-286-7776
www.pfgprivatewealth.com

1https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/28/investing/premarket-stocks-trading/index.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/27/stock-market-today-live.html

2https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/27/heres-how-long-stock-market-corrections-last-and-how-bad-they-can-get.html

Risk Disclosure: Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information; no warranty, expressed or implied, is made regarding accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision. For illustrative use only. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. Indexes are not available for direct investment. The performance of the index excludes any taxes, fees and expenses. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser.  Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. This material and information are not intended to provide tax or legal advice.  Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.  Insurance products and services are offered and sold through Perry Financial Group and individually licensed and appointed insurance agents.

Year-End Donations & Giving

A list of things to consider as you think about year-end charitable donations

With its blinking lights, family traditions, and festive music, December is the most wonderful time of the year. And according to Charity Navigator, the month of December really is wonderful because December sees approximately 30% of all annual charitable giving occur.

Unfortunately, despite the greatest of intentions, many will inevitably make mistakes in how they give, especially if they wait until the last minute. So, here is a list of things for you to think about as you consider your year-end charitable donations.

Make a Plan
Last year, donations from America’s individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reached approximately $410 billion, according to Giving USA in their Annual Report on Philanthropy. Hoping that 2020 is similar, that means you and your neighbors will donate over $120+ billion dollars in December alone!

How much of this was more impulse-giving vs. a well-thought-out charity plan?

Ideally, at the beginning of every year – with your financial advisor – you would map out a plan to maximize the tax benefits of your giving. Really think through what is important to you and what you want to support. Is it an organization that supports literacy? Or provides food? Or shelter for families? Creating a plan will help you be less reactive and feel less boxed in when friends ask for your charitable support.

Research Your Charity
It’s easy to get fooled by a charity’s name so you need to do your homework. And beware of scam artists pretending to represent an organization that doesn’t exist. Read a charity’s financial statements to see how they spend their (your) money. Even better, volunteer before you write a check.

Donating Stock
If you have owned stock for more than a year and it has appreciated, then don’t sell it first and then give the cash to charity. Those appreciated assets can be donated directly to charity without you or the charity incurring capital gains taxes (consult your tax professional to be sure).

Selling Your Personal Info
Quite a few charities will rent or sell the addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and detailed social media profiles of their donors, which means you might start getting a bunch of unwanted calls, emails and friend requests. Make sure you review a charity’s privacy policy before you give them your information. And many times, you have to actively “Opt Out” to ensure your personal information is not used.

Ask for A Receipt
Remember, for charitable contributions of $250 or more, you need a donor’s acknowledgement letter. And generally it’s a good idea to obtain receipts, especially when donating goods.

Don’t Delay
Shockingly, a whopping 12% of all giving occurs in the last 3 days of the year! But if you mail a check postmarked after December 31st, then you might run into trouble. Make it easy on yourself and don’t wait until the last minute.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But Maybe Donating to Charity Can?
Consider research from Elizabeth Dunn of the University of British Columbia, Lara Aknin at Simon Fraser University and Michael Norton at Harvard Business School. Essentially what they found in their study is the following:

  • Spending money on other people has a more positive impact on happiness than spending money on oneself
  • Spending more of one’s income on others predicted greater happiness

Discuss with Your Financial Advisor
If you have any questions or need help mapping out your Charitable Plan, set an appointment to discuss with your financial advisor.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser.  Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. This material and information are not intended to provide tax or legal advice.  Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. 

How to Divide an Inheritance Equally

Minimize the need to decide taxes and transaction costs for all beneficiaries

Nothing ignites family arguments like inheritance. If you plan to leave money to more than a few beneficiaries, for the sake of peace and your own emotional legacy, know how to divide the proceeds fairly.

First, you can divide your estate among however many heirs you want: three, seven, 11 or 13 and so on. Here are best practices for how to divide your wealth.

Beware of Taxes
Dividing an estate doesn’t need to trigger taxes. Don’t try to be the financial advisor of each beneficiary when you divvy the estate. Afterward, each beneficiary can decide financial and tax moves based on individual circumstances.

For example, let‘s say Jim, Susan and David become heirs of a taxable account of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The account includes:

  • 351.362 shares of XYZ mutual fund at $36.34 per share, worth about $12,768.49
  • 2,000 shares of ABC stock at $100 a share, worth about $200,000 (this holding comprises two trade lots of 1,000 shares each and each trade lot has a different cost basis, or original price)
  • $85,000 face value of CorpCorp bond at $97 par value, about $82,450 (traded in $5,000 face value units)
  • $100,000 face value of MuniMuni bond at $102 par value, about $102,000 (also traded in $5,000 face value units)
  • $5,236.45 in cash The total account value is $402,454.94, making each heir’s share $134,151.64 with two pennies left over.

To Divide the Account Evenly
The 351.362 shares of XYZ can be divided into three equal portions of 117.12 shares, leaving 0.002 shares left over. Jim and Susan receive 117.121 shares and David 117.12 shares, plus 0.001 times the closing valuation of XYZ on the day of transfer. This probably results in David receiving about four cents in lieu of missing out on 0.001 of a share.

The ABC stock comprises two trade lots: 1,000 shares purchased one year ago at $80 a share, and 1,000 shares purchased six months ago at $105 per share. Both positions divide equally into three 333- share portions, leaving just two shares to be divided, each with a face value of $100.

