March 2014 Insights Newsletter
LETTER FROM THE CEO
Mark Feldman, CEO & Managing Partner
We have been busy here at Miller Russell Associates. By now, you have probably noticed that the look of our brand has changed, and so has our name. We are no longer “Miller/Russell & Associates” – we are now “Miller Russell Associates.” Our ﬁrm has recently undergone a strategic branding process to align our brand with the new dynamic, energy, and culture that exist inthe ﬁrm today. This included the development of a new logo, a new website, and of course, our name change. While the name change may seem subtle to most, internally it has enormous signiﬁcance. Let me explain.
In the past two years, we have grown signiﬁcantly. In order to maintain the highest level of client service, we have also grown our team. We have completed most of the building blocks to achieve sustainable independence in order to solidify the ﬁrm for future generations of employees and clients. We have done this by achieving independence; we are 100% partner and client owned which means we do not have to satisfy the goals or aspirations of any parent company.
It also means that we are constantly developing our younger team members so that someday, they will be the future leaders and owners of the ﬁrm. Miller Russell Associates is now positioned to be, in addition to the ﬁrm that you trust today, the ﬁrm that your family or organization can trust into the future.
Bringing it back to the name change… in our old name and logo, the “& Associates” was very small in relationship to the Miller/Russell. To reinforce our new partnership-owned model and our team culture, the “&” symbol was dropped and the word “Associates” was given the same weight and import as the words “Miller Russell”. In fact, the word “Associates” is now the very base of the logo and serves as a metaphor for the foundation and strength of the ﬁrm.
The name change is a clear signal that our associates are at the core of the ﬁrm and are the drivers of the ﬁrm’s future growth. Every single professional at Miller Russell Associates is a steward to our legacy of service and reputation as trusted ﬁduciaries. This change illustrates how the ﬁrm is moving from a founder, a concept, and a group of people in support of that idea to a ﬁrm of synergistic associates operating as a team. Along with our new name and new brand, we are proud to share our new website. Now, when you visit miller-russell.com, you will ﬁnd a simple-to-navigate website that gives you easy access to the information you want such as client reports, market commentary, newsletters, relevant articles, and more. We look forward to serving you and the generations to come.
As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback and answering your questions.
CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: PHOENIX CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL FOUNDATION
The 21st Annual Phoenix Children’s Beach Ball gala was held on Saturday, March 1 at The Phoenician Resort. The year’s event beneﬁted the Hospital’s Ronald A. Matricaria Institute of Molecular Medicine.
Molecular Medicine: A Game Changer
By Robert Arceci, MD, PhD, Division Chief of Hematology and Oncology at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Co-Director of the Ronald A. Matricaria Institute of Molecular Medicine
A child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes. One in ﬁve will not survive ﬁve years. These are sobering statistics – and ones we are working hard to change.
The newly launched Ronald A. Matricaria Institute of Molecular Medicine at Phoenix Children’s marks a critical turning point when it comes to diagnosing, treating, curing and someday preventing childhood cancer.
Molecular medicine is the study of disease at the molecular and cellular level. And it’s a game changer. For the ﬁrst time in the history of medicine, treatment decisions for those with cancer and other serious diseases can be made based on the ﬁndings of what has changed within an individual’s own DNA.
Oncology has been at the forefront of molecular (or personalized) medicine. What we can now see at the molecular and genetic level is often very different than what we could previously view only under a microscope. It is helping to unlock the mysteries of how and why cells grow and divide uncontrollably, and has given us a vital new perspective on how diverse even the same types of tumors can be in different people.
Children should be at the center of this medical revolution. And they will be.
Through gene sequencing and sophisticated methods for testing cancer sensitivity to new drugs, we can identify potential cancer-causing mutations and speciﬁcally target them with fewer side effects. The initial goal of the Institute is to help our most critically ill patients with the highest risk cancers.
Thanks to these advancements, we can cure more patients of cancer in ways that are more effective and less harmful. Genetic or “genomic” information also may help predict the side effects a child is likely to have with the goal of minimizing or preventing them.
