Monthly Tips August 2019

Monthly Tips



TIP 1 IRS Scam Alert

The IRS announced it has sent 10,000 letters to cryptocurrency holders. There are three variants of the letter, with the most serious asking the holder to sign a statement that they believe they are in compliance with the law. All three only remind holders that their transactions need to be recorded and gains taxed – these letters are not demanding immediate payment, and are not bills.

This story could be a kernel of truth used to build a scam, and IRS impersonation. If you receive a phone call claiming to be the IRS referencing cryptocurrency, it is most likely to be a scam, especially if they ask to be paid in cryptocurrency or gift cards.

The IRS will not call and demand immediate payment, or request payment via a credit or debit card, or threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying. If you don’t owe taxes, or have any reason to believe you do, do not give out any information when called and contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” webpage. You can also call 800-366-4484 to report it.



TIP 2 Will Reminder

True or false: The majority of Americans do not have a will or living trust.

According to a 2017 survey, only 42% of U.S. adults have a will or living trust. The percentage does go up as we age, with 60% of 53-71 year-olds, and 81% of those 72 and older.

This still leaves millions of people with no estate plans in place, many of whom have substantial assets, and whose families would benefit from planning ahead. If you find yourself in those shoes, let us know. We’d be pleased to help!


TIP 3 Comparing Apples to…Newer Apples

One of the conventional pieces of investment advice attributed to Peter Lynch is: invest in what you know. This observation has been quoted repeatedly without context, so much so that Peter Lynch clarified his thinking in an interview on MarketWatch here. What he really meant was don’t invest in things you don’t know or understand.

The larger lesson is that every investor needs a starting point, and that is your existing knowledge. Then you seek out more knowledge, it doesn’t end there. In today’s marketplace, that advice may be more important than ever, since even the seemingly simple is becoming considerably more complex. Read more in our blog, Comparing Apples to…Newer Apples.



TIP 4 Newsletter sign-up

Congratulations! You’ve signed up for our newsletter, and look forward to reading our wealth insights and articles each month. Now for the next step, getting the young people interested so that they start paying more attention and building their own wealth and are better able to handle any bequest that might come their way.

Garden State Trust Company’s monthly newsletter has interesting updates about events in the trust industry, and links to helpful articles. Share a newsletter with your heirs, or share this link to sign up here and see what we mean – there’s no cost, and a one-click unsubscribe link if they ever get tired of them.