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Networking Success Story: Tami M Dristiliaris

Networking Success Story: Tami M. Dristiliaris

Making time for networking pays off.  I became a successful business owner because of networking. The key to my ten years of success is to be visible in every community possible. By attending each and every Friends of Kevin networking event I am in contact with some of the same and always new business contacts with whom to share my personality. You are your business and when people realize you are easy to speak with and have a high level of expertise in your field, they remember.  

So get out there, know your trade, speak about what you do and let people know you're a person with a service they or their friends need.  And trust me, you will get referrals.  Time is the key so make time in the New Year and get networking.  Remember, there are many people who do the same thing you do, but you do it better!!!  Oh, and don't forget your business cards!  

About the business:

Law Offices of Tami M. Dristiliaris, LLC, provides legal representation in Massachusetts to both individuals and businesses in all aspects of family law, personal injury, estate planning, landlord-tenant, collections, bankruptcy, real estate law and other legal matters.

We provide individualized personal attention and expert legal representation in helping you meet and attain closure to your legal issue while keeping you updated and informed about the progress of your case.  We go above and beyond to ensure you are satisfied and "serve all of our clients with care and compassion."

Newsletter from Matt Schwartz of Schwartz Financial Services

LPL Independent Investor

December 2012


Making a Charitable Choice


The greatest benefit of charitable giving is the knowledge that you’ve made a positive contribution to others. At the same time, charitable giving can also provide tax breaks so long as you are aware of some rules and keep track of what you’ve donated.


Choosing a Charity

The first step is to identify an organization you wish to support. There are thousands of charitable organizations to choose from, supporting such causes as environmental protection, curing illness or improving the lives of children. Start by identifying what is most important to you.


Next, you will want to do some research. If you want to claim a tax deduction for your gift, you’ll need to make sure that you are dealing with a registered charity to satisfy IRS rules. Your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) can provide information on charities.


Once you have a short list of registered organizations, contact each one and ask for a copy of its annual report. This report explains the charity’s mission, lists its key personnel, and provides a breakdown of how donations are spent. Pay careful attention to marketing and administrative expenses, which can vary widely among organizations. You will probably want the majority of your money to go to those who need it. Keep in mind, however, that high expenses related to awareness campaigns are designed to educate the public and increase donations, so they might not be cause for concern.


The BBB Wise Giving Alliance also provides independent evaluations of popular charities. These reports are available online at You can also request written reports by writing to BBB Wise Giving Alliance, 4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22203.


IRS Rules for Giving

You are free to give as much to charity as you like. However, you will need to follow IRS rules and keep records of your gifts to claim tax deductions. Monetary contributions are the easiest to report. Always pay by check and make the check payable directly to the charity. Ask for a receipt and save it along with your canceled check and your bank account statements.


A deduction is no longer allowed for monetary gifts unless accompanied by a bank record or a written receipt from the charity indicating the amount of the contribution, date of the donation and name of the charity. If your contribution exceeds $250, either in cash, certain property or out-of-pocket expenses that are attributable to volunteer work, you will also need to obtain a written description of your gift. This description must contain an acknowledgement from the charity of your contribution, a description of noncash items donated, a statement of whether the charity provided goods or services in exchange for the donation and—if goods or services were provided—a good-faith estimate of their value.


The IRS has ruled that the fair market value of goods and services should be deducted from any charitable contributions used to offset taxes. Keep in mind that fair market value may differ from what you pay for the goods or services offered. A good example of this is the popular practice of selling candy bars. As an example, say that you pay $2 for a candy bar to benefit a local school. The fair market value of the candy is actually $1 were you to purchase it at a local store. That $1 is deducted from your contribution, leaving you with a deduction of $1. To simplify your tax reporting, it might be best to turn down any goods or services of more than nominal value that a charity offers in exchange for your gift.


Noncash Gifts

To declare charitable gifts of certain noncash items worth more than $500 (such as used clothing or furniture), you must supply cost and acquisition information for the items given. When claiming single noncash gifts worth more than $5,000 (excluding publicly traded stock), you must include an appraisal of the gift’s value with your tax return.


Two such gifts to carefully consider are used items and time. Items such as computers and clothing are subject to depreciation over time, so you won’t be able to declare your purchase price as a deduction. Time spent volunteering typically isn’t deductible; however, expenses associated with volunteering, such as transportation and materials, are deductible.


