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Rich Winer

Helping You Build, Protect and Preserve Wealth

Steel Peak Wealth Management, LLC

Woodland Hills

CA

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Overview

Services

Advisor Services

  • Financial Planning
    • -Estate Planning
    • -Comprehensive Financial Planning
    • -Retirement Planning
    • -College Planning
    • -Charitable Planning
    • -Tax Planning
  • Insurance
    • -Life Insurance
    • -Health Insurance
    • -Long-Term Care Insurance
    • -Annuities
    • -Business Insurance
  • Pension Consulting
    • -401k
    • -403b
    • -Defined Benefit
  • Portfolio Management
    • -Individuals and/or Small Businesses

Funds

Funds Used With Clients

There are no funds listed for this advisor at this time.

Firm Client types

Qualifications

Experience

No timeline events available.
Employer Years Dates
Steel Peak Wealth Management, LLC 1 year, 9 months Aug 2016 - Present
Isagenix International LLC 2 years, 4 months Jan 2016 - Present
Trustmont Financial Group, Inc. 3 years, 11 months Oct 2007 - Sep 2011
Winer Wealth Management, Inc. 22 years, 2 months Jun 1994 - Aug 2016

Designations & Memberships

Membership information not available

Articles and Answers

Answers

Ask a financial questionAsk a question
I am starting a new individual retirement account and looking for a low-fee account?
Miriam, The first thing I would recommend would be rolling your old 401K to an IRA at a brokerage firm like TD Ameritrade. There should be no fees to open or maintain the account. This will give you more investments options and you can continue to contribute to the IRA, which would be simpler that h...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
Should I roll over my 401k into an IRA? What should I do?
Chris, I agree with the others that you should roll your 401K assets to an IRA. It will give you more investment options (nearly unlimited options) and likely save you money, if Home Depot allocates some of the plan's administrative costs among the plan participants. Look for a brokerage firm or cu...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
Should I continue contributing to my 401k plan that receives no match from my employer?
The one question no has yet asked is: How has the Raymond James 60/40 portfolio performed relative to various balanced mutual funds like Janus Balanced or T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation? Make sure you review recent and longer term performance and learn as much as you can find out about the manag...  (more)
Answered Mar 2014
What should I do with an inherited IRA?
While I'm responding to this question more than a year after the fact (I was not aware of this website at the time), perhaps my answer will help anyone who reads this, going forward. Perhaps more important than how you invest the proceeds from your inheritance is how you handle the transfer of IRA a...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
What do fee-only financial planners charge?
Rachel, As others have stated, hourly planners are generally fee-only planners. However, someone who calls himself a fee-only planner may not necessarily charge by the hour and may instead charge a fee based on assets under management. Some fee-only advisors will charge you a fee based on assets und...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
Before I will sit down with an advisor I always ask if he/she would show me 5yrs of their personal investment statments. If they will not or can't provide them I will not waste anymore of their time. I figure that if I'm to let them choose how to invest my money I should know how they invest their
Ray, I would not show you five years of my personal investment statements. How I invest my money has no bearing on how I would recommend you invest yours. Your money should be invested in accordance with your personal financial situation, goals, risk tolerance and time horizon, not mine. When appro...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
Does value Matter in This Bull Market?
Investor sentiment also plays a big part in the stock market's movement (especially institutional sentiment). You often have an equal number of smart professionals thinking stocks are undervalued as those who believe they are overvalued. Each group is equally smart and armed with extensive research ...  (more)
Answered May 2013
What are my options & how do I make the best choice for me and my family?
Sheila, My recommendation si to roll the money in your 401K to an IRA. The best way to do that it to open an IRA account at a discount brokerage firm like TD Ameritrade and ask your former employer have a check sent directly from the 401K provider to your new brokerage firm IRA. This is called a tru...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
What fund(s) would you suggest if I want moderate allocation with approx 60% in stocks and 40% in bonds?
Tom, I too like T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation. A more conservative option would be FPA Crescent. If you have more questions, feel free to contact me through this website. My office is in Woodland Hills. ...  (more)
Answered Sep 2013
If I were to leave my job today; would the company keep 20% of my 401k for taxes?
Darlene, If you are 100% vested, all of the money in your retirement plan should be yours. If you change jobs, you should be able to roll over 100% of the assets in your plan to an IRA or a new employer's plan. Taxes, penalties or withholding could apply if you were to take a distribution from your ...  (more)
Answered Nov 2014
How do i buy gold in my sep ira?
I agree, GLD is a good liquid way to own gold (or an ETF that tracks the price of gold). If you want to own physical gold (coins, bullion, etc.), you will need to find an IRA custodian that offers self-directed IRAs in which you can hold alternative investments such as real estate, art and physical...  (more)
Answered Sep 2013
I will be retiring in 6 to 9 months. How should I distribute my 401k contributions, in order maintain current balance?
Joseph, if you can meet your cash flow needs with a 4% annual withdrawal rate (or less), that's always my preference. As long as the financial markets cooperate, a 4% withdrawal rate makes it easier to maintain your current balance and perhaps even continue to grow your retirement nest egg. A 6% wit...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
Is it a good idea to invest in my company's stock?
If you have a good handle on your company's financial stability and prospects in the marketplace, I would say YES. Legendary investor, mutual fund manager and author Peter Lynch (One Up on Wall Street) recommends that people invest in companies they know, like and understand. If you know, like and u...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
What exactly is the purpose of the 401k HCE limit?
Jennifer, If you are looking to shelter additional money from taxes and are more than 10 years from retirement, you may want to consider investing in an indexed or variable universal life insurance policy. Before I go any further, you should know that every time I make this recommendation, my collea...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
