Author Archives: Casey Smith
Many investors, especially retirees and conservative investors are investing in bonds either individually, through a bond mutual fund or a bond exchange traded fund (ETF). Investors seem to associate bonds with safety, but this may not be the case going forward. How can you protect your bond portfolio in these uncertain times? Continue reading
Very often individual investors choose mutual funds based on the historical performance of the fund. To many individual investors it seems logical that past great performance would only indicate a tendency for future great performance. According to a July 2013 report from S&P, this may not be the case.
Can a husband and wife give their daughter and son-in-law separate cash gifts?. Suchas; 14K from the wife and another 14K from the husband to each of the newlyweds, totaling 28K to each for a total of 56K as a couple?
Yes. You are allowed to give $14,000 to any …
If your house was paid for, would you take out a loan to invest it in the stock market? Amazingly many people reading this would actually pause to think about it. The answer should be no. Continue reading
I’ve been into a foreign currency investment for less than one year and I’m trying to prepare for exchanging currency at the bank. I’m trying to find out about tax obligations, legal forms, and the best way to deposit the initial funds (into different banks or different accounts). In addition …
I would like to pay for my 5 year old granddaughter’s tuition to go to a private school is that tax deductible?
Private schools K – 12 are not tax deductible.…
I sold shares of a mutual fund & other stocks in order to pay a down payment on a first time home purchase. Do I still have to pay capital gains tax on those investments even though the $$$ was invested straight into a home?…
You will or recently have received information in the mail about some ASA JP Morgan 401k plan investment option changes. Continue reading
The key is the power of compounding, the snowball effect that happens when your earnings generate even more earnings. You receive interest not
Janus Overseas is one of three international fund choices within the ASA JP Morgan 401k plan. The fund has historically attracted the retirement savings of plan participants due to its superior performance. The fund fell hard in 08 just like any other stock investment during the financial crisis only to …
The ASA MEC Retirement and Insurance Committee
Announces the annual
Retirement Planning Workshop
For Legacy ASA Pilots and Flight Attendants
The workshop will be presented by Express Jet Captain Casey Smith, President of Wiser Wealth Management, Inc.
The workshop is specifically designed to cover the Legacy ASA JP Morgan 401k …
Casey Smith is President of Wiser Wealth Management, a Marietta, Georgia-based fee-only fiduciary wealth management firm offering asset management, tax preparation, estate planning and financial planning services. Wiser’s unique investing techniques have earned Casey speaking engagements at top ETF conferences around the world. When not running Wiser Wealth, Casey doubles as a pilot for an Atlanta-based commercial airline. Continue reading
In any market, your portfolio should be constructed to meet your risk tolerance. But what does this really mean? Advisors should know the historical volatility of their portfolios; many on the selling side of this business don’t have a clue, they just want to sell you a product. For the individual investor there are tools to measure portfolio volatility. Continue reading
Casey Smith was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about researching ETFs. Wiser Wealth has used ETFdb.com and Index Universe Analytics to research Exchange Traded Funds. You can view the quote HERE.…
Standard and Poors recently released a white paper titled “Election 2012: A Time of Polarizing Politics & Heightened Uncertainty” by David B Mazza, head of ETF Investment Strategy, Americas. This paper does a great job of explaining how portfolios could be tweaked based upon who wins the White House. …
Vanguard shocked the investing world today by announcing that they are changing the benchmark of 22 of its funds from MSCI to FTSE indexes. Continue reading
One of the many benefits of using Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) is cost. An investor today can build a complete portfolio using all ETFs for less than 25bps (0.25%). The low cost leaders in ETFs have been Vanguard, State Street and Blackrock’s iShares.
