July 2015: How to Achieve a Tax-Free Second Half of 2015

July 2, 2015
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We hope the first half of 2015 has been more empowering than it was taxing as it relates to your financial life. It’s been a year full of significant milestones across the country and within the Illumination community. We have seen clients start new businesses, while others have eradicated hundreds of thousands of student loan debt, to the supreme court that just made same sex marriage a right nationwide.

All of these milestones have an empowering and major effect on ones financial life. We hope the remainder of 2015 remains tax-free and the best that it can be. Here’s what we cover for you in our July newsletter:

  • 7 Different Ways to Get Your Money into a Roth Account
  • The Market Scoreboard: 1st Half of 2015
  • Illumination’s Media Spotlight: The Best Articles & Podcasts from June

7 Different Ways to Get Your Money into a Roth Account

We meet with our clients regularly to discuss the issues that impact their financial life and invariably the Roth IRA is one of those topics that always comes up. For those of you that don’t know the basics of the Roth IRA, let me cover it. You contribute to a Roth account with after-tax money (meaning no tax savings today), but the account is never taxed again. That means you don’t pay taxes on any of the gains, dividends and interest in the account as the money grows or when you take it out. Roth account monies, in general, can’t be accessed before age 59 ½ but despite that, it’s still is a phenomenal financial life planning tool.

Roth IRAs have many advantages when it comes to saving, investing, tax-minimization, estate planning and asset protection. Most people are familiar with the basic Roth IRA contribution but by clicking here, we are going to share with you 7 different strategies to get your money in to a Roth account.

Market Scoreboard: 1st Half of 2015

June YTD

Click the chart to view a clearer version of this chart.

The first half of the 2015 saw very little progress across the global financial market landscape with U.S. equities losing some momentum and ending with gains solely as a result of dividends and not price appreciation. International equities were stronger, rallying 4% for the first half and a lot of volatility to go along with it. Real estate and commodities struggled as evidenced by the 5.6% and 2.44% declines in the first half, respectively. The conservative side of one’s portfolio, fixed income, saw losses as well in the first half of the year as the aggregate bond index suffered losses of .34%.

A traditional 60/40 portfolio for the first half of 2015 would be flat on a year to date basis.

The recent headlines have been dominated by Greece. Despite it’s default, contagion has not occurred and the global economy is in a much better place to deal with the effects of the Greek Crisis. We don’t know what the future holds for Greece, nor do we know what the market will do in reaction to Greece. In the grand scheme of things, Greece is only a small portion of any globally diversified portfolio and Greece itself has a small market capitalization than Apple!

As Larry Swedroe has said, crises are a part of the norm. They are reason for why the equity markets return more than other asset classes and they occur with great frequency that most investors are aware.

Knowing there is a crisis ahead at a time to be determined means that now you should have an investment plan to ensure that you behave properly through it and are not taking more risk than you need or are comfortable with.

Sources: www.stockcharts.com. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

Here’s our monthly compilation of interesting articles and videos designed to keep you informed and engaged in the areas of personal finance, the economy and life. We hope you enjoy this month’s edition. Please send us your thoughts on this month’s articles and suggestions for future posts.

Investing in Your Financial Life

Time: 7 Traits That Separate Self-Made Millionaires From The Rest of Us
StarTribune: Follow a dozen personal financial planning habits for lifelong success
New York Times: Millionaires Who Are Frugal When they Don’t Have to Be
Behavior Gap: Do the Drill: A Lifeboat for Investors


Fast Company: A VC’s Formula for Picking Winners Like Birchbox, Warby Parker, and Brands You Love
Wall Street Journal: How to Build a Business That Fits Your Lifestyle

Great Videos, Podcasts & TED Talks 

Lewis Howes: Leverage Your Strengths to Fascinate Your Audience with Sally Hogshead
Four Hour Work Week: Chris Sacca on Being Different and Making Billions

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” – Jeremy Kitson

We hope you and your family have a wonderful 4th of July holiday and look forward to all the wonderful fireworks that light up your financial life in the 2nd half of 2015.

All the best,

Matt and the Team at Illumination Wealth

The opinions and forecasts expressed are those of Matt Rinkey, President of Illumination Wealth Management (IWM) and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Rinkey’s opinions and viewpoints regarding the future of the markets should not be construed as recommendations of any specific security or Illumination Wealth services. No part of this material is intended as an investment recommendation. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation to purchase or sell securities or any of IWM’s services. Do NOT ever purchase any security without doing sufficient research. There is no guarantee that investment objectives outlined will actually come to pass. Investors should consult an Investment Professional before investing in any investment program. Neither Mr. Rinkey or Illumination Wealth nor any of their employees shall have any liability for any loss sustained by anyone who has relied on the information contained herein. Entities including, but not limited to IWM, its officers, directors, employees, customers and affiliates may have a position, long or short, in the securities referred to herein, and/or other related securities, and may increase or decrease such position or take a contra position. The analysis contained is based on both technical and fundamental research. Although the information contain is derived from sources which are believed to be reliable, they cannot be guaranteed. Past performance is never a guarantee of future results.