Would I leave my 401k with the company plan?
Susan, The only time I would recommend leaving a 401K with a former employer is when your have serious concerns about being sued. In that case, qualified plans are better protected (i.e. O.J. Simpson, whose qualified retirement plan could not be touched). If that's not a concern, you should probably...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
I have retirement at 2 separate co., neither of which I am employed by , i need help accessing both accounts, help?
You might also call the HR departments at both companies. They should be able to steer you to the plan providers and help you access your funds. Once you have located your accounts, then you must decide what to do with the funds in your retirement plans. In most cases, it's best to roll them to an ...  (more)
Answered Mar 2014
How much are my various investment funds costing me?
Jim, In order to answer that question, we would need to know exactly what you own in your various Schwab accounts. Mutual fund and ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) fees and expenses can be found in the prospectus for each fund. Other fees to which you might be subjected are brokerage firm commissions, tr...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
I have a Roth IRA which is in a CD at a Credit Union. It has just matured. Can I transfer that money into an investment product without being taxed for the transfer.
As long as you have held the Roth IRA for five years, any and all distributions would be tax-free. You can also roll over the money in your Roth CD to any investment product held inside a Roth IRA account and your money would continue to grow tax-free. For example, you could open a Roth IRA account ...  (more)
Answered May 2013
What is the best career move to make financially?
Leandra, I don't know that there is really a right or wrong answer. The two factors I would weigh are 1) Do you see a long-term career at your current company? And 2) Can you afford to wait it out until they can afford to hire you? You might ask for an estimate of when that might be. Also, you will ...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
What benefits does a plan administrator get?
William, I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by benefits. The plan sponsor is the company you work for, and most establish plans to benefit their employees. As I'm sure you know, your 401k plan allows you to invest money for retirement on a tax-deferred basis. The maximum you can invest in yo...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
I just watched Frontline's most recent documentary on the follies of actively managed accounts. Should I put most/all of my retirement savings into passively managed funds? What about all the hidden fees that are not reported in actively managed funds?
NO!!! When I'm considering a mutual fund, I look at the manager or management team, track record relative to comparable funds , level of risk and volatility relative to comparable funds, where and how the fund fits into my portfolio and whether or not it's appropriate for my needs and objectives. Fe...  (more)
Answered May 2013
How can i cash in my retirement?
To cash in a retirement account of any kind, you would need to complete distribution paperwork that can be obtained from the brokerage firm or plan provider. The amount and nature of your distribution will be reported to the IRS. As Michael and Alex pointed out, you can't liquidate all types of reti...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
Is putting your money in a universal life insurance with cash value the most efficient way to save for retirement ?
Your best retirement plan option is almost always your company retirement plan or an IRA. Once you have maxed out contributions to those plans, then you should have investments in a taxable brokerage account that can be earmarked for retirement or other goals. THEN, if you have additional capital or...  (more)
Answered Mar 2014
Can an RIA open a direct sold 529 plan for me with my permission?
I agree with Pam and Larry. In today's electronic world, there should be a way for your advisor or any financial services firm to send you documents to sign by fax, email or direct download via the internet. You should be able to sign and return them by fax or email. Every financial services firm I...  (more)
Answered Mar 2014
Where to put my retirement money, at the age of retirement.
Rita, The answer to your question depends on your financial situation (i.e. sources of income and assets other than the $60K you mentioned), lifestyle and expenses, health and family health history, investment knowledge and experience, risk tolerance and time horizon for various financial objectives...  (more)
Answered May 2013
Is low inflation good for retirees?
If you have real low inflation, that would be good for retirees because your cost of living would increase at a lower rate. That's good for all of us. However, the Government numbers on inflation may not accurately reflect the cost of living increases you may actually be experiencing. Maybe econom...  (more)
Answered Feb 2015
What types of asset classes should I invest in?
Rayner, Age, income, family situation, risk tolerance, investment time horizon, stability of income, financial needs and goals, the size of your investment portfolio and investment experience and expertise will all play a part in determining which asset classes you select for investment. Considering...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Does it make sense to pay off debt vs. further savings.
Brenda, It looks like you are doing a good job of saving and doing the right things to build wealth. One key issue to consider is the rate of interest you are paying on your debt versus how much you could earn on your investments with a comfortable amount of risk. If your loans are at low rates of ...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
How do you define/differentiate a high net worth individual versus an individual client?
There is no definitive definition of a high-net-worth individual. However, it is generally considered to be an individual with $1,000,000 or more in liquid investable assets, excluding the value of any homes or illiquid investments. ...  (more)
Answered Mar 2014
How is a Non-Traded Real Estate Investment Trust (NTREIT) different from a Limited Real Estate Partnership...or are they different at all? An advusir said I'd receuve about 6% but principal would be safe. I'm not so sure.
I agree with James. Not all limited real estate partnerships are non-traded REITS. However, they are all illiquid. Non-traded REITS are generally intended to provide income/cash flow. However, the principal can lose value. I have never liked these investments and my clients have never expressed any ...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
Would it be a good financial strategy for us to roll over all our 401k IRAs to an annuity? Please see details below.
Larry, I agree with DC in that it's typically not a good idea to put all of your money in one investment. Also, without additional information and an in-depth conversation, it would be inappropriate for any of the advisors on this website, including me, to make specific recommendations that will aff...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