Recently Charles Schwab entered the ETF business …
Buy and hold investors should always focus on long term healthy asset classes. In regards to investing in Europe, the key question is whether or not Europe will be a financially healthy asset class over the next ten years. Continue reading
With the impact that the European debt crisis is having on portfolios, many people are looking for ways to diversify from this impact. Adding real estate to your portfolio is one way to do this. Continue reading
I need to save ___% of my paycheck to reach my financial independence goal to make working optional at age___. My retirement nest egg needs to be built to $_____ to achieve this goal. Continue reading
Hello Casey, a couple of quick questions for you. If I contribute to our work 401k can I still contribute to an IRA? I have 2 other IRAs, one with Schwab and Vanguard. Ok now for my 2nd question, does the 5000$ limit for IRAs apply as a group limit …
Wiser Wealth, the Official Planning Firm for GA State Employees Continue reading
There has been a lot of discussion concerning the use of exchange traded funds (ETFs) as the primary investment vehicle within 401k plans. The barriers that once stood in the way are being removed by innovative record keeping and the growing use of ETFs in private and institutional accounts. Continue reading
IndexUniverse.com recently published a report with all the ETFs that pass though capital gains to its investors. Apparently in 2011 only 93 ETFs made this list. Continue reading
Casey Smith, President of Wiser Wealth Management, Inc was interviewed by Jonathan Bliss of SeekingAlpha.com about the firms portfolio’s going into 2012. You can view the interview HERE.…
You can go with your gut when choosing between steak or chicken. Use knowledge to choose an advisor. This book will help you do that. Continue reading
A stretch IRA is not officially in the IRS code. It is a wealth transfer method that allows you to potentially “stretch” and even grow the IRA assets over several generations. The strategy involves adjusting beneficiary designations to minimize so-called required minimum distributions (RMDs) over a long period of time. Continue reading
It’s almost 2012. Your business has done better than expected. Here are a few things you may consider to help lower your tax liability before year end, but you had better hurry! Continue reading
Casey Smith, President of Wiser Wealth Management, Inc will be speaking at two ETF conferences in first half of 2012. Continue reading
A few weeks ago Wiser sent an email alerting our followers of the under performance of the ASA 401k Janus Overseas Fund. A great source for commentary regarding mutual funds is MorningStar, an independent research firm. To read the Morningstar Analysis please click HERE.
In light of these changes, …
By now you have received notice that there are some changes happening within the ASA JPMorgan 401k plan. The good news is some of the funds are getting cheaper. Thefrustrating part is this should and could have happened a long time ago. Continue reading
During this testimony Harold Bradley from the Kauffman Foundation delivers yet again false information and flawed math about Exchange Traded Funds. Elisabeth Kashner of Indexuniverse.com wrote a great blog on Mr. Bradley’s many errors.
Hi Casey - I didnt want to take up your time but im having a question im trying to answer. Home refinancing now is looking like a great option. I have an FHA, but im over the 80% ltv and pay pmi. Thinking about our career in the near future …
We often get questions about what can be done in a portfolio to protect from a falling dollar. Often many people refer to gold for this solution, especially with every other advertisement on Fox News from companies trying to sell you- guess what- gold! Continue reading
Except maybe your 401(k). …
Hey Casey-I’ve attended your last 2 retirement [Atlantic Southeast Airlines Pilot] seminars – thanks for holding them – I’ve learned a lot. Anyway, curious with the new brokerage account option, wondering if there’s a way to get out of dollars and in to a foreign currency? Thanks! Lisa.
Hi Lisa, …
The 2010 Tax Act1 has made it possible, under specified circumstances, for the estate of a surviving spouse to make use of the unused estate tax exemption of his or her predeceased spouse, a concept referred to as portability of the applicable exemption amount. Some estate planners have suggested that portability makes it unnecessary to continue to draft estate plans that include credit shelter trusts. Continue reading
Stocks are overreacting to the unfortunate confluence of events: the downgrade of U.S. government bonds, some weaker than expected economic data, and the troublesome but manageable U.S. fiscal position. Along with sovereign debt issues threatening Europe, these factors turned market sentiment ugly. Continue reading
Casey Smith was quoted in the Wednesday Marietta Daily Journal about the recent stock market volatility. You can read the article HERE.…
No one likes to lose, especially money, even if it is just on paper. In times such as these, investor behavior is more important that asset allocation. Continue reading
Emerging Markets should be a part of every portfolio. With many ETF choices this post dives into Emerging Market modeling. Continue reading
The last few days have been very volatile ones for the global stock markets. The headlines of a Greek debt default and the US August 2 debt limit increase deadline are contributing to the uncertainty in the market. Continue reading
You have done well for yourself. You’ve watched your pennies, saved aggressively, invested wisely, and now, in your golden years, you have a retirement nest egg that is more than you need. You have a philanthropic bent – an alma mater you’re fond of, a charity that is near and dear to your heart. How can you donate to these worthy causes without sacrificing to the IRS more than you think it deserves?
