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Resources / Education

Health Is Wealth

The statement “health is wealth” has been argued by some to go back to Hippocrates (460 BCE to 370 BCE), who arguably was the first great medical researcher and ethicist.  It is more likely, however, to have been derived over the past 300 years as our definitions of wealth have expanded and our average lifetimes have extended.  This letter addresses that profound evolution and it’s practical implications to how we manage your portfolio today.   In the annals of…

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New Definition of Fiduciary

As you are aware, in 2016 the Department of Labor (DOL) finalized regulations updating, and expanding, the definition of “fiduciary” in regards to the provision of investment advice. Originally these regulations were set to become applicable in April of this year. The current administration wanted to delay the applicable date to allow the DOL to fully examine the impact of the new rules. As a result the DOL pushed back the applicable date to June 9th. Then, days after…

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Benchmarks Are Not Created Equal

Because benchmarks are an important part of investment due diligence, a plan fiduciary should carefully consider their selection. Two of the most common are FTSE Russell1 and Standard & Poor’s2. The RPAG Scorecard3 utilizes Russell and here’s why: Russell ranks each company in the investable universe according to its total market capitalization. The market cap is the primary tool to determine where a company belongs in the Russell Index. S&P uses a committee to make these decisions. Russell indices…

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Fixed Income: A Sinking Ship or Much Ado About Nothing?

Time is a powerful modifier of perception and purpose. No need to look any further than the frequent rumblings surrounding fixed income in the current rising interest rate environment. That isn’t to say the frequently touted “bond bubble” and rising interest rate topics are unimportant or overstated, it’s merely a reaction to the volume and misappropriation of focus often exhibited in these ongoing conversations. Monitoring the trajectory of rising interest rates is a good idea, however letting it affect…

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Can I roll my traditional 401(k) account balance over to a Roth IRA?

Yes, you can make a direct or 60-day rollover from a 401(k) plan to a Roth IRA, as long as you meet certain requirements.* First, you must be entitled to a distribution from your plan. While you can always access your account when you terminate employment, in some cases you may be able to withdraw your own or your employer’s contributions while you’re still working (for example, at age…

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What is a rollover IRA, and do I need one?

Generally, the term “rollover IRA” refers to an IRA that you establish to receive funds from an employer retirement plan like a 401(k). A rollover IRA is also sometimes referred to as a conduit IRA.” When you roll funds over from an employer plan to an IRA, your financial institution may suggest that you use a rollover IRA to receive the funds. Of course, you can transfer those dollars to any other IRA you own at some future date,…

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The Health-Wealth Connection

It’s a vicious cycle: Money is one of the greatest causes of stress, prolonged stress can lead to serious health issues, and health issues often result in yet more financial struggles.1 This clear health-wealth connection is why it’s so important to develop and maintain lifelong plans to manage both. The big picture Consider the following statistics: More than 20% of Americans say they have either considered skipping or skipped going to the doctor due to financial worries. (American Psychological…

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Future of the Federal Estate Tax

While no one can predict the future of the Federal Estate Tax, the possibility of tax reform is once again in the spotlight. If it occurs, it may very well include repeal of the federal estate tax and related changes to the federal gift tax, the federal generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax, and the federal income tax basis rules. History of the federal estate tax In general, an estate tax is a tax on property a person owns at death….

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Don’t Let Interest Rate Hikes Catch You by Surprise

You’ve probably heard the news that the Federal Reserve has been raising its benchmark federal funds rate. The Fed doesn’t directly control consumer interest rates, but federal funds rate hikes (which is the rate banks use to lend funds to each other overnight within the Federal Reserve system) often affect consumer borrowing costs. Forms of consumer credit that charge variable interest rates are especially vulnerable, including adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), most credit cards, and certain private student loans. Variable…

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What is a pet trust?

A pet trust is an arrangement to provide for the care and financial support of your pet(s) upon your disability or death. You fund the trust with property or cash that can be used to provide for your pet based on your instructions in the trust document. Your pet trust should name a trustee who will carry out your instructions for the care of your pet, including handling and disbursement of trust funds and turning your pet over to…

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