News

As with most major legislation which passes into law, there comes with it the need for taxpayers to help cover the cost. The healthcare reform is no exception and so starting in 2013, higher income taxpayers will be subject to two new taxes on earned income and investment income: an additional .9% surtax on earned income (i.e., wages and self-employment income) and a 3.8% tax on investment income.

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A Better 401(k) Mousetrap

Sometimes you just have to build a better mouse trap. Coldstream has long advised on retirement assets, whether to individuals as part of the holistic planning that we provide, or with small to midsized employer-sponsored defined contribution plan design and compliance.

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Welcome Liz McQueen!

Having worked at some of the most revered investment institutions over the past 20 years in the U.S. and Britain, Liz McQueen joins Coldstream with a deep knowledge of the financial services industry. Joining Coldstream as a Private Client Services Associate, Liz works closely with our clients to help navigate the complexities of their wealth day to day. Although Liz’s skills immediately made her a standout from the other candidates, her selection was confirmed when she easily rattled off knowing that the famous British Coldstream Guards were the namesake of Coldstream the investment firm. Welcome Liz!

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2012 is off to a Great Start – Market Commentary

2012 is off to a great start. As my colleague James pointed out in last quarter’s Guardian, the fourth quarter of 2011 was an end to a volatile year in the financial market. Although there were no significant year-over-year gains for equity markets in calendar 2011, the fourth quarter strength in common stocks set the stage for a more bullish tone into 2012.

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Estate Tax Aspects of 2010 Tax Act (the “Act”)

On December 17, 2010 President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the “Act”). The Act significantly changes the federal estate tax, which presents significant estate planning opportunities for many of our clients. This article presents a high-level overview of the provisions in the new law.

Communicating wealth in families

As advisors, we encourage our clients to review their estate plan every few years to ensure the plan reflects their current situation and desires. The benefits from a well-crafted estate plan include appointing executors and guardians for minor children, protecting your assets according to your intentions, reducing your estate and gift taxes and delineating…

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Volatility and Worries in the Market

In our Commentary letter about the volatility and worries in the market sent on June 15th we stated: “…we are mindful of controlling risk and protecting capital. If the S&P were to break below 1230, which is 10% off the April highs, we will need to review our position.” Yesterday stock markets all over the…

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Financial Crisis – Act 2, Scene Europe

The markets are no longer “pausing”. Like an audience at a bad play they are running for the exits! The third quarter of 2011 proved to be the worst quarter for global financial markets since Q4 of 2008. The U.S. stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 index was down 13.9% for the quarter. …

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What do you know about Credit Cards?

Credit cards are unquestionably convenient, and surveys show their use is on the rise. Yet many people don’t fully understand the potential consequences of using credit cards, or they may be confused about the differences between credit and debit cards. Recent legislation provides greater protection to credit card holders. For instance, the Credit Card Accountability,…

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Detlef Schrempf – 2011 Paul Allen Award Recipient

Please join us in congratulating Coldstream Partner, Detlef Schrempf, who is being honored this week at the 77th Annual Sports Star of the Year Awards. This event has celebrated the achievements and contribution of sports and athletes in Washington State for nearly eight decades. Each year, the Paul Allen Award is given to recognize significant…

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Found money…is any of it yours?

Do you remember when you were sixteen and your dad said, “Get a job or I’ll get one for you!” and, since you didn’t really believe him you sat around until he got you a job working at Burger King, where you lasted for two days before you quit, with no notice right before your…

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Some market commentary and update

In our Commentary letter about the volatility and worries in the market sent on June 15th we stated: “…we are mindful of controlling risk and protecting capital. If the S&P were to break below 1230, which is 10% off the April highs, we will need to review our position.” Yesterday stock markets all over the…

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“Fear and Greed” in the markets – commentary

We all know the market at times is driven by “fear and greed.” For the past month, the focus has been on fear. Indeed, there are numerous macro problems. We have a government deficit issue to solve, a European debt crisis highlighted by the Greek situation, volatile currency markets, fear of a pick-up in inflation…

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The Beat Continues…

The first quarter of 2011 provided much of the same for the financial markets which is good news for long term investors! The U.S. domestic equity markets performed the best with the S&P500 and NASDAQ both up over 5% for the quarter. International Developed and International emerging markets were also up 3% and 2% respectively. …

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Are Interest Rates Poised to Rise?

The current accommodative monetary and fiscal policy, along with the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing that has kept long term interest rates at artificially low levels, has underpinned the nascent economic recovery. The recovery that has been built on this wave of liquidity is still fragile, and a significant change in economic inputs, either positive or…

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Tax Considerations in a Divorce

In addition to the emotional process individuals face in a divorce or legal separation, several tax considerations need to be addressed to ensure that tax costs are minimized and that important tax-related decisions are properly made. In addition, a thorough review of all estate planning documents should be made as these documents will most likely…

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2011…More of the Same? We hope so!

The fourth quarter of 2010 provided for another great performance by the global financial markets. The U.S. stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 index was up 10% over the third quarter of 2010. Even more spectacular were 11% gains for the NASDAQ index and over 16% for the Russell 2000 Small Cap. 2010…

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