Tax Planning Steps to Take Now to Optimize Your 2017 Tax Returns

By: Oxana Saunders
tax time
An integral part of a comprehensive financial plan is tax planning. In order to maximize and preserve your capital gains, it is important to plan in advance for events that might have significant tax consequences like selling stocks with high capital gains or real estate properties that have been deeply depreciated over the years. There are also a few strategies one should consider for generating tax-efficient income.

In the Forbes.com article linked below, you’ll find ideas that can help you start taking steps towards optimizing tax returns.

forbes logo image6 Tax Planning Tips To Consider For 2017

For questions on most tax efficient financial investments for your particular situations, call us for a free consultation.
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Oxana Saunders Vice President Path FinancialOxana Saunders is the Vice President of Path Financial, LLC. She may be reached at 941.894.2571 or oxana@pathfinancial.net.

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Can Market Rally Continue Another 10 Years? Investopedia Shares Raul Elizalde’s Insights

investopedia smallerInvestopedia recently published “Can the Market Rally Continue Another 10 Years?” — the most recent contribution for Investopedia by Path Financial founder and president Raul Elizalde.

In his latest analysis, Raul Elizalde tackles the question “Can the market fall hard anytime soon?” and discusses possibilities, black swan events and historic crashes. Read the full article at the link below.

Can the Market Rally Continue for Another 10 Years?

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Raul cropped for facebookRaul Elizalde is the founder and President of Path Financial, LLC. He may be reached at 941.350.7904 or raul@pathfinancial.net.

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Seven Things Women Should Do Post-Divorce to Secure their Financial Stability

By: Oxana Saunders
birds on wire
Divorce can be a traumatizing experience for all the parties involved, but women are often more vulnerable to financial difficulties if they had not been actively involved in their family finances during the marriage. The emotional toll of the divorce can make it even more difficult for women to deal with the new reality of being on their own and facing the challenges of becoming a successful head of household.

While all this can be very overwhelming, there are certain steps women can take to secure financial stability. The Forbes.com article linked below has excellent tips on the seven things women should do post-divorce to secure their financial stability — one of which is to find a financial advisor or planner who has experience helping divorced women, whose goals and needs can be very different from those of a married couple.

forbes logo imageSeven Must-Do Steps for Women Who Want Financial Stability Post-Divorce

If you find yourself overwhelmed with managing your finances after a divorce and need professional help, please contact me for a free consultation.
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Oxana Saunders Vice President Path FinancialOxana Saunders is the Vice President of Path Financial, LLC. She may be reached at 941.894.2571 or oxana@pathfinancial.net.

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6 Common Myths about Revocable Living Trusts

By: Oxana Saunders
Image courtesy of TheBalance.com

If you have a Revocable Living Trust (RLT) or are thinking about putting one in place, it is important to understand what it does and whether it accomplishes the goals you are trying to achieve.

Some common misconceptions are that a RLT will always reduce your estate taxes or that it will absolutely avoid probate. Below is a link to an article that describes some of the myths associated with RLTs.
the balance website logo

Revocable Trust Myths

For a deeper look on whether your RLT is structured correctly or whether you need one in place, please contact us for a free consultation.

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Oxana Saunders Vice President Path FinancialOxana Saunders is the Vice President of Path Financial, LLC. She may be reached at 941.894.2571 or oxana@pathfinancial.net.

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The Basics of Planning for Retirement

By: Oxana Saunders

Photo courtesy of TheBalance.com

Photo courtesy of TheBalance.com


Younger people often think that retirement is too far in the future and see no reason to worry about it today. Others believe that a financially sound retirement seems impossible and therefore they will never be able to retire, or they can just count on Social Security.

While financial circumstances differ for people in different age and income groups, there is one thing in common – the sooner you start thinking about retirement planning, the better off you would be. This requires a comprehensive look at your situation and a well-prepared plan, which should be reviewed and modified regularly to adapt to developments in your life.

Below is a link to an article from TheBalance.com that can help you start your retirement plan. For more extensive analyses of your retirement goals and how they can be accomplished, please call us at 941.350.7904 for a free consultation.

the balance website logoThe Basics of Planning for Your Retirement

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Oxana Saunders Vice President Path FinancialOxana Saunders is the Vice President of Path Financial, LLC. She may be reached at 941.894.2571 or oxana@pathfinancial.net.

