Cherry Tree Wealth Management (CTW) create monthly investment letters on current wealth management issues and topics on interest. Author Keith Tufte, (President of CTW) has more than 25 years of successful investment management experience as a Wall Street Analyst, Mutual Fund Portfolio Manager, Director of Equity Research for a major mutual fund firm, Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager, and Wealth Management Advisor.
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DO YOU HAVE $1 MILLION AND NO FINANCIAL PLAN?
Living without a financial plan is like driving your car across the country without a map (or Google Maps). You are not likely to get to your destination. A financial plan starts out with a list of your financial and life goals, and then maps out a detailed plan on how you will get there. >more
CARING FOR AGING PARENTS
The number of people caring for an aging parent has soared over the past 15 years. Caring for your aging parents is the nice thing to do, and many consider it their duty. It can also rob you of your time, financial resources, and your own experiences. >more
THOUGHTS ON RISING INTEREST RATES
Interest rates have jumped up quite a bit over the past six months. The 10-year Treasury bond yield just hit 3% for the first time in many years, up from just 2.35% in November of 2017. Rising interest rates mean we have experienced slightly lower bond portfolio values this year, since bond prices move in the opposite direction of interest rates. What should investors do, if anything, about rising interest rates? >more
A HAPPY RETIREMENT ISN’T JUST ABOUT MONEY
Most people envision retirement as a permanent vacation: sleeping late, golfing, volunteering, and travelling. That is not the reality for most retired people. Many retirees find that a permanent vacation becomes boring and unfulfilling. Most retirement advice is focused on the financial side of retirement, but having enough money to retire is only half the story. >more
ESTATE TAX LAW CHANGES FOR 2018
There are several significant changes in estate tax laws for 2018, which are very positive for wealthy families. The federal estate/gift tax exemption level doubles in 2018 to $11.2 million per person, the Minnesota estate tax exemption increases to $2.4 million per person, and the annual gift tax exclusion amount increases to $15,000 for each person gifted to. >more
HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (HSAs) —TRIPLE TAX-FREE SAVINGS
Health savings accounts (HSAs) are a very attractive tool to save for your current and future medical costs. They offer “triple tax-free” savings because you get a tax deduction for the contribution into the account, the money grows tax-free while in the account, and it comes out of the account tax-free if used for healthcare expenses. As arguably the most tax advantaged account available, why doesn’t everyone contribute to an HSA? …. >more
STOCKS ARE HIGH, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
After many years of excellent gains, U.S. stocks are definitely not cheap. This does not necessarily mean that stocks are likely to crash anytime soon. Stock price levels could also just stay about where they are for the next five years to correct for the current high valuations. Unfortunately, no one (including us) can predict the near-term direction of the stock market with any consistency…. >more
GET OUT OF DEBT, STAY OUT OF DEBT
No one wants to be in debt. Giving your hard-earned money to your lenders each month instead of keeping it for yourself is downright frustrating. Imagine the freedom of having zero credit card debt, no student loan payments, no mortgage…what would you do with all of that extra cash? Perhaps some of you are already there! It’s not easy to become debt-free, but well worth the journey…>more
WHAT IF I LIVE TO BE 100?
Have you ever wondered how long you are likely to live? The average life expectancy for people in the U.S. keeps increasing, thanks to continued improvements in healthcare and technology. According to the Social Security Administration, the life expectancy for the average 65 year old man is currently age 84.3, and for a women it is age 86.6… >more
FOUR PRINCIPLES FOR INVESTING SUCCESS
Vanguard (a large investment firm) just published a white paper on “Principles for Investment Success.” It is excellent, and right in line with our own investment philosophy and strategy. Vanguard stresses four main principles for investment success: financial goals, portfolio balance, low cost, and discipline. Below are highlights of this Vanguard report, as well as some of our thoughts on the topic. >more
BUFFETT’S MILLION DOLLAR BET (AGAINST ACTIVE MANAGEMENT)
Warren Buffett is so confident in index-based funds that he offered to wager $1 million that the S&P stock index could outperform a group ofhedge funds chosen by an investment professional over a 10-year period. He got one person to take that bet, a hedge fund manager named Ted Seider. >more
VALUE STOCKS—GET MORE FOR YOUR MONEY
I really love a sale. When gas is below $2 a gallon, it brightens my day. When I buy last year’s model of anything from an iPhone to a new car, I feel better knowing that I saved money. Many of you can relate to that same joy. What you may not know is that you can get it from the stock market too. >more
CREATE YOUR OWN PENSION PLAN
Very few people have the good fortune of having a pension plan these days. Pension plans have been replaced by 401(k) type plans by nearly all employers. The risk of providing a secure retirement has been transferred from the employer to the employees. The lack of a reliable and steady income source (like a pension plan) has caused many people to worry more about how they will maintain their lifestyle in retirement. >more
FINANCIAL FITNESS AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
Many people make New Year’s resolutions to get in better physical shape by exercising more, and/or going on a diet to lose a few pounds. Others commit to financial fitness by trying to save more (and spend less) in the coming year. >more