Planning for the Fiscal Cliff: Advice from the Wealth Managers

The 2012 election is over, and Americans find themselves in an unsure financial environment. The country is heading toward a “fiscal cliff” — a series of significant tax increases and automatic spending cuts that will be triggered at the end of the year. Congress and the President are negotiating a compromise solution to prevent that, but no one knows what it will involve, or if they’ll be successful at all.

Tax loss harvesting

Playing the Odds with the Alternative Minimum Tax

The almost annual decision regarding the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is back. In December 2010, Congress and the current Administration gave us a two year extension on the “AMT Patch,” but that only included tax years 2010 and 2011. The Tax Policy Center estimates that without intervention, the number of American households impacted by the Alternative Minimum Tax will leap from 5 million in 2011 to nearly 30 million in 2012.

Three Ways to Receive by Giving to Charity

Our primary mission at Pinnacle Advisory Group is to give our clients the peace of mind to enjoy the things in life they find most fulfilling, including not only relationships, activities, and hobbies, but also philanthropic endeavors. Contrary to popular belief, support for charities and causes isn’t a one-way financial street – there are several charitable giving instruments that will actually help you streamline your cash flow and reduce your taxes. By using them, you can experience the joy of giving while also receiving a financial benefit.

Financial Stocks Join the Party

Financial stocks have been a controversial sector since suffering massive losses in 2007-08, much like Tech stocks were following the bursting of that bubble in 2000. Financials have also generally been out of favor during the recovery of the last few years. In 2011, they were the worst performing sector in the S&P 500, and apart from a vicious two-month bounce off the bottom in 2009, they’ve been underperforming for years. In addition, they’ve been battling increasingly negative public opinion in regards to business practices (most of which is probably deserved, and largely self-inflicted).