Broker Check

Timelines for Storing Important Documents

May 18, 2016 by admin

Knowing which financial and personal paperwork to keep or toss is very important. Here’s a suggested timeline for keeping/shredding documents.

Documents which should be kept indefinitely—in a secure location:

  • Birth/death certificates and Social Security cards
  • Marriage Licenses and Divorce Decrees
  • Pension plan documents
  • Copies of wills, trusts, health care proxies/living wills and powers of attorney (attorney/executor should have copies)
  • Military discharge papers
  • Copies of burial deeds and plots
  • Safe-deposit box inventory
  • Copies of all tax returns

Suggested timeline for retaining documents:

  • Supporting documents for tax return (7 years) – This is the recommended minimum period of time to retain. Remember, tax return copies should remain on file forever.
  • Investment records and statements (7 years) – These are needed for tax filing. Keep for at least 3 years. You may want to keep for the same amount of time as the supporting documents for tax returns.
  • Credit card statements (45 days-7 years) – Keep up to seven years if it may be used for taxes, as proof of purchase or for insurance.
  • Bank statements (1-3+ years) – Keep for 3 years or longer if you apply for Medicaid, or it pertains to taxes, a business expense, home improvement, mortgage payment or major purchase.
  • Medical and dental records (1-5 years) – Keep for at least one year, maybe up to five to be safe. Retain information about prescriptions, specific medical histories, health insurance information and contact information for your physician.
  • Utility and phone bills (1 month-1 year) – Shred them after you have paid them, unless they contain tax-deductible expenses—keep them for a year if they can be used for business deductions.
  • Insurance policies (until closed) – Keep as long as the policies remain in force.
  • Mortgages and other home documents (ownership + 6 years) – Mortgages, deeds and home improvement documents should be keep on file for the length of ownership, plus six years after selling the home.
  • Appliance manuals and warranties (if owned) – Keep on file for the length of ownership.
  • Vehicle titles and loan documents (if owned) – Keep on file for the length of ownership.
  • Pay stubs (until end of year) – There is not a requirement for keeping pay stubs. Keep up to three months if you are applying for a loan. You may want to keep them for a year so you can compare against your W-2.

Be sure to shred any information that has your personal details on it. We hope you found this list helpful and informative.

Filed Under: Orange Capital Management

Understanding The Law of Losses

May 10, 2016 by admin

Are you familiar with the “Law of Losses?” Understanding how this principle works can be critical to pursuing your long-term investment and retirement goals. The principle is based on the fact that a percentage loss hurts your portfolio more than an equal percentage gain helps it. That’s because a percentage loss can only be erased by a larger percentage gain, regardless of whether the loss or gain occurs first. For example, a loss of 50% in a $100,000 investment leaves you with $50,000. To recoup your loss, a 100% gain is required just to return to your baseline of $100,000.

The simple mathematics of gains and losses is the reason why stock market volatility can be so harmful to your investment portfolio over time, especially if it closely tracks one of the leading stock market indices. On the other hand, an investment strategy emphasizing prudent asset allocation and diversification may help provide a potentially smoother and more comfortable ride over the long term. In a well-allocated portfolio that seeks to manage risk and reduce exposure to volatility, the need to pursue aggressive market returns to make up for significant losses is eliminated. However, the best way to determine the right risk management strategy for you is to consult with a professional wealth advisor.

If you’re seeking ways to help reduce risk exposure in your investment portfolio, contact us at (714) 634-8051 to schedule a consultation.

*Investing involves risk including potential loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio.

*This communication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific professional advice. For specific professional assistance, the services of an appropriate professional should be sought.

*Asset allocation, which is driven by complex mathematical models, should not be confused with the mush simpler concept of diversification. Both asset allocation and diversification reduce volatility, however, neither guarantee future results

Filed Under: Orange Capital Management

The Presidential Election and Your Financial Plans

April 29, 2016 by admin

We are definitely in the thick of election season. Investor doubts may seem especially prevalent during presidential election years when campaigns spotlight the country’s challenges. Yet even with election year rhetoric amplifying the negative, it’s important to focus on your vision for the future.