Genetic sequencing will not only give children the best chance for survival, it will provide valuable information that will advance pharmacological innovations for children as we gather information about the efficacy, safety and resistance to certain therapies. In tandem with clinical trials, these approaches will help accelerate approval of new drugs for children with cancer.
Eventually, molecular medicine will allow us to identify speciﬁc genetic susceptibility to cancer so we can stop it early in its development – or prevent it altogether. That’s within our reach.
Every day I work with patients who are battling this horrible disease. They need and deserve the best chance for survival. We are committed to transforming how pediatric oncology is practiced at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and beyond.
For more information visit PCHFoundation.org.
IRA AND RETIREMENT PLAN LIMITS FOR 2014
Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2013
IRA contribution limits
The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA in 2014 remains unchanged at $5,500 (or 100% of your earned income, if less). The maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 or older in 2014 is $1,000, also unchanged from 2013. (You can contribute to both a traditional and Roth IRA in 2014, but your total contributions can’t exceed this annual limit.)
Traditional IRA deduction limits for 2014
The income limits for determining the deductibility of traditional IRA contributions have increased for 2014 (for those covered by employer retirement plans). For example, you can fully deduct your IRA contribution if your filing status is single/head of household, and your income (“modified adjusted gross income,” or MAGI) is $60,000 or less (up from $59,000 in 2013). If you’re married and filing a joint return, you can fully deduct your IRA contribution if your MAGI is $96,000 or less (up from $95,000 in 2013). If you’re not covered by an employer plan but your spouse is, and you file a joint return, you can fully deduct your IRA contribution if your MAGI is $181,000 or less (up from $178,000 in 2013).
|If your 2014 federal income tax filing status is:||Your IRA deduction is reduced if your MAGI is between:||Your deduction is eliminated if your MAGI is:|
|Single or head of household||$60,000 and $70,000||$70,000 or more|
|Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)*||$96,000 and $116,000 (combined)||$116,000 or more (combined)|
|Married filing separately||$0 and $10,000||$10,000 or more|
*If you’re not covered by an employer plan but your spouse is, your deduction is limited if your MAGI is $181,000 to $191,000, and eliminated if your MAGI exceeds $191,000.
Roth IRA contribution limits for 2014
The income limits for Roth IRA contributions have also increased. If your filing status is single/head of household, you can contribute the full $5,500 to a Roth IRA in 2014 if your MAGI is $114,000 or less (up from $112,000 in 2013). And if you’re married and filing a joint return, you can make a full contribution if your MAGI is $181,000 or less (up from $178,000 in 2013). (Again, contributions can’t exceed 100% of your earned income.)
|If your 2014 federal income tax filing status is:||Your Roth IRA contribution is reduced if your MAGI is between:||You cannot contribute to a Roth IRA if your MAGI is:|
|Single or head of household||$114,000 and $129,000||$129,000 or more|
|Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)*||$181,000 and $191,000 (combined)||$191,000 or more (combined)|
|Married filing separately||$0 and $10,000||$10,000 or more|
Employer retirement plans
The maximum amount you can contribute (your “elective deferrals”) to a 401(k) plan in 2014 remains unchanged at $17,500. The limit also applies to 403(b), 457(b), and SAR-SEP plans, as well as the Federal Thrift Savings Plan. If you’re age 50 or older, you can also make catch-up contributions of up to $5,500 to these plans in 2014 (unchanged from 2013). (Special catch-up limits apply to certain participants in 403(b) and 457(b) plans.)
If you participate in more than one retirement plan, your total elective deferrals can’t exceed the annual limit ($17,500 in 2014 plus any applicable catch-up contribution). Deferrals to 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, SIMPLE plans, and SAR-SEPs are included in this limit, but deferrals to Section 457(b) plans are not. For example, if you participate in both a 403(b) plan and a 457(b) plan, you can defer the full dollar limit to each plan–a total of $35,000 in 2014 (plus any catch-up contributions).