The research staff here at Wiser Wealth recently analyzed all the broad based ETFs that track emerging market indices. The staple in Emerging Markets is currently Vanguards VWO and iShares’ EEM. The comparison articles on these funds are endless. One fund that filtered to the top of the Emerging Market ETF list that might be less known is Wisdom Tree’s DEM. We compared it in this article to Vanguards VWO. The following report helps compare the DEM and VWO Emerging Market strategies as well as the results of the last few years. Continue reading
Casey Smith is honored with the Berry College Young Alumni Award. Continue reading
On March 31st Casey Smith attended a lecture by Steve Forbes at Berry College. Casey, on the Berry Board of Visitors, had the opportunity to speak briefly with Mr. Forbes prior to the lecture.
The University of Maryland has a study that shows only .06% of active fund managers from 1975 – 2007 beat their corresponding index. Continue reading
The pictures and stories from Japan have shocked us all. The human aspect of this country’s struggle to cope with the earthquake and tsunami tugs at our hearts. The same applies to those in Middle Eastern countries crying out for freedom and democracy only to be responded to with bullets …
The 401(k) and the IRA offer tax advantaged savings. The differences to consider are in maximum contribution limits and matching money.
Employers typically will offer to match a certain portion of your 401(k) contributions to encourage you to invest for you retirement. The level is most often a percentage of …
Casey Smith was featured in the March edition of Cobb Life Magazine’s 20 Rising Stars Under 40. The monthly magazine publishes its annual list of “Rising Stars” each March. Continue reading
Portfolio yields are under pressure due to the worldwide flight to safety over the last few years, making conservative and income growth portfolios more difficult to manage. While bond investments made a few years ago have done historically well, new investments have greater principal risk with low historic yields. Continue reading
“The problem with freedom and democracy in the Muslim world is that it is a figment of the imagination that only exists in the minds of Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.” Continue reading
Casey Smith was interviewed by Jonathan Liss, Sr. Editor of ETFs at SeekingAlpha.com. The interview focused on 11 questions for 2011. The interview can be viewed at the link below.
A new exchange traded note (ETN) has come to market offering a well-known approach to investing found in active investment strategies, but new to the exchange traded products. The US RBS Trend Pilot ETN (ticker TRND) tracks the total return of the S&P 500 (actual return plus dividends), but provides safety in that if the S&P 500 drops below its 200 day moving average, then TRND will “sell” the S&P 500 and “purchase” short duration US treasury bonds. Looking back to 2008, TRND would have been in treasuries during the financial crisis, missing the worst decline in the S&P 500 in decades and benefiting from treasuries climbing to record prices. Continue reading
Casey Smith talked with Shishir Nigam of etfshub.com to discuss the future of Active ETFs and the hurdles that they will need to overcome. Continue reading
The 2010 Tax Relief Act has been passed. What does this mean for your estate plan? Continue reading
Casey Smith will be providing a 401(k) workshop for Atlantic Southeast pilots and flight attendants on January 12th and 15th. The workshop will be held at the airport Hilton Garden Inn from 9:30am to 1pm each day. There are no strings attached with this event. Casey will simply be there …
On November 21st the Marietta Daily Journal published the pictures from the Wiser Wealth Management August annual board meeting. You can view the paper HERE.…
ignorance is to reject something that you know nothing about.” Financial advisors, individuals, the media and professors are all still learning about the benefits of Exchange Traded Funds. Undoubtedly, ETFs have shaken the investment world by empowering investors at all levels with quick access to low cost diversification. Adding ETFs to the Atlantic Southeast 401k brokerage link will allow investors low cost access to global asset classes. If used properly, ETFs can increase the standard of living of the Atlantic Southeast retirees and allow for current reduced company risk, active management risk and portfolio liquidity. ETFs will allow plan participants to purchase the indexes that the active managers cannot seem to beat over long periods of time.
