Published: Wed, 04 Aug 2021 13:33:01 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, August 4, 2021 LPL Financial is so excited to kick off our annual Focus conference, with more than 10,000 attendees sharing ideas, learning, and having a great time over the next three days. Given the world we … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 03 Aug 2021 15:58:25 +0000
Market Blog Tuesday, August 3, 2021 Most investors are aware that seasonal patterns exist in equities, but they may not be as familiar with the seasonal patterns in fixed income markets. As pointed out in the LPL Research Market Blog … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 02 Aug 2021 17:00:29 +0000
Market Blog Monday, August 2, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and international equities In July, the U.S. major market indexes finished higher while international equities, as represented by the developed international markets (MSCI EAFE), and the emerging markets … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 02 Aug 2021 15:30:06 +0000
Market Blog Monday, August 2, 2021 Hard to believe, but we are in August already! The good news is stocks are still firmly in a bull market, but the bad news is the calendar is a potential worry now. As … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 30 Jul 2021 20:11:06 +0000
Market Blog Friday, July 30, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Markets Reverse Course This Week; Growth Names Pullback The major markets finished the week lower, reversing course from the previous week. Some disappointing corporate guidance … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 30 Jul 2021 15:58:08 +0000
Market Blog Friday, July 30, 2021 China’s stock exchanges have been hit hard in response to several sudden regulatory actions that have dismayed investors. First came the crackdown on ride sharing service DiDi, which has about a 90% market share … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 29 Jul 2021 16:58:48 +0000
Market Blog Thursday, July 29, 2021 In the latest edition of LPL Market Signals, the LPL Research strategists discuss some of the biggest surprises of 2021, including the strong year-to-date performance for the stock market and surprising recent drop in … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 29 Jul 2021 15:58:41 +0000
Economic Blog Thursday, July 29, 2021 Lofty expectations for second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth were left somewhat wanting as a decent headline number fell short of expectations. Peering under the hood, though, we think this is still a … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 28 Jul 2021 15:58:10 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, July 28, 2021 We had some fun with our latest LPL Street View video, as Director of Research Mark Zabicki and Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick went outside to shoot some hoops and talk about our upcoming … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 27 Jul 2021 15:58:46 +0000
Market Blog Tuesday, July 27, 2021 The Federal Reserve (Fed) meets this week to discuss its ongoing support for the U.S. economy. During its regularly scheduled two-day meeting, the nineteen-member committee is expected to discuss if and when the Fed … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 23 Jul 2021 20:01:13 +0000
Market Blog Friday, July 23, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Markets Higher as Growth Leads The major markets finished higher this week after starting the week lower, with the Dow Jones off by over 2% … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 23 Jul 2021 15:58:33 +0000
Economic Blog Friday, July 23, 2021 On Thursday, July 22, the Conference Board released its June 2021 report detailing the latest reading for the Leading Economic Index (LEI), a composite of ten data series that tend to lead changes in … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 23 Jul 2021 14:58:16 +0000
Friday, July 23, 2021 Top Story Buy the dip Even after Monday’s big drop for stocks in the U.S., stocks have roared back and are now looking at a nice gain for the week. Here are some of the reasons … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 23 Jul 2021 13:58:08 +0000
Market Blog Friday, July 23, 2021 Inflation is soaring and Jerome Powell still isn’t overly worried about it. In fact, he was grilled by Congress last week and held his ground on his inflation views. This week in the LPL … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 22 Jul 2021 15:58:37 +0000
Economic Blog Thursday, July 22, 2021 In data we received on Tuesday, July 20, U.S. Housing Starts increased 6.3% in June to 1.64 million units, a 3-month high. By region, housing starts rose in the South and West, and in … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 22 Jul 2021 14:58:23 +0000
Thursday, July 22, 2021 Top Story Housing Starts were higher than expected this week (Tuesday), but the lack of housing supply still remains a problem. Housing starts were up 6.3% in June; continuing a sharp post-COVID rebound. The building activity … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 21 Jul 2021 15:58:51 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, July 21, 2021 Monday’s big down day was a harsh reminder of how markets actually can produce volatility. It was the worst day of the year for the Dow and only the second drop of 1% or … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 21 Jul 2021 14:58:53 +0000
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 Top Story Time for a more significant pullback or correction? Stocks have had an amazing run, but here are some things to consider. The S&P 500 Index hasn’t had a 5% pullback since last October, right … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 20 Jul 2021 15:58:56 +0000
