Wealth management firm makes list for third year
DALLAS – The Dallas-based financial planning and investment advisory firm, RGT Wealth Advisors (“RGT”), has been named to the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list for the third consecutive year.
“Our primary focus is to be champions of our clients’ financial goals and futures, and that all starts internally with our employees and our culture,” said RGT Managing Director Mark Griege. “We work hard to ensure that we are advocates for our employees, and are very pleased to see that they and others in the community recognize that.”
RGT was one of the companies selected from among more than 500 North Texas businesses by a third-party research firm that reviewed applications. Finalists were chosen based on employee survey feedback. RGT was ranked in the medium category for organizations with 50-249 employees.
The firm was recently recognized among the top 10 registered investment advisory firms in the nation by Financial Planning Magazine and has repeatedly been ranked among the top wealth managers in Dallas by D Magazine.
Founded in 1985, RGT is an independent, fee-only firm that provides wealth advisory services, portfolio management and family offices services. Clients partner with RGT to manage their financial life and keep them on track to achieve their goals. To learn more about RGT Wealth Advisors and the firm’s approach, please visit their website at: https://rgtadvisors.com/.
The internet’s ability to connect people and share ideas has evolved and given rise to a new type of investing called crowdfunding. In 2015 alone, the total equity invested in crowdfunding worldwide reached $2.56 billion dollars, according to the Massolution Crowdfunding Industry Report[i].
In this blog post, you will learn more about crowdfunding, how it works as an investment tool, and get tips on how to leverage it as part of your investment portfolio.
What Is Crowdfunding?
Research in the Journal of Business Venturing defines crowdfunding, or equity crowdfunding, as a method for entrepreneurs and startup companies to fund their ventures through small contributions submitted online from many people[ii]. It essentially expands investment opportunities once limited to venture capital groups or wealthy individuals. Ordinary people have a chance to invest in early stage startups solely based on a product idea or service concept and marketed on dedicated crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter.
How Does Crowdfunding Work as an Investment Tool?
The 2012 JOBS Act signed by President Obama legalized equity crowdfunding to be used as an investing opportunity as noted in research published in the Journal of Business Venturing[iii]. Just as stocks give individuals an equity stake in a company, equity crowdfunding promises individual investors a share of the business or future project sales. However, unlike stocks, there is no “market price” for crowdfunding pledges. Interested individuals simply invest an amount they can afford in the company or idea. The crowdfunding site only collects the money pledged to the project by the collective investors if the full capital goal is raised. However, only one in nine projects ever gets fully funded through crowdfunding, according to research published by Harvard Business School[iv].
If the business or project takes off, investors will see a positive return on their investment. If the opposite happens, investors lose their money.
One unique aspect of crowdfunding investing is that there is a high level of transparency between the entrepreneur and investors. Once the required funds are raised, entrepreneurs communicate timelines for product or concept delivery and often communicate updates in bringing the product or concept to life. Based on these launch timelines and considering product adoption rates, it is important to view any crowdfunding participation as a long-term investment.
The federal government now acknowledges the popularity of crowdfunding and has implemented new regulations around this collaborative investment practice. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) even has a complete section on the topic.
Recently updated SEC guidelines indicate that “because of the risks involved with this type of investing, you are limited in how much you can invest during any 12-month period in these transactions.[v]” For a complete list of 12-month limits based on annual income levels, visit the SEC website here: https://www.sec.gov/oiea/investor-alerts-and-bulletins/ib_crowdfundingincrease.
Crowdfunding Investment Tips
Now that you are more familiar with crowdfunding and how it works, here are some simple tips to help guide participation in it as part of your investment portfolio:
- Do your research. Much like participating in the stock market, crowdfunding investment opportunities are like hedging a bet. You should spend time researching the startup company that is seeking investments, as well as the idea being proposed. Researching won’t make your investment a sure bet, but you can feel more confident in the entrepreneur and the idea.
