Crystal Brook Advisors
Peter is the founder of Crystal Brook Advisors. With over 18 years of professional experience in the financial planning and investing industry, Peter has successfully educated young professionals, entrepreneurs and advanced investors reach their financial planning and investing goals. As an educator, Peter encourages clients to ask questions. He will provide an understandable answer for each client's specific financial planning and investing needs.
Crystal Brook Advisors are committed to designing, developing, and implementing a broad range of investment advisory solutions which include comprehensive financial plans and investing programs with an established practice of high ethical and fiduciary standard, transparency, and expertise. Whether you’re a short or long-term horizon investor, we can help you or your business with the products and services that meet your specific financial planning and investing need.
Peter’s team provides expert advice by combining research with effective technology tools, bridging tradition and contemporary financial planning and investment management solutions.
Peter is a licensed Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).
Peter holds two Bachelors of Science and a Master’s Degree. Prior to Crystal Brook Advisors, Peter was a Branch Manager and Financial Advisor at American Express Advisors.
Peter teaches Financial Planning and Business planning at the American College.
Peter has been published in various media channels: CNBC, Fortune Magazine, Investopedia, to name a few.
BS, Business Administration, Alfred University
BS, Health Care Administration, Alfred University
MPS, Health Care Administration, Long Island University
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
The terms disposable and discretionary income are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is a big difference in terminology to people that work in the financial, banking, or economic worlds.
Very simply, disposable income is money you have after taking out/paying your taxes. Discretionary income is money that is left over after paying your taxes and other living expenses (rent, mortgage, food, heat, electric, clothing etc). Discretionary income is based and derived on your disposable income.
I think the issue is due to confusing gross income and taxable income. When you contribute to a 401(k) retirement account you are making a pre-tax contribution, thereby not paying tax on the money today. Under the retirement rules the money grows tax deferred until the day you make withdrawals, then you are taxed on the amounts you withdraw during that year. Your gross income does not change, just taxable income. As an example if you earn $100,000 (gross Income) and you contribute $15,000 to your 401(K), your taxable income will be $85,000, but your gross income is still (remains) $100,000. If you check your year end W-2 or 1099 statements you will see how the taxable income and gross income are entered.
Another term you may encounter for benefits is Adjusted Gross Income which is your gross income minus adjustments to income, which is located on the bottom of the first page of you tax return.
You can always buy or sell stock without a brokers assistance. This is why there are discount brokers so you can place trades at a minimal cost and skip the broker advice and commissions. The real question you need to answer is "do I want and feel comfortable to go it alone?" Trading is pretty easy, but is trading by your self the right course for you? Buying and selling a stock is not rocket science, but you need to know the rules and expectations of you and your trade.
Before signing up with a discount broker, I suggest you understand your objectives, risk tolerance, time horizon, have a buy and sell strategy and understand what you want from the on line broker (Research, charts, company info, execution needs, exact costs and payment terms) as well as assistance/ help if you have questions or problems, and many other items besides costs. There are a number of big companies that are well know that make it pretty easy to open, fund an account and start trading. Usual costs are $5 to $20 per trade, with most somewhere around $8. Comparison shop a few of the firms and narrow down the selection to one that you feel comfortable and matches your needs. Some let you take their platform for a free trial.
Also, if you want to buy a mutual fund looking at one of the bigger companies (Vanguard, Fidelity etc,.) allow you to trade many of their funds or Exchange traded funds for no cost.
I am sorry for your loss.
Under insurance law there has to be a corridor between the cash value and the face value of the policy. This means the death benefit must be higher than the cash balance inside the policy (under normal circumstances). When the cash balance in the policy is above the face value, the death benefit the to you will be the cash value plus the corridor. If you check your last insurance statement or call the company, they will tell you the cash balance and what the death benefit is currently.
I am not sure what a boost in death benefit is referring to, unless you are referring to the approximately $20,000 over the face value of the policy. This will be included in the death benefit you get along with the extra amount for the corridor, when you file your claim for death benefits.
Filing the claim normally requires a certified death certificate and maybe an insurance form. I would suggest contacting the insurance company quickly and get the claim process underway. From what you described you will not be leaving any money on the table. It is yours, so go claim it.
There are/ can be several fees associated with an ETF purchase. The transaction costs can vary on where you purchase the ETF through, such as direct, discount broker or broker. ETFs look like a mutual fund, but most trade like stocks. Understand the difference and most costs will become clearer. You can roughly break costs into 2 major categories, ETF company management costs and broker transaction costs.
An expense ratio reflects the cost of managing and operating the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) by the company that offers/ manages the product (Vanguard, I Shares etc.). It is usually one of the costs associated with an ETF. The expense ratio is the behind the scenes cost usually expressed in bps (basis points) or percentage form. 100 bps equals 1%. The cost is an annualized cost and is usually deducted by the managing company before you earn your return. As an example, a S&P 500 ETF with an expense ration of 7 bps is $7 per $1,000. The expense ratio is outlined in the funds prospectus with examples and on the offering companies web site.
Most other fees deal with the place you buy the ETF through (broker/ dealer) are transaction costs. Costs/ fees you may be liable for include: a trading commission or a cost to buy or sell the ETF. This cost can vary depending on the custodian/ broker dealer channel you buy it through. If you use one of the discount brokers, like Schwab, Vanguard or Fidelity, there are a number of products including many ETF's you can buy or sell without a commission. The trading costs can vary from broker to broker so select your broker dealer carefully after reviewing all their costs. There may be an additional fee when selling the ETF. These may vary depending on the channel you use for the transaction.
There can also be miscellaneous costs such as: "an SEC or handling costs" that will also vary with the broker dealer you select.
Your question is a good one, but I suggest doing additional reading/research to learn all the different costs and risks associated with Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) as well as how they are made up (the ETF). Expense ratio costs are only part of the picture. Other important considerations include: liquidity, leverage, other transaction fees and tax costs to name a few. Space prohibits fully answering your question. A good place to start in figuring and understanding the true cost, is divide the costs between the issuing company and the broker dealer transactional fees.