Market Blog Tuesday, July 20, 2021 The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced yesterday that the COVID-19 recession is over. If things don’t feel all that different, it’s because they announced the recession ended in April 2020. Yes, that’s … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 20 Jul 2021 14:58:17 +0000
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 Top Story The shortest recession ever is over…15 months ago The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced yesterday that the economy bottomed in April 2020, making the COVID-19 recession the shortest on record and the … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 19 Jul 2021 14:58:33 +0000
Top Story Earnings season off to a great start Beat rates have been outstanding so far with 85% and 90% of S&P 500 companies beating earnings and revenue targets. Second quarter earnings growth is tracking to a nearly 70% year-over-year … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 16 Jul 2021 20:00:56 +0000
Market Blog Friday, July 16, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Markets Mostly Lower As Utilities and Real Estate Gain Ground Most major markets sold off this week as Q2 earning season kicks off. Market participants … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 16 Jul 2021 15:58:58 +0000
Economic Blog Friday, July 16, 2021 This week has provided investors with a fresh batch of data carrying the potential to heavily affect the inflation debate. Tuesday brought us the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June, while Wednesday saw the … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 16 Jul 2021 14:58:30 +0000
Friday, July 16, 2021 Top Story Retail sales came in solidly above expectations Retail sales for June increased 0.6% month over month, ahead of Bloomberg’s consensus forecast for a 0.3% decline and following a 1.7% decline in May. Excluding autos … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 16 Jul 2021 11:58:27 +0000
Economic Blog Friday, July 16, 2021 Sentiment on Main Street remains strong as the U.S. economy continues to move towards normalcy, but concerns about the impact of a strong but uneven recovery are rising as higher prices, supply chain bottlenecks, … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 15:58:50 +0000
Market Blog Thursday, July 15, 2021 What a first half of 2021! As quick as it was, the economy continues to pick up speed as well. In fact, this could be one of the better years of economic growth we’ve … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 14:58:43 +0000
Thursday, July 15, 2021 Top Story Street View Midyear Outlook 2021 In the latest LPL Street View video, LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick takes a closer look at what the LPL Research team thinks is coming in the … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 14 Jul 2021 18:13:27 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, July 14, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities This quarter provided positive results for all major market indexes. The top performer and standout was the growth-laden Nasdaq composite, which returned over 9% for … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 14 Jul 2021 15:58:04 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, July 14, 2021 To state the obvious, coal mining is a dangerous occupation. Not only do coal miners have to deal with collapsing tunnels and explosions, they also have to deal with the potential for dangerous carbon … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 14 Jul 2021 14:58:06 +0000
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 Top Story Canary In The Coalmine? The 10-year Treasury yield’s fall of over 40 basis points (0.40%) has many investors asking if the bond market is signaling bad news about the economic recovery. The absence of … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 13 Jul 2021 16:00:29 +0000
Market Blog Tuesday, July 13, 2021 LPL Research is proud to announce the release of Midyear Outlook 2021: Picking Up Speed. While the speed can be exhilarating as economic growth accelerates, it can also be dangerous. Our updated outlook is … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 13 Jul 2021 14:58:24 +0000
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 Top Story Midyear Outlook 2021 launches today. While the speed can be exhilarating as economic growth accelerates, it can also be dangerous. Midyear Outlook 2021: Picking Up Speed is designed to help you navigate the risks … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 12 Jul 2021 14:58:28 +0000
Monday, July 12, 2021 Top Story What will companies do for an encore? After a stunning first quarter earnings season, we expect more good news this quarter. At the same time, we acknowledge the second quarter will almost certainly be … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 09 Jul 2021 20:07:36 +0000
Market Blog Friday, July 9, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Most of the U.S. and international markets were fractionally higher this week as traders were concerned about a potential peak in the global recovery, declining … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 09 Jul 2021 16:00:05 +0000
Market Blog Friday, July 9, 2021 The S&P 500 Index closed at a record high on Wednesday, yet investors seem increasingly on edge with the VIX Index, a measure of implied volatility on the S&P 500, spiking nearly 40% week-to-date. … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 09 Jul 2021 14:58:17 +0000
Friday, July 9, 2021 Top Story Is This the Start of a Correction? Despite the S&P 500 Index making a record high earlier this week, investors are clearly on edge with the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) briefly spiking more than … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 08 Jul 2021 17:00:51 +0000