- Consult with a certified investment advisor. He or she can work with you to review your comprehensive investment portfolio and weigh the benefits and risks before participating in crowdfunding investing. Also, an advisor can help with the research and analysis to determine how much you should invest through crowdfunding.
- Wade through the crowd. The openness of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter allows you to see who else is investing in startup companies. Following notable angel investors and VC firms is one way to help you navigate the flood of ideas offered on crowdfunding websites. You should still perform your own research, but watching other investors can narrow your crowdfunding investment options.
[i] 2015 Crowdfunding Industry Report. Massolution. http://reports.crowdsourcing.org/index.php?route=product/category&path=20.
[ii] Mollick, Ethan. “The dynamics of crowdfunding: An exploratory study.” Journal of Business Venturing. Vol. 29. 2014. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2088298&http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2088298.
[iii] Mollick, Ethan. “The dynamics of crowdfunding: An exploratory study.” Journal of Business Venturing. Vol. 29. 2014. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2088298&http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2088298.
[iv] Mollick, Ethan and Ramana Nanda. “Wisdom or Madness? Comparing Crowds with Expert Funding in the Arts.” Harvard Business School. August 2015. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2443114.
[v] “Investor Bulletin: Crowdfunding Investment Limits Increase.” U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. May 2017. https://www.sec.gov/oiea/investor-alerts-and-bulletins/ib_crowdfundingincrease.
Americans’ attitudes about money have shifted as a result of the 2008 Great Recession[i]. Many people either experienced financial hardships firsthand or saw loved ones struggle, making financial literacy more important than ever. Fast-forward nine years, and those financial conditions are still affecting money management methods used by many today.
In this post, we will shed some light on how a many Americans are managing their money, and what you can do to safeguard your personal finances.
Spending less and saving more is a financial priority for most Americans. According to a recent Gallup poll, 59 percent of people report that they enjoy saving money more than spending it[ii]. In fact, 27 percent of people say that spending less money, and saving more is their “new normal” money management practice. Of those who are currently spending more money than in previous years, two-thirds responded that the change in their spending patterns is only temporary, implying that they will revert to saving more when they are able.
While 85 percent of Americans say they are watching their spending very closely[iii], 56 percent of households have at least $15,000 of credit card debt, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling[iv]. At an average interest rate of 15.59%[v], this means that a majority of households are at a minimum paying in excess of $2,243 a year in credit card interest. Credit card debt and accumulating interest on that debt can interfere with savings, so it is important to pay off debt as quickly as possible.
A majority of a family’s income is spent on three essential categories: housing, transportation, and food[vi]. To follow the mantra of saving more, moving may be one way to free up additional funds, as the average person spends 32 percent of their income on housing alone.
Investing can be an effective way to grow savings over an extended period of time. There are several types of investment accounts that are solid options based on your financial goals, including a variety of IRAs (individual retirement accounts), as well as non-retirement brokerage accounts offering stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. However, most people are not currently leveraging this money management tactic.
The 2017 TIAA IRA Survey reveals that only 31 percent of Americans have any type of IRA, but of those, only 5 percent fully utilize the benefits by contributing more than $5,000 annually to their accounts. Approximately 45 percent of people do not have any type of IRA because they either don’t understand how these accounts work or find them too complicated[vii].
According to Bankrate’s Money Pulse survey, 52 percent of people are not taking advantage of stocks or stock-based investing at all[viii]. Not having enough to invest is the most common reason for the lack of investing. A major misconception about investing in stocks is that one must invest large amounts of money at a time, when in fact, steadily investing smaller amounts of money over time can be an effective strategy.
Taking the time to research investment options or consult with a financial advisor to better understand investing could empower many Americans to efficiently grow savings for large purchases and retirement.
Tips to Manage Your Money
To improve your financial literacy and money management skills, here are a few tips to consider:
- Create a budget. Look at how much money you have coming in each month, and allocate funds for known expenses, such as mortgage, groceries, phone bill, and car insurance. Next, set aside funds for a savings account that you can access in case of an emergency, such as an unexpected medical bill. Any money leftover can then be used as discretionary income
- Pay off debt. If you carry credit card debt, try to pay more than the minimum payment each month in an effort to pay it off completely. As mentioned earlier, debt and interest from that debt can cut into potential savings.
