Introduction, Taxes, 420, Travelling Abroad, ABLE Accounts
This is my first ever Blog post!
In this post: I will give a brief introduction, talk tax withholding, share my Investopedia Advisor Insights (one question is about investing in Marijuana), and I will recap what happened in the markets this week.
Without further ado, I give you the Millennial Wealth Blog.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Grayson Hofferber. I am the Founder and President of Millennial Wealth Management, LLC. It is sometimes hard to believe, but this is my seventh year in the financial industry. I started out as a personal financial advisor at a major brokerage firm and quickly realized the inherent conflicts of interest when you are selling financial products on a commission-only basis. I also realized that I really enjoy helping my peers with their financial goals. My generation, Generation Y or Millennials as we are commonly known, was never taught basic financial literacy in school, leaving us to either learn how to achieve financial success on our own, or more often, learn from our time at the school of hardknocks. My goal is to help as many young investors make good financial decisions and avoid the pitfalls and lies sold to us in this world.
I plan on providing my own personal thoughts and ideas about personal finance, investing, and the economy, as well as other topics of interest. My main goal is to speak to Millennials that are looking to better themselves in life and money.
Each week, I will recap the markets and talk about any pressing topics, but will also share with you my insights from my writing on other websites.
So, let’s get to it!
The tax deadline has come and gone. Hopefully you were able to file your taxes or request an extension before Tuesday. I have heard from quite a few people talking about their plans to spend any refund they may have received. While it may feel good to get a refund, the reality is you have been an exceptionally good citizen and gave the government an interest free loan over the course of the last year! Yippee!!! When you think of it in this way, getting a tax refund doesn’t seem so great, huh!?
Did you know that you have complete control over how much or how little you pay in to the IRS each year? If you received a refund, consider making changes to your form W-4 tax withholding from your paycheck. If you are unsure of how to go about changing your W-4, talk to your HR or Payroll department.
To put more money in your pocket and not Uncle Sam’s, increase the number of allowances that you are claiming. If you need some help making these changes, you could talk to your tax preparer or CPA that you used to file. They should be able to tell you the exact changes to make in order to get as close to break even as possible. If you are more of a Do-It-Yourselfer, there are some aids available. The form W-4 has a worksheet included that will help you determine the number of allowances to claim. If you would like to use an interactive calculator, the IRS has a free calculator you can use, here. Once you have adjusted your withholding, consider saving the additional money you will be getting on your check in an interest bearing account. And there you have it! You are on your way to saving more money every month, while no longer financing the U.S. government at 0%.
So, I recently became a Premier Advisor on Investopedia’s Advisor Insights, answering questions that are submitted by readers on topics ranging from the simple to the more complex. Here are a few recent favorites.
In the spirit of 420… This reader asks:
How can I purchase marijuana penny stocks?
I’ll like to invest in the marijuana penny stock market. However, I don’t know where or how I can buy them. Are they available to purchase on most financial trading platforms?
Most trading platforms will allow you to purchase shares of penny stocks. However, this kind of investment should be looked at for speculative purposes, not as a long-term investment strategy. If you have all other financial priorities in order (i.e., savings, insurance, retirement plan), then move forward with the understanding that the money you invest should be money that you don’t mind completely losing. Marijuana stocks bear even more risk than other penny stocks due to their operation being federally illegal.
How can I earn an additional revenue stream to afford traveling abroad?
I am 29 years old and a self educated investor. I invest mostly buy and hold dividend paying stocks and I have been pretty successful. I’ve never lost any of my initial investment and over six years, have accumulated about $64,000 in the Canadian/US markets. On top of that, I have $15,000 locked in a RRSP (not by choice, it was from my pension from a job I quit. I had to transfer the money into a locked in account) which I am starting to invest as well. My liquid cash amount is $27,000 in a tax-free account and I am debt free with about $60,000 of credit available to me. I need direction of what to do next or where I should go from here. I would like to be investing more, but the Canadian dollar is low and the Canadian markets are usually slow moving and small potatoes when compared to the US markets. I’m looking for something with a revenue stream. I would like to go traveling/ backpacking soon, so I was thinking of buying a duplex and renting it out, but sadly, I live in Ontario where the housing market is over-priced and the taxes are ridiculous. Do you have have any advice or guidance for me because I am at a loss on what my next move should be?
First and foremost, congratulations on your six-figure net worth at 29! There are a number of ways to generate some passive income in today’s economy. One of the ways, as you alluded, is to have a rental property. Now, there are a lot of headaches with being a landlord, so plan on using a really good property manager, so you can travel. The average charge is around 10% of your rental rate.
Another good way to generate some income is through dividend investing, which it sounds like you are already doing, but instead of re-investing the dividend, you can take it as cash and have it direct deposited. But, if you were to average a 3% yield on your dividend portfolio of $64,000, that would only be $1,920 a year.
Not sure of your profession, but one of the best ways to generate extra income is by having a “side hustle”. A business that generates extra cash on the side. Maybe you can do some consulting in your field of expertise. Or you could start a Blog, either about something you are passionate about, about your money journey, about your backpacking adventures, or all of the above!
You also mentioned your available credit, which tells me you would potentially be willing to finance a “business opportunity”. In terms of using leverage, one of the best opportunities you have is in real estate. I would talk to a Real Estate agent in your area that specializes in income properties. They should be able to tell you what are viable options, if any, and then you can see if owning rental property is even an option. I hope this offers a little insight.
How can my disabled niece save money while receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?
My niece is 28 years old and has never been able to earn substantial income because of health problems preventing her from holding down a job. She has received Social Security Disability Insurance since her teens due to severe hearing loss. Still, she would like to start saving as she graduates college and is able to earn money, her degree would allow her flexible work. Can she save without losing her essential disability benefits? If so, how do you recommend she save while also receiving benefits?
This is a great question and I thank you for asking. There are many questions when it comes to saving and retaining benefits for individuals with disabilities. However, there is a new option available through the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act! This allows individuals and families to maintain eligibility for benefits while saving money for the future. This legislation was passed in 2014, but only a few states have programs in place so far. Hopefully more will come online soon. But, I recommend going to the following website, http://www.ablenrc.org/about/what-are-able-accounts to learn more about ABLE accounts and how they may benefit your niece. I hope this is of some help!
This week in financial markets:
Major U.S. stock market indices finish the week slightly up, while still lower for the month. Positive economic data keeps coming in. Unemployment claims reached a 17 year low. March existing home sales reached the highest levels since 2007. So far, companies are reporting strong earnings. Next week will be a busy week for companies reporting. Also, keeping an eye on the first round of the French Presidential Election on Sunday. Crude Oil breaks below $50 a barrel to end the week. And the U.S. 10 year treasury yield is right at 2.25%.
Thanks for reading! Join me this time next week for my next post. If you like what you see, then subscribe here: