Blog

At Plancorp, we don’t wait for you to ask the right questions.
We take the initiative to offer insights and guidance — real enlightenment for real life.

The Guide to the Estate Documents You Need to Have

While it may be a challenging subject to approach, we all know that eventual death is a certainty. What will happen to our house, cars, bank accounts, retirement plans, and other personal belongings when that occurs? What if some or all these items have outstanding debt? What if they don’t? And who Read more…

Estate Planning Pros: How to Choose an Executor for Your Estate

So, you’ve decided to put together your estate plan. That’s great! Often considered just for the ultra-wealthy or older generations, estate plans are a crucial component of a complete financial plan. An executor and team of estate planning professionals are a few essential pieces of an estate plan. Read more…

What to Know About Open Enrollment

It’s that time of year again! Fall is upon us and annual open enrollment is in full swing for a majority of companies. Open enrollment is a great time to reevaluate what makes sense for you and your family’s health. It may be tempting to just breeze through enrollment and stick with the same Read more…

What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About the Holidays

I know, I know -- it’s only November. But you can’t ignore the pumpkins in the store displays, and as soon as those come down, you’d better be ready for snowmen and candy canes. Friends, the holidays are upon us, and if you are like me, this normally triggers a sense of dread in my gut when I think Read more…

What to Know About 2021 Year-End Tax Planning

Now that we are in the 4th quarter of 2021, it’s a good time to start looking at ways to reduce your 2021 tax liability. Even though you might not know your tax liability until you file your tax return in April (or October) of 2022, in order to take advantage of some key tax saving tools, many Read more…

Video Series - Mistake #5 - No Retirement Plan

In this video, Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer , speaks to why it's important to set up your own retirement plan as a small business owner . Read more…

Video Series - Mistake #4 Business Owners Make: Independence

Join Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer , for this video where she d iscusses the importance of building a strong advisory board versus being too independent and trying to go it alone in your business. Read more…

Video Series - Mistake #3 Business Owners Make: No Risk Mitigation

Join Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer, as she discusses the importance of being appropriately insured and provides considerations for mitigating risk in your business. Read more…

Video Series - Mistake #2 Business Owners Make: Bad Cash Flow Management

Managing cash flow in a business is vital to survival. Don't miss video #2 on Bad Cash Flow Management in Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer's series on common mistakes business owners make and how to avoid them. Read more…

Know Your (Stock) Options: Understanding ISOs and NSOs

Companies use stock options as a form of equity compensation to supplement employees’ salaries — and if you’ve been awarded options, you’re essentially being given a chance to take an ownership stake in the company you work for. Stock options are not only an acknowledgement of the contributions you Read more…

5 Steps for Deep Cleaning Your Finances

In this video, Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer, walks through 5 actionable steps for deep cleaning your finances.  Read more…

Video Series - Mistake #1 Business Owners Make: No Worst-Case Scenario Plan

When running your own business, being prepared for the unexpected can help prevent disaster.  Read more…

Cash Balance Plans for Content Creators

I’ve written a few articles on Cash Balance Plans; you can find everything I've written here; but I wanted to focus this piece on a specific group – content creators. Read more…

How to Handle Post-IPO Equity

For years, investing in Silicon Valley was predominantly reserved for ultra-wealthy venture capitalists, but that exclusive landscape is changing. The last year has seen three massive initial public offerings (IPOs) from software vendor Snowflake (NYSE: SNOW), takeout delivery company DoorDash Read more…

Federal Student Loan Rates Are Going Up. Now What?

Interest Rates on Federal Student Loans Are on The Rise. Consider these 5 Key Benefits Before Bypassing Them For Private Student Loans. Read more…

How to Minimize Regret with Your Investment Decisions

Think about the major choices you’ve made in your life. Picking a career path, choosing a life partner, deciding to have children, changing jobs – these are high-stake decisions because each forces you to set aside all possible futures except the one you ultimately choose. Read more…

Is My Business Right For a Cash Balance Plan?

