Featured entries from our Journal

Details Are Part of Our Difference

Embracing the Evidence at Anheuser-Busch – Mid 1980s

529 Best Practices

David Booth on How to Choose an Advisor

The One Minute Audio Clip You Need to Hear

Category: Service

New Feature: “Hey Hill, how can I…”

Addressing Common Client Questions

At Hill Investment Group, we recognize that when a few clients raise the same question, it’s likely that many more have similar thoughts. To better serve you, we’re introducing a new segment in our newsletter where we’ll address common questions and how we approach them. The goal is to address what’s top of mind for our clients. To submit questions for future newsletters, email us at info@hillinvestmentgroup.com

This month, we’ll debut our first frequently asked question:

“Hey Hill, how can I secure a high rate of return for my cash savings?”

Understanding Cash Savings:

Every investor has to hold on to some amount of cash. We all have daily bills and expenses, something big we’re saving for, or just want something set aside for emergencies. This is money you want to keep safe. As you’ve likely noticed, cash sitting in your bank account earns very little and it may feel like you’re missing out on potential earnings. The great news? You have options at your fingertips, that we can help you take advantage of.

Why does this matter? Ensuring cash is managed effectively is one of the best ways we can help you “pick up the pennies” of extra return around the edges of your portfolio. 

For earning a return on cash, we recommend three options, tailored to your specific situation:

  • Money Market Funds

Money market funds invest in highly liquid, short-term debt instruments like US Treasury bills. These funds offer high liquidity and very low risk, making them a secure option. Investors in money market funds can expect a positive return, currently around 5%, matching the returns on short-term US government debt. We recommend money market funds for cash you plan to use within the next year. We can manage this investment for you, ensuring your cash earns the highest return with minimal risk.

  • BOXX ETF

BOXX is an ETF providing money market-like returns but in an ETF format. This means returns are reflected in the increasing price of the ETF rather than as income. Since capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than income, holding BOXX for over a year could significantly enhance your after-tax return. 

We recommend BOXX for cash that you plan to hold for more than a year. We can manage this investment and monitor the holding period to maximize your after-tax return.

  • Flourish – New Service Announcement!

We are excited to introduce Flourish, a new service for Hill Investment Group clients. Flourish removes the hassle of hunting for the highest savings account rate by partnering with over a dozen FDIC-member program banks to ensure you always receive the highest savings rate. Flourish links to your personal checking or business account and offers money market-like returns and up to $10 million in FDIC insurance. This all comes with no fees or minimums and a clean, user-friendly interface. 

We recommend Flourish as your high-yield savings account solution for cash held in personal accounts. We can help you set up Flourish to talk to your personal accounts hassle-free so you know you are getting the most out of your cash at all times.

We’ll be rolling out this service over the coming months, but if you are curious to dive deeper – Check out this 5-minute video. If you’re eager to start using Flourish now, email us, and we’ll send you an invite so you can start benefiting immediately.

We’re here to ensure your cash works as hard as you do. Let us help you maximize your returns with minimal risk.

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This information is educational and does not intend to make an offer for the sale of any specific securities, investments, or strategies.  Investments involve risk and, past performance is not indicative of future performance. Return will be reduced by advisory fees and any other expenses incurred in the management of a client’s account. Consult with a qualified financial adviser before implementing any investment strategy.

Honoring Rick Hill’s Legacy

With Rick Hill officially retiring this month, it is high time to tell you about a special award we created in his honor. Since day one, Rick’s values and actions have been fundamental to our firm’s success. We announced the award at our annual holiday party in 2023 and are taking note of teammates living our firm’s values throughout 2024. To honor Rick’s legacy, the leadership team will give the Rick Hill Award each year (along with financial recognition) to the team member who best exemplifies living these values throughout the prior year.
As always, whenever you have an interaction with any of our team members that you believe reflects Rick’s and our values, please email Matt Hall directly. You are the best judge!

Happy Tax Season!

Michael Kafoglis

Happy tax season! I realize that’s probably an oxymoron for most people, but I have a confession: I like it. Suppose you’re obsessed with numbers and details like me. In that case, digging through diligent records in your file cabinet at home, ticking and tying every dollar of income, dividends, and interest, and accounting for every possible deduction is not a bad day, in my opinion (and it just might be how I spent my Sunday afternoon this weekend. There’s no more football, what else am I supposed to do?). And when the amount due matches precisely what you had calculated six months earlier… boy, does that feel good.

