April 2019 Information Line
April 2019 Information Line
Death and taxes are both unavoidable. Fortunately, as I’m told, death only comes around once in a lifetime. Unfortunately, taxes, in all their varied and sundry forms, are a daily occurrence as well as an annual nightmare for most of us.
Like me, I’m sure most of you are in the process of filing your 2018 tax returns. The 1099’s and the W-2’s are all received at this point. Now, it is time to sharpen your pencil, break out the software, or gather your shoebox for your accountant.
No matter how you go about your individual filing process, I am certain taxes are on your mind as you read this. And, as you go through the process of filing, I’d like you to do me a favor…
Compare this year’s tax return to the past few. I will do so as well. As we compare, pay attention to the following…
- Are your earnings rising, falling, or staying constant?
- Are your income taxes rising, falling, or staying constant?
- Are your tax rates rising, falling, or staying constant?
- Last question…are you doing more or less of the things you wish to do in your life? In other words, is your quality of life rising, falling, or staying constant?
I suspect many of you will find…
- Income is either staying constant or falling.
- Taxes are rising.
- Mainly due to the fact that tax rates are rising.
- And, most importantly, your quality of life is diminishing…even if your earnings are rising.
You don’t have to share your personal findings with me. Keep the answers to yourself, but, by all means, go through the exercise.
If you come to the same conclusion I did, that your standard of living – your quality of life – is suffering even though you may have a steady or rising income, your next question should be, “How can that be?”
It really is simple. Sure, income taxes are rising, but they aren’t the real culprit here. The real culprit – your quality of life thief – is the insidious tax I like to call the “Waste Management Tax.”
It is insidious in that it affects each and every one of us. It is insidious because it is not accurately reported. It is insidious because we are led to believe it doesn’t exist. Yet, year after year, our standard of living diminishes.
Of course, many of you have figured out the “Waste Management Tax” has nothing to do with recycling or trash. And, it may more aptly be named the “Waste Mismanagement Tax.”
I am in fact referring to the wholesale loss of purchasing power due to fiscal mismanagement of our fiat U.S. dollar. I am convinced the long-term weakening of our U.S. dollar has a far greater negative impact on our quality of life than any overt form of taxation.
The dollar you earn today looks exactly like the dollar you go to spend next year or the year after. It just doesn’t get you as much in exchange in future years as it does today. You get less gas than a year or two ago. You get less milk than a year or two ago. You get less car than a year or two ago. You get less house than a year or two ago.
And, when you add it all up, after buying the same amount of gas, milk, cars, and homes as you did a few years earlier, there is less left behind to save or to spend on enjoying life.
But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at what the St. Louis FED compiled when it comes to the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar over the past 100 years or so…
Image Source: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CUUR0000SA0R
You’re probably thinking, “Thanks Rich. It isn’t bad enough I’m doing my taxes. Now, you drop all this on me. What else are you going to do the cheer me up?”
How about I give you an antidote to Keep What’s Yours?
After all, that’s what Asset Strategies has been doing for the past 37 years. We recognize all these threats to your hard-earned wealth. We know the wealth destruction that has already occurred due to waste and mismanagement, and we know there is much more still to come.
But, in all of our products and services over the years, we have found a way for you to, in a sense, cryogenically freeze the current level of purchasing power to preserve it for your future needs (or wants). We take your current buying power, and we “freeze it” in time in tangible assets.
Whether it is in the “core holding” insurance of bullion coins and bars or in the uncorrelated appreciation of Rare Tangible Assets like rare coins, there is a common thread. All our products are intrinsically valuable. Therefore, all of our products have the innate ability to “freeze” your purchasing power for when you need or want it.
I have looked forward to coming to work every single day of my 23 years with Asset Strategies. And, everyone you touch here at Asset Strategies should exude that same enthusiasm. It is the passion that comes from knowing you can help people make a meaningful difference in their lives.
Yes. Death and taxes are sureties in life. And, although we can’t do much for you to counteract death, we have plenty to offer you to counteract the impact of taxes on your wealth…especially that most insidious tax of all, the “Waste Management Tax.”
Email us or call us today at 800-831-0007 to take the first step in securing (or elevating) your quality of life. The answer does not lie in appreciation of assets. It is all about protecting yourself from the depreciation of the fiat U.S. dollars you have as well as those you will earn in the future.
