Chief Executive Officer, Founding Partner
Brian P Amidei is the CEO and a Founding Partner of Fortem Financial. With nearly 23 years of experience in the financial industry, he specializes in creating and implementing wealth management strategies with a focus on risk management, insurance planning and estate planning issues.
Previously, Brian was a Managing Director and Partner at HighTower, as well as have spent 13 years as a Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor for Merrill Lynch in Indian Wells, California. At Merrill Lynch, he was a member of the Charles E. Merrill Circle of Excellence, a recognition given to a select group of Financial Advisors for outstanding client service and satisfaction. A native of Chicago, Brian began his career by purchasing a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade. As a member of the exchange, he traded Municipal bond and Treasury bond options and futures for his own account.
Brian was recognized in Barron’s annual rankings of financial advisors as one of the Top 1,000 Advisors in America in 2013 and 2014. He has been featured in various industry publications, including the Wall Street Journal, CNBC.com, Forbes, On Wall Street and InvestmentNews. Brian is the Financial Analyst for the Desert’s KMIR NBC Television and has been featured on CNBC.
Brian is a seven-time, Five Star Professional award winner (2011-2017), awarded by Five Star Professional for service professionals who provide quality services to their clients. Brian is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) and a graduate of Executive Program for Financial Planning and wealth management at the Wharton School of Business. He is also a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®), as designated by the College for Financial Planning.
Brian is a Director of Martha’s Village & Kitchen, President emeritus of Legatus Palm Springs, Founding Corporate Sponsor of the Patrick Warburton Golf for Kids Celebrity Tournament benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and an active supporter and member of the finance council of Sacred Heart Church and School in Palm Desert.
Generally, inheritances are not subject to equitable distribution because, by law, inheritances are not considered marital property. Instead, inheritances are treated as separate property belonging to the person who received the inheritance, and therefore, may not be divided between the parties in a divorce. If you pass on an inheritance to your son and it is cash and he receives the funds and deposit's it into an account held in joint names with his spouse, he will have commingled the inheritance. In community property states where courts divide all marital property 50/50 in a divorce, your sons spouse is now entitled to half of his inheritance.
Laws protect inheritances in all states. This means that if your son receives an inheritance, the law declares that his spouse has no right to it during or after his marriage providing he always keeps the money sole and seperate. However, it is very easy to undo this protection if he does not handle the inheritance properly. Your sons inheritance is his sole and separate property as long as he takes steps to segregate it from his other marital assets. When and if he commingles his inheritance with his marital assets, he will cease to shelter it. Commingling means you’ve put it together with marital money or property. In equitable distribution states, where judges have the right to distribute property in a way they think is fair, your spouse will now receive a portion of his inheritance. Exactly how much would depend on how much a judge feels it is fair to give your sons spouse.
The only time an inheritance must be shared is when a divorce court decides that it was not kept separate from marital property. A spouse who does not wish to share their inheritance may keep it separate by depositing the proceeds into a separate bank or investment account. The accounts should be set up as sole and seperate property and titled that way. If your son then buys property (stocks, real-estate) with the proceeds of his inheritance. He would title that property in the same sole and seperate property name. Your son must deal with all the cash and property (stocks, real-estate) he inherits in the same manor and retitle the property in his name as sole and seperate property.
Your son also needs to make sure that he does not pay any of his joint bills with any of the funds from the sole and seperate property accounts. If he does, that may be deemed commingling and would then put a cloud over the whole sole and seperate accounts intentions. I would recommend consulting your accountant and estate planning attorney for advice as well.
When you are buying a private interest in any company you are becoming an equity owner. Usually in early funding rounds like croud funding it is the most risky investment you can make. Generally speaking there is no guarintee that the company you are investing in we be around in the next few years. You are completely dependent on the growth of the business you are investing in and the ability of its management team to navigate their business through some very rough waters before you will have any chance of getting a return on your investment. This is an investment you defanitely are buying low and hopefully selling higher down the road.
There are many way of getting paid and they include the sale of the company to other private investors, selling another company or for the company you invested in going public. It can be a very long road and this is an investment I would make with money you do not mind losing. If you do not have that type of disposable investment assets, I would recommend staying clear of early round croud funding investments.
That is a very diffucult question and one that carries a lot of emotion and depends greatly on your age and how long before you retire. Nobody likes to be in debt and for many folks it becomes emotional baggage that can keep them up at night. The good news here is you can calculate the benefit if any, to paying off debt through simple math. The first thing you should look at is the interest rate you are paying on the debt you owe. Annualize the cost of that debt to see how much interest you are paying on that debt on an annual basis. You can take a loan out from your 401k instead of simply cashing it in, so I would see how much they will charge you in interest to borrow from your 401k and compare that to the cost of your current debt. If it is less that may be a good way to reduce the cost of your debt and ensure it is paid off in a timely manor through payroll deductions to pay the 401k loan back.
If you cash in your 401k before you are 591/2 you will pay a 10% penalty on the amount your withdraw from your plan. You will also have to pay ordinary income on the money you take from the plan as well. If the cost of the penalty and the ordinary income tax you will pay can be offset by capital losses you have to offset the income, it may be worth while to cash in the plan. However, I would caution you to seek advice from your accountant and he can double check your math to see if cashing in your retirement account puts you in a better financial position. If you are in no better position financially after cashing in your retirement account, then it is not worth doing because your net worth is the same and you are no better off.
In that case I would hunker down and start aggressively paying your debt off with money you would have otherwise budgeted for discretionary spending. Starting with paying down the debt that carries the highest interest rate. Once that debt is paid off, take the money you were using to pay that debt and apply it to the next highest interest bearing debt you have and pay it off aggressively. This strategy will assist you in reducing your debt at an accelerated rate and will have a posative affect on your net worth over time.
I would compare the benefits for your supplimental drug coverage with Part D coverage and see if there are any gaps. Individuals on Medicare are eligible for prescription drug coverage under a Part D plan if they are signed up for benefits under Medicare Part A and/or Part B. Beneficiaries obtain the Part D drug benefit through two types of plans administered by private insurance companies. I would compare your coverage with that coverage offered through Part D and make sure all the perscriptions you need are covered and what the pricing difference would be to you for each perscription if any. Once you have done that you can better decide if buying additional coverage makes sense.
It is not a bad idea to look at funding both IRA Options if you can afford to do it. The main difference between the two options is taxation. With a regular (Qualified) IRA you get a current tax deduction for making contributions to the plan in the year you make the contribution. The money grows tax free until retirement and then you pay the tax as ordinary income when you pull the money out to fund your retirement. You must start taking distributions from your qualified IRA at age 70 1/2.
In a Roth (Non Qualified) IRA you get no tax deduction when you make contributions. The money grows tax free and when you pull the money out to fund your retirement you will not pay any tax for withdrawing the funds. The premise is that your money will go farther to fund your retirement without paying ordinary income tax rather than if you had to pay income tax at that time.
There are limits to funding these different retirement options that vary with you current age. I would also recommend contributing to a 401k plan or any other type of plan you can through work. The limits to fund those plans are usually higher than your IRA Options. I would consult a financial advisor and start to formulate a financial plan so you can explore all of these options. People dont plan to fail they usually fail to plan. Contact me if you have any additional questions.