I wrote a piece about what a Cash Balance Plan is recently, which you can find here. The natural question after reading that is “Is my business a good candidate to set up a Cash Balance Plan?” Read more…

If Stock Options Are Part of Your Compensation Package, Here's What You Need to Know

The 2010s was arguably the decade of the corporate perk. For years, we could hardly escape the barrage of beer taps in the break room, free gym memberships, and unlimited PTO. These benefits may have led to a “best place to work” award or two, but when was the last time a free lunch helped you feel Read more…

Tax Implications of Moving from State to State

What are the tax implications to consider if you’re moving from one state to another? Each state has a unique set of taxes, such as property, sales, estate or inheritance, and income tax, that apply to its residents. The Tax Cuts and Acts Job put a $10,000 limit on the state and local tax Read more…

Investment Gifts: Creative Ways to Give Money to Kids

Most gifts—even the big ones—fade from our memories within months. But some gifts will continue to give years after recipients have torn off the wrapping paper and shrieked with joy: investment gifts. When you give money in the form of education funds, stocks, trusts, or charitable contributions, Read more…

Want to Earn More on Your Cash? Try Lending Money to a Family Member.

If interest rates are low, you have to be strategic to earn more on your cash. But before you open your wallet, understand the risks and rewards. Read more…

Ways to Strive For Financial Freedom Amidst Uncertainty

In this video, Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer speaks about striving for financial freedom even amidst uncertainty, and outlines steps for getting organized and setting up a financial plan. Read more…

Investing By Age Series

As you age and mature in life and in your career, your investment priorities change, and financial goals and objectives shift as well. Having the right financial advisor by your side means having a proactive partner to make sure you reach your goals during life's journey. I created this investing Read more…

A New Podcast Designed to Help You Improve as a Long Term Investor

After several years of deliberation, I’m finally launching a podcast. I’m excited to introduce you to The Long Term Investor, a financial podcast designed to distill complex topics into easily digestible lessons and make you a better investor. Read more…

Tax Reduction Strategies

Learn 5 strategies for tax reduction in this helpful video from Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer. Read more…

How to Choose the Right Type of Mortgage

Homeownership has long been one of the biggest goals for Americans to achieve, and a cornerstone of the traditional American Dream. More than 65% of the US population owns their home – but without the help of a mortgage, many of those homeowners couldn’t afford to make the purchase. However, very Read more…

Small Business 401(k) Retirement Plans - Safe Harbor Match vs. Safe Harbor Non-Elective

For a myriad of reasons – from automatically passing ADP testing, helping with Top-Heavy failures, or owners saving $60,000+, many businesses choose to use a Safe Harbor formula in their 401(k) retirement plan. Let’s find out what the Safe Harbor formulas are and why you may choose one over the Read more…

What You Need to Know about Estate Planning

Developing and executing an estate plan is one of the most important pieces of your financial plan. Read more…

How to Financially Prepare for a Divorce

It's not a pleasant topic, but when divorcing, you want to be as financially prepared as possible. Join Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer, as she walks through the 3 steps to financially prepare for a divorce.   Read more…

How to Save if You're Expecting a Baby

Join busy parents and Plancorp employees, Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer, and Chief Investment Officer, Peter Lazaroff, as they talk through important financial considerations to keep in mind when saving for a baby. Read more…

Investment Gifts: Creative Ways to Give Money to Your Kids

Pop Quiz: You have 10 seconds to name what your parents gave you for Christmas when you were 15. Go! It’s almost impossible to think of even one thing, right? Most gifts—even the big ones—fade from our memories within months. But some gifts will continue to give years after recipients have torn off Read more…

3 Financial Considerations for Setting Up Your Business

If you have a groundbreaking entrepreneurial idea floating around your head, then you may be wondering what to consider before starting a business. One simple mentality will help — the more planning you do upfront, the better off your new business venture will be. It's just like taking a vacation. Read more…

Video: Restricted Stock Units (RSUs). What Are They? How Do They Work?