Is there any situation in which an annuity does NOT gain interest?
I agree with both DC and Michael. I suggest you find a local professional to help you understand what you own and to what you are entitled, as an owner and under the terms of your QDRO. Hindsight being 20/20, advice from a financial advisor probably would have been helpful at the time of your divorc...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
Why do companies issue shares?
Companies issue shares to raise money for various reasons, usually to fund further business expansion. Underwriters set a price for the shares that they believe market demand will support. They don't want to price it too high that demand is low, which is embarrassing for a company. And they don't wa...  (more)
Answered Sep 2013
My husband plans on retiring next year at age 60. Is it wise to use half of his 401k as down payment for a home and 25% - 30% of monthly pension for the mortgage? His projected income is estimated at $4400 per month.
Rebecca, To answer this question, I would need to know more about your financial situation including the amount of assets in your husband's 401K, amount and nature of assets elsewhere, value of the home, size of mortgage, what percentage you are putting down, loan interest rate, current living expen...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
How much is the penalty for taking money from 401k plan ?
Barbara, Rod is correct. If you are under age 59 1/2, I would explore all viable options for coming up with the money you need before you take it from your 401K plan and likely get hit with the 10% penalty. The money in your 401K is for retirement and you should make every effort to use if for retir...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
I have an annuity that I bought 8 years ago. It has been sold to another Ins. company, Transamerica Advisors. I had no control over the continued participation in the annuity. Yet my IRA is in this annuity and I wonder about its solvency.
ML (Merrill Lynch) Life was purchased by Aegon and the name was changed to Transamerica Advisors. They have an A+ rating with AM Best. It's not the top rating, but I would not be concerned about their solvency. Based on your statement that you have no control over the continued participation, I'm as...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
I have 3 IRAs with 3 different firms, invested in 30+ stock funds. Would consolidation be a good move or will fees hurt?
Sounds to me like you have a lot of puzzle pieces (aka your 30+ stock funds) and no idea how they all fit together into your overall financial picture. As others have suggested, a good financial advisor will discuss your financial goals, risk tolerance, time horizon and other financial issues (like ...  (more)
Answered Mar 2014
Will an annuity carrier accept an Inherited IRA transfer from a brokerage account?
I am not a big annuity fan, but you will have to check with specific insurance company whose annuity you are considering. Make sure they will do a trustee to trustee transfer. If you are inheriting an IRA from anyone other than a spouse, you can not roll over the funds to an IRA in your name. It wo...  (more)
Answered Apr 2014
Is ROTH IRA different from IRA?
Liz, As everyone has correctly stated, it's important to find out exactly what IRAs were inherited and who is listed as the beneficiaries for each IRA. It is equally important for your sister to discuss how best to inherit her IRAs. In addition to whether she rolls the IRA into her own IRA or a ben...  (more)
Answered May 2013
43 y.o. & 50000 in a 403b. OK to use for living expense during 3 yr PhD? Stafford Loan iffy. Will gross 60000/yr after.
I am in the NO camp and agree that tapping your 403B to pay for your PhD program should be a last resort, after all other sources of funds have been exhausted. Have you considered a home refinance or a line of credit? Here are a few good articles you might want to read before making any final deci...  (more)
Answered Feb 2014
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,?
Jonathan is correct. As he stated, you can only do one rollover per year, but that is from any one account. If you own three IRA accounts, you could do one rollover from each account per year, for a total of three rollovers. So, if you anticipate the need to do another IRA rollover this year, you m...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
My wife and i are looking at buying a new house. With the birth of another baby, we have decided that we need more room in the house. I have heard that i can take out a some money from my 401k for a down payment. Would this be a loan that i would have to pay back in 5 years? Are there any penalties?
Congratulations, Brian. Andy could have simply answered your question and said "No, you would not have to pay back the money withdrawn for a new FIRST home (although the withdrawal would be subject to ordinary income taxes). Instead, he gave you some good advice and some tough love, which is what a ...  (more)
Answered Aug 2013
Fixed rate annuities for those in retirement. Good idea?
I would be VERY careful with any type of fixed annuity. As others have said, they are contracts. If you buy a fixed immediate annuity, you are committing yourself to a fixed income stream for a specific period of time. Once you sign the contract, there is no turning back. If interest rates rise six ...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
Is there a limit as to how many IRA's one can have?
There is no limit to how many IRAs you can have. Reasons to have more than one IRA might include: 1) They are managed by different advisors/money managers employing unique or different investment strategies, 2) You, yourself, are using different strategies in different accounts. For example, you m...  (more)
Answered Apr 2014
Hi, Is a low risk mutual fund OK for 'Fun' savings?
Christopher, Before you invest anything for "fun savings," you first need to determine when you will need the money you're investing, how much of a return you'll want or need from your investment(s), and how much risk you are willing to take. Once you've determined the answers to those critical ques...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
I'm paying a financial advisor 1.5% plus a $750 annual fee to manage my 450K portfolio. Is this too much?
I believe the answer to your question depends on the size of your investment portfolio, "how" your advisor is investing your money, your return expectations and whatever additional services your advisor may be providing. 1% is pretty standard for the management of a diversified mutual fund portfoli...  (more)
Answered Jun 2014
I have been divorced for 10 years, It has come to my attention that she failed to disclose 4 separate 401k plans.
I concur with my colleagues. You should consult with an attorney. It seems strange, however, that someone would have four separate 401K plans. Usually, one would roll assets from previous plans into an IRA or into a new employer's plan. ...  (more)
