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While designations are not everything when selecting a financial advisor, they often indicate a certain level of knowledge related to a specific field and/or commitment to certain ethical and professional standards. Please see our detailed Guide to Financial Advisor Designations for more information.

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  • Chris Chen CFP®,CDFA

    Waltham, MA

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing

    317 answers

    192 out of 289 people found Chris's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I am planning on opening up a vanguard account for a Roth IRA and then choosing their retirement fund which will automatically allocate the assets based on years till retirement. Along with this I want to open up a brokerage account and start some side investing by buying individual stocks. Does this sound like a solid base plan for now? Should I just pay off my student loans ASAP before doing some stock investing or just continue with my plan?

    Congratulations on tackling the student loan monster head on!  And setting up an emergency fund.  You are doing very well.With respect to the 401k vs the Roth, it is fine to choose the Roth, especially since you have a solid cash flow.  Note that the key Roth decision is whether you believe that your tax rate in retirement is going to be higher or lower than your current tax rate.  If you are going to have a higher tax rate in retirement, the Roth makes a lot of sense. ...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Dmitriy Fomichenko

    Anaheim Hills, CA

    Retirement, Investing, Small Business

    109 answers

    17 out of 24 people found Dmitriy's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    What new acquisition channels are emerging? Obviously, we know about Adwords, LinkedIn and display ads, but is there anything else we can try?

    Social networking in your specific niche can be very helpful. There are number of sites out there. Example: if you are in real estate investment business there is a specific site called BiggerPockets.com which is geared towards real estate...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Guy Baker CFP®,AEP,ChFC,CLU

    Irvine, CA

    Retirement, Investing, Insurance

    1111 answers

    786 out of 1252 people found Guy's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I'm 63 and am considering an annuity to create a "personal pension" for myself. What are conservative alternatives to this path?

    There are annuities that will grow based on an index over the next 7-10 years and give you a significant payout for life. At age 70, you can get a 7% payout in some cases. That is for life. It would be lower if you are married.These annuities will also increase the income each year, if the index increases in value.This option may not seem conservative, but if you study it, I think you will find it is a lot more conservative than it sounds. The fact you have 7 years give you as chance to grow...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • David Cretcher

    Rochester Hills, MI

    Retirement, Investing, Taxes

    101 answers

    17 out of 26 people found David's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I bought about 7 stocks in my personal, taxable account a good 20 years ago and let them ride. Now, there are huge gains in all of these positions. A good problem to have, I know, but I also know I need to diversify much more, so I want to sell them. Before I do, are there any strategies out there that will help me offset or reduce the tax burden on these capital gains once I sell the stocks?

    The tax burden is pretty low on capital gains, so I wouldn't sweat it too much.  I doubt it will ever go lower than 15%.  But as already mentioned pay attention to your brackets, it could be higher.The more important question is how to diversify it and minimize the amount of trading and cap gains.For information on effective diversification, read my...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Sherry Bijan BusinessAdvising.org

    San Francisco, CA

    Retirement, Investing, Small Business

    53 answers

    23 out of 26 people found Sherry's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    When an investor invests in a start-up, what is a good deal for them? Do they take ownership over a portion of the company? What deal is a "good deal" for the investor and for the owner of the company? Also, what does a typical investor deal look like?

    Startups come in many shapes and sizes, and stages, and can be rewarding as the investor has the opportunity to participate in job creation and capital formation. Identify and invest in domain you understand. Investing in startups is risky business.  It will all depend on the investor's risk tolerance. In order to manage this risk, the investor needs to identify and manage their own risk threshold before going in.For example, a company that has at least one round of funding and has gone...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Charles J Stevens Jr

    Plymouth, MA

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing

    135 answers

    117 out of 180 people found Charles J's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    Am I still able to keep my Solo 401k while I contribute to a new employer-matched 401k? If yes, am I still able to contribute to the Solo 401k while I contribute to the employer-matched 401k? Are there any downsides to maintaining my Solo 401k while I contribute to the employer-matched 401k?

    Some additional points to ponder: Do both plans have a portability clause? Can you roll your Solo into your new 410(k)? Who offers the better investment alternatives? Without knowing what your Solo can invest in, are your better off with the alternatives in your new plan than those available to your Solo? Are there fees associated with your Solo that you might avoid if you do a rollover? Is an IRA rollover a lower cost alternative to your Solo for the balances in that account? If you enjoy the...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Michael Keeler CFP®,CLTC

    Las Vegas, NV

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Insurance

    52 answers

    33 out of 45 people found Michael's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    Can I make a living playing craps?

    As someone from Las Vegas, I feel that I am especially qualified to respond to this question.No, you can't make a living playing craps. They don't build those big fancy buildings on...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Daniel Johnson CFP®,MBA

    Asheville, NC

    Retirement, Investing, Taxes

    83 answers

    41 out of 41 people found Daniel's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    At what point do I need to stop contributing to a Roth and open a Traditional IRA? Can I have both a Roth and Traditional at the same time? Is this advisable? Are there penalties for over contributing? Anything else I need to consider during this transition?

    The question on when to stop contributing to a Roth and begin contributing to a traditional IRA is one that you must make an educated guess on. You should stop contributing to a Roth and begin contributing to a traditional IRA once your marginal tax rate is higher now than it will be in retirement. I will venture to say that you have no idea what your tax rate will be in retirement, or what the tax system will even look like. If you think you will continue to be very successful, I would...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Johanna Fox Turner CFP®,CPA

    Mayfield, KY

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing

    507 answers

    167 out of 180 people found Johanna's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I want to clean out my belongings and wonder if it's better to try to sell things or to simply donate them and get a tax deduction? It would certainly be easier to just donate items, but is there a value above which I should try selling things instead?

    I recommend you try to sell the valuable goods on eBay first and set limits. If you don't reach your limits, try again later or donate. In general, whether to sell or donate depends upon whether you are going to be able to itemize and what tax bracket you are in. For example, if you are in the 25% tax bracket, every $100 of donations will save you $25 in taxes (plus whatever you would get back at your state tax rates). If you can get over $25 for that $100 donation, you should sell if you don't...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • James Kinney CFP®,CCPS

    Bridgewater, NJ
    Cranbury, NJ
    Flanders, NJ

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing

    127 answers

    174 out of 232 people found James's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I purchased an apartment building for $4.35 million and invested $1.5 million in the down payment and working capital and obtained a $2.85 million loan. The building is now worth $6 million and I am doing a $1.2 million cash out refinance. The new loan on the existing building will be $4 million. After paying off the existing note and closing costs, I will have $1 million to invest in another apartment building. What would be the return on my investment on each apartment building after the refinance? Would my return on building #1 be based on the $300 thousand investment I have remaining in the building? Would my return on building #2 be based on the $2 million I have invested or $1 million because the other million I invested was borrowed with the refi of building #1?

    Frankly with this much money at stake, I would advise you hire a good accountant and allow him to answer these questions for you.  As much as I find the advisors on this forum give great advice, I do not think I would rely on an online forum with accounting questions involving millions of dollars....more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
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