In this video, Senior Wealth Manager, Daniel Lee and Chief Investment Officer, Peter Lazaroff, discuss what Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) are, what vesting is, how taxes for RSUs work, share blackouts and more. Read more…

5 Steps to Manage Money from Sudden Wealth

Unless you’re independently wealthy, you probably receive an income for work you perform at your job. Read more…

Things to Consider Before You Buy a Home

Join Plancorp Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer, as she goes through the 6 misconceptions and considerations to keep in mind when contemplating a home purchase. Read more…

Where to Save for Retirement

One of the trickier decisions of saving for retirement is determining which accounts to prioritize with your savings. Read more…

Should I Invest in a Traditional or a Roth IRA?

When funded early and consistently, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) can be a cornerstone of retirement planning. By combining the magic of compounding, a long time for growth, and shelter from taxes, the wealth-building equation can really work in your favor. Read more…

No, You (Probably) Don't Need Permanent Life Insurance

Nearly everyone needs life insurance, but it’s easy to end up with a bad policy. That’s not your fault. It happens because of predatory sales tactics that are often used by people who sell insurance. Read more…

InspireHer Business Owner Spotlight - Dr. Becky Lynn, CEO & Founder of Evora Women's Health

Join InspireHer founder and Senior Wealth Manager, Sara Gelsheimer, for a chat with physician, founder and hard-working mom, Dr. Becky Lynn, of Evora Women's Health at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, MO. Dr. Lynn discusses starting her new women's health clinic at the beginning of the Read more…

Investing In Your 20s

The financial decisions you make in your 20s are arguably more important than any other time in your life. The most important decision you can make is to start investing now. To illustrate, imagine two college graduates with access to tax-deferred investment accounts earning 8% per year. The first Read more…

Getting the Most Out of 529 College Savings Plans

Want to get the most out of your 529 College Savings Plan? If one of these special situations apply, you may be able to shop 529 plans in an effort to reduce fees and gain access to additional features and benefits not available in your state-sponsored plan. Don't miss this short informative video Read more…

Investing In Your 30s

The right investment strategy to reach your goals shifts as you age. Once you reach your 30s, the looming worries of graduating, starting a career and climbing out of the student loan debt hole probably have been replaced by more domestic concerns. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median Read more…

Reverse Budgeting: Creating A Budget That Actually Works

Creating a budget and sticking to it is difficult for most people because the process is time consuming and restrictive. Traditional budgeting forces you to make every decision as if you live in a spreadsheet. But guess what? You don’t live in a spreadsheet. Read more…

Investing In Your 40s

By the time you’re in your 40s, you have probably established some financial goals, invested in your workplace retirement accounts, and set aside money for a rainy day. It’s also more likely you have gotten married, bought a home, and had a few kids. Next comes the question of whether you’ve done Read more…

Investing In Your 50s

For most of your life, saving for retirement probably wasn’t a high priority. But as the years count down on your career, nerves set in and rhetorical questions start flooding your head: Have I saved enough? Did I invest too aggressively? Do I have the right kind of insurance? Read more…

Mega Backdoor Roth? Probably Not for Small Business Owners.

I’ve read the articles and maybe you have too; articles about Mega Backdoor Roths (MBRs) that promise a lot – but maybe don’t explain all the issues they may cause for certain businesses or people. In this article, I'm going to review what a MBR is, how it works, and while it may be good choice for Read more…

How to Consider Alternative Investments as Part of Your Portfolio

In our Family Office practice, we field a lot of questions from clients who are interested in alternative investments. Perhaps you’ve also wondered whether you could improve on your investment portfolio by branching out beyond your core stock/bond asset allocations. With all the possibilities to Read more…