If all three heirs are in the 15% capital gains tax bracket, the value of each share is the closing valuation on the day of transfer adjusted for 15% Copyright © 2019 RSW Publishing. All rights reserved. Distributed by Financial Media Exchange. capital gains taxes. In large estates with many assets to distribute, divide leftover shares as evenly as possible to minimize the difference between capital gains that heirs incur.

Note that taxable assets usually receive a stepped-up basis, meaning that the asset resets to its fair market value at the date of the holder’s death. Often, however, half an estate’s assets will go into a marital trust when the first spouse in an estate-holding couple dies.

When the second spouse dies, the entire estate is settled. But assets in the marital trust might have received a step-up in basis years earlier. In that case, potential differences in capital gains do apply when planning.

You can divide the $85,000 face value of CorpCorp equally only into 17 units each worth $5,000 in face value. In our example, each heir receives five $5,000 units, with two $5,000 units left over. Whoever doesn’t receive a unit receives the equivalent in cash instead.

The $100,000 face value of MuniMuni divides equally only into 20 units each worth $5,000 in face value. Each heir therefore gets six $5,000 units with, again, two left over. Also again, whoever doesn’t receive a unit receives the equivalent in cash instead.

(These examples assume no significant tax considerations on either bond. One recommendation is to vary who receives the cash.)


Common Questions
Why not just sell everything and split the money? Tax consequences to one or more heirs, illiquidity in one or more assets and the custodian fees to sell are all considerations to immediately selling and splitting.

What if two heirs want to sell an asset before dividing the money equally? Jim and Susan both wanting to sell the CorpCorp bonds doesn’t need to affect David. Of the 17 units of CorpCorp, you can sell 12 units and agree to split the proceeds. Jim and Susan each receive 47.22% of the proceeds and David 5.56%, plus the five unsold units.

Dividing your estate this way minimizes your need to decide on behalf of all beneficiaries what to sell and how and what transaction costs and taxes to incur.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser.  Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. This material and information are not intended to provide tax or legal advice.  Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. 

12 Estate Planning Must-Dos

Many of you already have estate documents, probably executed many years ago. You need an estate attorney to look over your documents every 10 years or so. Here are a dozen points to review.

i. Do you have a will and powers of attorney for health care and property? These are part of every complete estate plan. With health-care power, you choose an agent to act on your behalf if you become unable to make your own decisions. With durable power for property, you select an agent to act if you are incapacitated and can’t sign a tax return, make investment decisions, make gifts or handle other financial matters.

Make sure your health-care power addresses the Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). This Governs what medical information doctors can release to someone other than the patient.

ii. Do you need to change any beneficiaries, executors, trustees, guardians or others named in your documents? Are all still living? Can someone you recently found fill a role better?

iii. Any updates needed to addendums to your will that specify who gets what of your personal property? Often, I read wills that mention addendums for personal property and the addendums don’t even exist.

iv. Did you move to a different state since the execution of your estate documents? If so, seek out a local estate attorney to check any legal differences for planning between your old and new states.

v. Do you still need your trust documents, or can you decant, which allows you to change some provisions? Consider this technique of emptying the contents of an irrevocable trust into another newly created trust if you are unhappy with your irrevocable trust. Not all states allow decanting.

You may also want to discuss possibly moving assets out of a living trust (where a trustee holds them, a technique sometimes used to avoid probate) and holding them in the name of an individual.

This discussion will weigh the income tax benefits of a step-up in cost basis, the original cost of an asset, versus other reasons to keep the trust. (“Step up” means that the cost basis of an asset resets to the fair market value of the security as the date of the holder’s death – potentially a much higher value than when they bought the security.) The higher the cost basis, the less capital gains tax your heirs pay when they sell the asset.

You may also want to see whether you need an irrevocable life insurance trust, a device once used to move assets, typically life insurance, out of a taxable estate. Now that thresholds are higher -individuals can leave $5.34 million and married couples $10.68 million tax-free – you may not need to move assets.

Also check when your life insurance expires. Consider how long to keep it if you think you might outlive the policy

vi. Have your children passed the ages specified in a children’s trust (in which you designate money for such specific purposes as education, home down payments or weddings once the kids reach stipulated ages)? If your estate documents call for a trust to give children access to money at certain ages after you die, you may be able to delete that language if the kids are older than the specified ages.

vii. What happens if one of your kids gets divorced? A trust can help you protect assets for your child or grandchild.

viii. Do you have heirs with special needs? Don’t assume typical estate documents help such an heir. Seek out a financial advisor and attorney who specialize in this planning.

ix. Check beneficiary designations on brokerage accounts, insurance policies and retirement accounts. Anybody you don’t want there?

x. If you filled out a brokerage account application (or any beneficiary designation), understand the firm’s policy when one beneficiary dies before the others. If you want the share of the assets to pass by blood line – to the deceased’s children, for example – you may need to put in language specifying per stirpes (distribution of property when a beneficiary with children dies before the maker of the will).

Otherwise, the remaining listed beneficiaries may simply divide the assets.

xi. Often a parent names a child on a bank account so the child can access or use the money if the parent can’t act. Understand that if you name your child as a joint owner on an account, the money passes to your child no matter what your will dictates. The child splitting the money with someone else constitutes a gift, though one probably not subject to gift tax now that gifts of less than $5.34 million aren’t taxed. Still, think carefully so you keep the family peace.

xii. Do your heirs know where to find all your important information? Let someone know the password to the app where you keep all your passwords – you must remember digital assets now, too.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser.  Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. This material and information are not intended to provide tax or legal advice.  Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.