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Top 10 Reasons Why You Need a Financial Plan

By: Oxana Saunders

mazeMany people believe that a comprehensive financial plan only makes sense for the “super wealthy,” but this is a misconception. Financial planning can help people at all income levels and in all age groups.

A good plan shows how all aspects of personal finance affect one another, helps set up short, medium and long-term goals, and provides specific actions to achieve them. Whether you want to have a comfortable retirement, pay for college education, buy a house, or give to charity, a comprehensive financial plan makes it easier to achieve your goals.

Below is a link to a Forbes.com article that explores many reasons why it is so important to have a financial plan in place. Please contact us for a free consultation to help you plan your financial future.

Forbes.com: 10 Reasons Why Financial Plans Aren’t Just for the 1%.

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Oxana Saunders Vice President Path FinancialOxana Saunders is the Vice President of Path Financial, LLC. She may be reached at 941.894.2571 or oxana@pathfinancial.net.

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Sarasota Financial Advisor Discusses Retirement, Planning, & Mistakes to Avoid

Oxana Saunders Vice President Path FinancialEarlier this year, Sarasota financial advisor Oxana Saunders, Path Financial’s new Vice President, was featured in the Sarasota Herald Tribune‘s monthly magazine, STYLE. Interviewed by writer Su Byron, Oxana answered questions on the qualities needed to be a successful financial advisor, what people in their 40s should be doing to prepare for retirement, and the top investing mistake people make when saving for retirement.

Click on the image below to read the story in full.
style magazine article

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Can the stock market triple by 2026?

damWe often hear these days that stocks are overpriced and due for a correction. Despite the fact that the S&P 500 is hitting all-time highs after climbing 250% in eight years, it’s clear that the rally has not quite captured the heart of investors. Analysts were never really convinced either and have issued similar warnings for years. Meanwhile, the bull market marches on.

Is it too late to join in? That is certainly a risk: it is a well-known fact that investors abandon caution at the worst possible times. But when the current rally is put in context with past performance, the case for extreme caution loses some of its potency. Stocks have been known to climb far more than the 250% registered since 2009, such as when they soared 1,000% between 1942-1966 and 1982-2000. Both rallies eventually died, of course, but false calls that the end was nigh were issued many times before the bull-slaying busts finally arrived.

Booms can be confoundingly persistent. The ten-fold rise from 1982 to 2000, for example, did not ebb gradually: instead, it sped up in the mid-1990s as investors became increasingly bullish and optimistic.

Conversely, busts come along with violence, often just after people stop recognizing that markets can do just that. In the late 1990s, for example, nobody could foresee the brutal 3-year bear market that started in March 2000.

Market crashes are a feature of how markets behave, and have always been around. The 2008-09 financial crisis or the 2000 dot-com crash, for example, were no more devastating than the Crash of 1929, or the long-forgotten Panic of 1873 that forced the first stock market closure.

These booms and busts come in unpredictable cycles of different duration. Nobody has a way of forecasting market turns.

But about 90 years ago an intriguing pattern of market behavior developed, and it has held remarkably well to this day. It goes like this: weak stock market returns in a 17-year period follow 17 years of very high returns, and vice versa. This might be nothing else than a coincidence, and we do not know whether it will hold in the future. But the cycle is quite clear.

can the S&P 500 triple chart

In 1929, for example, stocks had returned a remarkable 13.4% average in the previous 17 years, the highest it had been up until that point, and investors were euphoric. But in the next 17 years stocks yielded a miserly 1.3% per year including dividends. Fast forward to 1942: stocks had returned less than 4% during the prior 17 years but went on to yield a stunning 18% annual average return during the next 17.

Since then, the market pendulum has swung between despair and euphoria, taking market returns from trough to peak. It seems that just when optimism reaches its highest point a new era begins, marked by low returns, and affirming the dictum that investor sentiment is best seen as a contrarian indicator.

Despite the market strength, conditions today can hardly be described as “euphoric”. Political dysfunction, global terrorism, rogue states and the rise of global protectionism are just some of the concerns discussed in today’s news. Sentiment is rather weak, illustrated by the prevalent idea that the stock market is too high and ripe for a fall. And the past 17-year average market return has been low by historical standards.

So, according to the despair-euphoria cycle we described, current conditions seem to be consistent with strong future returns. If so, what would it mean for market levels?

