More Women on Boards

Why Aren't There More Women on Corporate Boards? Why doesn’t your company have more women on its board? That’s the question that BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, asked companies that had fewer than two women on their boards. BlackRock nudged companies that make up the Russell 1000  Index (the 1000 largest US companies) to explain their strategy, saying that a diverse board … [Read more...]

Sustainable Investing, Part 2

Sustainable Investing, Part 2 In the first part of our discussion of Sustainable Investing, we looked at key building blocks and summarized strategies for building them into a portfolio. Now we’d like to dig a little deeper into sustainable investing. A Standard Challenge   First the promising news: As we touched on before, there are ways to factor in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) … [Read more...]

Medicare Coverage Gap

The Medicare Coverage Gap One of the most confusing Medicare provisions is the coverage gap, often called the “donut hole.” It may be clearer if you look at it as the uncovered portion of the annual Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage. Here's a way to understand it better. This also applies to drug coverage that is integrated into a Part C Medicare Advantage Plan. Annual … [Read more...]

The Markets in November

The Markets in November November was a very volatile month for stocks. By the third week of the month, benchmarks had given back nearly all of the gains from the year. However, a jump during the last week of November pushed stocks higher, and all major indexes outperformed their October end-of-the-month closing values - led by the large caps of the S&P 500 and the Dow, followed by the Global … [Read more...]

Sustainable Investing, Part 1

Sustainable Investing If there’s a trait most of us share, it’s a desire to make the world a better place. That is why there is increasing interest in sustainable investing. Many of us want to try to earn solid or even stellar returns while contributing – or at least causing less harm – to the greater good. But what is the greater good? What is a decent return on your investment? How do we … [Read more...]

College Savings After Tax Reform

Students and their parents dodged a bullet with the final Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Initial drafts of the bill had included the elimination of the Lifetime Learning Credit, the student loan interest deduction, along with the taxation of tuition waivers (used mainly graduate students and college employees). In the end, none of these provisions made it into the final legislation. But a few … [Read more...]

The Markets in October

The Markets in October October was a scary month indeed, as stocks closed the month well below their end-September values. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost more than 9.0%, while the small caps of the Russell 2000 fared even worse, losing almost 11.0%. The S&P 500 fell close to 7.0% — its largest monthly decline in over seven years. The Dow dropped 5.0%, and the Global Dow sank over 7.0%. A slide … [Read more...]

Charitable Giving in 2018

Charitable Giving The landscape for charitable giving changed with the new tax law, but we are seeing that clients - with or without a tax write-off - still want to give to their favorite organizations and charities. After all, we give to support causes we cherish and to show gratitude for good fortune we have enjoyed. Financial incentives are nice, but not usually your main motivation for … [Read more...]

Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

Realities of Taxes for the Self-Employed If you are self-employed, as many of our clients are, you know there are many advantages beyond just being your own boss. There are also unique challenges involved, especially how to handle taxes. Whether you’re running your own business or thinking about starting one, there are specific tax rules and opportunities that apply to you. Here is a look at the … [Read more...]

Student Loan Rates Increase

Students and Parents to Pay Higher Loan Rates College students were sad to see it will cost them more to borrow, as interest rates on federal student loans rose for the second year in a row. Undergraduate students can expect to pay 5.04%  in interest on new Stafford loans instead of the current 4.45%. Graduate students will see the interest rate on new Direct loans climb from 6% to 6.59%. And … [Read more...]

IRS Limits SALT Tax Workarounds

IRS Shuts Door on SALT Creative Workarounds The IRS said no to some of the creative workarounds for the new $10,000 limit on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT). Its new guidance appears to close the door on a strategy offered by the state of New York and some other states to circumvent the deduction limit by attempting to turn the taxes paid into charitable contributions not … [Read more...]

Why We Watch Your RMDs

What Are Required Minimum Distributions? Some clients are surprised when they learn that the IRS forces them to take “required minimum distributions” – known as RMDs – after they turn age 70½. When they don’t need the money to spend, they question why the government makes them take money out of their IRAs. The answer is that the government wants to finally get some tax revenue, after allowing … [Read more...]

Gift and Estate Taxes After Reform

Gifting Maximums Increased Many of our clients had been gifting (or receiving) the maximum $14,000 annual tax-free amount for years. For the first time in more than a decade, that maximum has increased and now stands at $15,000. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in 2017, also nearly doubled the federal gift and estate tax basic exclusion amount to $11.18 million in 2018. Gift … [Read more...]

The Markets in July

The Markets in July Positive economic indicators and encouraging corporate earnings reports helped propel stocks ahead in July. Markets grew despite trade wars between the United States and other trading partners, particularly China. In July, the two largest economies imposed tariffs of $34 billion on each other’s goods. Toward the end of the month, there was hope of reopening negotiations … [Read more...]

Should you buy an extended warranty?

Is an extended warranty worth the cost? When you’ve purchased an electronic device, major appliance, or vehicle, chances are you’ve been asked if you also wanted to buy an extended warranty or service contract. Extended warranties are offered by retailers for an additional cost to customers and provide repair or product maintenance for a specific period of time. Selling extended warranties … [Read more...]

Blue Spark Capital Advisors

We're a fee-only Registered Investment Advisory and financial planning firm based in New York City and the Berkshires.

We specialize in working with women after divorce, death of a spouse, or other life transitions such as retirement or job change. We provide financial planning and investment management services.

We believe in a holistic approach. Movement in each piece of your financial plan impacts the others, so we consider your entire picture.

logo-womenschoice

Contact Us

41 Madison Avenue (40th Floor)
New York, N.Y. 10010
(212) 537-3899

93 Church Street
Lenox, Mass. 01240
(413) 551-4445

Home Bottom #4 Widget

This is a widgeted area which is called Home Bottom #4.

bluespark financial in the news
"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."
– Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
x Shield Logo
This Site Is Protected By
The Shield →
Choose