Our Weekend Word

Becoming a REAL pain

Last November we wrote an article about the REAL ID Act and the effect it would have on some US citizens but primarily Pennsylvania residents.

Is That Really Necessary?

This week marked the conclusion of two major sports seasons and neither championship had a shortage of truly ridiculous acts.  Our very own Pittsburgh Penguins won their second consecutive Stanley Cup on Sunday night, much to the chagrin of Predator fans everywhere.  Attempting to derail the former champs, Preds fans tried to cast some bad juju by throwing catfish at people.  If that wasn’t enough lunacy, the average ticket price in Nashville during the Stanley Cup was over $2,500 with some people paying as much as $7,800 to get a taste.  The NBA on the other hand wasn’t

Next Gen Estate Planning

Estate planning is a tricky thing, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier.  Witnessing it with my dad and his father puts the importance of it further into focus.  It seems like most people just don’t grasp the urgency of it.   We often hear things like “I don’t have enough money to worry about that.” or the famous “I’ll plan after I retire.” and sentiments like that often lead to troubles for loved ones or last-minute scrambling.  We could honestly spend countless newsletters going over estate planning, but we don’t want to inundate you.  S

A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

In 2016, a record $504 Billion Dollars was invested in index tracking passive funds. This follows up flows of $418 Billion and $422 Billion the previous two years into these types of investments according to a 2016 Morningstar report. Considering the total fund space contains about $15 Trillion dollars, those movements of about 9% per year are large.

Building a Better Vacation

With summer just around the corner, it's time to get moving on your vacation plans before it's too late. Whether you decide to book online yourself or go through a travel agent, here are some tips to help you save time and money.

If you're short on time

Cutting the Cord

Television as a medium hasn’t changed a whole lot since its inception.  Sure, TV’s are pencil thin and we have 900 high definition channels but overall, it’s pretty much the same.  Most people tend to get their service from one of the satellite or cable companies, while others still opt for local channels through an antenna. Recently people have begun to look for more options away from the quasi-monopoly television conglomerates; these people are commonly known as cord cutters.

Kiddie Tax

The IRS’s kiddie tax rules limit parents’ ability to transfer investment assets to a minor child in order to take advantage of the child’s lower marginal tax bracket.

The kiddie tax applies to the following groups:

The Most Misunderstood Tax... That isn’t really a Tax

Most people looking to contribute to a 529 account or just give someone an extra happy birthday have heard of the Gift Tax Exemption.

Testing Sell in May

I would like to revisit a topic we mentioned last year around this time. With the Nasdaq hitting a new high this week you’ll likely be seeing more “Sell in May and go Away” nonsense this year.  To review, this assertion is that most of the catastrophic crashes of the past 20 years have happened during the summer so if you simply abandon ship in May and get back on in October you’d be better off.

The Secret Cost of Pets

We here at Laurel are decidedly animal lovers. Pets are great companions, keep us active, and can be extremely entertaining. With warm weather abound, you or family members may be dreaming of your own furry friend to accompany you on walks in the park (dog), or randomly glares at you for no apparent reason (cat). Should you decide to provide a welcoming home to a new fur baby, be warned, they aren’t cheap.