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Jonathan N. Castle, MSFS, CFP®

Paragon Wealth Strategies, LLC.

Jacksonville

FL

Contact Me

Overview

Services

Advisor Services

  • Financial Planning
    • -Estate Planning
    • -Comprehensive Financial Planning
    • -Retirement Planning
  • Portfolio Management
    • -Individuals and/or Small Businesses

Funds

Firm Client types

Qualifications

Experience

No timeline events available.
Employer Years Dates
Paragon Wealth Strategies, LLC. 9 years, 7 months Apr 2008 - Present
Aig Financial Advisors, Inc. 2 years, 8 months Oct 2005 - Jun 2008
The Householder Group 3 years, 8 months Oct 2004 - Jun 2008

Designations & Memberships

  • Financial Planning Association
    Membership
    Financial Planning Association
    The Financial Planning Association (FPA®) is the largest membership organization for personal financial planning experts in the U.S. and includes professionals from all backgrounds and business models. We help connect thousands of consumers to competent and ethical planners who uphold the FPA Standard of Care.
  • National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
    Membership
    National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
    NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement of Fee-Only comprehensive financial planning. Consumers and the media look to NAPFA for access to financial advisors who meet the highest standards for professional competency, comprehensive financial planning and Fee-Only compensation.
  • Certified Financial Planner
    Designation
    Certified Financial Planner
    A standard certification for advisors, designees are exposed to nearly 100 topics on integrated financial planning. Major topics include, but not limited to: insurance, employee benefits, securities, state and federal tax, estate tax and planning, asset protection, etc.
  • Chartered Financial Consultant
    Designation
    Chartered Financial Consultant
    Invididuals holding this designation understand the fundamentals of financial planning, including income tax, insurance, investment and estate planning.

