the informed investor

ICC conducts research to help clients and friends of the firm enhance their knowledge and perspective. In our blog, The Informed Investor, we present timely commentary on relevant investment, political, economic and other trends and events. We offer our insights and analysis so that we can all make more proactive decisions.

5 Things to Know About Your Roth IRA

November 30, 2021

Roth IRAs are an excellent choice for retirement savings because they offer tax-free growth on investments, as well as tax-free withdrawals. Whether you already have a Roth IRA or you’re considering one, here’s what you need to know. There Are Variable Contribution Limits First, it’s important to know the contribution limits for each year, as they can change from one…

Guide to Gray Divorce: Protecting Your Financial Assets

November 16, 2021

Gray divorce is a term used to describe a divorce between two people over the age of 50. There are many reasons gray divorce is on the rise, but as financial advisors, our focus is not on why couples are divorcing later in life, but how we can protect their financial assets. When generational wealth, family businesses, and sizable investments…

Tips For Teaching Your Kids About Money

October 26, 2021

Many of our clients have the means to provide their children with everything they could possibly need or want—but doing this isn’t the best way to teach good money management habits to the next generation. In order to be good stewards of family wealth, children must learn financial responsibility, which means understanding the value of money through personal economic experiences.…

Wealth Management Tips for Female Executives

October 12, 2021

Female executives often have a different outlook when it comes to

What You Should Know About Intergenerational Wealth Transfers

September 13, 2021

Whether through hard work, good fortune, or both, your family has been blessed with substantial wealth. Managing intergenerational wealth and transferring it from one generation to the next requires a team of skilled professionals: both financial advisors and attorneys who specialize in estate planning. At ICC, we specialize in helping you meet your goals regarding comprehensive wealth transfer strategies that…

Wealth Management: Managing Your Capital Gains Taxes

September 7, 2021

Capital gains. When you hear that term, do you feel good since it means you made a profit? Or instead, is the momentary joy overridden by the concern about taxes on it? Of course, you must pay taxes on your gains. But did you know there are strategies you can use to mitigate those gains? Many people are aware of…

Wealth Management: Why Cash May Be the Scariest Investment of All

August 23, 2021

In today’s volatile world, the stock market can move quickly, which can be unsettling. It may be tempting to put your money into cash to wait out all the market uncertainty and economic turmoil. Unfortunately, today’s markets are not as simple as they were in past decades. The traditional “flight to safety” seemed to make sense when certificates of deposit…

6 Things to Know About Your 401(k) Plan

August 10, 2021

For many people who have a 401(k), contributing a small percentage of each paycheck toward it is about all the knowledge they have about the retirement plan. What they don’t realize is that they have an incredible tool at their fingertips that can help them meet their future financial goals. Your 401(k)can be just another deduction from your paycheck or…

How To Maximize Your Roth IRA in 2021

June 15, 2021

A Roth IRA is one of the best ways to invest your funds this year. It can allow you to build your nest egg in a safe and steady manner, all the while tax-free throughout your life. Understanding how your Roth IRA works is key to making the most of your time and money. Below are several strategies you can…

Should Your Financial Planning Strategy Change With Global Events?

Randy Garcia, ICC Founder

June 1, 2021

No one can predict when a crisis or global event will occur. Take the coronavirus: it came out of nowhere, and now has impacted most of the world. After its onset in China, the country was put into an unprecedented lockdown, which meant manufacturing came to a screeching halt in some areas. Since China is a hub for electronics, consumer…

Wealth Management Tips: What To Watch For in 2021 and Beyond

May 14, 2021

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of being nimble and resilient in the face of challenges. We have all had to quickly adjust to a new normal—some working from home instead of the office, delivery instead of dining out, and wearing face masks where required. Being resilient is also important when it comes to wealth management, and…

How to Maximize Your 401(k) Plan in 2021

April 2, 2021

If you are saving your retirement, it’s important to do whatever it takes to maximize your 401(k) contributions each year. Tax-advantaged retirement accounts allow you to save for the future before your income is taxed.  Once you reach 59 1/2 years of age, you can withdraw funds as needed from your plan and it will be taxed as ordinary income.…

5 Considerations When Retirement Planning in 2021

February 6, 2021

If you’ve let retirement planning fall to the wayside this year, you’re not alone. With many small businesses struggling and even some professionals being furloughed, saving for retirement isn’t as much of a priority as having sufficient funds to make payroll, pay the mortgage, and meet other non-negotiable obligations. Now that vaccines are being rolled out, there is a light…

What You Need To Know For Retirement Planning During COVID

January 12, 2021

You’d be hard-pressed to find an area of our lives that COVID-19 hasn’t impacted, and retirement planning is no exception. We watch the markets with bated breath as stocks plummet with new waves of infections and soar with news of successful vaccines. trials. It’s enough to make even the most confident investor feel on edge, but our team of investment…