Answered Sep 2013
Are the Franklin Templeton family of funds a good investment even with the 5% front end loads they charge.
Like most fund families, Franklin has good funds... and no so good funds. If you're paying a 5% front end load, I would assume that you would be purchasing the funds through a financial advisor. I think the most important question is do you trust the advisor with whom you are working? If the answer ...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Where do I start with Retirement Investing?
Jess, I would suggest asking other doctors or people you trust for the name(s) of their financial advisor(s). I would meet with a few of the ones they recommend and see if there's a good fit with any of them. Many advisors will be happy to work with you, realizing that as a resident physician, you h...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
How old do you have to be to retire, also how many years do you need?
Edward, You can retire at any time as long as you have sufficient savings and/or sources of income to sustain you throughout the remainder of your life in retirement. That said, there are specific rules and tax laws that govern your ability to withdraw funds from your retirement prior to age 59 1/2...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
I am interested in Stable value funds. When compared to bonds they seem to over competitive rates (2-3 %) and avoid the rising interest problem. I see that some companies have liguidated their funds recently (schwab). What can you tell me?
Depending on the rates available, a stable value fund could be a beneficial part of a diversified portfolio. Within the bond portion of my mutual fund portfolios, I invest in a variety of fixed income funds including floating rate funds, strategic funds, short duration funds, intermediate term funds...  (more)
Answered May 2013
How can I tell from bright scope report if I can do a non-hardship in service withdrawal ?
Kevin, To avoid making a potentially costly and irreversible mistake, contact the HR person at your company and the retirement plan custodian. They should be able to tell you what you can and can't do. Not all plans allow in-service withdrawals. In light of the potential consequences of running afou...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
My 401k plan has a huge number of investment choices. Where can I find help on how I should pick where to invest in my plan?
Toni, As the others have said, you should be able to obtain advice and information from your employer, HR department of plan custodian (who will likely have an 800 number). As plan sponsor, your employer has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that you and other employees are provided advice, infor...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
My son inherited a 401k from his dad, however, his uncle & grandpa cashed it out without telling him about it!
Shawna, One way or another, you need to obtain a copy of the beneficiary form for your ex-husband's 401K, which show all named beneficiaries. To find this information, you may want to contact your ex-husband's employer or the 401K custodian (if you have the name). Tell them your story and should be ...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
Is it better to max out my 401k early on in the year or spread it out and make regular contributions?
Lowell, I personally believe that it's better to contribute earlier in the year for the same reason I recommend that my clients make IRA contributions for the current year as soon as possible rather than wait until tax time in the following year. My reason for this recommendation is simple: You'll h...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Can I set up an IRA if I'm already 59 1/2?
As others have answered, YES! If your modified adjusted gross income is under $127,000 (single) or $188,000 (married filing jointly) and the current year tax deduction is not critically important to you, I would consider contributing to a Roth IRA. If tax rates go up (as many believe they will), t...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Where should I put my riskiest holdings, taxable or tax-sheltered portfolio?
Vivian, the riskiness of your investments should not determine where those assets are held. There are other, more important, variables that must be considered. Because of the potential tax consequences of making the wrong decision, you should consult with financial advisor who, after learning about ...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
I am 57 (58 in January ) years old and have just been laid off permanently from my job of 24 years to a buyout.
Steve, To answer your questions, I would need to know more about you and your plans. While there are ways to withdraw funds prior to age 59 1/2 without their being subject to the 10% penalty for early withdrawals, I generally advise against tapping the money in any retirement plan prior to retiremen...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
I turn 50 on 2/1/15. Can I make the $6k catch up contribution in 2015 or do I have to wait until 2016. Thanks.
Josie, You can make a catch up contribution for the year in which you turn 50 and future years. Because it's a bit confusing, I will clarify. In 2015, until April 15, you can technically make IRA contributions for 2014 and 2015. Your ability to make a catch up contribution would only apply the 2015 ...  (more)
Answered Nov 2014
Can I move my balance from my employer's 401k to a traditional IRA?
Margaret, I would add that some plans will allow you to hold your account at a brokerage firm of your choice or theirs and invest in whatever you like. This is different from an in-service distribution and if the plan allows you to do this, then all employees must have the same option. Most plans pr...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
My 401K options changed from several to a few options, some that I can't find. Should I be worried about my options?
Sounds like you are doing the right thing. I would continue to do the research into your various investment options, track you investments closely and make changes as necessary. I am not a big fan of target date funds. If you know what you are doing with your investments, I think you will do bette...  (more)
Answered Mar 2014
RMDs - What's the purpose?
Colin, You did an excellent job of answering your own question. The fact that the government does not want people deferring taxes indefinitely is one of the reasons why I'm a big fan of Roth IRA's and Roth 401Ks. The Roth is commonly overlooked by many individuals, CPAs and financial advisors becau...  (more)
Answered Nov 2014
My stock options have vested. Do you think I should exercise them, and then hold for long term capital gains?
Yes, if you are knowledgeable about your company and the prospects for future appreciation. If you're not sure, you might want to consult with a financial advisor. ...  (more)
Answered May 2013
I am interested into talking to someone in reguards to a 401k plan that when my husband and I divorced I was suppose to get. I have a case # 11-34879-dm, through DTE and the lawyer said it was sent out on January 11. I have tried to find out some info over and over and through my lawyer but still no