We want you to Keep What’s Yours! Let us help.
I have recommended Michael and his staff at Asset Strategies International several times to my subscribers who want to purchase gold and silver. I've never regretted it for a second. They have given everyone who's contacted them great prices and wonderful service. Dr. David "Doc" Eifrig // Editor, Retirement Millionaire
I have recommended Michael and his staff at Asset Strategies International several times to my subscribers who want to purchase gold and silver. I've never regretted it for a second. They have given everyone who's contacted them great prices and wonderful service.
Dr. David "Doc" Eifrig // Editor, Retirement Millionaire
Do Your Precious Metals Have an Exit Plan?
What do you plan on doing with your precious metals in 5, 10…even 30 years? If you’re like most people, you’ll eventually sell at least some quantity for profit, as retirement funding, or in case of emergency. Whatever the reason, if your precious metals dealer won’t buy back your metals from you, it could be bad news for your investment portfolio. Fortunately, if you do your homework and choose a reputable dealer, you don’t have to worry.
At ASI, we only offer products we expect will always have a two-way market. All of our products come with an explicit exit plan up-front, and even if you bought your assets somewhere else, we’ll buy them back...as long as there is a market for them.
Whenever you make a purchase, it’s imperative you know you’re able to liquidate your assets if necessary. The difference between investors and collectors is that collectors buy with no plan or intention to liquidate. Knowledgeable investors, however, always ask one important question before buying…
“When I am ready to sell, will you buy it back?”
At ASI, the answer to this question—as long as there is a market—is always: Yes!
It’s the first question I always ask, and it should be the first one you ask, as well. We have one word of advice if a dealer tells you they won’t buy back your assets: Run. And fast. Typically, if a dealer is unwilling to buy something back, it’s because they’re overcharging you for the product, and they don’t want to support that price in the secondary market.
How Do I Sell My Metals?
Selling back your precious metals is as easy as simply giving us a call! It’s important to remember, however, that we can only help you if we know your goals and concerns. Communication is critical.
Once you decide you’re ready to sell, just give us a call. The process is incredibly simple and includes the following:
• An indicative quote.
• Instructions to deliver the merchandise to us.
• Options for paying you once you agree to the price.
Even if you decide to keep your assets, giving us a call may still be worth your while. Not only will we buy back your assets, but we’ll also appraise your holdings for free and provide an indication of “what we are willing to pay for it.”
Appraising your assets is simple and involves just three steps. Whether you have a need to sell or just simply want to determine the value of your holdings, we will…
1. Tell you what we would pay for it if you sold it to us right now.
2. Make some suggestions as to what is worth holding or selling.
3. And, if there is merchandise with limited to no upside, we will suggest what you might consider replacing that merchandise with to potentially achieve better results.
Bottom line, we put value on everything we sell. If we didn’t, I’d have trouble sleeping at night…charging you for something I don’t value at all.
Selling Your Assets Has Never Been Easier
The best advice any investor can follow is to make sure, up front, that a viable exit plan exists for any asset you purchase. If your dealer can’t say yes to the question, “When I am ready to sell, will you buy it back?” …beware.
With that said, if you ever have a need to sell your precious metals or other assets, please call us at 800-831-0007 or email us. Regardless of where you purchased them, we’ll buy them back at highly competitive rates, given there is a market for your merchandise. We’ll even give you an appraisal if you’re not looking to sell quite yet.
It really is that simple to Sell What’s Yours!
“As an investor and student of the market for more than 30 years, I know how unusual it is to find a company that is as honest as Asset Strategies International, especially in these times of market deceit and brazen self-interest. I appreciate your courtesy and your efficiency. Thank you again for helping me acquire the protection of gold.” —Roger L.
“As an investor and student of the market for more than 30 years, I know how unusual it is to find a company that is as honest as Asset Strategies International, especially in these times of market deceit and brazen self-interest. I appreciate your courtesy and your efficiency. Thank you again for helping me acquire the protection of gold.”
Millennium Currency Madness
by Rich Checkan
Our long-time friend and founder of the Daily Pfennig, Chuck Butler, voiced a little frustration with the current strength of the U.S. dollar this past Tuesday, and he went on to share his opinion on the dollar versus gold. Here’s what he said…
“This dollar trend has really been hanging around much longer than I would have suspected it to hang around, but then even a blind squirrel can find an acorn, right? But if you're diversified with currencies and metals, you've reduced the overall risk of your investment portfolio, and when things turn around, and they will, no trend grows to the moon, you'll be set to see those asset classes perform nicely...”