Articles and Answers

Answers

Ask a financial questionAsk a question
How do I identify sector leaders ?
Hello Willis,I cannot agree more with the previous poster. In an efficient market (and our markets are very efficient)- ALL data - ALL known and imagined information and outcomes - and the probabilities thereof - are very, very quickly priced into the market. A good example right now would be App...  (more)
Answered Mar 2012
401(k) Partial Roll Over to an IRA While Still Employed?
Hello Venkat,The critical component of this equation will be, "How old is your wife?"If your wife is age 59 and 1/2, then she can access the funds in her 401(k) - to roll them to an IRA (not a taxable transaction), or to use them for any other purpose (probably a taxable transaction) IF your emplo...  (more)
Answered Dec 2012
Savings account vs. money market?
Caroline,Typically, money market mutual funds or money market savings accounts will pay a slightly higher rate of interest than a standard savings account, so that is an advantage of using a money market mutual fund or money market savings account over a standard savings account.However, typicall...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
Will the European debt crisis affect my retirement account?
Phoebe,What a question, huh?Most economists are predicting that the European zone will suffer a period of slower than usual growth - or even short periods of shallow recession - as they try to work their way out of the debt crisis that they are currently in. Since we are, in reality, a global ec...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
Should I keep my portfolio with Fidelity or move my funds to a Vanguard target fund in order to preserve principal, maximize return and lower fund advisory fees?
Peter,Your question is a loaded question and it seems like you have already answered it in your own mind. But I do have a question - what makes you think that you will "preserve principal" with a Vanguard Target Fund? An account's market sensitivity is often determined by the asset classes withi...  (more)
Answered Mar 2013
I've had bad luck with a financial advisor - I paid $600 and got a folder of charts depicting my financial situation and a sales pitch for a roster of insurance products. How can I ensure that my next advisor is worth his/her commission?
Hi Bronwyn,I agree with Eric's answer above, as well as Steve's. But a "Financial Designation" is not enough. Just because someone has passed the CFP test does not necessarily mean that 1) they are fee-only and not just product pushing salespeople, and 2) actually practice financial planning.My ...  (more)
Answered Aug 2012
I am 63 and have retired and transferred my retirement plan to a broker, a regular rollover IRA. I assume, I can withdraw some of my money as I need without penalty and of course pay the necessary taxes. However,?
Hi William,The short answer is that yes, unless there are specific investments that have surrender charges within your IRA, the IRA itself should impose no penalty for you to take money out. Additionally you can perform one "60 day rollover" on an annual basis. So, without knowing a great deal of...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Is investment in raw land considered a low risk, moderate or high risk investment?
Hello CGenerally, raw land is considered to be a high-risk investment. Ultimately, when you buy an investment - especially one that is illiquid - it is important to consider your ultimate goal for the investment. In this case - how are you going to make money on it?Typically, land makes money in...  (more)
Answered Mar 2012
I have 2 401k plans from previous employers. Should I combine them with an existing rollover IRA or into my new TSP with my new position as a federal employee? Or should I combine all 3 into my TSP to have only 1 retirement account?
Hi Angela,There are several aspects to consider as you decide on your course of action. I'll try to simplify it as much as possible.For many 401(k) plans, the driving factor of account success (ie - performance) has to do with 2 things. First - how many investment options you have - and Secondly...  (more)
Answered Oct 2012
If I retire in '14 at age 55 and roll the lump sum pension into my 401k will I need to pay 10% penalty on withdrawals?
Hello Bob,The law allows you to make withdrawals from a 401k account, without paying the 10% early withdrawal penalty, as long as you are no longer employed by that company. Since true lump sum pension money is generally "qualified" or pre-tax money, these dollars can usually be rolled into a qual...  (more)
Answered Sep 2013
I have a financial adviser trying to sell me a 401k plan through transamerica for my 4 person small business,ideally is it better to go with plans that have higher costs/higher returns or an employee fiduciary model that has lower costs but performance not as high?
Jory,The decision of whether to use a 401(k) or a SEP IRA will definitely depend upon the structure of your business. If your employees have been with you longer than 3 years, then usually a Safe Harbor 401(K) will make more sense than a SEP IRA - especially if your business is profitable. The pr...  (more)
Answered Oct 2012
Just found out my company is changing 401K plan from Prudential to Great-West. I had never heard of Great-West. Is this something to be concerned about? I was unaware change was coming.?
Hello Joanne,Great West is a big player. I wouldn't worry about the company not being strong enough to handle a 401(k) platform.Their general reputation in the industry is one of reasonable costs and good investment choices. You can find out more about Great West on Wikipedia here: http://en.wi...  (more)
Answered Nov 2012
I am 55 years old and will likely need to tap into an IRA account this year to help pay expenses. I want to minimize my tax liability as much as possible. I have no other assets right now. Any strategy thoughts to minimize my tax hit?