LeAnn, Whoever told you or your attorney that "it was sent out on January 11" should be able to tell you where and how it was sent, if that's in fact what happened. When you are part or all of a 401K in a divorce settlement, you have the following options. You can withdraw whatever you have been ...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
I recently retired. Five months before retiring, as a part of a diversification process, I sold stock from my 401k.
David, Am I correct in my understanding that you sold your employer's stock while it was in the plan and NOT by removing it from the plan under the NUA-related tax codes? If that's the case, you are most likely out of luck… although what Michael suggested is worth a try. I don't think you will have ...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
Best "alternative" retirement strategies?
Brennan, I'm sure I'll get negative votes for my recommendation, but one of the best alternative retirement vehicles in variable universal or indexed life insurance (or a combination). When structured and managed properly, these investments can work like a Roth IRA in that they can provide tax-free ...  (more)
Answered Dec 2014
I want to borrow against my 401k plan?
Is that a question or a statement? I think it's rarely a good idea to borrow from your 401K, only in a dire emergency where you have no other source of funds. Most of the time people borrow from their 401K, they don't pay it back. Also, by taking a loan, you not only deplete your retirement savings...  (more)
Answered Apr 2014
Just curious what options And percentages you recommend within my 401k... Below is my current allocations.
Unfortunately, it's impossible to answer your question without knowing your age, financial situation, financial objectives inside and outside your 401K, risk tolerance, investment time horizon and projected retirement date, all of the available investment options in your 401K plan, and other related...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
What invest mix would you recommend for a soon to be 52 year old investing for retirement? Currently I have a mix of 70% stocks and 30% bonds (mostly high yield).....
Dave, the ancient rule of thumb was to subtract your age from 100 and that's how much you should have in stocks. However, that approach is overly simplistic. Michael provided you some good things to consider in determining an appropriate and effective mix of asset classes and investments. I would li...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
What debt should I pay off first?
Robert, In addition to John's recommendation, I would get rid of your credit cards and start using a debit card. That will force you to spend only what you have in the bank. I would not consider owning a credit card until you have paid off all of your credit card debt. With credit cards, it's too ea...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
I want to convert traditional 401k contributions to Roth 401. Is it based on the value or contribution amount?
Colin, The tax you would pay on a Roth conversion will be based on the value, or more specifically, the amount you convert. Employer contributions would be taxable simply because they have never been taxed. While you mentioned that you want to convert to a Roth 401K with Vanguard, within your existi...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
Hello. Several years ago I was employeed by Whole Foods Market (Milwaukee, WI branch) I left the company. I was enrolled in their 401k program. How do I access this information from them and move it into my current retirement plan (through Vanguard?)?
Ben, you should be able to get information from the HR department at Whole Foods Market's company headquarters. According to BrightScope, the contact number for their plan is (512) 477-5566. Since BrightScope lists two Fidelity target retirement funds as two of the top three investments in the plan...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Ok I have 4 IRA's, is it best to combine them all into 1 IRA or an Annuity?
Paul, The correct and most appropriate answer to your question depends how you want to manage the investments inside your IRA(s) and who you want to inherit your IRA. If you want to employ different investment strategies (i.e. stocks in one account, mutual funds in another, maybe tactical in one an...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
Is it recommended to leave one's 401(k) with employer upon retirement or roll over to an IRA account?
Ivory, Unless you have concerns about being sued, you would probably benefit from rolling your 401K assets to an IRA. Doing so will provide you more investment options, which I feel is a HUGE benefit. It may also save you some money, if your employer spreads their plan's administrative costs among...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
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?
Cashing out a 401K and paying the taxes and penalties is never a great idea. I would do it only as a last resort and try to work relocations costs into your new job package. Also consider other options such as a line of credit, home equity loan, perhaps a loan from your 401K. But try to maintain it....  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Can my advisor manage my 401-k for me?
Pat, There is one issue that no one has mentioned (or at least not in any great detail). In most cases, if the broker/advisor who sold the company its plan is an insurance agent or stock broker, but not a Registered Investment Advisor, he or she will likely not be able to provide you anything more t...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
How can i find my 401k for key?
Jorge, My colleagues have provided you good advice and information on how to access and rollover your former company retirement plan. If you would like more personalized help with rolling over the money in your 401K and managing the proceeds (in addition to other financial planning services), my fir...  (more)
Answered May 2013
How can I find my 401 k provider. If I haven't worked ther in 7 years.
Call the HR person or department at your former employer. They should be able to direct you to the plan provider. You might also look through you financial records to see if you can find an old statement. Alternatively, you might also contact a former co-worker and ask them for the provider's contac...  (more)
Answered May 2013
Do you have any tips and strategy to share in any asset trading?
As others have suggested, if you want to trade securities and are not extremely knowledgeable and experienced, invest only a small amount of money that you can afford to lose without it affecting your lifestyle or financial security. The bulk of your nest egg or retirement savings (aka your "serious...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
My wife has a 401(k) account with her employer. It has about $900,000.00 in it. I see her employer has a Roth 401(k) available. Would it be prudent to convert her current account to the Roth 401(k) or just open a Roth 401(k) for her last few years?
