Aegis Capital Corp
Executive Managing Director
Thomas M. Dowling is an Executive Managing Director with Aegis Capital Corp and works both out of Hilton Head, SC and New York, NY. Prior to Aegis Capital, Thomas directed the East Coast expansion of a publicly-traded Investment Banking firm and was Vice President and Senior Advisor of a regional Investment Advisory organization. He was a member of each firm's Chairman's Council and President's Circle. Shortly thereafter, he founded Quadstar Capital Advisors, which provides Advisory Services to Ultra-High Net Worth clients.
Thomas has been featured in various publications and has been a guest speaker at various financial organizations such as the Evelyn Brust Financial Research and Education Foundation and the South Carolina Business Review. He has also been a volunteer for The Dale Carnegie Training Institute which helps people develop leadership, communication and public speaking skills. Additionally, he is the founder and chairman of The Resource Group which is a forum that allows business owners to collaborate in order to help each other gain insight and knowledge to better run their business.
Thomas’s goal is to help people answer two of the most fundamental, yet important, financial questions: "will I make it?" and "what can stop me from achieving it?". After working towards these goals for over 20+ years, he has found that most people have no idea what “it” is. His passion is to help people understand what their “it” is. He believes it is sad when someone is marching towards their goals and dreams and then gets blindsided by something they did not anticipate or overlooked.
Thomas received his BS in Business Administration with a minor in Finance from the State University of New York and completed the graduate-level Certified Investment Management Analyst program (CIMA®) held in conjunction with The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Thomas is proud to hold both the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, as well as the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, which puts him in a group of fewer than 2,800 professionals in the United States who hold both certifications. Furthermore, he is a Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist.
Thomas is currently a member of the CFA Institute, New York Society of Security Analysts, CFA Society of South Carolina, Financial Planning Association, the National Institute of Certified College Planners as well as the Investment Management Consultants Association.
Thomas attributes his understanding of what is most important in life to his wife and two sons.
BS, Business Administration, State University of New York
Certified Investment Management Analyst Program, University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School
Nothing contained in this publication is intended to constitute legal, tax, securities or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, nor solicitation of any type. The general information contained in this publication should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from a licensed professional.
Registered Representatives offer securities, insurance and advisory services offered through Aegis Capital Corp, member FINRA/SIPC. No investment strategy or program can guarantee a profit or protect against loss.
Some of the main differences are:
- A 401(k) plan is an employer-sponsored plan therefore you must work for the company in order to participate in the 401(k). In most cases anyone under the age of 70.5 who earns income can participate in an IRA.
- The 401(k) plan usually has better creditor protection than an IRA since it is an employer-sponsored investment plan.
- 401(k) plan contributions are usually made through payroll deductions. An IRA contributions usually are done by the individual writing the check and depositing in the IRA.
- A 401(k) Plan can offer loan privileges. An IRA does not have loan privileges.
- A 401(k) Plan can have an employer match provision. An IRA does not
- Contribution amounts are higher for a 401(k) ($18K for 2017). An IRA has a contribution amount of $5,500 (not including catch up)
- The catch up amount in a 401(k) is $6,000 in 2017. An IRA catch up is $1,000 in 2017.
- The investment options in a 401(k) are usually more limited than an IRA
As one of the few advisors who has achieved both certifications, I can say there are many differences however the one similarity is the focus on educating the advisor.
The differences revolve around the content in the programs.
The Chartered Financial Analyst has three levels in which Level 1 is given 2 times per year and Level 2 and 3 are given 1 time a year.
The CFA content revolves around:
- Economics – both Macro and Micro
- Financial Reporting and Analysis
- Equity and Fixed Income Valuation and Pricing
- Alternative investments
- Corporate Finance
- Portfolio Management
- Ethical Standards
- Quantitative Analysis
- Derivatives valuation and pricing
- Behavioral Finance
The Certified Financial Planner program has 7 classes and focuses on:
- General Principles of Financial Planning
- Ethical Standards
- Insurance Planning
- Investment Planning
- Income Tax Planning
- Retirement Planning
- Estate Planning
- Behavioral Finance
- Writing a Financial Plan
I thought the CFA was much more difficult and extensive than the CFP and dug deep into the technical knowledge of the subjects. When you finish the program you have deep knowledge and understanding of the subjects covered.
One aspect of the CFP that I especially liked is it that it went over the actual process of writing a financial plan, with examples and cases, rather than simply just the technical aspects of a financial plan.
Your wife can collect Social Security survivor benefits as early as age 60. If she files between age 60 and her survivor full retirement age, she will receive somewhere between 71 - 99% of your basic benefit amount. The amount she will receive as a Survivors benefit will increase each month slightly from 71%, starting at age 60 up until her full retirement age when she would receive up to 100% of your benefit.
All else being equal, there would not be an impact on collecting survivor’s benefits even if she was collecting hers prior to your death. She can switch to Survivors benefits or keep hers whichever is larger. Please remember as with all social security claiming strategies it certainly depends on your personal circumstances.
You can open both a SIMPLE IRA and a Traditional IRA and contribute to both. However, you may lose the ability to deduct the contribution to the Traditional IRA on your tax return if your income is too high.
If you (or your spouse) are covered by a retirement plan at work (a Simple IRA is an Employer provided retirement plan) then your deduction for a Traditional IRA may be limited or completely phased out.
The phase out levels as of 2016 are listed here at the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/2016-ira-contribution-and-deduction-limits-effect-of-modified-agi-on-deductible-contributions-if-you-are-covered-by-a-retirement-plan-at-work
A nondeductible IRA sounds similar and does have similarities to a ROTH IRA however there is one distinct and important difference and that is how the earnings are taxed.
When you contribute to a ROTH IRA, you contribute after tax dollars and then the earnings and contributions are not taxed again (as long as all the ROTH IRA rules are followed) however, in a Nondeductible IRA you are also contributing after tax dollars so the contribution is not taxed upon withdrawal however the earnings on that contribution will be taxed upon withdrawal.
If you decide to contribute to a Nondeductible IRA please make sure you keep copious records. It will be your responsibility to keep track of the amount of nondeductible contributions not the custodian.
These are categorized and calculated by the IRS as two different types of taxes.
The sale of the home is considered a passive loss and a conversion of your 401(k) into regular savings is considered active (ordinary) income.
Passive losses (capital losses) offset passive gains (capital gain) not ordinary (active) income.
The one exception to this rule is that you are allowed to utilize a $3,000 annual capital loss against ordinary income.
The remainder passive losses can be carry-forwarded to future years to offset any future capital gains.
In this case you are not comparing apples to apples.
Please refer to the IRS website here for information on capital gains and losses https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc409.html
Additionally, if you are under 59 ½ you can trigger the early withdrawal penalty.
This can get tricky therefore I would suggest that you speak with registered tax preparer to get advice on your particular circumstance.