Articles tagged with: financial consultant

Which Financial Documents Should You Keep On File? … and for how long?

You might be surprised how many people have financial documents scattered all over the house – on the kitchen table, underneath old newspapers, in the hall closet, in the basement. If this describes your financial “filing system”, you may have a tough time keeping tabs on your financial life.
Organization will help you, your advisors … and even your heirs. If you’ve got a meeting scheduled with an accountant, financial consultant, mortgage lender or insurance agent, spare yourself a last-minute scavenger hunt. Take an hour or two to put things in good order. If nothing else, do it for your heirs. When you pass, they will be contending with emotions and won’t want to search through your house for this or that piece of paper.
One large file cabinet may suffice. You might prefer a few storage boxes, or stackable units sold at your local big-box retailer. Whatever you choose, here is what should go inside:
Investment statements. Organize them by type: IRA statements, 401(k) statements, mutual fund statements. The annual statements are the ones that really matter; you may decide to forego filing the quarterlies or monthlies.
When it comes to your IRA or 401(k), is it wise to retain your Form 8606s (which report nondeductible contributions to traditional IRAs), your Form 5498s (the “Fair Market Value Information” statements that your IRA custodian sends you each May), and your Form 1099-Rs (which report IRA income distributions).1
In addition, you will want to retain any record of your original investment in a fund or a stock. (This will help you determine capital gains or losses. Your annual statement will show you the dividend or capital gains distribution.)
Bank statements. If you have any fear of being audited, keep the last three years’ worth of them on file. You may question whether the paper trail has to be that long, but under certain circumstances (lawsuit, divorce, past debts) it may be wise to keep more than three years of statements on file.
Credit card statements. These are less necessary to have around than many people think, but you might want to keep any statements detailing tax-related purchases for up to seven years.
Mortgage documents, mortgage statements and HELOC statements. As a rule, keep mortgage statements for the ownership period of the property plus seven years. As for your mortgage documents, you may wish to keep them for the ownership period of the property plus ten years (though your county recorder’s office likely has copies).

Your annual Social Security benefits statement. Keep the most recent one, as it shows your earnings record from the day you started working. Please note, however: if you see an error, you will want to have your W-2 or tax return for the particular year on hand to help Social Security correct it.2
Federal and state tax returns. The IRS wants you to hang onto your returns until the period of limitations runs out – that is, the time frame in which you can claim a credit or refund. The standard IRS audit looks at your past three years of federal tax records. So you need to keep three years of federal (and state) tax records on hand, and up to seven years to be really safe. Tax records pertaining to real property or “real assets” should be kept for as long as you own the asset (and for at least seven years after you sell, exchange or liquidate it).3
Payroll statements. What if you own a business or are self-employed? Retain your payroll statements for seven years or longer, just in case the IRS comes knocking.
Employee benefits statements. Does your company issue these to you annually or quarterly? Keep at least the most recent year-end statement on file.
Insurances. Life, disability, health, auto, home … you want the policies on file, and you want policy information on hand for the life of the policy plus three years.
Medical records and health insurance. The consensus says you should keep these documents around for five years after the surgery or the end of treatment. If you think you can claim medical expenses on your federal return, keep them for seven years.
Warranties. You only need them until they expire. When they expire, toss them.
Utility bills. Do you need to keep these around for more than a month? No, you really don’t. Check last month’s statement against this month’s, then get rid of last month’s bill.
If this seems like too much paper to file, buy a sheet-fed scanner. If you want to get really sophisticated, you can buy one of these and use it to put financial records on your computer. You might want to have the hard copies on file just in case your hard drive and/or your flash drive go awry.

Michael Moffitt may be reached at 641-782-5577 or email: mikem@cfgiowa.com.
website:  cfgiowa.com

Michael Moffitt is a Registered Representative with and Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Advantage Investment Management (AIM), a registered investment advisor. Cornerstone Financial Group and AIM are separate entities from LPL Financial.

