We're proud to recognize Dominic DiGiacomo for his new professional designation: Certified Financial Planner®! The CFP® certification requires 12-18 months of coursework; passing a six-hour, 170-question multiple-choice exam; 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process; and, adherence to high ethical and professional standards for the practice of financial planning. It's a years-long process that equips Dominic to provide comprehensive financial guidance to our clients.
Once you officially retire, the transition from nest egg “saver” to “spender” can be a big psychological hurdle to clear.  Even diligent savers may wonder if their nest egg can cover the many spending “wants” of retired life amid the uncontrollable variables that will almost certainly affect their savings over time, so our investment professionals recommend a few strategies to prepare for retirement spending.
With large enough balances in a taxable account, margin loans may be a wise option for high-net-worth individuals under certain circumstances. Recognizing the appropriate situations in which to draw a margin loan is an important part of a sound wealth management strategy, and at Cranbrook Wealth, we carefully evaluate individual client situation before recommending this option.
When the world wakes up to dramatic geopolitical headlines, like today’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia, investors can get spooked.  That fear often results in a sell-off and retreat into “safe” investments, but the truth is major global or national events rarely change the trajectory of equity markets for a sustained period. 
Short-term volatility is an almost-certain fact of life in the capital markets, one investors and advisors must handle with a clear and rational approach. The instinct to move money out of a quickly-dropping market and "sit on the sidelines" during a correction can present a host of challenges, not the least of which is deciding when it is safe to get back in.

SPAC market glitters, but may not be golden

by Casey Bear on
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Special-purchase acquisition companies—or SPACs— are enjoying a moment of unprecedented popularity. Despite their reputation as this year’s “shiny new thing”, SPAC investments should still be approached with caution. 
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) raised the standard deduction for taxpayers to $24,000 for couples ($12,000 for singles), reducing the marginal tax benefit of giving to charity by more than 30% and raising the after-tax cost of donating by about 7%.  For charitably-minded taxpayers, the effect can be discouraging, but there is a work-around to these limitations for taxpayers who qualify.

Inter-family loans can come with IRS strings

by Casey Bear on
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Loaning money to family members is a common and often informal affair: parents front a mortgage down payment for an adult child, for example, with an expectation that it’s repaid over time (or not).  Aside from the emotional risks of loaning money to a family member who may or may not be expected to repay the debt, the Internal Revenue Service could be a vested third party whose involvement could complicate the transaction.