What You Need to Know!

A blog about keeping you up-to-date with the latest Financial Planning and Wealth Management news.

Leave your mark, in goals-oriented investing or traditional estate planning.

Recent changes to the tax code have raised the threshold for inheritance and gift tax to $11.2 million per person — a threshold most working people will not reach or exceed — and that’s caused some to speculate that estate planning is dead. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated.   Instead, we’ve seen the emergence of legacy planning, which differs from traditional estate planning in several ways.   While estate planning in the past has been all about passing on as much of your assets as possible to your heirs and avoiding taxes,...
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Choose carefully when diversifying your portfolio.

A constant dilemma in the world of wealth management is whether it’s wise to stick with the security of U.S. stocks or venture into the international marketplace in search of potential opportunities. This seems especially relevant now, when tough talk on tariffs threatens to roil the seas of international trade and usher in unintended consequences. We at Coral Gables Trust Company have always preached that diversifying one’s portfolio — both geographically, between companies, and across investment vehicles — is the wisest move and the surest path to achieving your goals. But when, how much, and where to diversify? The following...
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Consumers should prefer traditional wealth managers to robo-advisors. Here’s why.

Today, online transactions are so prevalent that it’s hard to imagine a financial life without them. How would we buy an airline ticket, transfer money between accounts, book a vacation, pay bills, or keep track of expenses without internet connectivity?   But there’s one area in which consumers seem to prefer a human encounter to computer clicks. The acceptance of robo-advisors — online software that allows clients to manage investments — once ballyhooed as the next major trend, has been slow to catch fire. Some observers say that only one-half of 1 percent of assets under management are enrolled in...
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Be prepared! The importance of financial planning for hurricane season.

This week we’ve invited Eileen Santana, our Sr. VP and Sr. Relationship Manager, at Coral Gables Trust Company to advise us on how to avoid a category five financial crisis when a storm hits. With hurricane season upon us and the aftermath of Hurricane Irma still fresh in our minds, now is the time to start your disaster preparedness. Forecasters are predicting another busy season this year and as South Floridians, most of us know to stock up on food, water, batteries, gas and other hurricane preparation items. But ensuring that our finances are well-organized and protected is not always...
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Yes! Florida continues to be a robust State for jobs.

This week we've invited Mason Williams, our Chief Investment Officer, at Coral Gables Trust Company to give us a quick insight and share his predictions on the latest local and national job report numbers for South Florida. Yes! Florida continues to be a robust State for jobs. I was recently asked at a conference would South Florida continue to show job growth in Q4 of 2018 and into 2019? Yes! I responded. Because of its strong and steady annual job growth rate of 2.4% compared to the national rate of 1.9% over the past year, and because of the state unemployment...
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Are you planning for your family's wealth transfer?

As I previously blogged back in April, President Trump signed into law the first significant reform of the US Tax Code since Ronald Reagan. Today, I would like to further explore the additional implications this law will have on your finances. Clearly, the new tax act will affect how we make decisions on our estate, buying a home, health insurance, setting up a business, and even porce agreements. But what about family wealth transfer precisely? Planning for family wealth transfer is an important step in assuring assets are passed down to your loved ones with the least amount of tax...
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Do you know your Trustee?

This week we've invited Gerardo Rodriguez, VP and Investment Officer at Coral Gables Trust Company to challenge us with the question: Do you know your Trustee well? What to think about when selecting a Trustee? Estate Planning can be a daunting task. You have to find an attorney that can help you organize yourself and your assets that will create your Estate when you pass and leave your bequest to your heirs. You have to draft a will, select a Health Care Surrogate, and create a Trust to place your assets in to avoid Probate.  One of the biggest questions...
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Want to move to Florida?

I'm John Harris, Managing Director at Coral Gables Trust Company and welcome to our What You Need to Know blog! On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the first significant reform of the U.S. Tax Code since Ronald Reagan was in office. Here is Part 1 of how it will affect your finances. The new tax act will affect how you make decisions on estate planning, buying a home, or setting up a business. In this first blog, I will highlight major parts of the law to keep in mind, starting with individual income taxes.  Now that the new...
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