The most conservative way of measuring this is to start the calculation at the trough of 2009. To arrive thus to a 17-year average total return of, say, 15%, the S&P500 would have to be around 7000 sometime in 2026, assuming dividends of about 2% per year. A 16% average annual total return would take it closer to 8000, or well above three times its current level.

This may sound unreasonably high, but as observed earlier the stock market has gone up much more than that in the past, and tenfold twice. Going from 700 in 2009 to 7000 in 2026 would not lack precedent.

Looking elsewhere for clues we note that the last 8 years saw weak economic growth, a condition proven to be cyclical; if so, we may be on the threshold of a new period of environmentally sustainable expansion aided by new technologies (think renewable energy and artificial intelligence). This could be a shot in the arm for the global economy.

We insist: it is impossible to know whether this pendulum-like cycle will hold. The stock market moves in patterns that occasionally repeat themselves for a while and then vanish, a feature common to unpredictable systems.

Even if the pattern holds, there is nothing to prevent the market from tanking and then recover to produce a strong 17-year average return by 2026. The 20%-plus Crash of October 1987, for example, happened five years into the tenfold stock rise of 1982-2000.

So the cycle we described does not say anything about where the market may be this year or the next. But those who wonder about the long term may find the idea of being in the initial stages of a really long rally quite exhilarating.

What now?

We are a Registered Investment Advisor held to a fiduciary standard of care. We believe that our portfolio management process, focused on measuring and managing risk, can be very effective at creating a sensible balance between risk and return, partly by measuring financial and investment conditions often and adjusting portfolios through a well-defined process. We implement this process for our clients and we tailor it for their specific circumstances, and we always put their interests first. That means we do not profit from transactions or by selling any products. Our only compensation is based on the assets we manage, which goes a long way of aligning our interests with yours. We can also help you evaluate your current goals and establish an investment plan aiming at steady, long-term returns while managing downside risk. You can download our report describing our investment methods and goals, or contact us if you would like to know more about how Path Financial’s investment process can work for you. We’ll be happy to set up a confidential meeting to discuss your path to financial success. Contact Path Financial at 941.350.7904.

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Choosing the Right Financial Advisor

By: Oxana Saunders

choose the right financial advisor

As I spend more time talking to my friends, family and community members about the importance of financial planning, I realize that the thought of paying a financial advisor may seem unnecessary to some people. Sometimes they simply choose not to have their money professionally managed rather than going through what they fear might be a complicated process of finding the right person. One of the main concerns I hear is that they find it difficult to trust an advisor they don’t know.

Choosing the right financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. This article from Forbes.com, does a great job spelling out the five key aspects to consider when selecting a financial advisor: 5 Things To Look For When Picking A Financial Advisor.

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Oxana Saunders Vice President Path FinancialOxana Saunders is the Vice President of Path Financial, LLC. She may be reached at 941.894.2571 or oxana@pathfinancial.net.

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Raul Elizalde Selected as Contributor for Forbes.com Investment Blog

Raul cropped for facebookRaul Elizalde, President and Chief Investment Officer at Sarasota-based Path Financial LLC, has been selected as a guest columnist for Forbes.com, where he will regularly contribute to financial writer Lawrence Light’s investment advice blog. Elizalde’s first Forbes’ contribution was published May 23, 2017, on the topic of “Private Debt Mounts: Why We Should Be Worried,” and may be viewed at https://www.forbes.com/sites/lawrencelight/2017/05/23/private-debt-mounts-why-we-should-be-worried/#11f50b453c56.

Elizalde is also a contributing blogger under his own byline for Investopedia.com, and his economic and investment analyses have been published online by some of the most respected financial media in the country, including Morningstar, Motley Fool, the Street and Yahoo! Finance. He shares his insights monthly through Path Financial’s subscriber-based, electronic newsletter, Straight Talk (http://www.pathfinancial.net/contact.html).

Light is an award-winning journalist with a distinguished career that includes editorial and contributing writer positions with The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Money Magazine, and AdviceIQ.com website. His work has also appeared in Barrons, Fortune, Investopedia, Huffington Post, Yahoo Finance and more. In addition to his Forbes.com blog he covers the financial aspects of the Trump White House for CBS MoneyWatch.

Path Financial is a Florida-registered investment firm, partnered with preferred account custodians Charles Schwab & Company and TD Ameritrade. Path is rated “A+” by the Better Business Bureau, and is located at 1990 Main St., in Sarasota, Florida. For more information, call 941.350.7904 or connect at http://www.Facebook.com/PathFinancial.

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