Hello David,There are a number of ways that you can tap into your IRA and avoid the 10% penalty that normally accompanies IRA withdrawals for people under age 59 and 1/2.First, if any of the withdrawals are for expenses related to a first time home purchase, education for yourself/spouse/children/...  (more)
Answered Mar 2013
Is there anything to my Financial Advisor having a Vice President title?
Typically, this title is only used with representatives that work with a Broker/Dealer, versus fee-only advisors that are registered as Investment Advisors only.A "Vice President" title usually means that the individual is what is called a "Registered Principal" for a Broker Dealer. This means tha...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
What happens if one of a trust's beneficiaries passes away before funds are dispersed?
Hi Carlos,One of the advantages of having a trust is that the individual setting up the trust - and leaving the funds to another person or entity - can do things with a trust structure that cannot be done with a simple will. The trust document itself creates the framework for what happens to the a...  (more)
Answered Mar 2012
ANy truth to the adage "Sell in May &stay away"?
Hi Wesley,Sometimes. Supposedly the strategy is to sell in May and re-enter the market after the "worst" month in the year - which has historically been October.Last year, getting out in May and re-entering in November would have been a fabulous strategy. You would have avoided the painful market...  (more)
Answered May 2012
Mother, recently deceased. What happens to her retirement benefits?
Hi Deborah,I'm sorry for the loss of your Mother.If your mother had a pension (an annuity payment) then that benefit will stop since her spouse has also passed away. However, any cash balance plan, 401k, 403b, or other defined contribution plan where she put money in herself will go to the named ...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
Do I have an old 401K with you?
Fred,The person you need to contact is Paige Claus, who is named as the administrator for the Seven Eleven Plan. The number you can call is 800-601-0711. Likely that is a good place to start your search.Jon Castlehttp://www.Wealthguards.com...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
How is money drawn due to hardship?
Hello Thomas,There are specific rules regarding a hardship withdrawal if you are still working for your employer. I saw your other question - about age 55 - and those are 2 separate issues.First, if you are past age 55, and are NO LONGER working for your employer - AND you have not taken the 401k...  (more)
Answered Sep 2013
Rolling over my 401k into a rollover IRA then withdrawing funds?
Dan,OK it looks like everyone else has dished up the required "lecture" about taking retirement funds earmarked for your future and using them for today, as well as having adequate emergency funds, so I'll avoid those topics. Here is a possible solution:1) First, make sure your NEW job has a 401...  (more)
Answered May 2013
How do I find out how the clients of advisor do with their investments after paying all the fees?
Jasper,Typically, IF a firm provides performance reporting, the performance is reported NET of fees.IF a firm or an advisor does not provide performance reporting then it can be a bit more difficult. If there has not been trading within an account, then perhaps Morningstar's Hypothetical module ...  (more)
Answered Jul 2012
What is the average and mean employer match for all 401(k) plans?
Hi Edward,What a great question? I didn't know the answer either; I know what my personal experience has been in working with clients, but each client's retirement plan varies.So, I found this help page that was compiled as a result of several studies asking just that.Go to this link to see the ...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
I want to convert traditional 401k contributions to Roth 401. Is it based on the value or contribution amount?
Hi Colin,Great questions and great thoughts on your part. OK, I'll hit things as simply as I can. I'm afraid you won't like the answers on them, but they are what they are.First - all Roth conversions are treated, tax-wise, as if they are withdrawals, so your tax will be based upon the amount co...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
What are your thoughts on having a college savings account in my kids' names instead of in mine?
Hello Amos,This is a really tough area and there are pros and cons to both arguments.Education IRA's are tax free for education - but limit the amounts that you can put in quite a bit.529 plans are also tax free for eduation - but are quite often laden with high fees which greatly reduce returns...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
What are potential impacts of working during retirement?
Hello Louis,You are correct; you may lose some of your social security benefits if you have earned income - but that depends upon your age.In 1996 Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Senior Citizen's Right To Work Act of 1996. This allows individuals who have reached their FRA (Fu...  (more)
Answered Mar 2012
Should I set up an IRA for my 14 year old?
I think its a wonderful idea! It can be a great learning tool for your daughter as well.In order to make contributions to an IRA or Roth, she must file a tax return, and her contributions will be limited to the amount of money that she declares as income. Likely the taxation will be nil - but in...  (more)
Answered Jun 2012
Ihad almost 90,000.00 in my 403 right before the market disaster in 2008. I am finally up there again. how do I keep from loosing it in the event of another crash?
Joseph,The amount that an account can lose during market downturns is directly related to the structure of the account. Think of your portfolio as a Chili Recipe. (I know it sounds funny, but bear with me). The more pepper in the Chili, the hotter it likely will be. Some people can handle hot c...  (more)
Answered Mar 2013
Should I continue contributing to my 401k plan that receives no match from my employer?
Hi Andrew,I've been watching the back and forth here and re-read your question a couple of times.Sometimes simple and direct is better, and I think your last comment clears things up for most of us.My take on it - and my business is almost entirely made up of serving people who are in their last...  (more)
Answered Mar 2014
I am 70 this year and will have to start taking money out of my IRA. I have been told to role it over into a gold invested IRA. Is this a good idea?
In short - NO. It is a very bad idea. If you are buying actual gold in your IRA - and are beginning your required minimum distributions - the transaction costs will eat up your return very quickly.If, on the other hand, you are thinking of buying gold derivatives - such as a gold exchange traded...  (more)
Answered Sep 2012
How do I borrow money from my 401k plan?
Hi Bruce,My advice would be for you to go to your plan's website and download the SPD - the Summary Plan Document. Look for "Loans." If your plan allows loans, the procedure will be spelled out in detail there. If your plan does not have a website, then you must speak directly with the plan admi...  (more)
Answered Oct 2012
Employee has passed away and i am the beneficiary, how do i go about checking on any money he or beneficiaries are due?
Hi William,I wanted to add a little bit to what Michelle has said. It sounds as you might be the executor of the estate - or at least know the person who is. As you start doing what Michelle has suggested - going through the papers and finding out all the assets and accounts - you (meaning either...  (more)
Answered Sep 2013
What should I do with an inherited IRA?
Hello Rami,My condolences on your father's passing.Thanks for mentioning your situation and your age, that definitely helps answer the question. Since you are what is known as a "non-spouse" beneficiary, then you do not have the option of rolling your dad's IRA into your own and treating the acco...  (more)
Answered Mar 2012
What are the benefits of dollar-cost averaging?
Hello Gerrit,I think dollar-cost averaging (DCA from now on) can be a wonderful strategy. If you think about it - this is exactly how most of us accumulate wealth! Think about it - every two weeks, or every month (depending upon how people get paid) - don't most people contribute to a 401(k)? A...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
What happens to my 401Kif i dont work there ANYMORE.....
Hi Juan,It looks like most of the other advisors have nailed the specifics of the question and I agree with all of them.I do want to add a bit of planning advice. IF you choose to leave your 401k at your previous employer, you can access those funds - without the 10% tax penalty associated with e...  (more)
Answered Mar 2013
How can I transfer my 401k to my fidelity account?
Hi Gary,Transfers from 401k plans can be a little bit tricky - depending upon the plan and a number of other issues.If you are under age 59 and 1/2 and still employed by your employer, it is likely that you cannot transfer the account. If you are OVER age 59 and 1/2 and still employed by your emp...  (more)
Answered Nov 2012
Can my employer "single out" individual employees and not reward them with a bonus contribution to our 401k?
The short answer to this question is yes, the company can direct bonuses into a 401k. This is reasonably common. Depending upon the plan, and the type of plan (specifically, if the plan is a "Safe Harbor" plan) there can be some flexibility within contributions.Essentially, in your example, Kevin...  (more)
Answered Jul 2014
IRA Contribution with maxed out income - what can i or my wife contribute into a IRA?
Darren,Since other advisors have already identified that there is no current tax advantage for IRA contributions then you may consider building up assets in a non-qualified account. Anyone can establish an account at a brokerage firm (such as Fidelity, Schwab, or TD Ameritrade, to name a few) and ...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
Does a 401K loan make sense if we have more money than is anticipated to be needed in it?
Joseph, I gotta go with Marcus on this one. After 18 years of working with people building wealth and experiencing the results of their efforts, here is what I've learned."Wow. I'm really glad I bought that condo for an investment! The developer told me EVERYTHING that was wrong with it. The co...  (more)
Answered Mar 2013
How can I find out what's in my 401k plan that I have with W.E Bassette Company I had worked for them from 1980-1987 I have moved out of state and what like to get some type of information on what I have available?
Donita,I'm afraid you might be in for just a little bit of work but if you roll your sleeves up and be persistent, you should be able to find your money.According to the news releases I was able to find, W.E.Bassett Company merged with Pacific World Corporation and closed their main W.E.Bassett pl...  (more)
Answered May 2013
Can I name my living trust as a beneficiary of my 401k?
The simple answer is YES, typically you can.However, please consult with your attorney on the specifics of doing so. In some states, the trust may not be treated as an "individual" and might cause the 401(k) to be "force distributed" either immediately, or over a 5-year period. I do know that in ...  (more)
Answered Jun 2012
My question regards being designated a highly compensated employee. For 2013 I have been designated as such which limits my 401k contributions regardless of source; i.e. pre-tax/post tax/Roth etc. My dilemma is this..for 2013, the limits of being HCE will not let me contribute the $17.5k maximum t
