Why Courage Miller Is Different

on May 22, 2018 No comments

One of the questions we field from prospective clients is, “why you?”

We get it. We understand that it can be difficult to distinguish between financial advisors and why you should choose one advisor over the other. So when we say we’re you’re partner, here’s why:

  • We believe that a partnership requires open communication about the details of your life that makes your story unique.  To truly understand the dreams and goals of our clients, we must be dedicated and focused on listening to your story.
  • Our foundation in service is built upon delivery of services based on your needs.  Hard work is at the core of everything we do. We pride ourselves on our dedication to service, and we strive everyday to embody the motto of our founders’ alma mater, Virginia Tech, “Ut Prosim” – That I may serve.
  • We established our business as an independent fee only registered investment advisor. Our goal was to remove conflicts of interest that exist by being paid commissions for selling products. As a result we strive to deliver independent guidance and exceptional service for our clients.

We have been honored over the years to serve clients with their diverse financial needs. We work with families and individuals on their personal finances, foundations and trusts on their institutional investments, and small businesses on their retirement plan needs.  We strive to build trusted relationships, so that you are able to focus on things that are more important to you such as your family and career. We focus on serving with 4 major principles: Honesty, Transparency, Dependability, and Continuous Improvement.

To find out more about why we’re different, let’s talk.


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Jase TeamWhy Courage Miller Is Different

How To Weather The Next Market Correction

on May 8, 2018 No comments

We generally get lulled into a steady and comfortable growth in the markets for a period of time with very limited market volatility and when the market corrects, we are not prepared. Market corrections are not only expected, but you should be comfortable with them occurring more frequently.

It is the volatile times in the markets when courage to maintain your investments is rewarded. Those most hurt are investors that are driven into irrational decisions to join in the panic and sell after the market has already moved so significantly. Strong portfolio construction and investing with a clear perspective that it is for the long term will prove beneficial. Here are some specific aspects to consider in markets and portfolio construction:

Length of correction

When a 10% correction occurs, it can take 3 months or more to see the markets recover to pre-correction levels. A 20% correction occurs less frequently but can be expected every several years. Because of the magnitude of a 20% correction, it can take a year or longer to have full recovery, but they have always recovered.

Corporate Valuation

The stock market is an auction, and unlike a traditional auction, the price is based on the foreseeable future value for the business. Unfortunately, if there is concern that a company will be less profitable in the near term, their market price is negatively impacted. While this does not mean the company will be closing its doors, the near term view pushes their price down. It is the near term valuations that drive market volatility. Remember to remain focused on the long term.


The US economy is strong and continues to grow.  There is currently no anticipation of a recession in the US. While growth has not been at a significant pace, a 2% annual growth in the US adds over $350 billion in growth which is more than the total economy of many countries including Austria, Finland and Denmark.

Portfolio Construction

Your portfolio should be allocated across a number of asset classes with the goal of producing a consistent long term rate of return. A global allocation blends investments from around the world with diversification into many individual investments within each asset class. We believe the portfolio should include an emphasis on the largest companies in the world. It is difficult to imagine why Apple, Google, Sony, Volkswagen, Samsung, Coca-cola, Pepsi, etc. do not make sense to own for the long term. Additionally, the diversification prevents any single company from negatively affect the performance of the total portfolio.

Interest Rates

With interest rates at tremendously low levels, we believe that you should be cautious in the average maturity to protect against rising interest rates.  The FED has been raising rates recently and there has been discussion about increasing inflationary pressures which would indicate additional increases in rates.

A prudent approach to portfolio construction and focus on long term investing is the best process to follow. To learn more, contact our team. We’re here to help!


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Jase TeamHow To Weather The Next Market Correction

Can your Company Force You To Leave Your 401K?

on April 24, 2018 No comments

One of the questions we hear often is, “Can my company force me to leave my 401K?”

And the answer is, yes, there are certain circumstances where the retirement plan can force you out of the plan regardless of your preference to remain.

According to the IRS, your company can force you out of your plan, but there are certain circumstances where the plan administrator must obtain your consent before making a distribution. For instance, if your account balance exceeds $5,000, the plan administrator must obtain your consent before making a distribution. There are cases that, depending on the type of benefit distribution provided under your 401K plan, the plan may also require your spouses consent before making a distribution. Also, if the balance of your account is under $1,000 the plan administrator can distribute your balance in cash.

There are more conditions and situations when it comes to your employers right to force you out of your retirement plan. If you are interested in hearing more, contact our team. We’d like the opportunity to speak with you and answer your questions. Let’s talk.


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Jase TeamCan your Company Force You To Leave Your 401K?

Waiting 5 Years For Distribution After A Roth Conversion

on April 10, 2018 No comments

“What do you mean I have to wait for 5 years after making a Roth Conversion?”

That is a question we answer often with clients after they find out that there is a waiting period for distributions with a Roth conversion. But the fact is, all contributions and conversions into a Roth IRA are required to be held for 5 years before distributions are allowed.  This 5 year period is required for each new contribution and conversion.

To learn more about the 5 year waiting period, click here.

It is important to consider the affects of the 5 year period rule when including a Roth conversion in your planning. It’s why we often say that retirement is more than just putting money into investments. There needs to be a strategy and an often times that means seeking the help of a professional. We’re here for you. If you have questions, let’s talk.


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Jase TeamWaiting 5 Years For Distribution After A Roth Conversion

Are You Responsible For Your Company’s 401K Plan?

on March 20, 2018 No comments

Offering a retirement plan to your employees is a great benefit and responsibility. If you have the role in your company that oversees the company 401k plan, then you may not realize what responsibility you have.  By making decisions about your 401K, you have a responsibility to the participants in the plan. We want to take a moment to outline some of the components of a retirement plan and the role fiduciary responsibility.

Elements of A Retirement Plan:

  • A written plan that describes the benefit structure and guides day-to-day operations;
  • A trust fund to hold the plan’s assets;
  • A recordkeeping system to track the flow of monies going to and from the retirement plan; and
  • Documents to provide plan information to employees participating in the plan and to the government.

When it comes to being a fiduciary in a retirement plan, many of the actions involved in operating a plan make the person or entity performing them a fiduciary. Using discretion in managing a plan or controlling the plan’s assets makes that person a fiduciary to the extent of that discretion or control. Providing investment advice for a fee also makes someone a fiduciary. So, a person’s fiduciary status is based on the functions performed for the plan, not just a person’s title.

To learn more about being a fiduciary on a retirement plan, click here.

In addition, our team is willing and able to answer your questions about your company’s retirement plan strategy and to help you create a plan that is successful. If that’s you, let’s talk.


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Jase TeamAre You Responsible For Your Company’s 401K Plan?