Appreciable Gifts Are Best

Items with the potential for appreciation are the best gifts for tax-conscious charitable givers. You can avoid capital gains taxes by donating assets that have appreciated in value. Outside of a charitable trust or foundation, this is one of the most effective ways to reduce taxes through charitable contributions. You can donate appreciated stock, artwork, antiques, collectibles or other noncash items as long as you have owned them for at least one year. You can deduct the full fair market value of the gift from your taxes, and any appreciation will escape taxation.


Consider selling appreciable assets you have owned for a year that have lost value, with the proceeds of the sale donated to charity. This allows you to remove the full fair market value of the assets from your taxes while still claiming a capital loss on the depreciation.


In addition to direct gifts to charity, other options include a charitable remainder or charitable lead trust or setting up a private foundation. However, complex rules govern the creation and maintenance of these vehicles. Thus, tax and legal advisors are necessary to determine if a trust or foundation is appropriate for your situation.


Charitable donations are an excellent way to reduce your taxes and make a difference in the lives of others. And while it’s natural to consider charitable giving during the holidays or at tax time, it’s also important to remember that the need to help others lasts year round.


This article was prepared by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications and is not intended to provide specific investment, tax or legal advice or recommendations for any individual. Please consult me, a qualified tax or legal advisor if you have any questions.


Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications or its sources, neither S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications be liable for any indirect, special, or consequential damages in connection with subscribers’ or others’ use of the content.


Tracking #: 1-120755



Matthew M. Schwartz

Financial Consultant


Schwartz Financial Services, Inc.

3 Baldwin Green Common #209

Woburn, MA 01801


[email protected]


Tel: (781) 932-3289

Fax: (781) 998-3099




Professional LinkedIn Profile:


Professional Facebook Profile:


Personal Facebook Profile:

Can you help me choose the Final Fifty Friends for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group?

Can you help me choose the Final Fifty Friends for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group?  

I am really excited to announce that we only have fifty memberships available for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group and I need your help choosing the remaining members of the group.

I realize that some of you might not be aware that you can be a member of the group, so I should probably start by listing the major advantages of membership. Before I do that, I would like to tell you why I am limiting membership to 300 Friends. That answer is pretty simple, I don’t believe that the group can be successful if we have twenty people who do the same thing. I spend a lot of time promoting my clients through social media and it becomes silly if every day I am asking you to call a different person for the same service. I think most people will agree with that. So here is a list of the major benefits of membership:

1. Monthly promotion to my over 8,000 social media connections through the use of my blog.

2. Personal introductions to potential clients and partners to help you grow your business.

3. A 15 minute interview on the Friends of Kevin Radio show.

4. Members receive their own page on the Friends of Kevin website.

5. Membership is limited to 300 clients to better help you market your business.

6. Low membership fee of only $200.00 per year.

Many people ask me “Who is a good Client for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group”. That answer is pretty simple. I am looking for two types of clients. If you meet someone and you say to yourself ‘ I have never met someone who does that’ then please introduce them to me. Also if you think your friend is the best at what they do then please introduce them to me.

Often people will ask how should I introduce you? Please introduce me to your friends by email ( [email protected]) but please make sure they want to hear from me. It gets pretty awkward when you call someone and they say Friends of What? Is that a support group? I am looking for people who want to be part of an exclusive networking group focused on helping them grow their business.  

If you have questions please feel free to email me at [email protected] or call me at 978-995-1743

So can you help me choose the final 50 members for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group?

As always thanks for being my friend. 

Friends of Kevin Guest Blog post from Jack Wang - A common mistake with inherited IRA's

How to inherit $40,000 and throw away almost $149,000. Or a common mistake with inherited IRAs.

Years ago, I was referred to a young couple – Bill and Mary - who wanted some help with their money.  They were both 30, had good jobs, and were looking forward to their life together.  In all respects, they looked like a typical young couple.


Some months prior, the Bill’s mother had passed away and left him an IRA worth $40,000.  One of the reasons they wanted to sit down with me was to understand their options with this account.


