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:
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In most circumstances, the answer to this question is no, but depending on your circumstances, this question could get complicated. The maximum you, the employee, are permitted to contribute to a 401(k) in the year 2016 is $18,000. If you are the age of 50 or older, you will be permitted to contribute an additional $6,000 for a total employee contribution limit of $24,000. This $6,000 is often referred to as “catch-up”. Essentially, your employer's matching contribution doesn't necessarily count towards the maximum you can contribute to your 401(k), but your employer's overall contribution can count towards how much is overall contributed to your 401(k).
Besides employee contributions, there are other forms of additions that can come into your 401(k). All forms of additions are listed below:
- Employee contributions
- Employer matching contributions
- Employer nonelective contributions
- Allocations of forfeitures
Employee contributions have a threshold of $18,000 ($24,000 catch-up) that is permitted in a year - employer matching contributions, employer nonelective contributions and allocations of forfeitures do not have individual thresholds, but all of them combined together have a threshold of $53,000. If your compensation is less than $53,000, 100% of compensation will be the threshold.
Here's an example to better understand this concept. Assume we have an individual that is 40 years old, earns $75,000 and receives a 100% employer match up to 4% of compensation. This person contributes the annual maximum they are permitted to them of $18,000. Their employer matches 100% of contributions up to 4% of compensation which, in scenario, is $3,000. Currently, we have total annual contributions of $21,000 ($18,000 + $3,000), this leaves $32,000 ($53,000 - $21,000) remaining that could potentially be contributed through employer nonelective contributions or allocations of forfeitures.
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There is a difference between speculative trading and investing. Trading is a tactic used in trying to anticipate market movements and to take advantage of short-term market opportunities. Investing is a strategy in which you are anticipating to profit from the long-term growth and prosperity of a company. Mutual funds are designed for long-term investing and penny stocks are often associated with short-term speculative trading. Because these concepts are opposite of each other, when combining them, you may find that you attain neither the long-term growth nor the short-term profitability.
If you wish to invest in an aggressive long-term strategy, look into small cap (domestic or international) funds. By definition, some of the small cap companies inside of a small cap fund may actually be penny stocks, but they are likely to be limited. Penny stocks tend to be classified as either Micro or Nano Cap stocks. Micro Cap stocks are defined by having a market cap (size of the company) of $50 million - $300 million, Nano Caps are under $50 million. These "micro" companies are often hard to analyze because of their size and lack of transparency, this makes investing in these companies complicated. A small cap company is defined as having a market cap of $300 million - $2 billion. Generally, investors can do better analysis on these companies when compared to the micro caps. Small cap investments are theoretically more risky than large cap (over $10 billion) investments, thus have potential to offer more of a reward over an extended period of time.
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Homeowner's and renter's insurance are similar in the fact that they are both associated with your dwelling. The main differences in these two types of insurance is what is included in the coverage and if you are required to have homeowner's or renter's insurance while living in the dwelling.
Homeowner's insurance covers the actual building you live in (and other structures, such as garages) while renter's insurance does not. With renter's insurance, the landlord will be expected to have coverage on the building while your renter’s insurance will cover your personal property. Most standard homeowner's policies will have personal property coverage as well. With homeowner's insurance, you are covering a more substantial asset (the actual home), thus the cost of insurance should be expected to be higher. Most homeowner's and renter's insurances will also have liability coverage associated with them.
If you mortgage your home, homeowner's insurance will almost always be required. Although it is becoming more popular that landlords require their renters to have renter’s insurance, having renter's insurance isn't always required when renting.
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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.
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From a behavioral financial perspective, she should get comfortable with the idea of withholding some of her paycheck to save for retirement. Saving for retirement requires a lot of discipline and a strong understanding of your overall financial picture, creating that mentality early can be effective.
From an investing perspective, a little bit of money saved has potential to go a long way. That small amount that she would be contributing, that seems like pocket change, could end up accumulating to several hundreds of dollars. With years of growth in the investments, that amount could end up being several thousands of dollars upon retirement. Savings that seem insignificant, turn significant. It probably won’t be enough to retire on, but if it isn’t painful to put that little bit of money away, it could be very valuable in the future.
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