Want to learn more about a certain topic?

How Your Health Leads to Your Wealth

I started playing sports as soon as I could walk. The companionship, competitiveness and fun all lit a fire in me. That fire sports gave me has now turned into a passion for truly understanding exercise, health, and the relationship between them. I’ve been a lifelong student of learning how working out and eating right can affect performance, motivation and productivity. Not just in sports, but in my life in general. Another blessing was the fact that I had parents who attended every single game I played in. I got to witness firsthand the joy that putting family first can bring. However, I also witnessed how difficult it is to balance family, careers, goals and money without proper guidance. This is what led me to becoming a financial advisor – to help people achieve that balance and enable them to focus on what’s important to them, like family. read more…

Merriman’s Take | The Role of Stocks

Stocks represent ownership in a company and provide the long-term growth an investment portfolio needs. When you invest in stocks, you invest in the growth of companies and the economy.

While bonds provide investors with stability and are more predictable, stocks have outperformed them for decades. Whether you invest in large companies or small ones, history shows that stocks will outpace bonds, as the above graph shows. Note, too, the difference between short and long-term bond investments. Over the last 90+ years, short-term bonds barely kept up with inflation, meaning investors who committed to short-term bond portfolios over the long term may have actually lost money over time. In fact, without stocks driving growth in a portfolio, even keeping up with inflation can be a challenge. We know that without stocks, an investment portfolio isn’t going to help you meet your goals. read more…

Health and Auto Insurance – What’s Covered When You’re Traveling?

Before traveling, it’s a good idea to figure out what your health insurance covers in case you have to make an unplanned visit to the hospital. Also, if you rent a car while traveling, the rental agency will ask if you want to buy rental car insurance, so it’s good to know whether you need it. Understanding how and where your health and auto insurance extend when out of town is important, especially if you want to avoid being on the hook for a big bill. First things first, though – make sure you travel with your healthcare insurance card for you and your family members, and bring proof of auto coverage. read more…

How to Sell Investments Tax-Free


iStock_88017445_XSmallGain harvesting is where investors can sell taxable investments with long-term capital gains and not owe capital gains taxes. For 2018, you must have taxable income below $38,600 if single, $77,200 if married filing jointly and $51,700 if head of household to not owe taxes on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends. Any long-term capital gains above this taxable income threshold will be subject to the regular 15% tax on long-term capital gains, while the gains below the threshold are tax-free. Income is often much lower in retirement, especially before taking the required minimum distributions from retirement accounts at age 70.5, so many retirees have room to realize gains without tax consequences. read more…

Swedish Death Cleaning

As hard as it is to think about, the end of life will involve your loved ones cleaning out your home. At Merriman, we work with you and your estate planning team to get your financial affairs in order, both to ensure your wishes are met, but also for the ease of those people in your life who are most important to you. Margareta Magnusson recently published a book entitled The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter. Swedish death cleaning? While the sound of it may make you a little nervous, it’s a useful tool to cut down on possessions in a service to your loved ones and a fulfillment of that same goal.

read more…

Merriman’s Take | Stocks vs Bonds


What’s the best asset mix for you? You already know that your two major options are stocks and bonds. The choice between them represents a basic tradeoff: growth vs. stability. Investing in stocks is more likely to produce higher returns than investing in bonds, but with more volatility. read more…

Hiring an Advisor? Watch this first.