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Are These Bonds to Invest In? Is 9.62% Really the Rate for I Bonds? 07.01.2022

What if you could profit from inflation rather than suffer from it?

Inflation would only be Temporary

While interest rates on most traditional bond investments remain near historical lows, there currently are bonds to invest in that are AAA rated and yielding 9.62% (as of 7.1.2022)! They are called I Bonds, and they have gained in popularity and garnered significant attention over just the past year or so, paralleling inflation’s rapid ascent.

Series 1 saving bonds issued

While on the surface the government guarantee and high interest rate may seem too good to be true, like most things in life (investing certainly included), there is more to I Bonds than initially meets the eye, and while they may be bonds to invest in for some people, there is lots to consider, and they do not come without risks.

Offered by the US Treasury and guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States government, Federal Series I Savings Bonds, commonly known as “I Bonds,” have become an increasingly popular investment. The way I Bonds accrue interest is somewhat unique: the actual rate of interest, or yield, for I bonds is determined with an equation using the ”Fixed Rate” + the “Inflation Rate.” This total “Composite Rate” is then re-established every six months.

With inflation soaring this year, the rate for I Bonds is now 9.62% (as of 7.1.2022).

This high (yet potentially temporary, depending on what inflation does throughout 2022 and into next year) interest rate for I Bonds, and the security of the full faith and credit of the United States government, are two reasons people are focusing more of their attention on this place to invest their money.

Two additional reasons why I Bonds may be good bonds to invest in include:

1. The interest that I Bonds pay is federally taxable (but deferrable!), but not taxable on a state level.

While federal taxes are owed on I Bond interest, you have the choice to defer reporting the interest until you cash the bond in (or the bond stops earning interest because it has reached final maturity). You also can report the interest every year on your tax return, but we typically would advise against that.

Additionally, because no state taxes are owed on I Bond interest, this makes the rate for I Bonds even more attractive for residents of high tax states like California, New York, and Oregon.

individual income tax rates in state

2. They provide inflation protection for your cash.

Want to create a small but direct inflation-adjusted rainy-day fund that is virtually risk free? Owning I Bonds and leveraging the current 9.62% interest rate (as of 7.1.2022) may be worth considering.

The security of the US government guarantee, coupled with the attractiveness of the current 9.62% rate for I bonds, give them great “curb appeal.” However, the drawbacks and downsides of I Bonds may mean they are not the best bonds to invest in.

  • For instance, I Bonds have a 30-year maturity, and are not redeemable for at least 12 months.
bonds to invest in Series 1

Put differently, you will have no access to your funds for one full year. For some, that is not a big deal, but for others, it could be an important consideration.

  • Also, investors will forfeit the last three months of interest if they redeem an I Bond between one year and five years after issue.
  • In addition, I Bonds are not marketable securities, and the maximum investment amount for an I Bond is “only” $10,000 annually.

You cannot buy and sell I Bonds at will like you can with regular stocks, bonds, and most mutual funds.

At Towerpoint Wealth we believe that for some investors, the $10K investment ceiling limits the I Bond “payoff” and may make it not worth the time and energy required to open and fund an account directly with TreasuryDirect. Additionally, many investors are looking to streamline their financial situations and not complicate them, and the additional hassle of having another account custodian and 1099 come tax time may not be worthwhile.

We believe the I Bond $10K annual investment limitation makes it difficult for some investors to accumulate enough to truly move the needle. However, for smaller accounts focused on wealth preservation, I Bonds may make a lot of sense.

  • All of this to say, I Bonds are less-than-easy to purchase through TreasuryDirect’s antiquated website, and cannot be purchased through an independent financial advisor or broker.

Quoting a CNBC article from Wednesday, “It’s like going to the DMV online.”

Add extra account numbers to your list, as well as extra passwords TreasuryDirect also may require additional identity verifications and account authorization forms, not to mention signature guarantee requirements and additional paperwork for simple bank account changes.

  • Finally, the rate for I Bonds is variable, changes every six months, and could easily adjust downwards depending on the rate of inflation.

