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Uncover Fraud

Uncover FraudBeing cautious about fraud schemes can help keep you and your finances safe. To help you uncover fraud, here are a few common scams occurring today.

Romance scam: Criminals pose as interested romantic partners on social media or dating websites.

Tech support scam: Criminals claim to be technology support representatives and offer to fix non-existent computer issues.

Grandparent scam: Frauds pose as a relative – usually a child or grandchild – claiming to be in immediate financial need.

Home repair scam: Scammers appear in person and charge homeowners in advance for home improvements.

Investment scam: Criminals offer unsuitable investments, fraudulent offerings, and unrecognized products.

Uncover Fraud with These Scam Protection Tips

  • Search online for the contact information and the proposed offer.
  • Resist pressure to act quickly. Scammers create a sense of urgency to produce fear and need for immediate action.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, mailings, and door-to-door service offers.
  • Never provide any personally-identifiable information or wire money to unknown or unverified people or businesses.
  • Ensure all computer anti-virus and security software are up to date.
  • If victimized, take precautions to protect your identity and monitor your accounts for suspicious activity.
Source: Arizona Bank & Trust

In this digital age, privacy requires extra effort for each of us. Read more tips about cyber-security in the article below.

By |2021-10-12T11:13:22-07:00November 8th, 2021|Current Affairs, Cyber Security|

2021 Tax Planning Update

2021 Tax Planning Update In December 2020, the $2.3 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 became law and several provisions from the earlier Tax Cuts and Jobs Act were extended. Income tax brackets, eligibility for certain deductions and credits, and the standard deduction for income-tax payers all saw increases in 2021 as a result. Following is another important 2021 tax planning update.

Inflation Calculation Changes

Another significant change within the law relates to how the U.S. tax code calculates inflation. Traditionally, tax law has tied inflation calculation to the Consumer Price Index (CPI); this index measures the average change in prices paid by urban consumers on goods and services over time. Now, with recent tax reform, inflation is measured by Chained CPI.

According to TurboTax, the Chained CPI figure “measures inflation in a different, often slower way that accounts for consumers’ tendency to shy away from items that undergo a large price increase.” That means some taxpayers may get pushed into a higher marginal bracket than before, due to cost-of-living pay increases or other raises in income that outpace Chained CPI.

Q3 2021 Tax Planning Update

The third quarter is the time to assess your total estimated income, deductions, and credits for 2021. That way adjustments can be made before year-end to help reduce your overall tax bill. If you have questions or concerns, your Perspective advisor is available to help.

By |2021-10-12T10:57:04-07:00October 25th, 2021|Current Affairs, Taxes|

Helping Aging Parents Manage Finances

Helping aging parents manage financesHelping aging parents manage finances: it’s a sticky situation. As our parents age, we worry about their ability to make sound financial decisions. We know they’re targets for financial fraud. How do we protect them, while also respecting their desire to remain independent?

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, CFP®, is president of the Charles Schwab Foundation and has served two White House administrations on financial capability policy. In a recent article, she offered the following insights.

Helping Aging Parents Manage Finances

Communicate: Talking about money can be hard, but it’s the most important first step. Let your parents know you are willing to help and why. Be upfront about the fact that seniors are targets for financial exploitation. Ask them if they have any concerns and in what areas they might welcome some help. Look for cues that might indicate they’re confused or vulnerable. The more two-way conversations you have about money, the easier it will become.

Collaborate: Offer to become part of their team. Beginning a dialogue with their financial advisors and health care professionals will help you spot any troubling signs as your parents age. If you establish clear roles and responsibilities before troubles arise, your parents will be less likely to feel you’re hovering or controlling them. Instead, they’ll know you’re available and informed to offer specific support when needed.

Evaluate: Offer to help assess their assets and liabilities, income and expenses, and insurance needs. If they already have a financial plan, suggest a review. Once you understand their needs, remember to check in with them regularly. Their needs may change. By laying the groundwork now, you’ll be better prepared to help them. And knowing that may make your parents more willing to let you.

Investment Lessons from the Pandemic

glass globe business. Global MarketExcerpted with permission from “5 Investment Lessons from the Pandemic” by Steve Watson, Equity Portfolio Manager at Capital Group. 

As a 30-year investing professional, the past 16 months stand out in my career as both intensely painful and incredibly instructive.  What has this most unusual time in history taught me?

  • Market crises are inevitable. The pandemic-driven stock market crisis led me to think of past market traumas I experienced. I counted 21, including the collapse of the Soviet Union, the bursting of the technology bubble, the global financial crisis, and now COVID-19. This list highlights the reality that market disruptions are a fact of life for investors. My list suggests we get one of these events every 18 months or so.
  • History doesn’t necessarily repeat itself in ways you might expect. For instance, I lived in Hong Kong through the dark days of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in 2003. When COVID hit, I was quick to make comparisons between the two. Yet, while SARS was frightening to live through, relatively speaking, it was a fairly minor event. Drawing false conclusions about COVID based on the SARS experience left many investors unprepared for the extent and duration of this pandemic.
  • Diversification holds strong. While “growth” and “value” investment labels are overly broad, I’ll use them to make a point. I lean toward value, but I also have long-term growth-oriented investments. Many are tech-related (semiconductors, e-commerce, etc.) and I like to purchase shares when they’re down and out; I also hang on long enough to let the market catch up with what I think is the true value of the company. In hindsight, my selection of growth-oriented tech stocks saved my skin during the worst days of 2020.

Click here for a PDF of Watson’s full article. Investing Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

By |2021-08-16T13:03:34-07:00August 23rd, 2021|Current Affairs, Investing|

Major Economies Bouncing Back

Effective vaccines, record government support, and pent-up demand are fueling a historic turnaround for the global economy. Data shows major economies bouncing back. In June, the International Monetary Fund more than doubled its 2021 U.S. GDP estimate to 6.4 percent. The National Retail Federation (NRF) also revised its forecast, anticipating retail sales growth between 10.5 percent and 13.5 percent. NRF’s initial projection for 2021 was 6.5 percent.

“The economy and consumer spending have proven to be much more resilient than expected,” said NRF President Matthew Shay. “While there are still risks related to worker shortages, tax increases and over-regulation, households are healthier overall and consumers are demonstrating their ability and willingness to spend.”

Major Economies Bouncing Back

Major Economies Bouncing Back

By |2021-07-15T09:58:23-07:00July 15th, 2021|Current Affairs|