When it comes to inherited IRAs, there are specific IRS rules that must be followed.  Simplistically, the key question is how fast you want to take the money out.  As a non-spouse beneficiary, Bill could not combine the inherited IRA with his own.

buildings,buy,buyers,closed,Fotolia,home,houses,loans,mortgages,moving,offers,Photographs,properties,purchases,purchasing,real estate,rent,sales,Signs,sold 

As the young couple was starting out, they wanted to do what many couples in their position want to do – buy a house!


Before I had a chance to speak with them, they did what most people would do in this case – they took the money out and put it as a down payment on their new home.


Let’s take a look at some numbers here:


Withdraw the $40,000 – good!


Pay income taxes as well as a 10% penalty as they are both under 59 ½ - $16,120 – boo!


Net amount is just under $24,000.


As an alternative, Bill could have taken out the money slowly based on IRS life expectancy tables.  The IRS allows beneficiaries to do this – though taxes would be due, there would not be a penalty and the remaining balance would continue to grow.


Assuming a hypothetical 5% return, what would have Bill gained by his retirement age of 67?


Over the years, Bill would have taken out almost $54,000 in distributions after tax.


PLUS the inherited IRA would still have just under $78,000 left in the account.


Plus the taxes and penalties they paid by withdrawing the account - $16,000!


Total?  Almost $149,000!


(Bill and Mary threw away $125,000!)


What if we were conservative and used a hypothetical 1% return?  Well, it would still be about $57,000.  Bill would have received $23k in after tax income.  The account will still have $18k left.  And of course, the $16k Bill and Mary paid in taxes in the beginning.


This situation reminds me of an old Sprint commercial.  There were several of this type and they still make me laugh.


Bill and Mary used that money as a down payment and I’m sure their home is very nice.  They made their decision, and I certainly wouldn't judge them for doing so.


They didn't understand IRS rules regarding this situation and it cost them.  Bill was an engineer and I can’t remember what Mary did professionally.  But neither were tax or IRA experts!  This example is one way people spend money unknowingly, without thinking it is really “spending”.


Beneficiary designations and planning isn't just about picking some names.  It also is about what options you want to leave to your beneficiaries.  This was a fairly simplistic scenario, but if siblings were involved, or the other parent (Bill’s father) was still alive, things get more complicated in a hurry.


When was the last time you reviewed your beneficiaries?



Let's visit! Use this link to schedule a time with me:



T. Jack Wang
M.E.R.J. Financial Group 
voice - 877-226-4157

fax - 877-226-4157
Email: [email protected]





Friends of Kevin Guest Blog post from Steve Gamlin - When It Comes to Giving, Cecile is the Real Deal!

When It Comes to Giving, Cecile is the Real Deal!

In January 2009, I made a promise to myself: ten percent of EVERY dollar I make as a speaker goes to a non-profit, as quickly as possible. This goes for sales of my books as well. A last-minute event recently garnered a few book sales. The charitable share was ten dollars.

What can you get for ten dollars?

An amazing life experience.

A recent hectic afternoon already included getting my snow tires mounted and casting my vote in the election. Time was tight. As I made my way up Mast Road in Goffstown NH I saw the Hannaford parking lot approaching on my right. A quick game of mental volleyball drew my finger the directional, and I entered the lot.

With a soon-to-be-activated gift card in hand, I found myself standing in the ’14 items or less’ aisle with one person ahead of me. Then I heard a nearby cashier open her lane. From behind me, a sweet little voice told the gentleman behind her: “You go ahead, this young man is paying for my groceries”.

A gallon of milk and small bag of apples then thumped onto the belt.

With a smile, I turned to see an adorable senior smiling at me.

“Okay”, I replied with a smile, reaching for my wallet.

“Oh, no dear, you don’t need to do that, I was just joking” she nervously backpedaled.

“No worries, I do positive things for a living…and you’re the first person that ever said that to me!” With a laugh, I shook her hand. “I’ve got you covered”.

I then made her promise to pay it forward by sharing a smile with someone in need that day.

She agreed.

As we walked toward the exit discussing random acts of kindness, she pointed wistfully out the large glass windows. “A few months ago, I collapsed out there…a nice young woman came to help me and called 911.”

A few steps later, after the automatic door whooshed open, I introduced myself and she clasped my hand, informing me that her name is Cecile.

“Cecile, it has been a pleasure meeting you and making you smile today!”