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations.
1 – blog.oregonlive.com/finance/2011/05/why_you_might_want_to_save_for.html [5/21/11]
2 – ssa.gov/pubs/10081.html [10/12/12]
3 – irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/How-long-should-I-keep-records%3F [12/31/12]

CFGIowa Weekly Economic Update January 6, 2014

A MAJOR GAIN FOR A CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX

The Conference Board’s monthly gauge of consumer confidence came in at 78.1 for December, beating the 76.0 median forecast from economists polled by Bloomberg. In November, it stood at 72.0. The index is way up from where it once was: its average reading was just 53.7 during the 2007-09 recession.1

HOME PRICES, HOME SALES CONTRACTS INCREASE

While existing home sales have fallen in recent months, the National Association of Realtors offered some positive news last week – pending home sales increased 0.2% in November, a contrast to October’s 1.2% retreat. The October S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a 13.6% yearly gain in property prices measured across 20 cities, improved 0.3% from the September edition; that is the best annual gain the Case-Shiller index has recorded since February 2006.1,2

FACTORIES HUM IN DECEMBER

December’s manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) from the Institute for Supply Management offered a reading of 57.0 – down from 57.3% in November, but still a mark of solid expansion in the factory sector. Analysts polled by MarketWatch expected the index to decline to 56.6.2

BULLS TAKE A BREATHER AS 2014 BEGINS

Speaking in Philadelphia Friday, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke asserted that the economy has made “considerable progress”, and that there are “grounds for cautious optimism abroad.” His remarks didn’t give stocks much of a lift to end the week. From December 30-January 3, the S&P 500 lost 0.54%, the Dow 0.05% and the Nasdaq 0.59%. The closing prices Friday: Dow, 16,469.99; Nasdaq, 4,131.91; S&P, 1,831.37.3

THIS WEEK:

On Monday, ISM’s December service sector index and the Census Bureau’s report on December factory orders arrive, and the Senate is expected to approve Janet Yellen’s appointment as Fed chair. Tuesday offers earnings from The Container Store, Apollo Group and Micron. The minutes from the December 17-18 Fed policy meeting will be released on Wednesday, along with the December ADP job-change report and earnings from Family Dollar, Ruby Tuesday, Monsanto and Constellation Brands. Thursday brings December’s Challenger job-cut report, the latest round of initial jobless claims, and earnings news from Supervalu, Alcoa, Texas Industries and PriceSmart. The Labor Department publishes its December employment report on Friday.

% CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR CHG

5-YR AVG

10-YR AVG

DJIA

-0.64

+22.99

+16.46

+5.82

NASDAQ

-1.07

+33.26

+30.63

+10.59

S&P 500

-0.92

+25.49

+19.31

+6.52

REAL YIELD

1/3 RATE

1 YR AGO

5 YRS AGO

10 YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

0.75%

-0.54%

2.29%

2.06%


«RepresentativeDisclosure»

The S&P / Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index measures the change in the value of U.S. residential housing market. The S&P / Chase-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index tracks the growth in value of real estate by following the purchase price and resale value of homes that have undergone a minimum of two arm’s-length transactions. The index is named for its creators, Karl Case and Robert Shiller.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index is based on surveys of more than 300 manufacturing firms by the Institute of Supply Management. The ISM Manufacturing Index monitors employment, production inventories, new orders, and supplier deliveries. A composite diffusion index is created that monitors conditions in national manufacturing based on the data from these surveys.

Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector. The PMI index is based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment.

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. Marketing Library.Net Inc. is not affiliated with any broker or brokerage firm that may be providing this information to you. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services.

The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade.

Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

Citations.
1 – sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Consumer-Confidence-Index-in-U-S-Increased-to-5111693.php [1/3/14]
2 – marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic [1/3/14]
3 – thestreet.com/story/12201583/1/market-hustle-stocks-rebound-ahead-of-bernanke-speech.html [1/3/14]
4 – money.cnn.com/data/markets/dow [1/3/14]
5 – money.cnn.com/data/markets/nasdaq/ [1/3/14]
6 – money.cnn.com/data/markets/sandp/ [1/3/14]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F27%2F12&x=0&y=0 [1/3/14]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F27%2F12&x=0&y=0 [1/3/14]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=1%2F3%2F13&x=0&y=0 [1/3/14]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=1%2F2%2F09&x=0&y=0 [1/3/14]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=1%2F2%2F09&x=0&y=0 [1/3/14]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=1%2F2%2F09&x=0&y=0 [1/3/14]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=1%2F2%2F04&x=0&y=0 [1/3/14]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=1%2F2%2F04&x=0&y=0 [1/3/14]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=1%2F2%2F04&x=0&y=0 [1/3/14]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [1/3/14]
9 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [1/3/14]