Friday, July 26, 2013

With the Supreme Court’s strike down of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the advisor community needs to begin reaching out to same-sex couples to inform them of major impacts to their financial future.

Things to ask or consider for same-sex couples:

·         How new legal rights will affect their financial goals. And as an advisor, what you need to do to update their planning. This includes changes in how retirement contributions are made and how retirement and survivor benefits are received. Being able to equalize estates by shifting assets without gift taxes is also an area to explore. It is also important to review any changes in employer benefits for extensions to a partner and children. And for wealthy couples, same-sex families may be able to simplify estate planning to remove complications and reduce taxes.

·         High net-worth couples should be informed of the tax implications that may be detrimental to their long-term plan. Couples who can file federal taxes jointly may jump into a higher tax bracket, lose deductions or have them phased out, and face higher AMT. (related article)

·         Financial agreements should be created or reviewed, along with any trusts, by an attorney to reflect changes in the law. Areas addressed include management of debt, property, health care, income, death and a procedure for possible separation and child care.

Obviously, there are more considerations than the ones above and the changes will take time to implement. Planning for same-sex couples requires a whole new perspective on planning and deep knowledge of the legalities. Advisors should not engage same-sex couples unless they are prepared to monitor the more than 1,000 applicable federal laws and update plans more frequently than traditional family plans.

-Dan Serra, CFP®, works with same-sex couples as senior advisor at Freed Advisors in Chevy Chase, MD. He is an Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor (ADPA) designee. More information on same-sex planning is available at

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Jay Mooreland Talks About "The Emotional Investor"

Just before our luncheon program, we spoke with our speaker, Jay Mooreland, Behavioral Economist, MS, CFP® about his presentation titled "The Emotional Investor."

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In the 90 minute presentation, Jay examines what drives investor behavior. How do we better understand clients and thus better communicate with them to help them not do the wrong thing at the wrong time? "Irrational" behavior, says Mooreland, is normal behavior.

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Friday, July 5, 2013

The Emotional Investor

By Bryan Beatty

FPA NCA Membership Program July 11, 2013
Maggiano’s Restaurant, McLean, VA
Check in-11:30AM, Opening Announcements-Noon, End-2:00PM
Two CFP CEU, Two MD Insurance, Two VA Insurance, Two CIMA Approved and 2 CPA CPE Offered!

So if the average of the last 10 years of the market thru June 20, 2013 as measured by the S & P 500 is 6.95%, why is it that the average investor has a return no where near that number? Now before we go any further I know your clients are not the average investor. After all, they hired you to provide them guidance. According to a survey by Franklin Templeton, 79% of individuals still do not work with an advisor, and even some will leave an advisor for reasons that cause them great harm. Behavioral finance is that cause.

For the July luncheon program, our speaker is Jay Mooreland, Behavioral Economist, MS, CFP®.  “The Emotional Investor” examines what drives investor behavior. How do we better understand clients and thus better communicate with them to help them not do the wrong thing at the wrong time? He will help you understand that “irrational” behavior is normal behavior.

Join us for a great presentation on Investor Behavior and a closer look at behavioral finance.