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Comprehensive Financial Planning

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Portfolio Management

Investing your retirement portfolio in 5 mutual funds and checking your performance once a year is not what portfolio management is all about. At Rochester Financial Services, your portfolio is continuously monitored to ensure that:

  • Your required performance is achieved while exposing your portfolio to a minimum of risk.
  • Only top-performing No-Load mutual funds are used.
  • Your portfolio is rebalanced on an ongoing basis to take advantage of changes in the economy, in the stock market fundamentals, and in the relative performance of mutual funds.

Today, mutual fund managers are coming and going, fund performance varies wildly from year to year, and market leadership goes back and forth between large-cap and small-cap, growth and value, and foreign and domestic. Investors are concerned about sky-high stock market valuations, interest rates, Federal Reserve policy, the next quarter's earnings reports, etc. It is more important than ever to keep a close eye on your portfolio – or have someone do it for you.

No-Load vs. Load Mutual Funds

For those of you not familiar with the terms load and no-load, load or commission mutual funds are funds that are sold through brokers and salespeople. These funds have sales commissions of between 4 and 6% associated with them, meaning that, for example, a $100,000 mutual fund purchase would have a $4,000 – $6,000 commission paid by the client to the salesperson. There are front-end loaded funds that have the commission is taken out of the investment immediately, or back-end loaded funds that have the commission taken out annually at the rate of approximately 1% per year. At Rochester Financial Services, since I am a fee-only financial advisor and do not sell any financial products, only no-load, no-commission mutual funds are used.

Tax Planning

When you walk into your accountant's office in February or March to have your taxes done, it's already too late to do much of the tax planning that can be done to save taxes. Tax reduction planning should be done throughout the year.

Determining when to take profits and losses, shifting income and deductions to the appropriate tax year, deciding on Roth IRA conversions, maximizing retirement plan benefits, reducing the taxability of social security income, exercising stock options, etc., are just a sample of the issues that can be addressed.

Estate Planning

Facing your own mortality is never easy, but by employing certain basic estate planning strategies, you can save your children and beneficiaries hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention, much grief. Examples of areas that I examine for my clients:

  • Titling of assets.
  • IRA and pension beneficiary designations.
  • The use of Trusts to reduce estate taxes.
  • Using Family Limited Partnerships to reduce your taxable estate.
  • Performing IRA minimum distribution calculations.
  • Using life insurance to solve estate planning problems.

Employee Retirement Plans

Are you a professional or small business owner deciding whether to start a Keogh Plan or a SEP-IRA? Or maybe a SIMPLE IRA is the right choice for you. What are the pros and cons of a defined contribution plan vs. a defined benefit plan? If you contribute to your employer's 401K plan, can you also contribute to a deductible IRA? a Roth IRA?

Our goal at Rochester Financial Services is to design the most appropriate employee retirement plan, tailored to fit your specific needs, to optimize your benefits and minimize your costs. Designed properly, the right retirement plan can help you save thousands of dollars a year in taxes as well as help you to accumulate your retirement investment nest egg.