Market Blog Thursday, July 8, 2021 We mix it up this week on the LPL Market Signals podcast and bring on LPL Research’s Director of Research Marc Zabicki to discuss what he has learned about investing and working with Advisors … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 08 Jul 2021 16:18:22 +0000
Economic Blog Thursday, July 8, 2021 The June Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Services Index was a bit softer than expected (60.1 vs. the Bloomberg consensus estimate of 63.5), although the overall reading remained near multi-year highs. The June figure … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 08 Jul 2021 14:58:28 +0000
Thursday, July 8, 2021 Top Story Yesterday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes showed Committee is split on tapering Some members pulled forward their expectations for the appropriate timing of tapering while others noted that the “further substantial progress” … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 07 Jul 2021 15:58:14 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, July 7, 2021 To quote the great Frank the Tank from Old School, “We’re going streaking!” Although Frank had another idea, stocks have been streaking in some historic ways, both near-term and longer-term. Let’s start with the … Continue reading →
The best savings vehicles offer special tax advantages if the funds are used to pay for college. Tax-advantaged strategies are important because over time, you can potentially accumulate more money with a tax-advantaged investment compared to a taxable investment. Ideally, though, you'll want to choose a savings vehicle that offers you the best combination of tax advantages, financial aid benefits, and flexibility, while meeting your overall investment needs.
Since their creation in 1996, 529 plans have become to college savings what 401(k) plans are to retirement savings--an indispensable tool for helping you amass money for your child's or grandchild's college education. That's because 529 plans offer a unique combination of benefits unmatched in the college savings world.
There are two types of 529 plans--college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans. Though each is governed under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code (hence the name "529" plans), college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans are very different college savings vehicles. There are typically fees associated with opening and maintaining each type of account.
Note: Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with 529 plans before investing. More information about specific 529 plans is available in each issuer's official statement, which should be read carefully before investing. Also, before investing, consider whether your state offers a 529 plan that provides residents with favorable state tax benefits. As with other investments, there are generally fees and expenses associated with participation in a 529 savings plan. There is also the risk that the investments may lose money or not perform well enough to cover college costs as anticipated.
A 529 college savings plan is a tax-advantaged college savings vehicle that lets you save money for college in an individual investment account. Some plans let you enroll directly, while others require that you go through a financial professional. The details of college savings plans vary by state, but the basics are the same. You'll need to fill out an application, where you'll name a beneficiary and select one or more of the plan's investment portfolios to which your contributions will be allocated. Also, you'll typically be required to make an initial minimum contribution, which must be in cash.
529 college savings plans offer a unique combination of features that no other college savings vehicle can match:
But college savings plans have some drawbacks too. You relinquish some control of your money. Returns aren't guaranteed—the risk is based on the investment portfolios you've chosen, and your account may gain or lose money.
Prepaid tuition plans are distant cousins to college savings plans—their federal tax treatment is the same, but just about everything else is different. A prepaid tuition plan is a tax-advantaged college savings vehicle that lets you pay tuition expenses at participating colleges at today's prices for use in the future. Prepaid tuition plans can be run either by states or colleges. For state-run plans, you prepay tuition at one or more state colleges; for college-run plans, you prepay tuition at the participating college(s).
As with 529 college savings plans, you'll need to fill out an application and name a beneficiary. But instead of choosing an investment portfolio, you purchase an amount of tuition credits or units (which you can then do again periodically), subject to plan rules and limits. Typically, the tuition credits or units are guaranteed to be worth a certain amount of tuition in the future, no matter how much college costs may increase between now and then. As such, prepaid tuition plans provide some measure of security over rising college prices.
Prepaid tuition plans have some limitations, though, compared to college savings plans. One major drawback is that your child is generally limited to your own state's prepaid tuition plan, and then your child is limited to the colleges that participate in that plan. If your child attends a different college, prepaid plans differ on how much money you'll get back. Also, some prepaid plans have been forced to reduce benefits after enrollment due to investment returns that have not kept pace with the plan's offered benefits. Even with these limitations, some college investors appreciate the peace of mind that comes with not worrying about college inflation each year by locking in college costs today.
