Laurel Tree Advisors
Assistant Portfolio Manager
Alexander (Alex) Rupert is an Assistant Portfolio Manager at Laurel Tree Advisors. Alex joined the firm while earning his Bachelor of Business Administration degree focusing on Finance. He graduated from the University of Akron and joined Laurel Tree Advisors in his current role in 2014.
Alex is very active on the firm’s investment research committee, providing in-depth reports on securities and economic topics. He also reviews and analyzes investment portfolios as well as preparation and presentation of financial plans. He has developed multiple templates and tools that streamline portfolio allocation and apply investment research that the company currently uses in their business processes. Maintenance of the company website, social media and other various technological tasks are part of Alex’s routine.
In addition to creating financial plans and managing portfolios for clients that are nearing or in retirement, Alex specializes in creating financial plans for the younger demographic who want to maximize the efficiency of their income and resources.
Alex is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Northeast Ohio where he leads the technology committee and develops website strategies. Alex participates in virtual financial planning through Nerdwallet’s Ask an Advisor. Alex also participates in the Steering Committee of the Muldoon Partners at the Muldoon Center for Entrepreneurship where he helps with the strategy and direction of the group. Alex is also a member of the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland.
Alex is enthusiastic and creative, with an interest in health and fitness as well as developing relationships and becoming part of the Cleveland community.
Assets Under Management:
Answers given on Advisor Network do not include all of the information required to create a financial plan or take an official tax position. Advisor Network questions and answers will probably not apply directly to each situation. Before implementing any advice on Advisor Network, you should seek the advice of a professional expert.
Investing in individual stocks should only be considered if you have a strong desire to do the research in the companies and keep an eye on your investments. Investing in funds (mutual funds and ETFs) has allowed investors without a large purchasing power to invest in stocks in a diversified manner that they normally couldn't because they didn't have that purchasing power to buy a sufficient number of stocks. Funds also provide an investor the opportunity to relax on the research and analysis of companies because the fund will either have a manager or an index that the fund follows that will adhere to a specific investment philosophy.
It is possible to invest in individual stocks and perform better than your funds, it is also possible that the stocks you choose will perform worse. Theoretically, investing in individual stocks compared to investing in funds is a strategy that has more potential to outperform the fund because you are lessening diversification, thus accepting more risk. Investing in individual stocks and attaining more of a return takes a large amount of investment skill and some would even say even more amounts of luck.
You're doing the right things - contributing to your employer's retirement plan and a brokerage account early in your life. When you are young and building wealth, the most powerful factor is how much you are regularly contributing and how early you start. If you choose to take on more risk and start investing in individual stocks, make sure you do your research, pay attention to your holdings, do not allocate too much of your portfolio into any one stock and try sticking with large stable companies.
I hope you found this helpful and best of luck!
Benjamin Graham's, 'The Intelligent Investor' is a very popular book and some may even say it's the backbone of value investing. Although, someone that is new to investing may find this read complicated and a little dry. The first book that I recommend for investors that are looking to get started is, 'The Little Book That Beats the Market' by Joel Greenblatt. I wouldn't say this book "beats the market," but it's a very easy read that does a great job of breaking down investing and puts the process into real life examples.
I hope you find this helpful and best of luck!
If you are looking for an account in which you would like to make withdrawals from time-to-time, a brokerage account will provide you more liquidity than a Roth IRA. Roth IRAs are excellent tools to be used as a retirement account and potentially an emergency fund. Since a Roth IRA is an after-tax account, you can withdrawal your contributions to the account before retirement without tax or penalty. Please note that you will not be able to withdraw any earnings unless you've had the account open for five years and you are 59 ½ (or you have become disabled or used the funds to for a first-home purchase up to $10,000). Because of these restrictions, you will not be able to grow your account and use any growth for short-term goals, besides your first home. Roth IRAs are retirement accounts designed for retirement, thus, you will find the most benefit using it as such. They can double-up as great emergency funds, but the concept behind an emergency fund is that you are never actually planning to use the money, it's only there in case of emergency.
There is no penalty for withdrawing funds from a brokerage account before retirement to fund short-term needs. Although, you will be required to pay taxes (on your annual return) when you realize gains because you will need to sell any investments enabling you to withdrawal funds, a brokerage account will be more advantageous if you are seeking periodic liquidity.
I hope you found his helpful.
This is a good question.
The short answer to your question is, no, FICA taxes are not withheld from investment income.
Aside from FICA, an individual has the potential to pay Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) of 3.8% on income from options trading (as well as any other investments income reported on a 1099-B). Although this is not “FICA”, it is potentially an additional tax that may confuse some people. Most people that do trading on the side will not be required to pay NIIT because the thresholds are so high. An individual will need to pay the tax if they have Net Investment Income over $200,000 or $250,000 if they are married filing jointly. An additional Medicare tax of 0.9% can apply to individuals with wages, compensation, and other employment income over a certain threshold, but is not related to NIIT. Please note that additional Medicare tax does not account for investment income.
I hope you found this helpful.
Only after you have read the fine print and completely understand what you're getting into. I know many of these bank account incentives require keeping a minimum balance for at least 3-6 months, you may not be able to close them immediately. This turns into a bad decision when you don't want to switch banks, you keep your money with the new bank for a few months to get the bonus and now you're comfortable with the new bank resulting in having multiple bank accounts open. The bank doesn't want you to take the bonus and leave, they are more profitable holding your money. But, if you've read and understood all of the terms of how to qualify for the bonus and you don't mind doing a little footwork by moving your assets around, by all means take advantage of the bonus.
I hope this was helpful.