I second Marks comments adding that you should only convert funds to the Roth 401K if you can pay the taxes from outside her 401K and any other retirement plan. Paying taxes from inside a retirement plan creates a viscous circle of having to pay taxes on taxes and depletes money that could have cont...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
Savings account (stuffed mattress) vs. Index Fund? Mutual Fund? ETF? Where do I begin investing?
Susan, here are my thoughts. First of all, congratulations on accumulating 6 months worth of emergency funds. That and your desire for a plan to grow your savings puts you way ahead of many others. Before we can develop an investment strategy, you need to be clear about what you want to accomplish ...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
I've just discovered your website and my employer (Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic) sponsord 401A/401B plans have a 60 rating. I am offered one Index fund - Vanguard INST INDEX - and would like to allocate 75% of my future investing to this fund. I understand that there are no fees associated w/ index
While I'm not familiar with your specific plan, I see no reason why it would be different than other plans in regard to your question. There ARE management fees and expenses associated with index funds, however, they are generally much lower than those associated with actively-managed funds. All mu...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
X% of fee on portfolio value and commission on each trade.
John, I would first suggest that you ask your advisor for a detailed explanation of his (or her) fee schedule, including what fees and expenses you are responsible for paying. It is not uncommon for an advisor to charge an annual percentage fee on top of commissions and transactions fees you may pa...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
An advisor told me to go to cash on Dec 31. My question is when should I get back in?
Anyone who employs a timing process that dictates when they should sell stocks and exit the market must also have a process that dictates when to get back in. Ask whether you should be in or out of the market at any given time and you will likely get a lot of conflicting advice. I have a timing ele...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
Education -529 - good or bad?
The answer to your question depends on your tax, estate planning and education planning goals. If your goal is to reduce your taxable estate while providing funds for a child or grandchild's education, then gifting money to a 529 plan can be a great idea. Although the gifted funds are removed from y...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
Where can I find my P & SRetirement Plan?
Gary, If you're trying to find your retirement plan with a former employer, your best options are to contact the HR department at your former employer or the retirement plan custodian (assuming you recall the name). If you haven't already done so, you should look through for a quarterly plan stateme...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Should both spouses have life insurance coverage?
Tanya, While all of the answers you've been given are theoretically correct, the one and only answer that's correct in all situations is... IT DEPENDS. It depends on your financial situation as well as your goals and objectives. The second part of my answer is a recommendation to work with an insura...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
After I leave my organization I want to look for an investment company to transfer my funds. Any suggestions for a LOW FEE company to transfer funds into a Roth IRA?
Ryan, When comparing two identical investments, I would pick the lower cost investment. That said, selecting anything based primarily on price can be a big mistake. If you're an experienced investor, then a discount brokerage firm or fund company with lower cost mutual funds may meet your needs. How...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Is it worth it to hire a financial advisor?
My answer is simple... If you don't have the time, desire and expertise to effectively manage your financial affairs, then the value you receive from working with a "good, experienced" financial advisor will far exceed the cost. Do you know a lot about investments, asset allocation, tax planning, es...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Is it ok to ask my financial adviser what funds they invest their personal assets in?
Yes, I invest in all of the same investments and investment strategies that I recommend to my clients (although our allocations will differ).My clients appreciate that "I eat my own cooking" and that my personal investments are performing in line with theirs. ...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
I need to know how to withdrawl my money. I cannot find a phone number to contact anyone.?
Call Mercy's HR department. They should be able to help you. ...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Hi, I'm wondering if I can contribute the $5,000 a year to a an existing rollover IRA that was previously funded?
Kevin, You can contribute $5,500 in total to any IRA or combination of IRAs ($6,500 if you are over 50). Your annual contributions do not limit your ability to rollover funds from a 401K to your IRA. Also, you can consolidate all of your IRAs into the rollover IRA and maintain the same benefits. ...  (more)
Answered Jun 2014
Can you tell me a good, honest and simple book to read on investing?; it should have a sound investing startegy?
Matthew, Most of the books my fellow advisors have recommended are great books. However, once you begin reading a few of them, you will quickly notice they are providing conflicting advice. For example, Graham's Intelligent Investor will teach you his approach to achieving investment success by inv...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
How does my 403b plan differ from the 401k I had previously?
If you have a 403b plan, beware of financial advisors pushing fixed or indexed annuities (aka tax sheltered annuities or TSAs)! Too often, insurance agencies have cozy relationships with school systems and other 403b plan providers which gives them easy access to plan participants who are often inex...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
My employer offers target date funds in our 401k. How do these funds work?
Mike, If your plan offers "lifestyle" funds of funds (essentially a conservative, moderate or aggressive mix of various funds), that would be my preference because you always know what you asset allocation mix will be and that it's suited to your comfort level and return objectives. Both lifestyle a...  (more)
Answered May 2013
I am looking to open a Roth IRA but not sure if I should go with a discount brokerage or a mutual fund company. Can you suggest what may be the best option?
I would recommend going with a discount brokerage firm like TD Ameritrade or Schwab for the simple reason that you will have access to a greater number of mutual funds from numerous fund companies, including the one(s) you might consider going with directly. If you are an inexperienced investor, I w...  (more)
Answered May 2013