I could not have said it better myself.
Now, please bear with me as I dig into the dollar “madness” a little…
2019’s version of March Madness – the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – is coming to a close. The Final Four teams are set (Virginia, Michigan State, Texas Tech, and Auburn), and a National Champion will be crowned on Monday.
Of the 17.2 million brackets completed, no perfect brackets remain, and only 0.02% predicted the Final Four teams.
That got me thinking…
How would investors do if they had to fill out a bracket for the best-performing currencies thus far this millennium?
I was speaking at the annual Investment U Conference hosted by The Oxford Club last week in St. Petersburg, FL. Julia Guth, the Executive Director for The Oxford Club, handed me an interesting chart she found in Barron’s. The chart was produced by Mark J. Lundeen, and it came as no surprise to me… but, many would be shocked by his numbers.
I started thinking about what a Millennium Currency Bracket would look like…
- Which currencies would be the #1 seeds?
- Which geographic location would prevail – the West or the East?
- Where would the upsets come from?
- Which perennial powerhouses would falter?
Personally, I doubt I would have filled out a perfect bracket, but I am certain I would have predicted the eventual International Currency Champion.
Take a look at Mr. Lundeen’s eye-opening chart…
You guessed it. The best performing currency thus far this millennium is gold… the world’s only real currency.
Many would not have guessed that given the horrific current sentiment for gold. But, let’s not let poor sentiment obscure or suppress the facts.
Hands down, gold has preserved purchasing power better than any other major currency. It is the standard by which all other currencies are measured.
Recently, the U.S. dollar has exhibited some short-term strength. That has clouded, for many, how well gold has performed. When you compare gold’s performance directly with the world’s major currencies, you see it is doing exceptionally well.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again… We have it completely backwards. We measure gold in dollars, euro, pounds, and yen. We should be measuring dollars, euro, pounds, and yen – and every other currency for that matter – in gold.
Gold is a constant and reliable measure of value. Mismanaged fiat currencies are not. Gold is a set unit of measure of value. Fiat currencies are variable units of measure of value.
For those of you looking to Keep What’s Yours, I suggest you consider gold. It is your Millennium Currency Madness International Champion… and it has always been.
No surprises here.
“If gold is your chaos hedge, then Michael Checkan is King Midas. He's been a personal friend, and his company, Asset Strategies International, Inc has been dealing in gold (silver, platinum and palladium too) for over 35 years. You want them in your corner when it comes time to buy.” —Bill Drescher
“If gold is your chaos hedge, then Michael Checkan is King Midas. He's been a personal friend, and his company, Asset Strategies International, Inc has been dealing in gold (silver, platinum and palladium too) for over 35 years. You want them in your corner when it comes time to buy.”
The Inside Story
The Facts About IRAs
By Madeleine Coe
At ASI, we know facts can be hard to come by in a world where volatility and confusion reigns.
That’s why we offer the information you need you need to consider to Keep What’s Yours. We believe that clients should be informed so that they can make the right selection from many strategies, products, and services to preserve their financial future.
One strategy is to invest in a precious metals IRA… Did you know that was an option for self-directed IRAs? We have been assisting clients in making it a reality since the IRS code first allowed it over 30 years ago!
FACT #1. You MUST make your 2018 contribution by April 15, 2019, and you can also make your 2019 contribution at the same time, if you wish.
For each year, the total annual contributions to your Traditional and Roth IRAs combined cannot exceed: $5,500 if you are under age 50, or $6,500 for those ages 50 or older. Traditional IRA contributions are not limited by annual income, and are tax deductible for the year of the contribution.