- Look at investment options to grow retirement savings. Research investment options that can help grow your retirement savings. Remember that it doesn’t take a lot to begin investing, and that you will reap the biggest benefits of starting early, and investing over time.
- Consult with a wealth advisor. A financial advisor can work with you to create a financial plan that is easy to follow. A qualified advisor can help ensure that you have money going into savings and investment accounts that will work for your financial goals, including buying a house or retiring by a certain age.
[i] Gallup Poll. May 2017. “Americans Still Say They Like Saving More Than Spending.” Web log. Gallup. http://www.gallup.com/poll/209432/americans-say-saving-spending.aspx?g_source=ECONOMY&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles.
[ii] Gallup Poll. May 2017. “Americans Still Say They Like Saving More Than Spending.” Web log. Gallup. http://www.gallup.com/poll/209432/americans-say-saving-spending.aspx?g_source=ECONOMY&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles.
[iii] Gallup Poll. May 2017. “Americans Still Say They Like Saving More Than Spending.” Web log. Gallup. http://www.gallup.com/poll/209432/americans-say-saving-spending.aspx?g_source=ECONOMY&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles.
[iv] National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “More Than Half of Households Surveyed Have Credit Card Debt Over $15,000.” 2017. Web log. National Foundation of Credit Counseling. https://www.nfcc.org/half-households-surveyed-credit-card-debt-15000/.
[v] CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. “Rate survey: Average card APR rises to all-Time high of 15.59 percent.” 2017. Web log. CreditCards.com. http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/interest-rate-report-32217-up-2121.php.
[vii] Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America. “2017 TIAA IRA Survey.” 2017. Web log. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America. https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/ira_survey_executive_summary.pdf.
[viii] Bankrate Money Pulse Survey, “Did you miss the stock market rally? You’re not alone.” 2015. Web log. Bankrate. http://www.bankrate.com/investing/did-you-miss-the-stock-market-rally-youre-not-alone/.
Dallas firm celebrates work anniversary of senior financial planner, former baseball pro
DALLAS ─ RGT Wealth Advisors congratulates Senior Financial Planner Brian Cloud for his five years of providing excellent client service at the Dallas-based wealth management firm.
As a certified financial planner, Mr. Cloud works with high net worth clients to develop a variety of wealth management options to best suit their complex planning needs.
“These five years have passed quickly,” Mr. Cloud said. “It’s an honor and pleasure to work with the clients of RGT Wealth Advisors, providing them with personalized advice for their specific financial needs. I look forward to continue growing the strong relationships I have with them.”
Mr. Cloud has always been interested in numbers. Before joining RGT Wealth Advisors, he worked as an analyst managing budgets for a construction company, and he focused on statistics when he played baseball with the Seattle Mariners. For more information on Mr. Cloud visit: https://rgtadvisors.com/bio/brian-cloud/.
“Brian’s background as a baseball player gave him a strong understanding of teamwork, one of our firm’s core values,” said Chuck Thoele, Managing Director at RGT Wealth Advisors. “He successfully collaborates with teams across our firm to provide his clients with excellent service and ensure that they have an integrated wealth management portfolio.”
RGT Wealth Advisors is a financial planning and investment advisory firm based in Dallas, Texas, with more than 30 years of experience in managing finances and investments for high net worth individuals and families.
The White House recently outlined its tax reform plan the administration hopes to officially roll out later this year. According to the outline[i], the reform plan provides “the biggest individual and business tax cut in American history,” but what exactly does that mean for you?
In this post, we’re breaking it down and explaining how it could potentially impact your investment strategy.
Tax Reform Goals
The current administration has identified tax reform as a tactic to grow our domestic economy amidst heavy reliance on economic globalization. By simplifying the tax code, the rationale is that middle-income Americans will be able to keep more money in their pocket, thus spending more, and businesses will be enticed with lower tax rates to keep operations stateside rather than overseas.