What are average 401k plan expenses for a plan with assets of 1.7 million? Is my current plan charging me too much?
Charles, As my colleagues have advised, you should be able to get a fee breakdown from your plan sponsor or provider. That said, unless your employer wishes to change their plan provider, you are stuck with the plan and investment options they offer. I would suggest focusing your attention on selec...  (more)
Answered Jul 2014
401k rollover to IRA to cash for grad school: bad idea or does it depend?
Keith, I agree with my colleagues. That said, the past performance of you investments does not guarantee future results. But on average, your returns over time should outpace the interest on your student loans and your growth with be compounded. Due to limits on what you can contribute to your ret...  (more)
Answered Nov 2014
Deferred Variable Annuities?
With non-qualified variable and fixed annuities, you can contribute as little as much as you like, whenever you like. Initially, there may be a minimum investment, but you can sometimes get around that if you set up automatic deposits. The decision as to whether to go with a fixed or variable annu...  (more)
Answered Jul 2014
I have a 401k plan with AON , I would like to keep my account there and have an outside advisor manage it without moving it from the company , is this permissible ?
John, If you are no longer working for the company that sponsors your AON 401K plan, there could be advantages to rolling over the assets to an IRA or alternative 401K plan that has more or better investments options. If you are still working for the plan sponsor, you might also check to see if they...  (more)
Answered May 2013
Do you feel there is any need for a retirement fund that's managed by an investment group?
Tom, I'm assuming that the reason why you are unhappy with your returns this year is because you have only 20% in equities (which are up substantially this year) and fixed income, which has done lousy due to rising interest rates, fears about the Fed tapering its bond buying program and concerns tha...  (more)
Answered Sep 2013
Is purchasing I-Bonds for retirement the right choice for me?
Eric, I'm not an expert on I-bonds but I don't think they should be the core of your retirement portfolio. With only $46,000 saved for retirement at age 52, you have some work to do. I personally think the majority of the $25,000 you are saving for retirement should be invested in your company 401K ...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
From TP, I purchased spousal insurance from employer when married, Now divorced, Is the policy still be valid? Txs?
Teresa, The answer to your question depends on the type of policy you purchased. If it was a term policy where you made regular ongoing payments, if you're no longer making payments, then it's probably no longer in force. If you're still paying premiums, then it would still be in force. If you purch...  (more)
Answered Nov 2014
Can I withdrawal from 401k after resigning from employer 5yrs ago?
Gabriel, You can certainly take withdrawals from your previous 401K plan. However, if you are under age 59 1/2, your withdrawals would generally be taxable and subject to a 10% penalty for "early withdrawal." If you are over age 59 1/2, your withdrawal would be taxable but not subject to any penalt...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
Is it a good idea to put my earnings from sold stock into my IRA then take that money out as a loan from the IRA?
Johnathan, You can't take out a loan from an IRA. So, putting money in a traditional IRA and then withdrawing some of the money prior to age 59 1/2 would not make sense. The "early" withdrawal would be subject to taxes plus a 10% IRS penalty. If you invest the proceeds in a Roth IRA, you can with...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
What percentage of taxes will I pay if I cash out my half of my ex husbands 401k and will I be taxed twice?
Under the normal retirement plan distribution rules, if you are under 59 1/2, you will be taxed on whatever you withdraw, plus the amount of your withdrawal will be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. If you are over 59/ 1/2, you would only be subject to taxes (no penalty). There is a way to...  (more)
Answered Jun 2014
What does it mean to understand an company?
As I'm sure you know, during the late '90's tech bubble, Buffett avoided buying tech stocks because he didn't understand them. As many investors learned the hard way, while tech fund managers pretended to understand the many tech companies with no real business models and justify their lofty valuat...  (more)
Answered May 2013
Should I invest in the stock market or mutual funds?
It sounds to me like you did not understand what you read, at least I hope that is the case. The advice you quoted (to buy stocks now and get into mutual fund later) makes no sense for the simple reason that you can buy stocks through a mutual fund. A mutual fund is essentially a professionally mana...  (more)
Answered May 2013
I want to know if I should consolidate my three 401k plans.
Since Curt and James have accurately identified your various options, I will provide you a simple recommendation. If you aren't concerned about being sued and the asset protection provided by having your retirement savings inside a "qualified" plan, I would recommend that you consolidate your invest...  (more)
Answered Jan 2014
I have a small amount of money in a 401k with Vaden Holding, Inc. How do I access it? . I no longer work for them.
Craig, For instruction on how to access or rollover the funds in your former employer's 401K plan, I would contact the company's human resources department. According to Brightscope, the plan provider is Transamerica. You can reach their retirement services department at (866) 498-4557. That's their...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
I have a T ROWE Price SEP-IRA w/ 2 funds. Cost is .71 & .69 per $1K. Is that reasonable or high?
Hi Emily. In my opinion, investors are too focused on the COST of various investments and not focused enough on the VALUE those investments provide. Instead of focusing on the cost, I would look for funds that meet your risk and return objectives. I look for funds that have outperformed their peers ...  (more)
Answered Oct 2014
Are individual bonds of great companies, i.e. Toyota, Chevron, AT&T a safer place to keep your investment versus, Dreyfus Bond Index, Vanguard total Bd ETF, I shares core total US Bond Market. My bond account lost over 5% May 21 - June 30.
Larry, individual bonds are not necessarily safer than bond funds, just different. When interest rates rise, the value of individual bonds and bond funds will both decline. When interest rates decline, both with increase in value. If you want or need a guaranteed rate of return and know what to loo...  (more)
Answered Aug 2013
How do i log on to my 401k?
If you receive quarterly statements from your retirement plan custodian, there should be an 800 number listed on the statement. The plan custodian should be able to help you find your username and password to log in online or help you establish a new one, if needed. If you're not receiving a quarte...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
