A Brief History of U.S. Income Tax

Often times as a financial planner I hear people giving the advice to “defer, defer, defer.” Upon examining clients’ portfolios, I see it a lot where there is a large portion of it in tax-deferred assets. There is no doubt that some of the time, deferring can be a sound decision when it comes to wealth planning. But as you will see as we take a look at the history of income taxes in the United States, deferring isn’t always the right strategy.

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An Overview of Life Insurance

Typically when we discuss a topic in the episodes of Your Wealth Curve, I call in an expert in that field to lend their expertise. In this episode, I am calling on myself as the expert. Our topic is life insurance, which is something I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge on over the years in my financial planning practice.

I started off my career in the life insurance business in 1989, on a college contract with Principal Mutual between my junior and senior year. I spent a lot of time talking to people about why they should protect their families with life insurance. Back then, life insurance was this dirty word, not really considered a financial product, or any kind of useful tool that people wanted to discuss. It always seemed strange to me why no one wanted to discuss life insurance or how it can play a vital part in your financial plan. Continue reading

Delving in to Disability Coverage


My guest in this episode of Your Wealth Curve is Scott Bunker, a general agent with Ameritas specializing in individual disability insurance policies. We asked Scott to join us today to delve deeper into the topic of disability insurance coverage, which was previously covered in Episode 2. Scott helps us to figure out the differences between individual coverage versus group or association coverage, and offers advice on how to examine what you may already own and how to decide on the type of coverage that best suits your needs.

After listening to Episode 2, you are convinced that the asset of your income and your potential to earn is the most important asset we have, and that it is no doubt worth protecting. You have listened to the statistics – 1 in 4 Americans in their 30s will become disabled by the time they reach the age of 65. Continue reading

Estate Planning Part 2, Trusts


In Episode 6 of Your Wealth Curve, I once again sit down with attorney Brad Shalit of Connell Foley in N.J. to examine more closely the concept of a trust in your estate planning and how it can provide protection for your assets. Brad suggests to a large majority of his clients to set up a trust in their estates and then to use them to hold and distribute their assets. Brad says that a properly structured trust can provide the maximum amount of protection for your assets with little or no downside at all. Continue reading

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Estate Planning


In this episode of Your Wealth Curve, I sit down for a discussion on estate planning with attorney Brad Shalit, a partner in the taxation and estate planning group at Connell Foley LLP, one of New Jersey’s largest and most respected firms. Brad’s practice focuses on tax planning, specializing in estate planning and asset protection planning for businesses and individuals.

When considering our estate plan, many of us assume it is just as easy as collecting our assets and passing them along to our spouse and children after we die. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy, and there are many things to consider when sitting down to figure out what happens to your assets after you die. Continue reading

Long-Term Care Insurance

Protecting Yourself from the Cost of Long-Term Care

In this episode of Your Wealth Curve, I sit down with Susan Kobara of Commonwealth Financial in San Diego, CA, for a discussion on long-term care insurance. Susan joined Commonwealth in 2008 as their expert and primary point of contact for long-term care insurance after working for years in the industry in both policy sales and product development. At Commonwealth, she specializes in helping financial advisors address with their clients the need for protection against the catastrophic risk of health care costs associated with the need for long-term care.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

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Reverse Mortgage


In episode 5 of Your Wealth Curve, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Darryn Silver-Murdoch, a reverse mortgage specialist and certified senior advisor, to discuss the facts about reverse mortgage and how it can be a useful tool in your retirement plan. With over 10 years’ experience in the reverse mortgage field, Darryn helps us dispel the myths about reverse mortgages and explains  who should consider this kind of lending and how it can be used to help you achieve your retirement goals.

Darryn comes to the reverse mortgage field with a unique perspective. After working as a financial futures and U.S. treasuries trader on Wall Street for 10 years, she decided that this kind of lifestyle was not what she envisioned for herself and had the desire to do something where she could be of service to people. Continue reading

Active Investing

Active Management in Your Portfolio

In this episode of Your Wealth Curve I sit down with Andrew Hanlon of Hanlon Investment Management to talk about active, or tactical, asset management as part of the investor’s portfolio. Hanlon, located in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., was founded in 1999 and currently manages about $4.4 billion of assets. Andy’s brother Sean Hanlon, after working in the investment industry since 1982, started to see a need for professional money management to serve the investing public, which prompted him to make a change in his career and start Hanlon in the late 90s. Andy joined Hanlon in sales after working in the market as a trader on the exchange floor.

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Disability Insurance

The Importance of Disability Insurance in Your Financial Plan

I recently visited the home offices of Ohio National Financial Services in Cincinnati, Ohio, to discuss the importance of having a disability insurance policy with Jeff Wheatley, a disability income specialist there. Jeff has been in the disability insurance business since 1978, in both policy sales and product development, and we went on to discuss how having the maximum disability coverage is an essential part of your comprehensive wealth plan.

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Passive Investing

Passive Strategy in Your Portfolio

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with Patrick A. Sweeny, co-founder and principal of Symmetry Partners, LLC based in Glastonbury, CT. An investent advisory firm registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Symmetry offers strategically allocated, broadly diversified portfolios for the clients of independent financial advisors across the country.

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