With steps much lighter than the hurried ‘gotta get to all my errands’ ones of my entrance, I got to my black Honda CR-V. The rear-view mirror revealed a smile a mile wide. As I uncrinkled the receipt in my hand, I discovered this amazing experience had cost me just $7.93.

Cecile, THANK YOU! You showed me that we are ALWAYS in a place to commit and act of kindness for a fellow human being, as long as we keep our eyes and ears open.

I am so glad she was the person behind me that day.

Besides, the guy behind HER had a carriage which tested the limits of the 14 item rule...and I think one of them was a lobster!!!

How can YOU reach out this week and share your goodness and energy?

I bet it won’t cost much…and the rewards will be amazing!


Friends of Kevin Guest Blog post from Jack Wang - Whats the Difference? I am all Set

What’s the difference?  I’m all set!

Two common misunderstanding when it comes to beneficiaries.


Now that the holiday season is in full swing, we can look forward to seeing family and friends.  Sharing festive meals together.  Decorating and enjoying each others’ company.  And seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they get that perfect gift from you.  It’s a great time of year.


With all of this activity, it’s a great time to review your beneficiaries on all of your accounts and insurance policies.


I’m all set. Besides, it’s supposed to be a happy time of year, not a time to talk about death.


True.  But this is the season of giving.  Many clients I work with don’t want to leave a large inheritance for their beneficiaries, but they don’t want to leave headaches and a pile of bills either.  They would rather gift peace of mind.


One common misunderstanding is leaving money to the estate versus naming beneficiaries.


I was working with a client recently who just got divorced.  Understandably, she wanted to take her ex-husband off as a beneficiary of her life insurance policy and keep her 3 adult children on as beneficiaries.


Her initial thought was the designate her estate as the beneficiary.  After all, her only direct heirs would be her 3 children.


So what’s the difference?


If she names her 3 children as beneficiaries, then upon her death, money will be distributed from the life insurance to the children.  In this case, each would have received 1/3.


But if she simply left the policy to the estate, the money would still be paid.  But it would be used to pay off any debts of the estate first – credit cards, auto loans, mortgage, etc.  Then the estate has to go through probate – which can take months even in the simplest cases.


The kids would eventually money, but likely a lot less than what their mom had intended and after a substantial wait.


Certain types of accounts pass by contract at death.  Life insurance, annuities, IRAs, and 401(k)s are examples.


A second common misunderstanding is not understanding the difference between per capita and per stirpes.


Best way to illustrate the difference is with an example.  In the case of this divorced woman, only one of her children is married and has children.


Under expected circumstances, each child would benefit as follows:


Child A – One third

Child B – One third

Child C – One third


What happens if child A dies before the mom?


Under a per capita scenario, the following would happen:


Child A – deceased

Child B – Half

Child C – Half


Under a per stirpes scenario, the following would happen:


Child A – deceased

Child A’s beneficiaries – One third

Child B – One third

Child C – One third


Can you see the problems with both of these scenarios?  One will leave out possible heirs – grandkids, spouses.  Another might leave money to minor children or to an in-law spouse that you’re not fond of.


Beneficiary planning isn’t just putting a name down on a form.  There are a lot of pitfalls to watch out for.


Ultimately, the question is:  What do YOU want to have happen?  Properly designating beneficiaries goes a long way to making sure what you want to have happen actually happens.


When was the last time you had a beneficiary review?  Take some time around this holiday season.  In between the meals, shopping, and cider, think about what you want to have happen.


Let's visit! Use this link to schedule a time with me:



T. Jack Wang
M.E.R.J. Financial Group 
voice - 877-226-4157

fax - 877-226-4157
[email protected]




It's a Matter of Trust by Dave Waldman of Treasured Memories Video and B2B Video Solutions.

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Latest blog post


Video Biography - Renee and Abe Harbatkin


It's a Matter of Trust

One of the unique aspects of my profession is the degree of access I have into other people's lives. I watch their home movies, share the special events of their lives, and listen while they tell their personal stories. (Read more...) 

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

Thank you for your continued support,


Like us on FacebookTMV     Like us on FacebookB2B    View our profile on LinkedIn     View our videos on YouTube    Follow us on Twitter     Find us on Google+     Find us on Pinterest


AARE Investment News Update - 3rd Qtr 2012

Hi Kevin,

I hope you've all managed to stay warm and safe during our recent bout with Hurricane Sandy.  We only had our lights flicker a bit, and still, I didn't participate in the mad rush at the local grocery stores - if I was going to float away, I was going to do it having spent my extra time breaking into foreclosures (my real passion in life).  