Individual Tax Reform
Middle-income families, those with an annual household income that is two-thirds to double the national median after incomes have been adjusted for household size[ii], may benefit from tax reform more than any other group. The proposed plan seeks to get this group of Americans to increase domestic spending by reducing tax brackets from seven to only three, and doubling current standard deductions of $6,300 for individuals and $12,600 for married couples[iii]. The proposed reform also provides for additional tax relief for child care expenses, a growing expense for many families.
Additional tax simplifications listed in the outline include protecting homeownership and charitable gift tax deductions, and repealing the so-called “death tax,” which can be more of a burden than a blessing for heirs by shrinking the size of an inheritance.
Tax reform could benefit individuals in this group by providing additional finances for savings and investment accounts. As people are living longer, retirement savings are being stretched further[iv], so extra money being invested can go a long way.
Business Tax Reform
As previously stated, the aim for business tax reform is to entice companies to bring operations back to the United States and keep them stateside. The proposed outline includes lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, and establishing a one-time tax on trillions of dollars held overseas.
The cost savings companies experience from the proposed tax breaks could benefit stockholders of public companies from the short-term savings. However, there are still many unknowns, as attempting to separate from a globalized economic system such as factories and systems that are in place overseas and moving domestically, and hiring a new workforce takes time and could be costly.
What is Next?
It is difficult to predict if the proposed tax reform will pass through Congress later this year, but it is good to be mindful of how it has potential to impact your financial savings and investing plan.
[i] “2017 Tax reform for Economic Growth and American Jobs.” White House Tax Plan Handout. 26 April 2017.
[ii] America’s Shrinking Middle Class: A Close Look at Changes within Metropolitan Areas. Pew Research Center. 11 May 2016.
[iii] “In 2016, Some Tax Benefits Increase Slightly Due to Inflation Adjustments, Others Are Unchanged.” Internal Revenue Service. 21 October 2015.
[iv] Thoele, Chuck. Bulls, Bears & Basketball. 2014.
Financial Planning ranks RGT 10th largest in nation
DALLAS – The Dallas-based financial planning and investment advisory firm RGT Wealth Advisors has been recognized among the top 10 Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firms in the country by Financial Planning magazine.
Based on the size of assets under its management, RGT was named the 10th largest firm on the magazine’s sixth annual ranking of the nation’s top 150 RIA firms. RGT is the largest of the seven Texas-based firms on the 2017 listing.
For more information about RGT Wealth Advisors, click here: https://rgtadvisors.com/.
Financial Planning, the only publication dedicated to independent financial planners, bases its annual rankings on the total discretionary and nondiscretionary assets under management as listed on SEC Form ADV as of November 2016.
“From the start, the cornerstone of this firm has been the relationship we build with clients and our ability to provide a personal approach to their wealth management goals,” said RGT Managing Director and Founding Partner Mark Griege. “For us, it’s all about service, integrity and professionalism. We do not stray from those tenets. As a result, we have gained the respect of our clients and the profession, enabling us to continue to grow in an evolving investment environment.”
Founded in 1985, RGT is an independent, fee-only firm that provides wealth advisory services, portfolio management and family office services. Although the 2017 selection marks the first time the firm has earned recognition among the top 10 RIA Leaders, it was recognized by Financial Planning in 2014 as the 12th “Fastest Growing RIA Firm.”
The firm is consistently ranked among the Top Wealth Managers in Dallas by D Magazine. Mr. Griege and Managing Director Todd Amacher have each been named to the prestigious Dallas 500 listing of the most powerful business leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth in the area of Banking and Finance/Investments.
RGT Wealth Advisors is a financial planning and investment advisory firm based in Dallas, Texas, with more than 30 years of experience in managing finances and investments for high net-worth individuals and families.
For more information about RGT Wealth Advisors, contact Managing Director Colleen Affeldt at 214-360-7000.