We have included this Historic Presidential Elections guide from American Funds and Investment Company of America to help you see that your long-term investment outlook is hardly ever decided on whether the GOP or Democrats claim the Presidency.

Our advice to you is to continue with your long-term investment plan. Stick with a well-diversified strategy. However, please contact us at (714) 634-8051 if you want to discuss how we can help to better position you to achieving your long-term financial goals, and address any financially-related questions or concerns you have.

Filed Under: Orange Capital Management

Retirement Checklist: 2-10 Years Out

April 20, 2016 by admin

When you are two to ten years out from retirement, there are key things to think about and plan for.

First and foremost, you should evaluate your expectations, expenses, and assets. After this, you can plan your upcoming retirement by:

  • Reviewing and, if necessary, updating your beneficiary designations (life insurance, IRAs, retirement accounts).
  • Reviewing and, if necessary, updating your will.
  • Talking to a family member or trusted friend about where key documents are kept in case of emergencies.
  • Researching or purchasing long-term care insurance.

To learn more about the steps you should be taking at this point in your retirement planning, you can reference this Checklist 2-10 Years Out from Principal.

Please feel free to contact us at (714) 634-8051 to begin discussing ways to invest your retirement savings or with any questions you may have about your retirement plans.

IRS Fraud Protection for 2016

March 29, 2016 by admin

Remember the 2015 IRS data breach? It’s estimated to have impacted more than 334,000 taxpayers with breached records used to file fraudulent tax returns, according to the IRS. Nearly $50 million in refunds were stolen before the agency spotted the problem. In all, more than 610,000 fraudulent attempts were made to access consumer records through “Get Transcript” from February through mid-May.

To help protect taxpayers and prevent similar fraud, the IRS will collect 20 additional data components from tax prep agencies and tax prep software providers in 2016 to help verify the identity of individual filers. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told CNBC in August 2015 that the 20 data components will be largely invisible to taxpayers, adding “we’re not interested in giving criminals a road map.” The IRS will also monitor the number of returns received from a single device for the first time ever, and will require tax software providers to lockout users after certain number of log-in attempts, in addition to other steps.

While these are positive steps, it’s important to remember that each of us has a role in protecting our identity from checking bank and credit card statements frequently, to shredding discarded financial statements and documents, and being vigilant where phone and email scams are concerned.

As a reminder, now that tax season is around the corner, please consider contacting us at (714) 634-8051 before making any decisions that impact your tax situation. Our goal is to ensure that the decisions you make will support the financial goals you have established.

Filed Under: Orange Capital Management

Minimizing Taxes During Retirement

March 16, 2016 by admin

Every dollar counts in retirement-which is why staying in the lowest possible tax bracket is so important. Unfortunately, doing so is increasingly tricky today because today’s narrower brackets leave little room for error.

The best way to avoid tax-bracket surprise is with annual and long-range planning. Long-range planning looks at your projected tax rates and how you can rearrange your sources of income to deliver more after-tax income. With annual planning, you’re seeking opportunities such as realizing capital losses to offset gains, taking advantage of high itemized deductions or funding specific tax-advantaged plans.

Reducing your tax liability by even a few hundred dollars a year can put you thousands of dollars ahead over the course of your retirement. Please reach out to us at (714) 634-8051 if you’re interested in discussing strategies to minimize taxes in retirement.

Filed Under: Orange Capital Management

Get Ready for Tax Day

There’s no question that preparing your tax return can be a daunting challenge. And the more complex your finances, the more complex your tax return. Whether you prepare your own return or work with a tax professional, there are ways to make the process less burdensome. It all hinges on a bit of upfront organization.

