Gavin L. DiStasi's blog

Was 2013 a watershed year for same-sex couples?

Now that 2014 has officially arrived, and we close the books on 2013, one could certainly be forgiven for engaging in hyperbole regarding what a banner year this past one has been. After all, the S&P 500 charged through December to end the year up 29%, the best annual performance since 1997 and the halcyon days of the first tech bubble1. In November, the unemployment rate in the U.S.

Financial Blueprints

If you had a piece of land and wanted to build a house on it, you wouldn’t just dig a hole in the dirt, pour some concrete into it and start building room by room, hoping to one day end up with your dream home, would you? Most likely you would do some research, consult with friends and family and find a professional with whom you could sit down to define your vision and draw up a set of plans to guide you.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

The new-year began with some political drama, as last-minute negotiations attempted to avert sending the nation over the "fiscal cliff." Technically, we actually did go over the cliff, however briefly, as a host of tax provisions and automatic spending cuts took effect at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2012. However, January 1, 2013, saw legislation--retroactively effective--pass the U.S. Senate, and then later the House of Representatives.

It's Different This Time

It’s been just over 3 years since the March, 2009 market bottom of 666 on the S&P 500 index, following the financial crisis of ’08-’09 and the ensuing ‘Great Recession’. In that time, the market has rebounded over 100%, despite a lackluster recovery in jobs, exploding budget deficits and multiple political and financial flare-ups around the globe. And as we enter the summer season amid the latest crises du jour, and the inevitable doomsday commentary that accompanies them, it feels, as the great Yogi Berra so eloquently put it, like déjà vu all over again.

Naming Beneficiaries of Insurance Policies and Retirement Plans

Whether you’re wealthy or earn a modest income, there is one estate planning concern that is shared by people from all walks of life—the decision of who gets what when you’re gone. While some individuals logically assume that a will is the only official forum to express such decisions, that’s not always the case. Often, an equally important issue in estate planning is who to name as beneficiary on life insurance policies, employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts and IRAs.