February 6th, 2019
Captain's Log


As we enter into February, it seems that everybody is finally getting back in the swing of things for the new year. January seemed to drag on, between the longest government shutdown in history to the polar vortex trying to freeze us solid. I think it's safe to say that we're ready to move on with the year and say "good riddance" to January. 

With that being said, we'll get into a topic that brings joy to all - TAXES! Haha. While we all may not love talking taxes, it is that time of year when the IRS is on our minds. Whether you do your own taxes or have someone prepare them for you, it's important to be sure you're gathering all the necessary documents for your filing. 

We've had a lot of inquiries about tax documentation. Carriers and custodians have mailed some tax documents already, but it is important to note that some accounts will not generate the required forms for another week or so. This primarily applies to non-qualified investment accounts. For example, TD Ameritrade has noted that Form 1099 may not be accessible until as late as February 13th depending on the positions held within an account. It depends on when the positions/funds in the account finalize their interest and dividend distributions. Most insurance companies and banks have already sent tax documents, so those should hopefully be received by the end of this week. 

For our clients - if you are still missing tax documents after the end of next week or have questions about how to access them, then please let us know and we'll be sure you get everything you need to complete your tax filings in a timely manner. 

It is also worth noting that Form 5498 (showing contributions to IRA plans) is not required to be sent out until May, so if you made a contribution, rollover, or transfer to a new IRA during 2018, then you will simply need to tell your tax preparer, as you may not receive physical documentation showing this until after the tax filing deadline. People often worry, because they receive a Form 1099 showing a distribution from a qualified account, but don't have another form to show it going into the new account. If you completed a direct rollover or direct transfer, then this should be indicated on your Form 1099 in Box 2. Form 5498 is filed directly with the IRS from the custodian by May 31st, so it isn't technically required to complete your filing. 

If there is anything we can assist you with, then just let us know.  And, as always, remember -  The purpose of the money dictates where you put it.  

Until Next Month,
Jim's signature
  James D. Stillman
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The Wealth Report:

What Low Unemployment Means for the US

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculates the unemployment rate by dividing the number of people working by the number of people unemployed. Not everyone outside the working world is classified as "unemployed", just those without a job who have been actively searching in the past four weeks.

That removes many groups from the equation, such as stay-at-home parents who have cursory thoughts about getting a job or those who searched for work before giving up a month ago. It also excludes people who quit their job to take a month (or longer) off work. For this reason, there is some debate about whether the "real" unemployment rate should be much higher. 

The rate is updated by the BLS on the first Friday of each month, and it's generally considered more meaningful to compare it to the same month from the previous year than monitoring differences month by month. That's because season factors impact employment levels, such as students working in the summer, or the holiday retail rush. 

All content is intended for informational purposes only. Any guarantees are for insured products only and are dependent on the claims paying abilities of the insurer.  All investments carry some risk and you should be advised by your personal financial advisor before implementing any strategies discussed, as they are not suitable for everyone. James D. Stillman is an Investment Advisor Representative of JDS Wealth Management Corporation and AE Wealth Management. 

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