The amount you can contribute to a SIMPLE IRA or SIMPLE 401(k) plan in 2014 is $12,000, unchanged from 2013. The catch-up limit for those age 50 or older also remains unchanged at $2,500.
|Plan Type||Annual Dollar Limit||Catch-Up Limit|
|401(k), 403(b), governmental 457(b), SAR-SEP, Federal Thrift Savings Plan||$17,500||$5,500|
Note: Contributions can’t exceed 100% of your income.
The maximum amount that can be allocated to your account in a defined contribution plan (for example, a 401(k) plan or profit-sharing plan) in 2014 is $52,000 (up from $51,000 in 2013), plus age-50 catch-up contributions. (This includes both your contributions and your employer’s contributions. Special rules apply if your employer sponsors more than one retirement plan.)
Finally, the maximum amount of compensation that can be taken into account in determining benefits for most plans in 2014 has increased to $260,000, up from $255,000 in 2013; and the dollar threshold for determining highly compensated employees remains unchanged at $115,000.
FACTS ABOUT THE myRA
By: Chris Bergthold and Bobby Castellani, Interns
President Obama, in his 2014 State of the Union address, announced the rollout of a new investment vehicle to save for retirement – the myRA. The myRA is intended to be a simple, safe, and affordable “starter kit” retirement savings account. Some facts about this limited retirement account option include the following:
The myRA program will be available to households earning up to $191,000 a year or individuals who earn up to $129,000 a year. It will be rolled out by the end of the year through a pilot program via employers who choose to participate. Once a participant’s savings totals $15,000, or once the participant has been invested in the fund for 30 years, he/she will be required to rollover the account to a private sector Roth IRA.
While traditional retirement solutions have broad investment options, the myRA program will have limited options. This fund holds the G Fund, which is comprised of US Treasury securities guaranteed by the US government, essentially meaning that it will not lose money and an investor’s principle is safe. In addition, it will have similar tax treatment as the Roth IRA.
The initial investment can be as low as $25, and subsequent contributions can be as low as $5 and are made automatically through payroll deductions from after-tax income. Account owners will be able to contribute a maximum of $5,500 a year to their myRA’s, or $6,500 if they are 50 years or older. One key component to note is that a saver is not able to contribute $5,500 to their myRA, while also contributing more to another retirement account; a $5,500 maximum contribution amount encompasses all accounts a retirement saver may carry. Finally, participants will have the option to keep their account, when changing jobs.
AROUND THE FIRM
Mayra Alvarez was recently hired as an Administrative Assistant at Miller Russell Associates. Most recently, she worked at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union and Desert Schools Financial Services providing administrative support for three lines of business – ﬁnancial advisory, insurance and legal documents. Mayra loves to work hard and be challenged. She spends most of her spare time with her four year old daughter, Aneesa. They love to shop and ﬁnd new fun places to eat!
In the wealth management and tax practice areas, Eric Ensign and Evan Judge have both been promoted to client advisor. They will now lead client relationships, while providing investment, wealth management and tax services to high net worth families.
Matt Walker has been promoted to senior client associate, recognizing the important role that he has played for a number of his client engagements and in supporting the wealth management and tax practice teams.
In the client support services division, both Jessica Cobb and Diana Keane have been promoted to senior client administrator, where they will be responsible for performing all operational duties while coaching and supporting other operations associates.
Nathan Erickson Chosen to Judge for the CFA Institute Research Challenge Americas Regional
Nathan Erickson has been selected to judge for the CFA Institute Research Challenge Americas Regional in Denver on March 19, 2014. The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a global competition that promotes best and ethical practices in equity valuation to students from the world’s top universities. It is the only student competition that focuses strictly on research, analysis, and presentation skills with an emphasis on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. As a judge, he will join the ranks of a prestigious, globally diverse group of professionals such as Donald Tuttle, CFA and Roger Urwin, who have lent their time and talents as judges in years past. During the event, Nathan will listen to up to six presentations on various publicly-traded companies from across the Americas, quiz university students on their research and recommendations, and grade them accordingly.