Blog

Good to Know: CFP® Practitioner Updates

By Bruce Starks, CPA, CFP®

A financial planner’s work is never done. The administration’s proposed 2014 budget takes aim squarely at the “permanent” estate tax reforms passed in January 2013.  The current $5,250,000 estate tax exemption would plummet $1,750,000 to only $3,500,000. The estate tax rate would jump to 45% from the current 40%. But that’s not all. The proposal…

Read More

Student Question of the Week: 529 Contributions – Can I Contribute Stock?

By Dan Madden, CFP®

Student Question from: Vincent C.Course:  Fundamentals  – Education Planning Student Question: For the basic rule of only using cash contributions for 529 Plans, can you roll over appreciated stocks from UTMA/UGMA and ESA?  If so, do you have any taxable event tied to the rollover of stocks (if an unrealized gain exists)? Instructor Response: Hi…

Read More

Student Question of the Week: Grantor Trusts – What are They Good For?

By Dan Madden, CFP®

Student Question from: Harry F.Course:  Estate Planning Student Question: Dan, given the information on this page, why do Grantor Trusts exist?  What purpose do they serve? Grantor Trusts A Grantor Trust is a trust in which the grantor, due to retained control over the income and/or corpus of the trust, is treated as the owner of…

Read More

Student Question of the Week: Basis in Property Transactions

By Dan Madden, CFP®

Student Question from: Katy U.Course:  Income Tax Student Question: On the adjusted basis portion in the question below – why is the $25,000 not included? Isn’t that a commission? I thought you are supposed to include the commission or other similar costs. Nick purchased an office building in Year 1 for $150,000 and sold it…

Read More

CFP® Practice Question of the Week: Saving for a Future Purchase

By Keir

Al wants to purchase a lake house in 20 years when he retires. The house currently costs $450,000 and inflation is 4%. As his certified financial planner, Al asks for your guidance in identifying how much he should save at the beginning of each year to accomplish his goal of purchasing the house with cash…

Read More

Student Question of the Week: Estate Planning – 3-Year Rule

By Dan Madden, CFP®

Student Question from: SteveCourse:  Estate Planning Student Question: Hello Dan, The topic of “Transfers within three years of death” has been very confusing to me. My attempts to research this further on the Internet makes it even more confusing because of either incomplete or flat out incorrect information being provided. It seems that a lot…

Read More

CFP Board Update: Tips for Passing the CFP® Exam

By Bruce Starks, CPA, CFP®

The CFP® Exam continues to evolve from the topic-based rubric of the past. Prior exams were built from a pre-set mix of questions from Fundamentals, Risk Management, Investments, Income Tax, Retirement, and Estate Planning. The CFP® Exam now focuses on eight “Job Task Domains.” Six domains mirror the six steps in the financial planning process while Communications…

Read More

CFP® Practice Question of the Week: Insurance

By Keir

James is planning to insure his commercial policy. In looking over two quotes and comparing some of the policy language to his own personal policies, he has become very confused regarding the different types of deductibles. He asks you, as a certified financial planner, which of the following deductibles are typically used in commercial property…

Read More

Student Question of the Week: Estate Planning

By Dan Madden, CFP®

Student Question from: SteveCourse:  Estate Planning – Contingent versus Vested Beneficiary Student Question: Hi Dan, I am a bit confused as to why in the example “Northwestern University” and “my son” are not considered having a future “contingent” interest in the trust since they do not receive the interest until the wife, Jane Gold dies.…

Read More