While recency bias may lead us to believe that inflation will continue to surge, there are already signs that it may be moderating. The stock market strongly rebounded last week due in part to plunging commodity prices, a positive sign for potentially slowing inflation:

Spot Commodity Price Change Inflation

If, or more likely when inflation calms, the rate for I bonds are apt to decline.

Say What Inflation I bonds interest rate

Does the full faith and credit of the United States government, coupled with the 9.62% rate for I Bonds, make them attractive enough to explore further? After reading this newsletter, are you thinking about passing on them, or are you considering them as an investment? Click the thumbnail image below if you want to check out the official I Bond Treasury Direct website, and hopefully your experience won’t be as “DMV-ish” as mentioned above!

Series I Saving Bonds to invest in

Click the Wealth Management Philosophy thumbnail image below to learn more

about how we help our clients build and protect their net worth

Sacramento wealth management firm

What’s Happening at TPW?

Two excellent and long-time TPW clients, Kristi and Dan Spector, connected with our President, Joseph Eschleman, CIMA®, for a comprehensive financial review meeting at our downtown headquarters this past Friday.

From the looks of their smiles, it appears that Dan and Kristi appreciate our commitment to the TPW mission statement:

Kristi Dan Spector TPW Clients

At Towerpoint Wealth, we do everything we can to defend our clients against fraud and cybersecurity threats, have implemented a strong cybersecurity plan which we regularly update, and consistently conduct employee education efforts aimed at identifying and stopping fraud attempts.

It can be difficult to protect our clients from scams they may encounter through channels such as email, social media, and even dating apps, all of which have been used by criminals to steal data and assets. So just last month, the TPW team participated in an interactive presentation from Charles Schwab where we learned about different types of scams that may target our clients. We also absorbed a few tips for helping clients identify and avoid them, as well as how to respond in the event that they fall victim to a scam.

Towerpoint Wealth Family Meeting in Sacramento California

What else is happening with the Towerpoint Wealth family?

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TPW Taxes – Section 1031 Exchanges

Do you own appreciated investment real estate? Torn between doing a 1031 and deferring all of the taxes, or selling and paying all of the taxes now?

A global pandemic and swiftly increasing interest rates have not (yet?) hampered the positive outlook of the residential and commercial real estate markets. In 2021, there was more than $100 billion in tax-free 1031 exchange volume, and transactions have been strong in 2022 as well. If you are considering the sale of investment property, rather than pay a tax liability of up to 40%, you may utilize a 1031 exchange to defer the following taxes:

1. Capital Gains Tax – Your rate will vary based on your taxable income. For 2022, your long-term Federal capital gains rate may be as high as 20% if your taxable income exceeds $459,750 (filing single) or $517,200 (married filing jointly).

2. Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) – If you have income from investments, including capital gains, you may be subject to an additional 8% net investment income tax on your adjusted gross income in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 if married filing jointly) in 2022.

3. State tax –You will probably also be subject to state and/or local income taxes. State tax rates are quite variable, from 0% in some states to as high as 3% in California.

4. Tax on unrecaptured section 1250 gains – An IRS tax provision where previously recognized depreciation is recaptured into income when a gain is realized on the sale of depreciable real estate property.

Click Here Capital Gain Estimator
Exchange Agreement 1031 Investor
Steve Pitchford, CPA, CFP® Director of Tax and Financial Planning

TPW News You Can Use

Useful and interesting content we read the past two weeks:

1. Could This Be an Antebellum Age? – The Wall Street Journal – 6.23.2022

Could This Be an Antebellum Age

In John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Lucifer—who only yesterday had been God’s favorite—consoles himself with this thought: “The mind is its own place and in itself / Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.” The United States of America, another of God’s erstwhile favorites, now and then performs the same trick of the mind.

At the moment, the country seems committed to the second option, as if united in a natural preference for hell.

2. A Turning Point in Cancer – Eric Topol / Substack – 6.10.2022


Scientists have released an unprecedented series of breakthroughs related to cancer treatment, covering a wide range of therapies and types of cancer which could have huge impacts on overall mortality and quality of life.

