Just a little bit extra as we approach the end of 2019

  • Trusted Contacts

Our industry has always placed an emphasis on protecting the interests of clients who are the target of fraudsters, especially the elderly who are more prone to such attacks.  To help in this effort, we are working towards putting a Trusted Contact (TC) on all Schwab accounts. The TC does not have any legal rights to receive any specific information or to do anything on your account(s).  Rather, a TC is simply someone, other than us, to whom Schwab may reach out to if they detect suspicious activity on your account(s) and are unable to get in touch with you personally.

If you have not already done so, we ask that you take the time to put a Trusted Contact on your Schwab accounts.  The first step in doing this would be to access the Schwab form here . Once you have completed this form, please get it to Madison to process.  You may mail or drop it off, or send electronically to her at madison@billeaudcapital.com.

  • Question:  How often do you look at my account?

Answer:  We are monitoring your accounts on an ongoing basis as follows:

  1. Daily Transaction Reviews: We download and review all of the previous day’s transactions for all of our managed client accounts.
  2. Cash Balance Reviews: We also conduct periodic reviews of the cash balances in individual client accounts and respond as appropriate.
  3. Intra-Quarter Account Reviews: Once each quarter, we review all managed client accounts to make sure they are invested properly according to the particular strategy they have selected.
  4. Quarterly Client Reviews: In preparation for delivering our quarterly client reports, we review the aggregated accounts of each client.  This review covers the investment allocation, as well as the performance and billing calculations.

Suggestion:  In addition to our monitoring of your managed investment accounts, we suggest you monitor them as well by reviewing your monthly custodial statements.  In doing so, if you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  •  Low Interest Rates and Your Mortgage

This may be a good time to consider refinancing your current fixed or adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) in order to reduce your monthly payments and/or the amount of time until the mortgage is paid off.

The rule of thumb says refinancing makes sense if you can reduce your interest rate by at least 1% on a long-term fixed-rate mortgage.  For those with an ARM, it may be possible to refinance into a long-term fixed-rate mortgage and pay about the same interest rate.

Of course, this all depends on your situation, and we really do not know if rates will go up or down from here.  But if any of the above applies to you, it may be worth contacting a mortgage lender to explore your options.  One word of caution:  Be careful about refinancing with cash out.  Unless absolutely necessary, better to have less debt than more.

  • Qualified Charitable Contributions (QCD)

 Preface:  You will need to seek qualified tax advice from your CPA on this one.  Having said that, you may be interested to know that once you have reached the age of 70 ½, you may be eligible to send up to $100,000 annually directly from your IRA to a qualified charity of your choice.  Why you may want to consider doing this depends on your situation.

For example, let’s say you are 71 years old and are required to take a taxable Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your IRA in the amount of $20,000.  Let’s also assume that you plan to contribute $10,000 to your favorite tax-exempt charity.  Let’s also assume that your overall tax situation does not lend itself to itemizing deductions which would include being able to itemize and deduct that $10,000 from your taxable income.  In this case, you would report the full $20,000 RMD as taxable income.

Alternatively, you may be able to direct your IRA custodian to send your $10,000 donation directly to your charity.  This amount would go towards your RMD of $20,000, thereby leaving just $10,000 that would be sent to you as a taxable distribution.

This can be a bit complicated, but the strategy may work for you, or someone you know, who is 70 ½ or older.  Again, just make sure you run by the tax experts before doing anything.

  • Schwab News

 In the last couple of months Schwab has introduced $0 commission pricing for equity and ETF trades and announced a merger with TD Ameritrade.  The lower cost of trading is certainly to the benefit of our clients, and we do not expect any material impact to us because of the announced merger.  We will keep you posted if anything material does come up.

  • Speaking Engagements – Book us!

If you are interested in having us as a guest speaker at one of your events, please contact George Holland by email or phone:  george@billeaudcapital.com or 337-233-7758.  We can speak on topics related to our line of work and are happy to take requests.

For more information about Billeaud Capital Management and our offerings, please click here

About the Author

George Holland joined Billeaud Capital Management in 2009. Since entering the investment advisory business in 1989, George has provided independent investment and financial advisory services to individual clients, as well as holding management positions at an independent trust company, a broker dealer/investment advisory firm, and running his own investment advisory business. George earned a B.A. degree in Economics and a Masters in Business Administration from Louisiana State University…. Read more.