Hi Joe,401k plans are able to be granted their tax-deductible and tax-deferred status as a result of some strict rules put in place, with the intent to achieve a level of retirement income security for the average worker. In fact, the law that put the plans in place - ERISA - stands for Employee R...  (more)
Answered Mar 2013
Can you disclaim inherited pensions? Can Plan refuse this option?
Hello Marie,I am assuming that you are speaking of a lump sum pension, versus a monthly annuity that is already paying out. A lump sum pension is treated VERY much like a 401(k) plan. A monthly annuity that has already begun,however, will pay out according to the survivor or beneficiary plan sele...  (more)
Answered Jun 2012
How much money do i have in my 401k?
Nicholas,Your employer plan is required to send you a statement every quarter.On that statement, there is likely a website where you can create a login and then monitor it as often as you wish. Generally, you should be able to change your investment options there too.If none of this has happened...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
Can I leave my 401(k) while still employed and under 60?
Hello Jonathan,I'm sorry to hear about your pickle; situations like this are always tough but I believe you are doing a good thing by thinking the options through so well. I will try to put my answer within the context of an overall retirement planning environment.First, let's look at what option...  (more)
Answered Aug 2013
Would I leave my 401k with the company plan?
Hello Susan,Generally, from an portfolio construction point of view, it often more advantageous to roll your 401k to a self-directed IRA when you separate from your company. You have many more options from which to build a portfolio - which can increase your returns and reduce your risk over time....  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Can a retiree contribute to an IRA if spouse is still working?
Hi Otto,Congrats on your retirement, and I applaud your strong savings.The simple answer is yes. As long as your wife has earned income in excess of $12,000 - then yes, you BOTH can contribute the maximum amount to traditional IRA's based upon the information that you've detailed.However, - you ...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
Should I tap into my Retirement Account now to potential minimize my tax burden at retirement?
Taj,The short answer to this question is... maybe! I think you are absolutely on the right track because you are answering the right questions - questions that even many financial advisors do not ask!This year may well be the last year that the Bush Tax Cuts remain in place. In fact, unless Cong...  (more)
Answered Mar 2012
I was laid off in 7/10. I will be 56 & have a 401K, iRA & Annuity. Will I be penalized if I take money out of my accts?
Hello Mary,I’m sorry you have had to struggle; I know it can be frustrating. But don’t give up!On your accounts – the answer is “Yes and No.” And I’ll throw in an “It depends…” for good measure! But there is some good news and, because of your age, there is a simple window of opportunity, depen...  (more)
Answered May 2014
Recently divorced and will be getting half of my exs 401k from PGE. I really need to use a small amount to pay off couple of bills. Will I have to pay a fee and if so what would it be?
Hi Shelli,James Dowd's comment is correct and good advice. I want to add just a bit. One of the advisors in our firm is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and as a result, for several years, part of our business model was actually drafting (writing) the QDRO documents for clients.Even ...  (more)
Answered May 2012
Is children's life insurance necessary?
Hello Gayle,I'll start off by saying that I do not sell life insurance. However, do believe in life insurance where appropriate, and I have insurance on each of my children.First off, it is insanely cheap. Once the child is past age one, the insurance rates are very inexpensive. Rarely have I ...  (more)
Answered May 2012
May a non-working spouse of a retiree (drawing a pension) contribute to a Roth IRA?
Hi Jen,The simple answer to your question is no. In order to make new contributions to a Roth IRA, either you or your spouse must have earned income equal to, or in excess of the amount contributed.However, if you have a Traditional IRA or an employer retirement plan such as a 401(K) or 403(b), t...  (more)
Answered Mar 2013
Deferred fixed annuities with long-term-care benefits vs. long-term-care insurance policies?
Hugh,Oh, boy. This can certainly be a tough one!OK, lets jump in. First - in my experience, many people who experience sticker shock on LTC policies have been overquoted - essentially, the agent (who tyically gets paid about 45% of the premium the first year, then a continuing smaller percentage...  (more)
Answered May 2012
Can my advisor manage my 401-k for me?
HI Pat,The simple answer to that is... maybe. It will depend upon a number of things.First, if your financial advisor actually represents the plan or has been hired by your company to manage employee plan accounts - then the answer is likely yes. However, this individual (and/or their firm) also...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
I have my 403b with Fidelity, and am 60 years old. I am starting a 70% work week soon, probably for the next 2-4 yrs. Fidelity is after me to put the bulk of my funds (close to $500K) into their fidelity portfolio advisory services, and have a personal?
Hello Katherine,In general, what causes investor success is a disciplined investment policy based specifically on your risk tolerance. In my experience, (which is reasonable as a Chief Investment Officer) investors who say "I've had decent results" basically mean "I've been saving a lot of money o...  (more)