FACT #2. Roth IRA contributions are after tax dollars, and there are limits and eligibility rules based on your modified adjusted gross income, which also vary depending on tax-filing status as follows:
2018 Roth Contribution Guidance
|Filing Status||Modified Adjusted Gross Income||Contribution Limit|
|Single Individuals||Less than $120,00||$5,500|
|Between $120,000 to $134,999||Partial contribution|
|Greater than or equal to $135,000||Not eligible|
(filing joint returns)
|Less than $183,000||$5,500|
|Between $189,000 and 198,999||Partial contribution|
|Greater than or equal to $199,000||Not eligible|
|Less than $10,000||Partial contribution|
|Greater than or equal to $10,000||Not eligible|
2019 Roth Contribution Guidance
|Filing Status||Modified Adjusted Gross Income||Contribution Limit|
|Single Individuals||Less than $122,00||$6,000|
|Between $122,000 to $136,999||Partial contribution|
|Greater than or equal to $137,000||Not eligible|
(filing joint returns)
|Less than $193,000||$5,500|
|Between $193,000 and 202,999||Partial contribution|
|Greater than or equal to $203,000||Not eligible|
|Less than $10,000||Partial contribution|
|Greater than or equal to $10,000||Not eligible|
Check with your tax advisor regarding your status and eligibility*
FACT #3. Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)
Don't forget: The Traditional IRA is tax deferred, not tax exempt. When you reach April 1st immediately after you turn 70 1/2 years of age, you are forced to take distributions. At that point, funds in your traditional IRA must begin to be withdrawn, and ordinary income tax must be paid on the withdrawal.
How much is your RMD withdrawal? At 70 ½, the RMD is 3.65% of the TOTAL value of all your deferred accounts as of December 31st of the year prior. As you go through your 70’s, the percentage you are forced to take out increases. For example, at 72 it's approximately 4.2%. When you're in your 80’s, it can be 6%. As you get older, you are forced to take out more money at unknown future tax rates.
Your ROTH contribution, so long as it is in your qualified account for 5 years or more, is distributed tax-free… including the growth. There is no RMD requirement. This is a good deal, if you can afford to pay taxes on current qualified holdings and convert to a ROTH, or make contributions without taking a deduction.
FACT #4. Good News: Precious Metals in Your IRA
The Internal Revenue Code allows IRAs to own certain gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion (coins and bars) so long as they meet the LBMA minimum standards of fineness. In general, precious metal bullion and coins that are 99.9% pure or better are eligible for IRA investment, but we can help guide you when it comes time to make your purchase.
Precious metals are perfect for an IRA because they are for long term investing and so is your retirement plan.
But, you must have a self-directed account that follows carefully controlled IRS rules and restrictions. Specifically, your precious metals cannot be held by you directly; they must be held through an IRA administrator in an approved depository.
ASI offers several programs, IRA storage choices and trustees/administrators, one of which is certain to be right for you. Call an ASI Preferred Client Relations representative to get the full realm of possibilities at 800-831-0007.
For example, simplify opening a self-directed IRA online through our ASI Precious Metals Direct Program. We will automatically store your precious metals in Salt Lake City or New York City. And, if you choose Gold Eagles, they can also be stored in Zürich. Yes, you can hold your IRA assets offshore!
Another great IRA alternative is the Perth Mint Certificate which can be placed in your existing self-directed IRA if you have one. ASI has been working with several trustees/administrators for decades in this regard. Your gold, silver or platinum is held offshore in Perth, Western Australia and is guaranteed for safety by the Government of Western Australia and is fully insured at full market value at all times… at their expense.
Plus, when it comes to making your RMD, all you have to do is call ASI. We will be glad to help you liquidate properly for ease and convenience.
Give one of our Preferred Client Representatives a call at 800-831-0007 or email us to discuss your precious metals IRA options… another strategy to help you Keep What’s Yours!
*Asset Strategies International is neither a financial advisor nor a tax advisor. Consult your CPA or Tax Attorney today before making any decision.
“Over the course of many years, ASI has developed a reputation as a leader in alternative assets. These include everything from foreign currencies to gold, silver, platinum, and palladium as well as rare tangible assets like rare U.S. and ancient coins. These are investment opportunities that fly below the radar of most investors. Yet, as ASI’s rigorous research confirms, they offer the benefits of higher returns and lower risk. The assets that ASI offers belong in every investor’s portfolio.” —Nicholas Vardy // ETF Strategist, The Oxford Club
“Over the course of many years, ASI has developed a reputation as a leader in alternative assets. These include everything from foreign currencies to gold, silver, platinum, and palladium as well as rare tangible assets like rare U.S. and ancient coins. These are investment opportunities that fly below the radar of most investors. Yet, as ASI’s rigorous research confirms, they offer the benefits of higher returns and lower risk. The assets that ASI offers belong in every investor’s portfolio.”
—Nicholas Vardy // ETF Strategist, The Oxford Club