Doing Your Due Diligence on a Private Equity Investment Offer

In our Plancorp Family Office practice, we often work with clients who are frequently presented with opportunities to invest in non-traditional offerings such as private equity, private real estate, hedge funds, etc. Read more…

Payment Structure: Ensuring Your Investment Dollars Work for You

There’s one more important detail to pay attention to when comparing advisors: The way they get paid. Unfortunately, not all advisors operate by the same methods, and how an advisory firm generates revenues and compensates its employees is a critical factor in the quality and type of advice you Read more…

How to Buy and Sell a House at the Same Time

Homebuyers are opting for more living space than they have in recent years. This need for expanded square footage has led to a unique situation: people wanting to buy and sell a house at the same time. Read more…

Learn How Business Owners Can Save More Than $60,000 a Year Into Their 401(k)

For many people, the question “How much can I save into my 401(k)?” has a simple answer. If you are under age 50 in 2021 you can save $19,500 into your 401(k). If you are over 50 you can save $26,000. Read more…

Your Financial Team - Why You Should Like Your Financial Advisor's Firm Too

Your advisor is your personal contact and captain of your wealth management strategy, but it’s important that he or she is backed by a strong team. That’s why it’s critical to look beyond your individual advisor and learn about the entire firm. Read more…

Do It for Your Loved Ones: 4 Reasons You Need Estate Documents

Does anyone really enjoy thinking about, let alone discussing, their mortality? Most of us do whatever we can to avoid this topic. While that’s human nature, doing a little planning now can save major headaches for our loved ones down the road. Read more…

5 Common Scenarios That Call for Deeper Financial Expertise

Every family is unique, and everyone has their own questions, priorities, and vision for the future. However, there are certain life events or financial situations that are especially complex and call for deeper expertise from a financial advisor.  Read more…

The Money Tree (and Other Basic Investing Principles)

How old were you when you first started seriously thinking about money? For me, it was when I was eight, based on “The Money Tree” book that I “authored” for a third-grade assignment. Read more…

7 Things You Should Know Before Investing in Bitcoin

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have delivered eye-popping returns in 2020 and 2021. All kinds of crypto – including what started as a joke and meme, Dogecoin – are receiving heightened media attention as a result. The value of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has risen sharply in past months. But Read more…

Should You Invest in Gold?

Gold is shiny and makes nice jewelry, but it doesn’t impress me as an investment. Read more…

How to Find a Financial Advisor That Works for You

There’s one more important detail to pay attention to when comparing advisors: The way they get paid. Unfortunately, not all advisors operate by the same methods, and how an advisory firm generates revenues and compensates its employees is a critical factor in the quality and type of advice you Read more…

What Does it Mean for an Investment Advisory Firm to be CEFEX Certified?

Ever wonder what goes into becoming "CEFEX-certified"? It's more of a rigorous process than you might think. CEFEX-certified firms adhere to a standard representing the best fiduciary practices in their industry. The standards include specific criteria which have been substantiated by regulation or Read more…

Why Am I Getting Refunds From My 401(k)?

If you are an executive or business owner, you may have received a refund from your 401(k). That can be a frustrating experience. What you thought was tax-deferred savings is now taxable income. So why are you getting refunds and is there anything you can do about it? Read more…

Financial Advisor Credentials: Which are Most Important?

You may have noticed that advisors go by many different professional titles, which are often followed by a trail of different three-letter acronyms representing special designations. They seem important—but not all titles and credentials are as valuable as they sound. Read more…

Investing for Inflation

After years of inflation readings well below 2%, financial markets expect to see higher inflation in 2021. Read more…

What to Look for in a Financial Advisor

The potential value of a relationship starts with the person who will be guiding your financial decisions. You’re looking for someone with deep knowledge and experience to back up their advice, and you want to gauge whether that advisor is a good fit for your family’s needs. Above all, you want Read more…

5 Things to Know in Case You Outlive Your Spouse

While women certainly seem to be taking a greater role in making household financial decisions, men still make the majority of them. The unfortunate reality is that women are much more likely to become widowed. In fact, more than 60 percent of women between the ages of 75 and 84 are single or Read more…

What You Need to Know Before Lending Money to Family

At some point, nearly everyone has frequented one of the most popular lenders: BOMAD—otherwise known as the Bank of Mom and Dad. Read more…

My 401(k) failed the Top-Heavy test. Now what?