3. The Vanishing Moderate Democrat – The NY Times – 6.29.2022

The Vanishing Moderate Democrat

Is there an existential crisis among moderate Democrats? While some of them remain reluctant to publicly concede the reality that the Democratic Party has indeed shifted left — either out of fear of angering their fellow Democrats or validating Republican attacks — they will readily acknowledge that voters perceive the party as having drifted out of the mainstream. And they are convinced that this is threatening their political survival.

TPW Chart of the Week

Shark attack!

The chart below from Charles Schwab shows what stock market *shark attacks* look like, using the relative performance of 1.) U.S. stocks vs. 2.) international stocks.

The two lines are just the ratio of one index divided by the other.

  • When the blue line is rising, international stocks are outperforming U.S. stocks.
  • When the orange line is rising, U.S. stocks are outperforming international stocks.

Do you think U.S. stocks appear to be overvalued vs. international stocks right now?

Shark Attack US vs International

What does this U.S. vs. international stock dichotomy mean? 

Should you should care?

Click Here And Message Us

TPW Educational Video : Feeling Naive About Your Social Security Benefits?

Do you feel naïve about your Social Security benefits?

  • Are you confused about when to take Social Security?
  • Is it best to take your Social Security early or wait?
  • Are you concerned about the solvency of the Social Security system, and how that might affect your benefit?
  • Have you heard about Social Security spousal benefits but not sure you understand how they work?

Click the thumbnail image below to watch our President, Joseph Eschleman, answer each of these questions, and more! And if you enjoy the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, give us a thumbs up, and click on the bell if you want to be notified when we release our next one!

Social Security Benefits Explained

Have questions about how exactly to optimize your Social Security benefit?

Click Here And Message Us

Quote of the Week

Consistent with Towerpoint Wealth’s theme of evaluating and managing risk, but not avoiding it altogether, is William Shedd’s quote below.

William Shedd Quote

Its meaning is clear, and its applicability to building and protecting wealth, and to investing in general, cannot be ignored: It’s better to get out, take intelligent risks, and act, than to sit and do nothing.

Trending Today

As the 24/7 news cycle churns, twists, and turns, a number of trending and notable events have occurred over the past few weeks:

As always, we sincerely value our relationships and partnerships with each of you, as well as your trust and confidence in us here at Towerpoint Wealth. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time (916-405-9140, with any questions, concerns, or needs you may have. The world continues to be an extremely unsettled and complicated place, and we are here to help you properly plan for and make sense of it.

Download Newsletter Towerpoint Wealth

– Joseph, Jonathan, Steve, Lori, Nathan, Michelle, and Luis

Towerpoint Wealth, Sacramento - Financial Planning Services

We enjoy social media, and are actively growing our online community!

Follow us on any of these platforms, message us there and let us know your favorite charity.
We will happily donate $10 to it!

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A Must-Ask! Do I Have a Fiduciary Financial Advisor? 06.03.2022

Towerpoint Wealth is a fully independent wealth management firm based in Sacramento. Our fiduciary advisors are working to helping you remove the hassle of properly coordinating all of your financial affairs so you can live a happier life and enjoy retirement. 

This statistic makes us particularly happy, honored, and proud to be celebrating our fifth anniversary as a boutique, fully-independent wealth management firm. After 18 years managing the constraints of being employees for a major Wall Street firm, we launched Towerpoint Wealth on May 26, 2017. Can you believe five years have passed?

And as we eclipse this milestone, we continue to be resolute in focusing on and advancing our mission:

Helping you remove the hassle of properly coordinating all your financial affairs, so you can live a happier life and enjoy retirement

We are very humbled by this milestone, and offer a sincere thank you to our clients, partners, colleagues, family, and friends for your confidence, trust, and support. You represent our lifeblood, as we certainly would not be where we are today as a fully-independent firm, nor would we have grown, matured, and advanced as much as we have without all of you entrusting us to help you navigate the very unsettled world we live in. And while much work remains to be done (both for us as a fully independent firm and also for us, in our joint effort with you within each of our partnerships), we are eager and excited for what the next five years has in store!