Here are some key activities to consider as you prepare for tax day:

  • Have identification numbers handy. Make sure you have Social Security numbers, tax ID numbers, and your dependents’ information like Social Security and birthday dates.
  • Collect documents that show your earnings. This includes your W-2 form from your employer, 1099 form for income from interest, dividends, capital gains or freelance work, and be sure to include any other income that may not be reported on a W-2 or 1099 (self-employment income, alimony)
  • Gather documents that reduce your taxable income. Contributions to a traditional IRA and/or health savings account, alimony or qualified student loan interest are all examples of “adjustments to income.”
  • Have appropriate records and receipts for itemized deductions. Itemized deductions include things like mortgage interest, state and local taxes, property taxes, charitable contributions, and casualty and theft losses.
  • Don’t forget about tax credits. There are a number of tax credits available such as child and dependent care, qualified adoption expenses or even owning an electric car!

Please feel free to contact us at (714) 634-8051 or email us at if you have any questions.

Filed Under: Orange Capital Management

Beneficary Review Worksheet

March 3, 2016 by admin

Life moves quickly.

That is why it’s important to keep beneficiary designations up-to-date and accurate after every major life event in your family. Ensure your wishes are carried out by identifying your accounts with beneficiary designations, such as:

  • Qualified Plans (401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc.)
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs)
  • Insurance accounts (Life Insurance policies, Annuities, HSAs, Long-Term Care policies, etc.)
  • Education accounts (529 plans, Coverdells, etc.)
  • Transfer-on-death or payable-on-death accounts (bank accounts, CDs, etc.)
  • Other employer-provided benefit programs (PSPs, DB plans, Money Purchase Plans, ESOPs, etc.)

Once you identify these accounts use the Beneficiary Review Worksheet provided by TransAmerica to determine if your beneficiary designation information is accurate and current.

Please call us at (714) 634-8051 if you need to update your beneficiary information or if you have any questions about an account. We are happy to help you with any financial concern you may have.


Filed Under: Orange Capital Management

529 Plan Enhancements for 2016

February 24, 2016 by admin

Recent enhancement to 529 education savings plans, like the inclusion of computer technology and equipment as qualified expenses, and the ability to recontribute eligible, refunded expenses without penalty, make these plans more practical than ever before in helping to pay for and offset higher education expenses. Yet, obtaining the greatest benefit from your plan requires periodically reviewing your plan investment options, asset allocation, and contribution levels. The following steps can help you and your beneficiaries get the most out of your 529 savings plan:

  1. Review your investment options regularly. Check your plan’s website for a current list of available 529 plan options and investment performance information.
  2. Make sure your current asset allocation still reflects your investment time horizon and tolerance for risk. Per IRS regulations, you can make changes to your allocations twice during the year if desired. And, at any time and as often as you want, you can redirect future contributions to other 529 investment options.
  3. Unless you’re already contributing the maximum amount allowed by your plan, consider increasing your contribution level. Whether it’s a little or a lot, every bit can help you move closer to your goal.

If you have questions about your current education savings strategy, or need help putting one in place, please feel free to contact us at (714) 634-8051.

There’s no question that periods of increased market volatility can be unsettling for investors. However, the decisions you make now—choosing to stay the course or move to the sidelines—can have long-lasting implications. In fact, making emotionally-based decisions in regard to short-term market events is one of the fastest ways to derail your long-term investment strategy.

That’s because it’s impossible to accurately time the financial markets. As a result, investors tend to opt out at the worst time, when markets are falling, and buy back in at higher prices when markets begin to rise. On the other hand, those who remain invested and focused on their long-term investment goals, have an opportunity to buy additional shares at lower prices when stock prices drop, which helps to generate long-term portfolio growth.

A time-tested approach to managing investments through periods of uncertainty is to focus on asset allocation:

  • An appropriate asset allocation, aligned with your goals, timeframe, and tolerance for risk allows you to concentrate on your long-term objectives instead of getting sidetracked by short-term market fluctuations.
  • Helps eliminate the potential for emotional decision-making that could have an adverse impact on your long-term investment strategy.

If you’re concerned about the impact of current market c