MAKE SURE you "Enable Pictures" to see the pics of our newest project, included below.

As an investor working with both on & off-market deals, we always see a huge influx of competition whenever a national guru brings a training into town.  In this case, Than Merrill from Fortune Builders came into town a few months back, and trained a whole bunch of investors on how to "buy properties cheap".  I'm not sure on their business success, but as a pattern, we always find competition for on-market foreclosures soars with people paying too much - perhaps to get their first deal going?  We aren't sure.  The net effect is that it's always tougher to get deals on-market when this happens, so we rely heavily on our off-market sources - wholesalers, agent relationships, marketing efforts, and short sale company - to continue our influx.    

Our most recent deal we are working on is in my homewtown of Chelmsford, MA.  A referral from my financial planner (whoever needs an independent, non-partial guy, I'm happy to introduce you), we really spent time on finding out the best way to help this poor woman.  Her mother and father both passed away (one recently), she was disabled and also had hoarding tendencies we had to get over.  We were able to strike a deal with her which did not only involve a cash sale of her house, but also included hiring movers for her for as much as she wanted to keep, leasing out a climate-controlled storage facility for 3 months while she found a new place to live, and we set her up with a great real estate agent contact that could best suit her needs. 


A quick "feel good story", the day before closing she was taking me through and showing me all the electrical switches, and labelling them.  "My dad was one hell of a carpenter," she said.  "But definitely not much of an electrician."  (It was then I realized we would spend an additional 7 full days trying to figure out what wires went where in the basement, with an $800 change order associated.) 


She started to cry as she wrote on the walls, saying her mother would never have allowed this.  I encouraged her to bring in her neices and nephews and have them all write on the walls prior to closing - which she happily did.  On my post-closing walk-through, we found drawings, inspirational quotes, and one wall that gave me a directive - to "take good care of her home." 

We look forward to showing Dawn the "re-emergence", and also have a few gifts we are dressing up from her old memories as well, that we came across.  Enjoy the pictures.  This one will be our next round of Rehab Chronicles too - so you can see the rehab take place as it happens.     


Local Market Update:

Our average hold time after a project has completed has gone up, but specific to New Hampshire properties only.  We find that NH properties, with the same finishes as MA properties and in comparable areas (good school districts, not busy streets, etc), take roughly 6 times what MA properties take to sell (under agreement in roughly 8-12 weeks, vs. 2).  This is in line with what we felt the absorption rates in the NH towns were - on average, a 1 month absorption rate in Massachusetts (i.e., Chelmsford, MA in the $250-$300K range) is comparable to a 6 month absorption in NH (i.e Hampton, NH, $250K - $300K).

We are still buying at between 57 and 68% of after-repaired value.  Our profit figures are up from 10% in 2011 to 11%, so we are holding strong.  Our average relist & resale price has gone up slightly from listing at 92% of fair market and selling at 91%, to listing at 95% and selling at 93-94%.  As we are still sure we are "the best property at the lowest price", we still feel this is a conservative approach, and are seeing success for both ourselves and for our investors.

We have yet to air on A&E's "Flipping Boston" TV program, as their most recent season filled up fast.  The host, David Seymour of City Light Homes, has let me know we are first in line for the next season, provided the right deal comes along (they want more drama than anything).  I've learned a lot about the TV techniques during this time - the biggest lesson I learned, is that there's a lot that goes on "behind the scenes".  The film crew is the one who approves or rejects sites for the show, and we're working on a couple deals that should be great candidates; but at this point, they would have to be timed for next season. 

Our subscription amount of $300,000 for 2012 has officially been filled (thank you all for your loyalty!) for our Noteholder programs, but we are still accepting smaller investment amounts (minimum is $20,000) for our Private Lending programs, with annual returns ranging from 6-9%.  If you've not yet joined our team, contact us today so we can set up an appointment to see if one of our programs is right for you.  We also work with personal contacts at all the self-directed IRA companies, and are happy to assist in transferring your accounts over and with the paperwork involved in directing the investment.