Answered May 2013
If I were to leave my job today; would the company keep 20% of my 401k for taxes?
Darlene - yes, in short, if you take a withdrawal directly from an employer retirement plan such as a 401k or 403b - then the plan is required to withhold 20% for taxes. This is the case no matter what your age.If you perform a direct rollover (NOT a manual, 60-day rollover) then this requirement ...  (more)
Answered Nov 2014
When do I take the 10K out of my IRA for a 1st time home purchase? I know the process of finding a home in my area could take a significant amount of time.?
Hi Janelle,Congratulations on your home purchase!For tax purposes, it doesn't really matter when you take the distribution out of your IRA. A withdrawal anytine in 2013 will be reported for tax-year 2013. What does matter, however, is that the withdrawal is reported correctly. When you take a d...  (more)
Answered Jan 2013
How strict are the conditions of a trust fund?
Hello Sheila,Before I answer this question - I must say that this is definitely a legal question, and, as such, you should seek personalized legal advice on the issue. However, I CAN share with you my own professional EXPERIENCE in dealing with trust accounts that my firm manages.First I want to ...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
Former employer holds money in defined benefit plan. Now a few options are given: leave it in defined plan, take as cash, rollover to IRA or put in lifetime annuity and start taking money now. Which is best?
Hi Matthew,You know I don't know your personal financial situation all that well - but IF you have a new job (or get one) that has a defined CONTRIBUTION plan (ie - 401(k), 403(b), etc) then I would generally lean toward rolling it THERE, which you didn't list as an option, but you should be able t...  (more)
Answered Jul 2012
No longer with company, how do I withdraw funds?
Hello John,When you leave a company and have a 401k or other qualified retirement plan that remains, there are several options that allow you to get your money out. Typically, your plan statement will give you the contact information for your plan. Pulling money out of a 401k nearly always requir...  (more)
Answered Feb 2013
My father recently passed and the attorney that drew up the trust recommended a financial planner to my mother. Couple of the recommendations he made during the initial appt was for her to move 10K out of her CD's into her checking acct and if it was still there after a year then she was doing prett
Hi Michael. Did you have a question? Without all of the facts, it would be very difficult for anyone to render an opinion. For example - were you in the appointments with your mother? If so, what was your input and what was the reasoning? How old is your mother? Is the car safe for her to dri...  (more)
Answered Jan 2013
Hi, I am a union member in a multi-employer pension fund that is failing, is the 401k the best alternative?
Ken,Wow. Quite a challenge. What you need to do is assemble a team of specialists who can design the best course of action for you. Probably one of the first things you would need to do is have a point person - a specialist who is one of the best and brightest in the industry - who can point you...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
Why 401k GPS is recommendation is valuable?
Smith,401(k) GPS is basically strategic asset allocation service combined with a market timing service.Essentially - they help you select which investments options are the best (in their opinion) - and then give you buy and sell alerts for your account based upon what they believe the market is g...  (more)
Answered May 2012
I put into my 401k but if my wife dies before me, do I loose money in my monthly retirement amount?
Larry,I am not familiar with your retirement pension, but typically, that is not the case unless you are enrolled in the Railroad Retirement System. Generally, the monthly pension amount for a retired worker is based upon the worker's work record alone, and does not depend upon the worker being m...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
Hi, I'm wondering if I can contribute the $5,000 a year to a an existing rollover IRA that was previously funded?
Hello Kevin,Many people are confused by the limits on an IRA. The limits you are referencing are contribution limits for NEW monies - saved that year. Because retirement plans and IRA's are designed to be portable - any rollovers (or conversions to Roth) are not limited by the annual contribution...  (more)
Answered Jun 2014
How I can get money from my 401 k to buy a house?
Hi Maxvin,There may be several ways to do this depending upon your situation.First, as Evan indicates, your plan may allow you to take a loan from your 401(k). Generally, this is limited to a maximum of the lesser of 50% of your vested amount, or $50,000. You must pay your loan back on a regular...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
Family member of HCE not eligble for 401k matching at same business as parent?
Hi Ryan,It sounds as if your plan is top heavy and is failing the non-discrimination tests that must be done. HCE's are individuals who earn over 115K (in 2013). Plan sponsors also can elect to limit the number of HCE's to the top 20% of all employees ranked by compensation. However - if these H...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
401k rollover to IRA to cash for grad school: bad idea or does it depend?
Keith,I wouldn't do it. You would have to start all over on your retirement savings, and, given the cyclical nature of returns (recessions occur about every 8-11 years, on average) it is very likely that it would take you a lot longer to accumulate an equivalent amount of funds in your future 401k...  (more)
Answered Nov 2014
