WH Cornerstone Newsletter
Let us be your financial cornerstone in a constantly changing world October 2005

in this issue

When the Sky Falls: Protecting Important Documents

Put Your Estate in Order

To Sell or Not to Sell a Mutual Fund

Switch to a Roth IRA

Give Yourself Credit

Plan for Long-Term Care


When the Sky Falls: Protecting Important Documents

Most people understand the importance of keeping valuable belongings in a safe place in case of an emergency. But what happens if calamity strikes the safe place?

One common place to keep important documents is in a safe-deposit box, which is usually waterproof and fireproof. But if the bank is destroyed by a flood or an explosion, chances are pretty good that you’ll never again see the contents of your safe deposit box.

The time to plan for how to recover from a potential disaster is before it strikes. By taking some simple steps now, you may be able to get your finances — and your life — back on track quickly should catastrophe hit.

Get Ready to Go — Consider preparing a disaster “to-go” package containing essential documents, critical phone numbers, and irreplaceable items, so you can easily grab it if you need to get out in a hurry.

  • Essential documents could include originals or copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, insurance policies, wills, deeds, trusts documents, tax records, vehicle titles, retirement plan records, prescriptions, and bank and brokerage account numbers. You may even want to include photocopies of your driver’s license, Social Security card, passport, and ATM and credit cards (front and back) in case something happens to the originals. It’s also a good idea to keep a key to your safe-deposit box in your disaster to-go package.
  • Critical phone numbers could include those of your attorney, physician, creditors, banks, financial advisor, accountant, family members, and insurers.
  • Irreplaceable items could include photographs and keepsakes. For space considerations, you could scan photographs or important documents and download them to a CD-ROM, a storage device such as an external hard drive, or a even a digital music player such as an iPod.

Read on...

 Quick Links...

Fall is a time of learning. Students have gone back to school. We at WH Cornerstone have been spending time learning too! We've attended two industry conferences already and one more to go. The hot topics are: the art of financial planning, investing in commodities and exchange traded funds (ETFs). We are also excited to share that we are updating our firm’s image and website. So stay tuned. It’s coming soon!

Time to Share. Create a Buzz. On Monday, November 14 we will be teaching a one-night course called Women, Beat the Investment Pros! Whether you have $5,000 or $5,000,000 to invest—you could beat the pros! Learn how you can implement this simple strategy of investing into the high-yield, low priced stocks of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. This straightforward strategy will only take you a few hours a year. This class is designed for women looking to take control of their investments. In addition to learning the strategy, you will learn how to open a brokerage account, and to make a trade. Men are welcome too. You can sign up by calling Duxbury Before & After Dark at 781.934.7633.

The Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra begins it's 90th season this Saturday, October 22 at 8:00 p.m. with an all Amercian evening including our favorite George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. You can visit the Phil's website to read the program notes for opening night or order tickets.

  • Put Your Estate in Order
  • For business owners, an effective estate plan addresses a number of concerns over and above the desire to care for surviving family members. Control over who will run the business, conservation of the owner's assets in the face of legal expenses and taxes, and the liquidity to pay estate taxes due shortly after death are just some of the most pressing issues.

    For the sake of their heirs, business owners should plan for the orderly transfer of their wealth — including their business interests — well in advance.

    Read on...
  • To Sell or Not to Sell a Mutual Fund
  • Professional management and diversification are two qualities of mutual funds that make them a natural choice for investors who prefer a buy-and-hold strategy over the long term. In fact, a mutual fund portfolio that is built according to the appropriate asset allocation should prove to be somewhat low maintenance, if not hassle-free, for a number of years.

    Dumping disappointing funds for the sole purpose of chasing higher returns is rarely advised, but there are some situations in which it may be prudent to consider selling a fund.

    Read on...
  • Switch to a Roth IRA
  • Since the creation of Roth IRAs in 1998, more than 14 million U.S. households have opened a Roth to take advantage of the opportunity for tax-free earnings on their retirement assets.

    Before you rush out for a Roth IRA application, consider the implications of opening a Roth or converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.

    Read on...
  • Give Yourself Credit
  • When it comes to your credit score, what you don't know could hurt you.

    Errors on your credit report can greatly affect your credit rating, and a low rating could determine whether you get a loan for the house or car you've been eyeing.

    Read on...
  • Plan for Long-Term Care
  • Most people don't want to think about the possibility of needing long-term care. But by avoiding the subject, they could inadvertently force their loved ones to make some significant sacrifices later in life.

    One study found that 33 percent of working women have either reduced their work hours or passed up career opportunities to care for a chronically ill relative. And, on average, caregivers spend nearly $20,000 of their own money caring for family members over a two- to six-year period.

    Read on...
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