As always - we appreciate your interest and support in our endeavors, as we hope you're seeing success as well.  Here's wishing you a wonderful holiday season, and - dare I say it - a very Merry Christmas!


Happy Investing,


You are receiving this message because it has been shown you have a previous relationship with AA Real Estate Enterprises LLC, now the AA Real Estate Group.  This is not a solicitation to buy or sell any registered security with the SEC, nor can it be treated as one.  AA Real Estate Enterprises LLC does not hold any financial or legal licenses, and advises you utilize your own professional advisors if you have questions on any investment opportunity presented.


And in case you need a refresher...


Who is the AA Real Estate Group?

AA Real Estate Partners is a professional real estate acquisition company that serves to create opportunities for our investors. This is done through buying, selling, and managing single-family and multi-family homes.

AA Real Estate Enterprises, LLC (now, the AA Real Estate Group) was established by Nick Aalerud, our Managing Member, in 2005. Shortly after, he created AA Real Estate Partners as a division within this entity to serve our investors.

Within the past 7 years, AA Real Estate’s experience has spanned millions of dollars in closed transactions. As of the summer of 2011, we completed our 100th redevelopment deal. We continue to grow each year as well as additions to The AA Real Estate Group.

How Do We Invest in Real Estate?

• Buy and sell properties quickly.

• Renovate others.

• Hold onto others for cash flow and long-term appreciation.

• Occasionally make loans on other properties.

With our field expertise, conservative mindset, excellent track record and established relationships with all our contacts, we have a well-developed sense of what makes a good real estate opportunity, and what’s not worth getting involved in.


November Newsletter from Matthew Schwartz of Schwartz Financial Services

LPL Financial Independent Investor

November 2012


Strategies for Tax-Efficient Investing

Just about every investor knows, it’s not nec essarily what your investments earn, but what they earn after taxesthat counts. After factoring in federal income and capital gains taxes, the alternative minimum tax, and any applicable state and local taxes, your investment returns in any given year may be reduced by 40% or more.


Adding to the tax planning challenge is the uncertainty surrounding the future of many favorable tax laws. Unless Congress again moves to extend current rules, here are a few of the major changes that will take place in 2013.


  • Higher federal income tax brackets. The 10% tax bracket will disappear, and the 25%, 28%, 33% and 35% rates will revert to 28%, 31%, 36% and 39.6%, respectively.
  • Higher capital gains rates. Short-term capital gains will continue to be taxed at ordinary income tax rates, although those rates will generally be higher. Long-term capital gains will generally increase to a maximum of 20%, up from 15%.
  • Higher dividend rates. Dividends will be taxed at regular income tax rates rather than at the lower "qualified dividend" rates of 15% or less.


Clearly reducing your tax liability is more important today than ever before, especially if you are in one of the higher income-tax brackets.


Here are some strategies that may potentially help lo wer your tax bill.1


Invest in Tax-Deferred and Tax-Free Accounts

Tax-deferred accounts include company-sponsored retirement savings accounts such as traditional 401(k) and 403(b) plans and traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Contributions to traditional IRAs may be tax deductible, depending on your income level and/or your access to a qualified employer-sponsored retirement plan. Earnings on these investments compound tax-deferred until withdrawal, typically in retirement, when yo u may be in a lower tax bracket.


Contributions to Roth IRAs and Roth-style employer-sponsored savings plans are not tax deductible. Earnings that accumulate in Roth accounts can be withdrawn tax free if you have held the account for at least five years and meet the requirements for a qualified distribution. (See IRS Publication 590 Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRA) for more information.)

Pitfalls to avoid: Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ from a qualified retirement plan, traditional IRA or Roth IRA may be subject not only to ordinary income tax, but also to an additional 10% federal tax.


Consider Government and Municipal Bonds2

Interest on U.S. government issues is subject to federal taxes but is exempt from state taxes. Municipal bond income is generally exempt from federal taxes, and municipal bonds issued in-state may be free of state and local taxes as well. An investor in the 33% federal income-tax bracket would have to earn 7.46% on a taxable bond to equal the tax-exempt return of 5% offered by a municipal bond, before state taxes. Sold prior to maturity or bought through a bond fund, government and municipal bonds are subject to market fluctuations and may be worth less than the original cost upon redemption.