A Coverdell education savings account (Coverdell ESA) is a tax-advantaged education savings vehicle that lets you save money for college, as well as for elementary and secondary school (K-12) at public, private, or religious schools. Here's how it works:
Unfortunately, not everyone can open a Coverdell ESA--your ability to contribute depends on your income. To make a full contribution, single filers must have a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of less than $95,000, and joint filers must have a MAGI of less than $190,000. And with an annual maximum contribution limit of $2,000, a Coverdell ESA probably can't go it alone in meeting today's college costs.
Before 529 plans and Coverdell ESAs, there were custodial accounts. A custodial account allows your child to hold assets--under the watchful eye of a designated custodian--that he or she ordinarily wouldn't be allowed to hold in his or her own name. The assets can then be used to pay for college or anything else that benefits your child (e.g., summer camp, braces, hockey lessons, a computer). Here's how a custodial account works:
A custodial account provides the opportunity for some tax savings, but the kiddie tax sharply reduces the overall effectiveness of custodial accounts as a tax-advantaged college savings strategy. And there are other drawbacks. All gifts to a custodial account are irrevocable. Also, when your child reaches the age of majority (as defined by state law, typically 18 or 21), the account terminates and your child gains full control of all the assets in the account. Some children may not be able to handle this responsibility, or might decide not to spend the money for college.
Series EE and Series I bonds are types of savings bonds issued by the federal government that offer a special tax benefit for college savers. The bonds can be easily purchased from most neighborhood banks and savings institutions, or directly from the federal government. They are available in face values ranging from $50 to $10,000. You may purchase the bond in electronic form at face value or in paper form at half its face value.
If the bond is used to pay qualified education expenses and you meet income limits (as well as a few other minor requirements), the bond's earnings are exempt from federal income tax. The bond's earnings are always exempt from state and local tax.
The bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government, so they are a relatively safe investment. They offer a modest yield, and Series I bonds offer an added measure of protection against inflation by paying you both a fixed interest rate for the life of the bond (like a Series EE bond) and a variable interest rate that's adjusted twice a year for inflation. However, there is a limit on the amount of bonds you can buy in one year, as well as a minimum waiting period before you can redeem the bonds, with a penalty for early redemption.
Ask your tax professional or go to www.irs.gov to find the adjusted gross income that married couples or individuals must have at the time bonds are redeemed to be able to exclude bond interest from federal income tax.
Your college saving decisions can impact the financial aid process. Come financial aid time, your family's income and assets are run through a formula at both the federal level and the college (institutional) level to determine how much money your family should be expected to contribute to college costs before you receive any financial aid. This number is referred to as the expected family contribution, or EFC.
In the federal calculation, your child's assets are treated differently than your assets. Your child must contribute 20 percent of his or her assets each year, while you must contribute 5.6 percent of your assets.
For example, $10,000 in your child's bank account would equal an expected contribution of $2,000 from your child ($10,000 x 0.20), but the same $10,000 in your bank account would equal an expected $560 contribution from you ($10,000 x 0.056).
Under the federal rules, an UTMA/UGMA custodial account is classified as a student asset. By contrast, 529 plans and Coverdell ESAs are considered parental assets if the parent is the account owner or for student-owned or UTMA/UGMA-owned 529 accounts (accounts owned by grandparents aren't counted as a parent asset). And distributions (withdrawals) from 529 plans and Coverdell ESAs that are used to pay the beneficiary's qualified education expenses are not counted as parent or student income on the federal government's aid form, which means that the money is not counted again when it's withdrawn (however, money withdrawn from a 529 account is counted as student income if the grandparent is the account owner). Other investments you may own in your name, such as mutual funds, stocks, U.S. savings bonds (e.g., Series EE and Series I), certificates of deposit, and real estate, are also classified as parental assets.
Regarding institutional aid, colleges are generally a bit stricter than the federal government in assessing a family's assets and their ability to pay college costs. Most use a standard financial aid application that considers assets the federal government does not, for example, home equity. Typically, though, colleges treat 529 plans, Coverdell accounts, and UTMA/UGMA custodial accounts the same as the federal government, with the caveat that money withdrawn from 529 plans and Coverdell accounts might be counted again as available income.
Contact a VyStar Investment Services Financial Advisor today by phone (904) 908-2495 or email VISMarketing@vystarcu.org.
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