On October 27th, Casey Smith spoke at the Art of Indexing Summit at the Westin Times Square Hotel in New York. The day prior, Casey, his family and Ashley Painter (Intern) were invited to the opening bell at the NYSE.…
There are several types of annuities with the most popular being the variable annuity. The bank salespeople, often falsely referred to as financial advisors, make the sales pitch sound as if these products are the best things since the Wright Brothers took flight. I say buyer beware. Continue reading
Can an ETF Fail? A study by two PHD’s makes one believe that ETFs are unsafe investments. Continue reading
The title “Financial Advisor” has a myriad of meanings. To most, it probably means a financial “expert” to guide you through important decisions and help manage investment assets for the present and future.
However, all advisors are not the same. So, how do you pick one? Below are five factors …
Casey Smith will begin in October writing personal finance articles for the Dallas New Era Paper Continue reading
Vanguard has lowered the floor on S&P ETF index investing. Continue reading
It really comes down to symbolism. The World Trade Towers symbolized American Capitalism created from a free people. The Towers reminded us that Americans have the freedom to invest. The freedom the innovate. The freedom to take risks and earn great rewards. The freedom to learn. The freedom to live…. a free people.
In July 2010, Casey Smith wrote an article for Investment Advisor Magazine about his travels around the world speaking about Exchange Traded Funds, Broker Fiduciary Responsibility and learning about financial advice in other cultures. The article can be viewed HERE.…
Casey Smith and Kyle Waller wrote an article about the differences between Brokers and Financial Advisors. Wiser Wealth Management is held to a fiduciary standard, meaning we are required to act in our clients’ best interest. Brokers are not held to the same standard. See Fiduciary AJC Article for more.…
Casey Smith interviews with SeekingAlpha.com Continue reading
WisdomTree has introduced an addition to the ETF landscape with an active ETF in the emerging market bond category.
Emerging market bonds are a unique asset class with extraordinary characteristics which many ETF investors have made part of their portfolios for many reasons. Emerging market bonds have high absolute returns with low correlation to other markets and are high yielding vehicles. Continue reading
Investors tend to do poorly when they react to what the market does instead of preparing for what may happen and taking advantage of long-term forecasts. With a reactionary attitude, investors will rarely do well. Continue reading
Wiser Wealth Management announces new advisory board. Continue reading
Wiser Wealth partners with Leading The Way to help spread God’s word worldwide. This partnership began just after the financial crisis when Casey realized that while proper asset management is crucial to success, it should not be what makes us feel secure in the end. You can see the interview …
First-quarter gains have taken a huge hit against large declines in the second quarter. According to Morningstar’s ‘super sectors’ reports, Information is down 10.46%, Service 12.23%, and Manufacturing 10.92%. Some market data would suggest that an underlying cause of these losses is uncertainty in the market. Continue reading
Wiser Wealth, along with our Cobb EMC clients and other friends, visited Turner Field to watch the Braves take on the Brewers. You can see pictures on our Facebook page HERE.…
Casey Smith and Kyle Waller had their article on Fiduciary Responsibility posted at www.tabbforum.com.
Top 5 estate planning mistakes
I recently read a report that suggested that only about 20 percent of the population has a formal estate plan. After reviewing the points below, please take a minute to consider whether it’s time for you to create or update your estate plan.
