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Mid-Year 2016: An Investment Reality Check

Market volatility is alive and well in 2016. Low oil prices, China's slowing growth, the prospect of rising interest rates, the strong U.S. dollar, global conflicts--all of these factors have contributed to turbulent markets this year. Many investors may be tempted to review their portfolios only when the markets hit a rough patch, but careful planning is essential in all economic climates. So whether the markets are up or down, reviewing your portfolio with your financial professional can be an excellent way to keep your investments on track, and midway through the year is a good time for a reality check. Here are three questions to consider.

1. How are my investments doing?

Can I name a charity as beneficiary of my IRA?

Yes, you can name a charity as beneficiary of your IRA, but be sure to understand the advantages and disadvantages.

Generally, a spouse, child, or other individual you designate as beneficiary of a traditional IRA must pay federal income tax on any distribution received from the IRA after your death. By contrast, if you name a charity as beneficiary, the charity will not have to pay any income tax on distributions from the IRA after your death (provided that the charity qualifies as a tax-exempt charitable organization under federal law), a significant tax advantage.

No Frills Buffalo Publishing Company Launches New Website

No Frills Buffalo Publishing Company Launches New Website

No Frills Buffalo publishing company has launched a new website — www.nfbpublishing.com — after its previous website was lost due to a technical failure experienced by the website’s former host.

“Due to a massive failure of the No Frills Buffalo website hosting company, nofrillsbuffalo.com is now nfbpublishing.com,” said the Buffalo-based publishing company’s owner, Mark Pogodzinski. “All literary submissions and contact should now be conducted through the new website. Emails can also be sent to mark@nfbpublishing.com.

Can I make charitable contributions from my IRA in 2016?

Yes, if you qualify. The law authorizing qualified charitable distributions, or QCDs, has recently been made permanent by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015.

You simply instruct your IRA trustee to make a distribution directly from your IRA (other than a SEP or SIMPLE) to a qualified charity. You must be 70½ or older, and the distribution must be one that would otherwise be taxable to you. You can exclude up to $100,000 of QCDs from your gross income in 2016. And if you file a joint return, your spouse (if 70½ or older) can exclude an additional $100,000 of QCDs. But you can't also deduct these QCDs as a charitable contribution on your federal income tax return--that would be double dipping.

It’s Your World! Develop It! Powered by AT&T and WNY STEM Hub

It’s Your World! Develop It! Powered by AT&T and WNY STEM Hub

 

WNY STEM Hub, SUNY Buffalo State and the Girls Scouts of America Teams up with AT&T to Launch the Region’s First All Girls Coding Program to Close the Tech Gender Gap 

 

AT&T, WNY STEM Hub, SUNY Buffalo State and the Girls Scouts of Western New York have partnered to create the region’s first computer coding program exclusively for girls, It’s Your World! Develop It! Powered by AT&T, to encourage more women to enter the field of technology, specifically coding, an industry that is alarmingly male-dominant.

It’s Your World! Develop It! Powered by AT&T and WNY STEM Hub

It’s Your World! Develop It! Powered by AT&T and WNY STEM Hub

 

WNY STEM Hub, SUNY Buffalo State and the Girls Scouts of America Teams up with AT&T to Launch the Region’s First All Girls Coding Program to Close the Tech Gender Gap 

 

AT&T, WNY STEM Hub, SUNY Buffalo State and the Girls Scouts of Western New York have partnered to create the region’s first computer coding program exclusively for girls, It’s Your World! Develop It! Powered by AT&T, to encourage more women to enter the field of technology, specifically coding, an industry that is alarmingly male-dominant.

Common Financial Wisdom: Theory vs. Practice

In the financial world, there are a lot of rules about what you should be doing. In theory, they sound reasonable. But in practice, it may not be easy, or even possible, to follow them. Let's look at some common financial maxims and why it can be hard to implement them.

Build an emergency fund worth three to six months of living expenses

Wisdom: Set aside at least three to six months worth of living expenses in an emergency savings account so your overall financial health doesn't take a hit when an unexpected need arises.