Pitfalls to avoid: If you live in a state with high income tax rates, be sure to compare the true taxable-equivalent yield of government issues, corporate bonds and in-state municipal issues. Many calculations of taxable-equivalent yield do not take into account the state-tax exemption on government issues. Because interest income (but not capital gains) on municipal bonds is already exempt from federal taxes, there is generally no need to keep them in tax-deferred accounts. Finally, income derived from certain types of municipal bond issues, known as private activity bonds, may be a tax-preference item subject to the federal alternative minimum tax.


Put Losses to Work

At times, you may be able to use losses in your investment portfolio to help offset realized gains. It is a good idea to evaluate your holdings periodically to assess whether an investment still offers the long-term potential you anticipated when you purchased it. Your realized losses in a given tax year must first be used to offset realized capital gains. If you have “leftover” losses, you can offset up to $3,000 against ordinary income. Any remainder can be carried for ward to offset gains or income in future years, subject to certain limitations.

Pitfalls to avoid: A few down periods don’t mean you should sell simply to realize a loss. Stocks in particular are long-term investments subject to ups and downs. However, if your outlook on an investment has changed, you can use a loss to your advantage.


Keep Good Records

Keep records of purchases, sales, distributions and dividend reinvestments so that you can prope rly calculate the basis of shares you own and choose the shares you sell in order to minimize your taxable gain or maximize your deductible loss.

Keeping an eye on how taxes can affect your investments is one of the easiest ways to enhance your returns over time. For more information about the tax aspects of investing, consult a qualified tax advisor.


1This information is general in nature and is not meant as tax advice. Always consult a qualified tax advisor for information as to how taxes may affect your particular situation. No strategy assures success or prote cts against loss.


2Municipal bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise. Interest income may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Government bonds are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.

& nbsp;

This article was prepared by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. Consult your financial advisor, or me, if you have any questions.


Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications or its sources, neither S&P Capital IQ Financial Co mmunications nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications be liable for any indirect, special, or consequential damages in connection with subscribers’ or others’ use of the content.


Tracking # 1-112006



Matthew M. Schwartz

Financial Consultant


Schwartz Financial Services, Inc.

3 Baldwin Green Common #209

Woburn, MA 01801


[email protected]


Tel: (781) 932-3289

Fax: (781) 998-3099




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Friends of Kevin Guest Blog post by Steve Gamlin Marshmallows and a Golf Cart, the Keys to Success!

Marshmallows and a Golf Cart, the Keys to Success!

Steve Gamlin   (877) 560-3360


Several weeks ago, I was very excited to sign a wonderful contract with a very successful company here in New Hampshire.  I have the honor of being part of an experienced team of speakers/experts for this company’s team as they head into 4th quarter and prepare for a butt-kickin’ 2013! The leader of this team is one of the most positive, pro-active people I’ve ever met when it comes to investing in education and motivation for her people.

So…how did I get to be the chosen one?

About 16 months ago, I was helping my marketing director with a charity golf event. Her company was the sponsor of one of the holes. Essentially, my job was to measure how far golfers could drive a marshmallow. *

As I arrived and was ushered to the golf cart which ultimately delivered me to the 7th hole, a smiling woman asked what I was doing with a gym bag overflowing with marshmallows. As I explained, she laughed. She was also sponsoring a hole that day, with a theme somewhat less messy than mine.

After she asked what I do for a living (as if I could make a career of marshmallow long-drives), I told her I am a professional speaker. When she saw my name on my business card, she confirmed she’d heard of me and was interested in having me speak for her company.

Annnnnnd, here we are.

At the time of this writing, I have already had the great joy of being with her team twice, delivering a ‘real message for real people’, sharing the course of action we’ll be presenting over the next 6 weeks. The roster of events includes “Attitude + Action for a Lifetime of Traction”, followed by the “Get Cookin’ with Steve” Vision Board event to benefit individuals AND the company as a whole (just imagine, a VISUAL mission statement!), and then an early December wrap-up session designed as the launching pad for all we have shared.

How did you meet and acquire YOUR best clients?

As much as I find tremendous value in networking events, blogs, podcasts, referrals, paid advertisements and social media…I will NEVER forget that, wherever I am, I have the ability to make a connection with someone in a meaningful way.

Marshmallows and a golf cart…who knew?!?

* The longest drive of the day was 144-feet, 6-inches!!