Brightpath Wealth Planning, LLC
Jean-Luc Bourdon, CPA, PFS is a Principal and Investment Advisor Representative working at Brightpath Wealth Planning, LLC in Santa Barbara, CA and has over 10 years of experience in the finance industry. Born in Belgium, the youngest of four children raised by a single-mother, Jean-Luc confronted issues such as budgeting and money management at an early age. He then realized the importance of planning wise financial decisions to get by and achieve personal goals, big or small. Having to choose a major in high school, it is not a surprise that he chose to study business and economics. He then applied that knowledge to put himself through college with a variety of jobs including small business entrepreneur.
Jean-Luc has a BS in Business Administration with a Finance concentration and an Accounting minor. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who earned the PFS (Personal Financial Specialist) credential from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). In the past, Jean-Luc worked as a senior corporate accountant at Fidelity National Financial, a Fortune 500 company, where he handled analysis and reporting for a $400 million securitized portfolio. Jean-Luc joined a Santa Barbara accounting firm in 2003 and developed its affiliated wealth management firm. Jean-Luc teamed up with Kozak Financial Advisory in 2011. The firm then became BrightPath Wealth Planning, LLC.
Jean-Luc is very active in the profession and often speaks and writes about financial planning. He was a regular contributor to CPA Insider, a newsletter from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Jean-Luc also wrote articles published in the Pacific Coast Business Times, AICPA Wealth Management Insider, The Tax Adviser and the Journal of Accountancy. Jean-Luc was quoted by various publications including the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business and USA Today. Jean-Luc presented the California Society of CPA’s Dollars and Sense financial education workshop at UCSB. He was a speaker at the AICPA’s Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference and the AICPA Conference on Tax Strategies for the High-Income Individual. He is a member of the Athena Study Group, a national, invitation-only group of top CPA financial planners. Jean-Luc currently serves on the Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee of the AICPA and on the Personal Financial Planning committee of the California Society of CPAs. In the past, he served on the PFS Credential Committee of the AICPA.
Jean-Luc and his wife Renee live in Carpinteria. They enjoy hiking local trails with Rosie, their standard poodle.
BA, Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Assets Under Management:
BrightPath Wealth Planning, LLC
I'd recommend a CPA/PFS.The PFS (Personal Financial Specialist) credential is a financial planning specialization for CPAs. So, you get a tax, investment and estate planning expert. You can find a CPA/PFS at https://www.aicpa.org/forthepublic/financial-planning-resources.html or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org
Warren Buffett says you find out who's swimming naked when the tide goes down. I'm glad you're not waiting for the market to go down to find out you're not covered the way you thought!
The answer to your questions depends on your (a) need, (b) ability and, (c) willingness to take risk. Let's go through them one by one.
Your need to take risk has to do with how much you need your investments to grow. To take an extreme example, if you plan to save 40% of your lifelong income for retirement, you don't need to take much risk. You'll accumulate what you need by saving alone rather than investment growth. If you save 15% of your lifelong income for retirement, you need that money to seriously grow.
Your ability to take risk has to do with your timeframe. If you don't need to touch your retirement savings for decades, you can ride the ups and down of the market and benefit from long-term growth. By contrast, if you need the money next year, you wouldn't likely have time to ride out a downturn.
Your willingness to take risk has to do with how stressed you get when the market goes down. Some people stay cool as cucumbers (think Buffett again). The worst thing to do is to freak out and get out of the market when it goes down. So, don't put yourself in a position where you'd be compelled to hurt yourself.
If you're young, you've got the ability to take a lot of risk. The vast majority of young investors have need to take risk (unless they are extreme savers or have very rich parents). The willingness to take risk depends on personality.
Here's a tool to asses your risk profile. There's a fee, but it's a good tool many professional advisors use with their clients.
With all best wishes!
When paying your kid's student loans, two tax aspects come to mind. First, is the gift of student loan repayment tax-free? Most likely.
Here's why. Any gifts within the annual gift tax exclusion (which is $14,000 in 2017) are not taxable. If you're married, each spouse may give your kid up to $14,000 a year, for a total of $28,000, without having to pay tax or file a gift tax return. If the gifts exceed this annual gift tax exclusion, you'd have to file a gift tax return (IRS form 709), but you won't have to pay taxes until you exceed your lifetime estate and gift tax exclusion. For 2017, that exclusion is $5.49 million per individual! Furthermore, if you co-signed, your repayments may not be considered gifts at all. Discuss your specific situation with your tax preparer.
Second, do you get to deduct student loan interest if you made the loan payments? Only if you co-signed. As always with tax, the devil is in the details, so go over them with your tax preparer or review IRS Publication 970 (Student Loan Interest Deduction).
You are fortunate to work with two reputable companies: Schwab and Vanguard. Because the answer to your question involves assessing an investment mix and the related amount of risk that makes sense for you, I suggest you have conversation with both companies. See who's most helpful and has the best answers. Here are suggested talking points:
- Explain what you need and ask to be directed to the person who can best help you. You want someone who's interested to help. You'll know if the person is willing to listen. Don't be afraid to ask for someone else if you don't understand or like that person.
- Give that person a list of your income, cash needs (your household budget), and your investments. Tell the person everything you find relevant (e.g. health issues, expected inheritance, financial support, ect.).
- Ask that person to assess your need, ability, and willingness to take risk.
- Once you understand the overall risk that makes sense for you to take on, ask for an investment mix recommendation that would fit that risk (including stocks and bonds). Here, you'll get the answer to your question :-)
- Ask if holding 100 shares of the stock you have is wise in your situation.
- Ask about all fees involved in helping you manage your money and about the ongoing service and guidance you can expect.
- Consider bringing all your investments to the company you like most. It'll make your life easier and allow them to serve you better.
With all best wishes!