JourneyTree Admin

ARE YOUR EMPLOYER RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS PROFESSIONALLY MANAGED?

Until recently, JourneyTree has not been able to manage employer retirement accounts (such as 401(k) and 403b plans) held by our clients. At the end of 2023, we partnered with a company called Pontera to allow for seamless management of these accounts alongside your other investment accounts. This means that we can now monitor these employer retirement accounts, design appropriate investment portfolios, receive notifications of any investment changes, and adjust investment allocations as needed—all without the need for you to…

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3 TYPES OF FINANCIAL SCAMS TO AVOID

With communication always changing, it’s important to be aware of how scammers are using technology for their personal gain. Text messages, phone calls, and email scams are on the rise, targeting people with all sorts of deceptive schemes. Here are the top three to watch out for: #1: Smishing Text message scams (a.k.a. smishing), involve sending text messages to people to trick them into divulging personal information or clicking on malicious links. These messages often mimic reputable organizations or individuals,…

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AN ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT WORTH CONSIDERING

For decades, traditional investing has primarily involved three types of investments, and the main decision has been determining how much money to put into each category: Stocks Bonds Cash What are the Risks with Stocks and Bonds? Stocks offered the highest return potential but had the greatest amount of risk given the volatility of stock prices. Bonds were expected to provide some steady income and stability when stocks declined in value during periodic “bear” markets. But bonds had their own…

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EXPLORING RETIREMENT PLANS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON

Nowadays, almost every employer offers some sort of retirement plan for its employees. Sometimes, the employees may not fully understand or even be aware of what is available to them. We have found that many faculty and staff of the University of Oregon are among those who aren’t aware of all their retirement options. 4 Retirement Plans You Should Know About: 1.  Public Employees Retirement System of Oregon (PERS): PERS is a defined benefit (or pension) plan available to eligible…

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COMMENTS ON: “IS THE FED TIGHT, OR NOT?”

Much has been made of the Federal Reserve Bank’s fight against inflation. Initially thinking that inflation was “transitory,” the Fed was late in raising interest rates (their main tool to rein in inflation). For most of the previous 15 years, the Fed rate was at 0%. When they began bumping it up, they didn’t stop until the rate was well over 5.0% —one of the most dramatic rate increases in history. So economic conditions are much tighter now, right? As…

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PERSONAL FINANCE APPS

Having an easy to manage spending plan is the cornerstone for financial success. It’s important to know your cash inflows and outflows so that you make the most of your hard-earned money. Knowing how much you spend on categories like groceries, eating out, or gas can help you identify areas where maybe you are spending too much. Then, you can direct funds towards something else that has greater importance to you, such as saving for retirement, a new home, or…

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AI OR HUMAN FINANCIAL ADVISORS?

Artificial intelligence (AI) made a dramatic appearance in 2023. As often happens with hot topics, an initial flurry of attention on AI kicked off a cascade of articles, podcasts, interviews, and commentaries on how AI would transform society. This led to a frenzy of buying from investors hoping to cash in on the AI gravy train. While AI is likely to have a significant impact on business, science, and society over the next few decades, we’ve been pondering how it…

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CAN YOU MAKE ROTH IRA CONTRIBUTIONS FOR PREVIOUS YEARS?

As tax time comes around each year, clients often ask us, “can I still make an IRA/ Roth IRA contribution for last year?” The good news is if it is before the tax filing deadline (i.e., April 15, 2024 for the 2023 tax year), yes, you might be able to. Who can make a retroactive IRA or Roth IRA contribution? Roth IRA contribution eligibility is determined by your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) and your age. Traditional IRA contribution eligibility…

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BEYOND THE GRAVE BY JEFFREY L. CONDON

Planning your estate is complicated—both technically and emotionally. This is something that you only do once. How do you make sure you get it right? To start, get educated. Learn time-tested strategies for preserving assets, reducing estate taxes, and giving money in the best way to beneficiaries. Recently, a client asked if we could recommend some books on estate planning. We didn’t know any off the top of our heads, so Jonathan did some online sleuthing, and he found “Beyond…

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WHAT ARE NORMAL INTEREST RATES?

For the last 15 years since the Financial Crisis in 2008 interest rates as set by the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) have been at or near 0%. Home buyers got used to mortgage rates under 3% much of the time. Savers also, grudgingly, put up with paltry rates on their money market accounts, bond funds, and certificates of deposit. Now that the Fed has increased their interest rate from 0% to over 5% to combat inflation, rates have risen in…

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