The phrase “fully independent firm” holds as much significance for you as it does for us. What few people know about working with a fully independent wealth management firm is the much stronger professional and personal responsibility we have to you – specifically, a legal fiduciary obligation. As your fiduciary financial advisor, we are legally responsible to put your personal and financial interests before our own and always act in your best interests, 100% of the time. This is the definition of fiduciary. Are all financial advisors fiduciaries? Absolutely not. This is an extremely important distinction, and was not an obligation we were bound to while we were employed by a major Wall Street firm. It is one that we were eager and have been happy to embrace, every day, for going on six years.

fiduciary financial advisor

This all begs a very important question: What does having a fiduciary financial advisor mean, and why should you care?

Full independence means fiduciary advisors with a legal duty to you

Putting aside the very important fact that a fiduciary relationship is generally viewed as the highest standard of client care available under law, below are three of the most common considerations when deciding whether to partner with a fiduciary financial advisor:

1. The suitability standard (doing what is suitable for a client) is MUCH different than the fiduciary standard (doing what is in a client’s best interests always).

Investment brokers who work for broker-dealers (such as Merrill Lynch, UBS, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo), and investment advisors who work for fully independent registered investment advisory (RIA) firms like Towerpoint Wealth, both offer financial and investment planning, counsel, and advice. However, they are not governed by the same standards

Investment advisors work directly for clients, and must place clients’ interests before their own, according to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 – this is known as the fiduciary standard.

Investment brokers work for, and serve, their broker-dealers, and must only ensure that their recommendations are suitable for their clients – this is known as the fiduciary or suitability standard.

It is accepted as fact that the fiduciary standard is better and more comprehensive than the suitability standard, that a financial advisor with a fiduciary responsibility is rising to a much higher level of duty and care, and deals with no competing interests, a higher quality of investments, full disclosure, fee transparency, and client-centered advice 100% of the time.

Peter Lazaroff from Forbes has excellently summarized this important differentiation in his April 6, 2016 article. We believe this meme does too.

fiduciary advisors suitability standard

2. If you do not have a fiduciary financial advisor, you have fewer legal options in the event you discover your interests haven’t been fully served.

A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a financial advisors fails to act responsibly or in the complete best interests of a client. Usually, the actions are alleged to have benefitted the fiduciary’s interests or the interests of a third party instead of the interests of the client.

By law, a plaintiff must show that a fiduciary duty existed. If a breach of duty case proceeds to the courts, major consequences can result. A successful breach-of-fiduciary-duty lawsuit can result in monetary penalties for direct damages, indirect damages, and legal costs. A court ruling can also lead to discrediting, the loss of license, or removal from service.

You do not have this legal recourse if you are not working with a fiduciary financial advisor (see Point 3 below).

3. If you have a relationship / partnership with an advisor who works for a major Wall Street firm, you do not have a fiduciary financial advisor.

We should know – we worked for a major Wall Street firm for 18 years! Please do not misconstrue our comment, as we firmly believe that most advisors who work for one of the four largest “wirehouses” (Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, UBS, and Wells Fargo) do good work. However, it is impossible to act in a client’s best interests 100% of the time when operating within the constraints of the employee-employer relationship. This advisor inherently has a primary obligation first to their employer.

Don’t believe us? Feel free to confirm for yourself: Ask your current wirehouse advisor if he/she would be willing to attest to and sign this simple Code of Ethics document stating that they are a legal fiduciary to you, and see what they have to say!

It is important to understand that the only requirement to be called a financial advisor is that you dispense financial advice. It is also important to understand that no rule, label, or regulation will completely stop those who have intent to disregard doing what is right (Bernie Madoff was technically a “fiduciary” for the last two years of his career).

Despite this sad fact, engaging a fiduciary financial advisor tilts the odds in your favor; you are much more likely to wind up with a professional who takes seriously their legal fiduciary obligation to you when they are fully independent.

For the past six years, we have embraced the role of fiduciary financial advisor in our clients’ lives. It’s been a responsibility we fully honor, take seriously, and recognize is a tremendous privilege.

Interested in learning more about how we help our clients build and protect their net worth?

What is Happening at TPW?

The TPW family shared a fun day of teambuilding a few weeks ago, soaking in a sunny day of Sacramento River Catsbaseball at Sutter Health Park.

