By Published On: April 9, 2024

The positive market conditions that ended 2023 have carried through into 2024.  A variety of positive global growth indicators seemed to lead markets higher, most notably many companies have reported better than expected profit growth.  Interestingly, non-US stocks performed just as well as US stocks, but a strengthening US dollar meant that US investors experienced a lower return on foreign dollar denominated stocks.

Of Death and Taxes

Despite those positive market trends, this hasn’t exactly been the smoothest several months of my life.  As those clients for whom PWM processes tax returns are already aware, I lost both my mother and a 1st cousin, both to cancer, just as tax season entered full swing.  Since then, my wife lost a grandmother and we’ve also lost friends and other extended family in recent weeks. Needless to say, it has been a challenging time for our family, and all during a very busy tax season!

With loss on my mind, there are a number of ‘financial planning’ topics you might expect me to talk about – taxes, estate planning, insurance, inheritance, and legacy. Let me take the last two, not from a financial standpoint, but instead from the standpoint of the WHY behind financial planning.

This is MY Financial Planning

As a consequence of my mother’s passing, I’ve received an inheritance.  The amount is neither insignificant, nor life changing.  What is notable however, is that it is twice what I would have received if my sister were still alive.

As a result of my sister’s passing nearly 20 years ago, my kids have fewer far cousins. Jillian and I have placed a big emphasis on making our extended family feel a bit less extended, and so we’ve earmarked my sister’s half of this inheritance to do just that.  Whether it’s flying halfway around the world to spend time with family living abroad or covering a vacation rental for a big family gathering for a week, we’re spending my sister’s portion to help our family to feel a little more intimate and a little less distant.

It is really easy for you and I to meet and talk about rates of return and marginal tax brackets.  Often, the hard part is figuring out what wealth is really for, what we want to see done with our money. Sometimes it’s a new house or to support a career change, other times it might be to engage in philanthropy or to ‘give back’ in some other way. Whatever thing you might be thinking about, let’s talk about the why and make it part of our planning.


Live Long and Prosper,

Dan Tobias, CFP®

Please note: The above is a copy of the 2024 Q1 Passport Wealth Management client newsletter attached to quarterly statements from March 2024. The newsletter is published to the website for informational purposes only and is not financial or investment advice. You should consult a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional for financial advice. 

Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Indexes are not available for direct investment. Investing involves risks, including the potential for loss of principal. There is no guarantee that markets will act as they have in the past or that any investment plan or strategy will be successful.

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