Monthly Newsletter
May 2021
At ML&R Wealth Management, we want to ensure our clients are In The Know.

In this month's newsletter, we have a helpful article about charitable gift planning. We also take a look at what COVID 19 taught us about community. We are continuing our employee spotlight and introducing you to support associate, Katy Fangman. As usual, we are sharing helpful COVID-19 resources from our parent company, Maxwell, Locke & Ritter, and relevant investment articles and videos from Dimensional.

We are a firm that understands that managing your assets is about more than money. It is about empowering your future. At ML&R Wealth Management, we focus on you.

No matter where you are on your financial journey, charitable planning and giving are a win-win for all involved. Charities thrive on the time spent and dollars donated from individuals and families like you and yours. Although this is the primary purpose for charitable giving, families, and individuals can achieve many philanthropic goals while benefiting from the significant tax advantages that are available for those with a giving heart.

Given the ever-evolving and changing tax code, understanding the variety of ways in which you can achieve your philanthropic goals while still getting a tax benefit is the first step in building out your charitable giving strategy. While many folks write a check every year to their favorite charities, there are many situations and circumstances in which it makes sense to take a deeper look at strategies in which you can impact your bottom line and still fulfill your philanthropic passions.

Donating Cash Directly to Charity
Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was passed in December of 2017, a larger portion (around 30%) of the population, itemized their deductions rather than taking the standard deduction. Since charitable donations are an itemized item, more folks were able to tap into this tax benefit. However, since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law, it is now estimated that only around 10% of the population will actually itemize versus taking the standard deduction. The reason for this is twofold. First, the standard deduction amount is much higher now. Second, miscellaneous itemized deductions were removed and there are have been caps put in place for certain itemized deductions like state, local, real estate, and property taxes, essentially making it more difficult to itemize versus taking the standard deduction.

During the global pandemic over the past year, it’s been hard to avoid noticing so many suffering, both globally and in our local communities. One of the silver linings to come from the pandemic was people becoming more aware of the needs in their community and wanting to help (except for hoarding toilet paper). As a result, the past year demonstrated an outpouring of collective action and donations to local food banks, crowdfunding campaigns and other aid to financially devastated Americans.

Some of America’s wealthiest philanthropists made headlines donating in their own backyards. An annual study by Bank of America and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy of more than 1,600 U.S. households with a net worth of at least $1 million reported that wealthy donors supported local community needs more than usual during the pandemic.

This trend was not limited to the wealthy. According to GivingTuesday’s annual report for 2020, there was a definite COVID-19 bump, as Americans across the income spectrum donated 25% more to nonprofits in 2020 as compared to 2019. The largest driver of total donors were small donations between $101 and $500.

Volunteering activity also saw a boost during 2020, particularly for humanitarian and health causes and civil rights organizations, according to data from LinkedIn.

Our Obligation to the Community
Since its inception, ML&R’s founding partners believed that vibrant and engaged communities happen when there are dedicated people to support them. Two of our core values are (1) participating actively in the community and (2) committing ourselves and living up to our commitments. 

Employee Spotlight

We are excited to spotlight Katy Fangman this month! Below are some fun facts to help you get to know her better!
Support Associate

Birthday: August 18

Tell us about your family: I have been married to my husband, Ryan, for almost seven years and we have two amazing kids. Ryan and I met when he was my trainer at Cracker Barrel in college. Soon, we both graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos and then moved to North Austin. We have a sweet but shy son, Barrett, and a wild and sassy daughter named Scarlett. They keep me on my toes. We have a French Bulldog named Ellie after our favorite movie UP. I am from a large family and my favorite thing to do is spend time with the ones I love.

Favorite TV show? I love anything on Food Network. I love to cook and I pretend I'm on an episode of Chopped all the time.

Most adventurous thing you've done? I swam with sharks and stingrays in Belize. We were on our honeymoon and I have always wanted to swim with sharks. I can't wait till I can do it again!!

What is your secret talent? I am really good at making balloon animals! When I taught Pre-K I started making them at field day one year and have never stopped.

What is your favorite part of working at ML&R? We have a great team of people who are great at what they do, and I am so happy we will all be able to start returning to the office soon!

What was your first job? My first job was working at my parent's restaurant. I would fill the drink orders for the waitresses and eventually, I moved up to dishwasher and then a waitress. I loved working in the restaurant.

What was your dream job? My dream job as a kid was to be a veterinarian. I grew up on a farm and I always dreamed of becoming a large animal vet. Even though I am obviously not a vet, I still want to have a small farm one day.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are receiving intense media coverage, prompting many investors to wonder whether these new types of electronic money deserve a place in their portfolios. Advisor, Vanessa McElwrath, spoke with KVUE Midday News to shed light on cryptocurrency and its merits as an investment. 
Did you miss our most recent webinar on Social Security?

If so, we've included the link to the materials here and a link to the video recording here.

Additionally, you can find it all in one place here.

Dimensional’s David Booth was featured in a Money Magazine Q&A addressing topics on investors’ minds now.

As companies grow to become some of the largest firms trading on the US stock market, the returns that push them there can be impressive. But not long after joining the Top 10 largest by market cap, these stocks, on average, lagged the market.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread in the U.S. and across the world, our priority at Maxwell Locke & Ritter is the safety and well-being of our people, clients, families, and community. We are monitoring daily updates and recommendations from the CDC. Additionally, we are minimizing the impact that COVID-19 could have on our services and are staying abreast of all filing deadline adjustments. We understand that in this time of uncertainty you may have growing concerns for the financial health of yourselves and your businesses, employees and families. We have curated some helpful resources for you and will continue to update this page as new information and updates occur.

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About ML&R Wealth Management:
At ML&R Wealth Management, we take investing personally. Your ML&R Wealth Management advisor will work to develop a lasting relationship with you, keeping in touch to understand your changing goals and to provide an asset management strategy to help achieve them. Whenever you need sound financial advice, you have a direct line to a trusted advisor.

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