What is the top-heavy test? 401(k) plans must be tested annually to determine if they are top-heavy. The top-heavy test compares the account balances of “key employees” to those of “non-key employees.” If the sum of all key employee balances exceeds 60% of the total plan balance the plan is Read more…

IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadline

The IRS announced that the standard April 15th tax-filing deadline is being extended until Monday, May 17th, giving households an extra month to complete their tax returns.  Read more…

Common Scenarios That Call for Deeper Financial Expertise

Every family is unique, and everyone has their own questions, priorities, and vision for the future. However, there are certain life events or financial situations that are especially complex and call for deeper expertise from a financial advisor.  Read more…

The 8 Essential Elements for a Complete Financial Plan

Perhaps you’ve been told that you need a financial plan or you think you already have one. Either way, here are the essential sections a complete financial plan should cover. Many clients initially seek financial advice because they want help making smart investment decisions. But investments are Read more…

Important Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

A productive working relationship with an advisor begins with trust and transparency. Even before you dive into the details of the advisor’s services, you want to understand key issues that reflect how they define and uphold their commitment to clients. This is true for any advisor, and is Read more…

Should You Refinance Your Mortgage Because Rates Are Low?

With mortgage rates near historic lows, it seems like all anyone who owns a home talks about right now is refinancing. If you own, too, you might wonder: Is now the time to refinance your mortgage? Read more…

If You Were to Fall Ill, Would Your Business Be Set Up for a Successful Transfer?

The business community has certainly felt the impact of the pandemic — so much so that the number of active business owners fell by 3.3 million between February and April 2020. That’s a 22% decline, the largest on record. Small businesses were hit the hardest, but nearly half have said they’re now Read more…

Forbes Names Chris Kerckhoff One of '2021 Best-in-State Wealth Advisor'

Congratulations to Chris Kerckhoff on being named one of the 2021 Forbes Best-In-State Advisors. An excerpt from the Missouri list is below.  Read more…

Plancorp Named to AdvisoryHQ Best Financial Advisors in St. Louis & Clayton

Plancorp is pleased to announce it has been named to the AdvisoryHQ 11 Best Financial Advisors in St. Louis & Clayton, MO 2021-2022 Ranking. Read more…

Plancorp Named to St. Louis' Largest Financial Asset Managers

Plancorp is pleased to announce it has been named to St. Louis' largest financial asset managers by St. Louis Business Journal. Read more…

Self-Employed? Here’s What You Need To Know About Retirement Planning

In 2019, more than 16 million American workers were self-employed. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic forced even more Americans to become their own bosses. Read more…

How Hindsight Bias Can Impact Your Investment Decisions

“I said it would happen.” “It had to happen.” “I knew it would happen.” You’ve probably made statements like these at one point or another. That’s because once an event occurs, our brains immediately connect the new information from what happened to related knowledge stored in our memory. By making Read more…

Saving for a Baby? Use These Tips to Take Sticker Shock Out of Your Pregnancy Budget

Babies: They’re sweet, they’re adorable, and they have the power to send you into major sticker shock. Read more…

Make the Most of Your New Hourly Role

The cruel irony of economic downturns is their tendency to disproportionately impact the populations least equipped to withstand them. The downturn caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is no different. Read more…

How to Financially Prepare for a Divorce: 3 Assets You’ll Need to Split

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number of married couples considering or actively seeking a divorce has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data collected by Legal Templates, the number of couples looking at divorce was 34% higher from March to June 2020 than in 2019. Another study Read more…

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