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Reasons to Give Thanks

By Richard Schooley


Our collective resolve is being tested, but that is when we grow.

Despite all that 2020 has thrown at us, there are reasons to give thanks this year. For some of us, new children and grandchildren have entered our lives. Others have seen their families grow through marriages. And though too many are grieving the loss of loved ones, we can cherish the friends and families we have around us. Even in a year like this one, love abounds.

It’s been said and history bears witness that every generation is tested by forces beyond our control. I think of grandparents who were born just ahead of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919, then fast-forward through the lives they lived and the history they lived through. There had to be moments that looked terribly bleak, and yet so much progress was made in the course of their lives. We are the beneficiaries of their resolve. At the moment, our collective resolve is being tested, but that is how we grow.

Resolve can serve our family’s financial health in a time like this, too. The recent volatility we have all experienced can be unnerving. Yet, there are opportunities available today that could improve your financial health and may warrant your attention. In the midst of it all, here are two things to consider, investigate further, and perhaps have a conversation about:

Low Interest Rates and Intrafamily Loans

The intrafamily loan can be a simple and effective wealth transfer strategy with a minimum of tax consequences. It can be a particularly beneficial way to shift wealth in today’s low interest rate environment. Among the many benefits of an intrafamily loan, there are no limitations on how a borrower uses the funds. With the cost of borrowing so low, a potential benefit, for instance, could be that the heir funds an investment that outperforms the interest rate. Here’s the tax benefit: the difference between the low interest rate on the loan, and the rate of return on the assets purchased with the loaned money, passes to the family member receiving the loan without payment of any transfer tax.

Among the many benefits of an intrafamily loan, there are no limitations on how the borrower uses the funds.

Stock Market Wake-up Call

Many indicators point to this moment as an important one to evaluate your growth or wealth preservation strategies, especially as it relates to stock market performance. In a recent Opinion piece published November 9th on MarketWatch, analyst Mark Hulbert suggests that the U.S. stock market may barely beat inflation in the next ten years, a far different picture than the last decade. The article is an interesting read, but perhaps the most important take-away is to use this moment to evaluate your plan and possibly make adjustments for the decade to come. No matter what the economic landscape is, savvy investors are always seeking opportunities and we’re here to help.

Our wish for Thanksgiving this year is that any exhaustion or fatigue you feel gives way to your family traditions and rituals, even if they need to be adapted for COVID. What we know for sure is that even while you stay vigilant against the virus, love can be present around your table.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the sale of any financial product or service. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. If professional advice is needed, the services of a professional advisor should be sought. 

Your family financial health is the goal.

The simple, powerful reason to focus on your financial health is to take good care of yourself and the ones you love. We’ll help you do both.