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More than Money Newsletter – December 2018

More than Money with Gene Dickison


December 2018

Dear Friends,


Thank You!


At this festive time of the year we are particularly reminded of how very much all of you mean to all of us.  Serving you all the year ‘round is both an honor and a joy.  Friends, family, clients – the lines are blurred – for all the right reasons.  Our entire More than Money family arrives for work at our More than Money World Headquarters (in the Holy Lands between Bethlehem and Nazareth) knowing we will spend our days with friends, family, and clients.  How very blessed are we?  Doing what we love, with people we love, for people we love.  Thank you for allowing us to serve you.


“Financial Stocking Stuffers

Little Questions – Little Answers – Big Impacts!”


“Why do you start so many of your answers with ‘It Depends’?”


I’m angling for a really big endorsement deal from Kimberly-Clark! 


No seriously . . . because for an answer to be correct, it has to be specific to the person asking the question.  And since we have tens of thousands of listeners, viewers, readers, etc. – every answer depends on their very specific situations, wants, and needs.


By the way, if anyone can hook me up with Kimberly-Clark . . .


“Why do you say you have 780 years of experience?  My wife and I have different theories and we have a bet riding on your answer.”


This one’s easy – your wife wins!  You should know by now – wives always win!


This one is maybe a bit too obvious – it’s Gene being a bit (more than a bit?) goofy.  Many years ago I had a caller ask how many years I had been practicing and 780 popped out like it was just waiting to arrive.  It is so obviously over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek, and ‘schtickish’ that we’ve kept it since.


“Is it true that some people pay no capital gains taxes when they turn profits on their mutual funds?”


That is absolutely true. 


Taxpayers in lower tax brackets often find themselves paying a zero capital gain tax.  This applies to mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, real estate – anything that produces a capital gain.  See your tax professional for your specific capital gains tax bracket.  Or call a More than Money tax professional.


“Are Fixed Index Annuities a good or bad idea?”


  1. They are both a good and a bad idea.  It simply depends on your situation and what you might need the FIA to do for you.  If you want protection with modest gains and can leave the funds untouched for five to nine years – might be a good deal for you.  If you think you’re investing in the stock market with a magic elixir that protects your principal – you must steer clear – you don’t understand or you’re being sold a bill of goods.


Annuities are complex financial tools and require you to take the time to understand them before you commit any of your hard earned money.  If you have questions our More than Money advisors will give you all the information you need to make the best possible decision for you.


“Why do so many advisors tell their clients to ‘ride it out’ and ‘stay the course’ when the stock market is so obviously volatile?”


Because – if your investment portfolio has been appropriately constructed – it’s the right answer.


A proper investment portfolio should be ‘all weather’ – good through the ups and downs of the markets over the course of the (likely) many years the investor will need to invest.  That does not, of course, mean that an all-weather portfolio is invested 100% in the stock market or 100% in any one investment category.


Volatile indeed.  Wild ups and downs.  People don’t mind the wild ups.  It’s the wild downs they object to.  This is the part of the volatility we need to ride through.  Be sure your investment portfolio carries and all-weather design.


“Is there an easy way to avoid probate?”


Actually . . . there are several, very easy ways to avoid probate. 


Use beneficiary designations on your IRAs, 401(k)s, annuities, and life insurance policies.


Use Payable on Death (PoDs) designations on your bank accounts, investment accounts, CDs, etc.


Use joint titling on assets like real estate and cars, etc.


Should you do any/all of these things and avoid probate?  It depends.  Don’t rely on this list or any other until you have consulted with a trusted estate planning advisor.


“How tough is it for a business to provide its employees with a really good 401(k) plan?”


Easy peezy, lemon squeezy! 


Any company can provide its employees with a world class 401(k) plan with all the best investment options, all the bells and whistles, and great service – for the exact same (or lower) cost of a second rate plan.


If you’re just getting started with a new plan or if you’re not happy with your current plan you will want to spend a couple of hours with a 401(k) plan specialist. 


“Is life insurance really tax free?”


It sure can be, but you’ve got to pay attention to the details.


Life insurance is nearly always (but not always) income tax free.  Life insurance is (sadly) nearly always taxed in the estate of the deceased, but it doesn’t have to be.  With proper planning life insurance proceeds can be both income tax free and estate tax free to your beneficiaries.


Be sure to plan your estate using the talents of both an experienced estate planning attorney and an experienced life insurance advisor.



“Thank You for Sharing Your Holidays with Us!”


We want to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to be with us at our Holiday (smack dab in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas) Open House.  Everyone here knows how busy this time of the year can be.  For you to share some your time with us is a wonderful thing indeed.


I want to take a line to thank three amazing ladies for transforming our office into a most beautiful, festive, and welcoming place.  Connie, Sue, and Stephanie covered all the basis in hosting an event filled with fun, food, and warmth.  When you see them or speak with them by phone please take the time to let them know how appreciated they truly are.



More than Money Radio


Have Breakfast with Gene every Saturday Morning at 8:06 as

More than Money with Gene Dickison airs on AM790 WAEB.

Two Full Hours – 8:06 through 10:00 AM.



Words are Powerful Tools for American Freedom


Several years ago I wrote my December newsletter to all of you and came to this segment sharing words as powerful tools for American freedom.  At that time I was (literally) inspired to see American freedom as directly tied to our personal freedom.  And, of course, our personal freedom is directly connected to the blessings bestowed on us by our Creator.  Hence the following words have been part of my Christmas message each year since.  Merry Christmas and God bless you.


“Christmas – A Time for Gifts!”


“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16


Now that’s a gift. Ties are nice.  Power tools are very cool.  Jewelry may be a woman’s best friend.  A nice bottle of wine – nice.  Tickets to the State Theatre – always appreciated.


Eternal life – now that’s a gift! Joy to the World – indeed!  Joy to you and me.  How would you even wrap a gift this great?  Why in swaddling clothes, of course!


Please allow us to serve you and those you love.


Thank you,



P.S.  My favorite book, play, and movie of all time is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read the book, seen the show on stage, or watched one of the many movie versions (while the Muppets made a good enough run at it, the 1984 production with George C. Scott as Scrooge is – in my humble opinion – the very best).


Who can read, see, or hear of this story of pure redemption and not be deeply touched.  All these years and the story’s end still brings my heart to my throat – and I thank God that it does. 


We pray your heart will be full this Christmas and every day in the New Year.

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