I have a small company with 65 employees and want to switch to the lowest cost 401K plan possible to give my employees the highest return on their 401k and not lose a significant amount of money long term due to high expenses. Can someone please recommend a plan with low costs?
Hello Ty,While I do not "sell" or advise on these plans, we did significant research and due diligence in order to establish our own 401(k) for our firm.Here is not a recommendation - but a place you may start to LOOK:Fidelity has a robust 401(k) platform if your plan is large enough. Typically...  (more)
Answered Aug 2012
How do I find out all the hidden fees & expenses I am paying in my employer sponsored 401K plan?
Hello Nick,Much has been made of the fees associated with 401k's. The fact is that most larger employers have 401k plans in place whose fees are not extraordinarily out of line with the actual cost to put the 401k in place. The highest fees in 401k's are typically associated with smaller employer...  (more)
Answered Feb 2013
Taxing on deferred annuity payments?
Hello Liam,When you withdraw a portion of a deferred annuity, the withdrawal is taxed according to "LIFO." This means "last in, first out..." or, as is usually the case - untaxed earnings come out first, and then, after all of the earnings have been used up, the dollars that have already been taxe...  (more)
Answered May 2012
Is ROTH IRA different from IRA?
Hello Liz,You are correct. A Roth IRA is different from an IRA (also known as a Traditional IRA). They will each have their own account number, because they must both be reported to the IRS. Each separate account will have its own beneficiary. It is possible that the financial advisor mentioni...  (more)
Answered May 2013
Ok I have 4 IRA's, is it best to combine them all into 1 IRA or an Annuity?
Hi Paul,By combining all of your IRA's into one IRA, you will find that it is much easier to create and pursue a specific investment policy. Chasing around the holdings in 4 different IRA's, trying to figure out what the "portfolio overlap" is between accounts, and matching your specific risk tole...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
Is there a public tool that calculates the annual rate of return of an individual stock? If so, can it take into consideration dividends?
Hello Peter,The best one that I have found is:www.morningstar.comEnter the ticker of the stock in the little box at the top where it says "quote." The system then takes you to a very powerful stock analysis tool. On the 2d row of tabs - the 4th one over is "performance." This is the total retu...  (more)
Answered Jul 2012
I am currently looking for a job. I found out from a recruiter that many companies no longer pay relocation. I have $20K vested in 401k at my recent employer. If I need to use this money or part of it, do I cash it out?
Ronald,This is a tough decision certainly but I might suggest that you measure this decision in time, not money or your ability to rebuild. How long did it take you to get your 401(k) up to $20,000? One year? Two? Three? THAT is how you should measure it. If you cash out your 401(k), you migh...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
I have 401k's from previous job (wife and I) Can someone convince me that I shouldn't cash out and buy (2) houses that will generate me$2200 a month in rent..$1700 net approx? We also max out 2 new company 401k's so we still we be in market. Need allot of money in 401k at taking out 4% to get $170
Justin,Please keep in mind that as I answer this question I am drawing on 16 years of experience of working with thousands of families over those years. Just like a teacher, who sees students who do well and do poorly, so do wealth managers see clients who do well and others who do poorly. There ...  (more)
Answered Jun 2012
After the death of his mother, a friend was informed that a trust fund was in his name and not in the name of his mother or other siblings?
Sheila,Please see my answer to your other question under "Financial Planning." That may give you insight as to how trusts work.Anton's best bet would be to set up a brief appointment with an estate planning (trust) attorney in the state in which he lives. An initial consultation probably won't c...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
Is it true that a trust fund is in the name of just one person?
Sheila,No - a trust can have multiple beneficiaries - or just one. It can also be written to have beneficiaries at different times- or may exists as a "Dynasty Trust" which may have future beneficiaries which have not even been born yet. Trusts allow flexibility and creativity far beyond what is ...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
If the condition in a trust fund says that trustee will be informed upon the death of the other parent, does this have to be followed strictly?
Hello Sheila,The Trustee of a trust is the person who is in charge of managing the trust itself. The trustee must follow the guidelines of the trust document to the degree that it is allowed by law. I interpret your question to mean - does the BENEFICIARY of a trust have to be informed upon the d...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
Municipal Bond Funds: Advantages of Closed-end versus Open-ended funds?
Hi Chris,Open-ended mutual funds continually offer shares, and an investor is able to buy the shares on a daily basis directly from the fund company itself (even when purchased through an intermediary like a broker). The price (NAV - "Net Asset Value) of the shares are set daily, usually after mar...  (more)
Answered Nov 2012
I'm looking for a source for share pricing information for the SMAs in the Microsoft 401k plan.?