Where can I get some info about my 401k balance?
Hi Luis! You should be receiving statements from your 401K plan custodian. If not, call your company human resources department and ask for the custodian's name and contact information. You should be able to call them a get your account balance. You will also want to find out why you are not receivi...  (more)
Answered Feb 2015
I have been contributing to ING for 35 years and have become concerned about their fees and the impact on my returns,?
Before I can answer your question, I will need to know what specific fees are causing you concern and whether your 403B and 457 plans with ING are fixed or variable annuities or simply an investment account with mutual fund options. You may want to check with your employer to see if they will allow...  (more)
Answered Jun 2014
As I see it, I would benefit from having my retirement accounts in Roth type accounts, which is easily done with my IRA. My question is, can I (by my own actions) convert my current 401K into a Roth 401K, while still working for the same company. My inquiries through my HR dept tell me the Co. has n
IRS laws now allow you to do a Roth conversion from a 401K to a Roth 401K, but only if your plan has a Roth 401K option AND allows you to do the conversion. Current statistics show that more than half of all plans will NOT allow you to convert. You will need to check with you HR department or the pl...  (more)
Answered May 2013
I'm getting divorced after 14 years of marriage and suddenly find myself out of 1/2 of my 401k savings. I'm 46 and need some advice on how to rebuild my retirement savings?
Dane, I'm a little late to this discussion but I wondered how you're doing. Have you received good advice, perhaps from a local financial advisor? Have you used any of the advice my colleagues provided? Have you begun to rebuild your retirement savings? I would love to know. ...  (more)
Answered May 2013
Life insurance question?
Assuming he's insurable, you should be able to purchase another life insurance policy without getting rid of the existing policy. If his health is substantially better now than when you purchased the original policy, you might want to look into the cost of replacing the existing policy and buying a...  (more)
Answered Jul 2015
What is my plan worth?
What plan? Where? You should be receiving periodic statements that provide the value of your assets in the plan. ...  (more)
Answered Jun 2014
Hello, Am I eligible to get the 401 K benefits from the Company's 401K assests?
If you are no longer working Cognizat Corp and never enrolled in their plan, you would not be eligible to enroll. However, if you are receiving notifications that you have money in the plan, it's possible that your employer made some sort of contribution on your behalf... unusual but possible. I wou...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
What is your telephone #????
Hi Beverly, I could be happy to talk with you as well. I can be reached at 818-835-8755. It's possible that rolling your 401K to the new employer's plan may not be your best option. Feel free to email me at rich.winer@spwm.com as well. ...  (more)
Answered Sep 2016
Which Mututal Funds or ETFs do you think are a viable investment option?
Matthew, Something sounds strange. I'm not clear if you feel that you've lost 2% to fees since last October or since an initial investment made at at an earlier date. American Funds have many good funds and their management fees are no more than most other actively-managed funds. There are also plen...  (more)
Answered Apr 2013
How would you invest $100,000 to ensure a minimum of 7% growth a year? What would your flat fee a year be to invest it?
Sara, It's not unreasonable to expect a 7% average annual return from a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds over a full market cycle; but there is no guarantee. Also, as Prateek implied, since we have not had a severe bear market since 2008, when the stock market dropped 40%. So, it's likely t...  (more)
Answered May 2017
To Whom it Concerns From 1973-1983 I worked for Chemetron in Ashland, Oregon. I thought we had a retirement plan but when Chemeton filed for bankruptcy and I lost my job I never received anything for the retirement years I had put in. I moved out of state soon after and probably didn’t send a m
You might check with Allied Healthcare Products, Inc. at 800-444-3954. In the future, I would advise against posting your social security number on any public forum. ...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
My inherited IRA only did a 8% gain this year. What would be a smart option to increase its growth?
How was your account invested prior to July (i.e. conservative, moderate, aggressive) and why? What percentage was bond funds, which more likely lost money in the first half of the year? Without knowing your age, risk tolerance, time horizon and total financial picture, it's really hard for any o...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
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?
If I'm interpreting your question correctly: A security with a beta of 2.0 is expected to gain twice as much as the market in an up market and lose twice as much as the market in a market decline. It's theoretically twice as volatile as the S&P 500. A security with a beta of 1 or 1% greater woul...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
Is there information were I can go to see how much income I will be receiving if I were to purchase an Annuity?
Edwin, Annuities are just one of many retirement investment options, and they may not necessarily be the best. There are pros and cons to every investment it's especially critical that you understand them when it comes to annuities because every annuity comes with penalties and restrictions and exch...  (more)
Answered Apr 2016
Is there information were I can go to see how much income I will be receiving if I were to purchase an Annuity?
Edwin, Annuities are just one of many retirement investment options, and they may not necessarily be the best. There are pros and cons to every investment it's especially critical that you understand them when it comes to annuities because every annuity comes with penalties and restrictions and exch...  (more)
Answered Apr 2016
Rolling over my 401k into a rollover IRA then withdrawing funds?
There are ways to take money out of an IRA or 401K prior to age 59 1/2 but they are complex and probably would not be worth undertaking. If I were you, I would leave your money in the current plan until you can afford to pay off the loan or work out an arrangement with your relative to pay back his...  (more)
Answered May 2013
Anyone know where else I can put my savings after I max out my IRA and HSA for the year?
Steve, If your income is stable, you have sufficient liquid assets and you are in good health, you may want to consider using life insurance as an investment. When structured properly, a life insurance policy can provide you tax-free growth and income, in addition to the death benefit. Unlike insura...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
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