When building a 401k portfolio, many people simply look at a fund’s performance without considering the risk of the investment. Fund performance should not be the only tool used in selecting mutual funds for your 401k. Another analytical tool that should be used is standard deviation.…
By Kyle Waller, Research Analyst Wiser Wealth Management, Inc & Casey T Smith, ASA ALPA 401k Specialist
In 401K investing, there is a major asset class that does not get the respect it deserves. In fact, it is largely ignored both by investors and plan sponsors. This asset …
The Cost of Not Saving
By Casey Smith, ASA ALPA R&I Committee 401k Specialist and
Kyle Waller, Research Analyst, Wiser Wealth Management, Inc
The saving rate among Americans is decreasing, yet the need for income in retirement is as crucial as ever with pensions and social security becoming scarce and …
The stock market has experienced a 5% pull back over the last few weeks and we have seen daily trading volatility similar to that of 2008. This has been caused by Europe’s own financial crisis. In 2008, American taxpayers bailed out their large banks. The European Union is currently bailing …
TIP Securities have been around only since 1997, placing them a time period with only relatively tame levels of inflation. That being said, the need for inflation protection is very relevant, and investors now have access to five TIPS ETFs. They give investors a choice among broad based, intermediate, short-term, and long-term durations. Continue reading
Debt, while once viewed as a negative for the average American, now seems to simply be a part of life. Using credit and having debt outstanding is normal now not only for the most people, but for the government as a whole. The US federal government deficit is currently over $13 trillion and is growing by about $4.09 billion each day. To put this amount into perspective, with a $13 trillion debt obligation, each person in the world owes almost $2,000. That is $2,000 for 6.7 billion people. Continue reading
The Senate sweats this week over the self imposed July 4th deadline for President Obama to sign the Financial Reform Overhaul Bill. The bill is reported to be over 2,000 pages, and reaches into every corner of the financial industry from credit card transactions to advisors.
The bill ventures into some places where legislation has previously left alone. In many ways, the financial system needs some changes, however, for the most part, the Independence Day bill is more confusing than freedom-promoting. Continue reading
PowerShares listed the second-ever international corporate bond ETF for trading this week, behind State Street Global Advisor’s international corporate bond product, falling right in step with the unfolding of the debt crisis in Europe. The PowerShares ETF provides a broad exposure to international, investment-grade corporate bonds issued in developed countries. Continue reading
One of the most popular ideas in the investing world, the Efficient Market Theory, argues, very simply, that a stock’s price equals its value. This would mean that a stock’s price reflects all publicly known data, including future expectations of the stock’s performance. Continue reading
ETF cashflows have climbed despite worries about rising rates in fixed income ETFs. Investors also seem to be pouring money into global ETFs even though overseas markets continue to abound.…
“Because major developed markets are now so highly linked, there is no way for problems in Europe to remain isolated there; we will see a ripple effect here in the US.” Continue reading
Casey Smith has agreed to speak at the Art of Indexing Conference on October 27th in New York, NY. The Art of Indexing Conference will cover the uses, challenges and inner workings of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).…
The amount of jobs added went up in April even well above what is expected, adding 290,000 jobs to the market. Up from 200,000 added in March. Continue reading
The government allows companies like Goldman and other brokers to act under suitability rules. This means that a client has to be suitable for the investment, but does not mean that the product is the best for the client. Continue reading
Casey spoke at the Inside ETF Europe Conference on April 13th about how he explains ETFs to his clients and how Fee Only Financial Planning is needed around the world. Continue reading
ETFs in Europe are starting to get some interest. This is my journal from the ETF Conference in Amsterdam. Continue reading
Dawn Levine an Attorney in Marietta, GA often gets asked what she thinks about Wills done over the internet. Continue reading
Wiser Wealth Management offers free tax preparation services to those currently out of work. Continue reading
The end of 2009 saw the entry of a new ETF in the already dense ETF landscape: a currency hedged ETF. This new feature is of interesting significance due to its packaging inside an ETF.…
Casey Smith has been elected to the Board of Advisors of Berry College. Continue reading