I know I’ve lost most people by now, but to anyone who has read this far, I reward you with some last-minute reminders as you gather up your tax documents to send to your CPAs (or for the brave, as you fire up your preferred tax preparation software and do it yourself!).

  1. You probably hear this every year, but there is still time to make a 2023 contribution to an IRA or Roth IRA! You have until the date that you file your 2023 taxes to contribute. We generally prefer the Roth IRA if you’re below the gross income limits for 2023 (single filers: $138,000 / joint filers: $218,000). If you’re above the income limits, you can still choose to make a Backdoor Roth contribution. This would involve making a nondeductible 2023 IRA contribution and then immediately converting that amount to Roth. These rules can vary from person to person, so please reach out to us if you’d like to discuss this!
  2. Don’t forget about Roth IRAs for your kids! The only requirement to contribute to a Roth IRA is “earned” income. Babysitting, mowing lawns, washing cars…it all counts, even if no W-2 or 1099 is issued. There is no age limit as long as there is real earned income. I emphasize real because doing chores around the house or babysitting for siblings one night doesn’t count. As a general rule of thumb, the Roth IRA is fair game if you have your kids file a tax return for their income. Each child is limited to the higher of $6,500 or their earned income (so if they earned $1,000, the limit is $1,000). Another great benefit is that they don’t have to use their money. You can make the contribution on their behalf.
  3.   If you have a high-deductible health plan with a Health Savings Account, ensure you and your employer contributions have hit the 2023 maximum ($3,850 for self-only coverage and $7,750 for family coverage). Add an extra $1,000 to that if you’re over 50. You have until your tax filing date to top off those contributions with after-tax funds.
  4.  If you live in a state with no state income tax (where two of our three Hill offices reside – sorry, St. Louis), you will likely get a deduction for sales taxes you paid in 2023. You could collect every receipt and total the sales tax on every item you purchased in 2023 (and I would not judge you), or you can do what most people do and take the IRS’s estimated amount. Most people don’t realize, however, that you can also add sales tax from significant purchases on top of the estimated amount. If you bought a car, boat, or Super Bowl tickets (really anything that made you wince when you swiped the credit card), don’t forget to tell your tax preparer! Unfortunately, state and local taxes are limited to a total deduction of $10,000, so there’s a good chance your property taxes already exceed that limited amount anyway.
  5.  If you have self-employment income (as reported on Schedule C), don’t forget to make a SEP-IRA contribution. The limit is based on your amount of self-employment income, but the contribution itself will also count as an “expense” against your self-employment income. Your tax preparer can tell you how much you can contribute to a SEP IRA.
  6. Lastly, here’s a list of a few pesky little forms that can be missed. Don’t forget to send these to your tax preparer!
  • Form 5498: If you have an IRA, you have a 5498! This is an informational form that tracks contributions and distributions from IRAs and Roth IRAs. You can file your taxes without it, but giving these to your CPA will ensure that your IRA cost basis information is kept accurate year over year, especially if you’ve ever made nondeductible (after-tax) IRA contributions.
  • Form 1099-SA: If you took money out of a Health Savings Account in 2023, this form will report that amount. A copy of this is also sent to the IRS, so you might get a letter in the mail if you forget it.
  • Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD): If you sent any portion of a required minimum IRA distribution directly to a 501c(3)charity, your form 1099-R will NOT specify that. It’s the tax preparer’s responsibility to note any QCDs. If HIG facilitated a QCD for you in 2023, you have nothing to worry about. We’ll let your tax preparer know.

And if you’ve made it THIS far, I applaud you and thank you for sticking it out. I leave you with a quote:  “Of life’s two certainties, there is only one where you will be granted an extension.” –Anonymous.

 

 

This information is educational and does not intend to make an offer for the sale of any specific securities, investments, strategies, or tax advice.  Investments involve risk and, past performance is not indicative of future performance. Return will be reduced by advisory fees and any other expenses incurred in the management of a client’s account. Consult with a qualified financial adviser or CPA before implementing any investment or tax strategy.

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Featured entries from our Journal

Details Are Part of Our Difference

Embracing the Evidence at Anheuser-Busch – Mid 1980s

529 Best Practices

David Booth on How to Choose an Advisor

The One Minute Audio Clip You Need to Hear

Hill Investment Group