Hey Joe and Steve, slow down and calm down, those hot dogs aren’t going anywhere…!

Sacramento River Cats baseball game
TPW family Sacramento River Cats baseball

Did somebody say Italian??!!

Apparently fresh risotto makes for a happy Lori and a happy Michelle, as the ladies of Towerpoint Wealth enjoyed a bite to eat together last week at Il Fornaio on Capitol Mall!

Lori and Michelle Il Fornaio Capitol Mall

What else is happening with the Towerpoint Wealth family?

TPW Taxes 2022

How do you find opportunity during a market pullback, and make lemons out of lemonade when account values are temporarily depressed?

As investors emerge from a tumultuous market over the first five months of 2022, the current volatility may pose an opportunity for IRA account holders. Considering a partial conversion to a tax-free Roth IRA may be advantageous right now.

conversion to a tax-free Roth IRA

This Kiplinger article outlines two reasons to consider a Roth conversion now, plus a few traps to avoid.

Curious if you might benefit from a partial Roth IRA conversion in 2022?

TPW News You Can Use

Useful and interesting content we read the past two weeks:

1. Top-Paid LA Lifeguards Earned Up to $510,000 in 2021 – OpenTheBooks Substack – 5.31.2022

Who knew that LA lifeguards – who work in the sun, ocean surf, and golden sands of California – could reap such unbelievable financial rewards? It’s time we put Baywatch on pay watch!

2. Why Most Americans Are Losing the Battle of Getting into Pre-COVID Shape – NY Post – 6.1.2022

Squeezing back into a pair of jeans bought before March 2020 is a challenge for lots of Americans — and a new study found that injury may be to blame. The study of 2,000 adults, by OnePoll in partnership with CURAD, found that seven out of 10 respondents said they stopped working out during the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. From Ukraine’s Front Lines, Bravery and Wreckage – New York Times – 6.1.2022

Amid the roar of artillery and bone-rattling explosions, New York Times photographers have borne graphic witness to the fight to survive.

These are their stories and images.

Chart / Infographic of the Week

As we have repeatedly stressed, dividends matter!

A compelling chart below, supporting the philosophy that owning and investing in dividend-paying equities (the purple line) is rarely a bad idea, especially during times of extreme market volatility like we have experienced in 2022…

dividend paying equities purple line

TPW Educational Video : The Importance of Estate Planning

Why is it ESSENTIAL to have an up-to-date estate plan?

Click the thumbnail below to watch an excellent video that focuses on the benefits of estate planning to avoid probate, and to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and in a timely fashion.

What do you want for your loved ones when you are gone? A protracted, expensive public legal process (known as probate), or a tax-efficient and streamlined disposition of the assets in your estate?

benefits of estate planning to avoid probate

Trending Today

As the 24/7 news cycle churns, twists, and turns, a number of trending and notable events have occurred over the past few weeks:

Quote of the Week

Below is found one of our favorite quotes from investing legend Shelby Davis. His philosophy can be difficult to grasp when prices (and account values) are temporarily declining; however, we (and Shelby Davis) believe that you will make more money in a down market by being disciplined in doing two things:

1. Not giving into fear by selling low, and

2. Being courageous in buying and investing more when prices are low

These are simple but certainly not easy concepts to understand and practice, yet we are confident that doing so will pay the greatest ultimate rewards over time.

Shelby Davis Quote

As always, we sincerely value our relationships and partnerships with each of you, as well as your trust and confidence in us here at Towerpoint Wealth. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time (916-405-9140, with any questions, concerns, or needs you may have. The world continues to be an extremely unsettled and complicated place, and we are here to help you properly plan for and make sense of it.

Download Newsletter Towerpoint Wealth

 Joseph, Jonathan, Steve, Lori, Nathan, and Michelle

Towerpoint Wealth Sacramento Independent Financial Advisor

We enjoy social media, and are actively growing our online community!

Follow us on any of these platforms, message us there and let us know your favorite charity.
We will happily donate $10 to it!

Click HERE to follow TPW on LinkedIn
Click HERE to follow TPW on Facebook
Click HERE to follow TPW on Instagram
Click HERE to follow TPW on Twitter