Yearly Archives: 2016

Save on Back-to-School Shopping

Average spending on back-to-school has grown 42 percent in past 10 years, according to data from a National Retail Federation (NRF) annual consumer survey. Last year, parents cut back on their spending, from about $670 on average per family for K-12 spending to about $630 per family. Most expect to spend about the same this year.

Purchases include school supplies, clothing and electronics. The NRF survey also found that families are increasingly on the hook for helping to stock their children’s classrooms; parents said that 64 percent of their purchases of pencils, folders and other school supplies were influenced by classroom lists or school requirements.

If you’re hoping to save money on back-to-school shopping this month, here are a few ideas that may help.

Shop early and a little at a time: Many retailers rotate through deals every week – pens and paper one week, notebooks and pads another, backpacks the next. It takes a bit more time, but you can maximize your savings by purchasing only the sale items each week.

Use apps to save: Many large retailers (Target, Walmart, Sears, etc.) have money-saving apps with special coupons or discounts not available anywhere else. Often, the deals can also be used in conjunction with other sales and coupons.

Apps like Coupon Sherpa  feature online coupons, in-store coupons, and location-based coupons from many different stores. You can even select your favorite stores ahead of time, pull up a coupon while standing in the checkout line, and quickly collect your savings.

Mail in rebates: Rebates that give money back to shoppers who mail in paperwork after making purchases often offer the best deals. But you have to put the effort into completing the paperwork; set aside time to do so as soon as you return home from shopping, so you don’t forget and lose out on the savings.

By |2019-08-14T13:59:57-07:00August 8th, 2016|Current Affairs, Financial Planning|

Trust Basics and Benefits

Larriva-WEBA living trust is a common estate planning tool that helps express your wishes for your estate while you are alive, as well as when you pass away. One benefit a trust provides is that it is not subject to probate (public records), and thus provides you with some privacy. This aspect can also help minimize costs if there are real estate assets held in multiple states; each state would require a probate filing, adding filing charges and attorney fees to your costs.

Trusts are also helpful in preserving rights to assets for blended families. If you want to assure that your children receive an inheritance, you may wish to craft your trust document to specifically leave a portion of the estate to them. Otherwise, there is nothing to stop your current spouse from receiving 100 percent of the assets and changing his or her plans after you have died.

The main components of a trust consist of the grantor (creator), the trustee to manage the trust, and the named beneficiaries who are entitled to the income and/or assets. You also need to name successor beneficiaries (if you and/or your spouse die), successor trustees to continue to make competent decisions, and any freedoms or restrictions you want afforded. One example is delayed distribution of principal to younger beneficiaries. What could happen if your beneficiary inherits $250,000 or more at age 19? It may be wise to set up the trust to parcel out the funds (e.g. 25 percent at age 23, 25 percent at age 28, and the final 50 percent at age 35), so they can learn the skills to manage significant wealth.

Important last steps are to fund your trust by changing the title of your taxable assets, such as your bank account, real estate, brokerage accounts and mutual funds. Not properly funding a trust is a common estate planning mistake. You can also create a pour-over will, which allows the executor to place any assets into the trust that were accidentally left out.

Finally, it is important to communicate your plan to your loved ones. They will appreciate your diligence, and it can greatly simplify an already difficult time in their lives.

By |2019-08-14T13:59:57-07:00July 22nd, 2016|Estate Planning, Health Care|

Next Generation RIAs

A handful of local Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firms are invited to participate in a Charles Schwab summer intern education program. We’re proud to say Perspective Financial Services is among those selected to help educate next generation RIAs in this program.

next generation RIAs

Mike McCann (right) reviews office operations with the Schwab RIA interns. (Summer 2016)

The Schwab Advisor Services RIA Internship Program is a hands-on eight-week rotational internship designed to prepare undergraduate students for employment within RIA firms. Students apply and come to Phoenix from across the United States to learn about the investment industry, the advisory profession, and how advisors and Schwab work together to accomplish the goals of risk management and client asset protection.

About midway through the program, the group of interns disperses for their “on-site experience” at RIA firms across the Valley. They gain corporate work experience and are introduced to fundamental areas of the RIA business, such as client service, trading support, portfolio construction and financial planning.

Kelsey from Ohio and Andrew from Texas spent several days at Perspective Financial in 2016. Colin from Utah and Davis from Florida were our interns for 2017. We shared an overview of our service philosophy, business model, office operations and strategic marketing to help these next generation RIAs understand the wide range of expertise our firm encompasses.

We’ve been impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of all the interns we have hosted, and we wish them well on their educational and career journey.

next generation RIAs

Mike McCann (left) reviews portfolio rebalancing protocol with the Schwab RIA interns. (Summer 2017)









Article updated July 14, 2017
By |2019-08-14T13:59:57-07:00July 8th, 2016|Advisors, Company News|

The Brexit Debate

Mailiard-v1-WEBWill the outcome impact your portfolio?

The British referendum on whether to stay in or leave the European Union (EU) has been called the most important vote in Europe in more than 50 years. The EU is an economic and political organization of 28 mostly European member states. Britain’s potential exit from the group (dubbed “Brexit” by the media) has been fiercely debated.

Those in favor of the exit believe the EU impinges on British national sovereignty and stifles the UK economy with excessive regulation and other costs of billions of pounds per year. Those opposed to the exit argue the alliance makes trade, finance and other business activity easier among EU nations.

The EU accounts for 25 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and is the UK’s largest trading partner. Brexit opponents say trade barriers are likely to rise after exit. As a result, as economics writer Robert Samuleson bluntly puts it, “Leaving the EU would be an act of national insanity.”

Not surprisingly, the pro-exit side believes strongly the opposite is true. Patrick Minford, former economics advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, asserts leaving the EU would be “entirely positive,” as “Britain would no longer have to put up with millions of costly and often idiotic regulations.”

So, another potential “crisis” grabs headlines, as they always have and always will. What’s an investor to do? As Perspective clients know, the answer is to follow a written, disciplined plan aligned with one’s needs and tolerance for risk. With more than half the world-equities markets outside the United States, despite the cycle of international uncertainty, that plan will almost always call for a broadly and indeed globally diversified portfolio.

By |2019-08-14T13:59:57-07:00June 27th, 2016|Current Affairs, Investing|

Investing in Your Grandchild’s Education

college graduate with grandmotherInvesting in your grandchild’s education is a generous gift that can have a life-long impact, especially as the cost of attending college rises every year. According to data reported in U.S. News Best Colleges rankings from 1995 to 2015, the average in-state tuition and fees at public universities grew nearly 300 percent.

You have a lot of options from which to choose. Some are more complex than others. This short video highlights some of the benefits and potential drawbacks on a few of those options.

It’s important to weigh your options thoughtfully, while also ensuring your personal financial needs are being met and that you’ll have sufficient resources in your retirement. Your financial planner can be a helpful resource and guide as you consider the best option for you and your grandchildren.

Investing in Your Grandchild’s Education


Select photos in video courtesy of Stuart Miles, dread design, cool designs, satit_srihin and adamr at