Hi Daryl,This is something that we see from time to time as well. The best solution for us has been to implement a data-aggregation system within our practice. The one that we use is E-Money, but there are others that I have heard good things about - such as Money Guide Pro.E-Money provides a to...  (more)
Answered May 2012
Is it worth combining my 401k's when they both seem to be doing about the same? Additional investments on top of 401k?
Brett,Most of the other advisors have done a fine job addressing the performance issues between the Price 401k and the Fidelity 401k.Personally, I would keep the old 401k exactly where it is - not for performance or fees, but because of the additional flexibility that it offers you.You see - you ...  (more)
Answered May 2014
... in a company 401k.(60% company stock,40% target date retirement plan. Should I cancel the target date plan, and re-allocate (i.e. 20% company stock, 20% S&P, 20% bond, 10%cash etc? I have a separate Brokerage and also a high APY online savings.?
Larry, as I read your post I am far less concerned with the target date fund than I am with the amount of your 401(k) in your company's stock.Jon Castlehttp://www.WealthGuards.com...  (more)
Answered Jul 2012
My employer is also my 401K administrator. One of the funds that is available is a stable value fund. According to your statistics 30 to 40% of all investments in my 401K is in this fund. Up until very recently there were zero fees associated with this fund. Now the adminstrator is charging 0.20% fo
Steve,Steve Stanganelli's answer above is correct.Also - just so that you know - a .20% expense ratio on a stable value fund is very reasonable and quite competitive so you should be pleased. Just to compare:Fidelity Money Market Fund (SPRXX) has an expense ratio of .42%Vanguard Prime Money Mar...  (more)
Answered Jul 2012
Are there RIAs doing cross-border business advising International clients in Europe and China?
Hi Larry, This a very exclusive field, but the answer is yes, there are.Personally, I know of one firm that provides customized investment advise to US expatriates in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia:Creveling & Creveling Private Wealth Advisory3 Sukhumvit Soi 30Khlong Toey, Bangkok 1...  (more)
Answered Feb 2014
I am a business owner and would like to open a 401(k). Is there a date or deadline during the year that I cannot open a new 401(k)?
Hi Will,You can work on opening a 401(k) for your business up until October 1st for the present year - so in other words, you have until that time to get your 401(k) up and running for 2013 - and still make contributions to be credited for tax year 2013. Plans that are established after that can o...  (more)
Answered May 2013
Im a 30 year old actor who doesn't always make steady money. How much should I plan to save for retirement?
Tommy,I believe that the absolute best move for you today would be to begin to cultivate a relationship with a financial advisor that you trust. If you say "stocks scare me," then you need a guide to help you navigate the scary jungle of investing. Stocks are scary - but they still remain a prima...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
Can I view my 401(k) statement online?
Christine,In working with clients, we run across this question often. Strangely, enough, I have found that often the simplest solutions work the best.Generally, you can get a current statement online. If you have forgotten your login information, see if you can find an old statement. Generally,...  (more)
Answered Apr 2012
As a plan administrator, how much Fiduciary responsibility do I have above and beyond obtaining a plan financial adviser and following their recommendations?
Angela,I certainly think that you are well served to be watchful. Good job in paying attention to this, as many employers to not.However, it is also important to keep in mind that a qualified retirement plan is best served with funds which adequately represent all of the asset classes necessary t...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
I purchased Class A mutual funds. I paid $6250 for each fund and received shares totalling $6250 for each fund. In cashing in these funds there is no indication that a front end charge was applied. Can a mutual fund juggle share price to cover the front end cost?
Hi Clarence,This phenomenon is quite common in 401k plans and I "wrap" (fee-based) accounts. Some mutual funds have an institutional share (such as an "I" share or an "R" share) that does not charge a load. Fidelity and American Funds are known for this. Some mutual fund families do not have suc...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Laid off at 55 1/2. I understand that I won't be penalized if I have to use some 401 k money but am a bit confused.
Debra - Simplest answer for now. KEEP the money in your 401k and do NOT roll it to an IRA (yet). IRS Publication 575 is very clear that if you are no longer working at your employer (separated from service) then you can withdraw from the 401k with no 10% penalty. There is no "hardship clause" or ...  (more)
Answered Dec 2014
Does anyone know of a company that can invest my money in 100% of stock and 0% dividend i.e nothing to do with Interest?
Mohammad, I believe I understand your question. So, I first looked at the investment profile of Amana mutual funds (saturna.com/amana) - a mutual fund company that has been serving the Muslim community for years. Another such mutual fund company is Iman funds (investaaa.com), and another is Azzad ...  (more)
Answered Dec 2014
Suppose the realized rate of return on the market portfolio is one percentage point greater than its expected return. How would the realized rate of return compare with the expected return of a security with a beta of +2?
Quentin these types of questions should go under "Investing." These are not Financial Planning questions....  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
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