Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2009 IRS e-file Refund Cycle Chart

For those of you expecting a tax refund and have filed your taxes using e-file, the IRS has posted a chart showing when you can expect your refund to arrive. Click here to view this chart.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Common Market Misconception

Pathways Advisory Group, Inc.
Dustin Smith, CFP®

David, Michelle and I are seeing some common trends across our discussions with clients about the economy. We have all encountered fears about markets (which are to be expected); however, some clients have expressed the fear that a portfolio can "go down to zero." I found my initial explanation - that it is not possible - simply wasn't good enough. So I took it a step further.

Our portfolios are diversified into domestic and international mutual funds, containing stocks, bonds and REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts). In each case, we achieve ownership in thousands of assets. Altogether, clients own positions in:

· Approximately 16,000 stocks in nearly 40 countries worldwide
· Well over 20,000 properties in nearly 20 countries worldwide
· Numerous positions in domestic and international government and corporate bonds.

For the entire portfolio to drop to zero, we would have to see practically every company in the world go out of business, all property would have to be worthless and numerous governments (including our own) would have to default on all bonds. As David put it, "we would essentially return to hunting and gathering to survive."

I thought to share this because it is a common misconception. It is a good example of the kind of fear that is factoring into the current market drop. This is a very scary time. If some of our clients have these fears, how many investors without financial advice share these concerns? As I have heard David say many times, "It's times like these that stocks are returned to their rightful owners, long term investors like you and me."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Current Economy

Pathways Advisory Group, Inc.
Dustin Smith, CFP®

I’ve had many discussions with clients about the state of our economy and the direction of our country over the past few months.

Some people are confident about where our new president will take this country, but many are concerned about the scope of government intervention we are experiencing (in the “stimulus package”). These opinions are influenced by many things - political beliefs, personality, age, mood, etc.

I have my own opinions and I share some concerns; however, I argue that you don’t have to agree with everything in the “package” to be optimistic about the future. Hopefully, some of the concerns will subside as confidence is restored and our systems improve, allowing us to apply what we’ve learned through the mistakes of the past few years. (There is not enough room here to list them all, as there are quite a few.) In my opinion, the “package” simply has to be successful enough to restore confidence, allowing capitalism and private industry to restore prosperity.

I don’t know how long it will take, but there is reason to be optimistic about the future.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's that time of year again...

Tax time is here! We recently mailed tax reports to assist you or your accountant in completing your taxes. In addition, Schwab has mailed out 1099s. Please be aware that in the past Schwab has sent corrected 1099 forms, so it is likely this will occur for 2008. Please give our office a call if you have any questions.

Good luck with your taxes!