Wealth Management Tips to Consider Now That The Election is Over

December 22, 2020

At long last, this year’s dramatic election is ending.  Whether your candidate won or lost, you may be wondering how that might impact your wealth management in the next four years. According to history, the stock market usually does not care whether a Republican or Democrat is in the White House.  Data over the last 78 years shows very little…

Integrating ESG Investing Into A Financial Planning Strategy

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

November 30, 2020

This is the fourth article in a series on ESG Investing. In this final article in our series on ESG investing, we are providing an overview of how to integrate ESG into your financial planning and investment strategy. First, in case you missed the previous articles, we will define ESG, also known as Socially Responsible Investing. What Exactly is ESG?…

Pitfalls to Avoid When Getting Started with ESG Investments

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

November 18, 2020

This is the third article in a series on ESG Investing. Read the additional articles: ESG a Real Thing or Passing Trend in Investing? ESG Investing: Can You Do Good and Do Well at the Same Time? Financial Planning: Getting Started with ESG Investing   In this third article in our series on ESG Investing, we want to provide practical…

ESG Investing: Doing Good and Doing Well at the Same Time

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

November 10, 2020

This is the second article in a series on ESG Investing (Environmental, Social, Governance Investing). Click here to read the first. Most long-time investors have sometimes felt that they had to choose between their values and making money. Usually, holding a large, diversified portfolio meant you likely ended up with an oil or tobacco company investment that paid well but…

ESG Investments: Is It The Real Thing or a Passing Trend?

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

November 2, 2020

This is the first article in a series of four about ESG Investing. Investing trends often appear quickly and fade just as fast. But an interesting one has come on the scene—and stayed. That trend is Socially Responsible Investing, or “ESG” (which stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing). And this is good news for most investors. The idea that…

Should You Hire A Financial Advisor For Wealth Management?

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

October 23, 2020

Advancements in financial technology, availability of information, and, most recently, zero-commission trading have made it easier than ever to manage your own money. But should you? Many people give it a shot and may experience initial success. Many of those same people, however, may end up giving back a portion of their gains at a later time, when the market…

The Benefits of Working with a Wealth Manager

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

October 9, 2020

Wealth managers are financial advisors or financial planners who specialize in building and maintaining their clients’ accumulated wealth. If you have significant assets, it is worth your while to make sure you are doing the right things to protect and grow your wealth. The question is: can a wealth manager help you do more with your money? The answer is:…

Investment Management: Tips for Investing Ahead of Elections

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

September 23, 2020

The upcoming November presidential election has many people unsure of what to do with their investments. Both the election itself and surrounding circumstances have created volatility and stress, so it is not surprising that people are wondering if they need to make changes to their investment management strategy. If you are unsure what to do, here is a rundown of…

Financial Advisors for Business Owners: Why Owners Need One

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

September 16, 2020

As a business owner, you are likely accustomed to directing much of the high-level planning in your operation. Your business probably would not be where it is today without your willingness to put in hard work in a variety of roles. In some cases, though, doing it all yourself is not a wise strategy. In fact, when it comes to…

How to Hire An Investment Advisor To Protect Your Best Interests

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

August 28, 2020

When you’re looking to hire someone to help manage your money, you may be surprised at the overwhelming array of choices out there. So many titles. What is the difference? Who is right for you? What’s In a Title? If you go to see a doctor, you can be reasonably sure you are getting help from someone who is educated…

How Your Investment Advisor Is Paid & Why It Should Matter To You

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

August 21, 2020

When you talk to your investment advisor or wealth manager, you probably assume that they are always giving you honest advice, right? After all, that’s what you likely hired them for: to help you make better investment and financial planning decisions. With some professionals, however, you may not be receiving genuine advice at all. You may simply be getting a…

Wealth Management Strategy For Investments During Uncertain Times

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

August 12, 2020

Turbulence is a normal and expected part of air travel.  Similarly, volatility is a completely normal part of investing.  Stocks move up, but they also move down.  And whether we like it or not, sometimes the markets will experience long periods where things remain volatile.  All of this market movement can make you feel uncertain about your investment strategy. Feeling…

Importance of a Personal Investment Statement for Investors

Randy A. Garcia, CEO

August 5, 2020

If you work with an investment advisor or wealth manager, you probably have a financial plan or a personal investment policy statement.  That’s a vital document, as it creates a roadmap from where you are now to where you want to be. Funny thing about roadmaps, though. It is incredibly tempting to second-guess the plan at times. Especially during stressful…

Independent Financial Advisors: What to Expect in Volatile Times

Randy Garcia, AIFA, CIMA

July 28, 2020

A good independent financial advisor can offer you a full range of services, from investment advice, to planning for your financial goals and staying accountable to them when the unpredictable happens. In reality, however, many investment advisors are very busy, so while they may have the best intentions, they may not provide all the services you could benefit from unless…

Investment Management: The Role of ETFs in Your Portfolio

Randy Garcia

June 9, 2020

Exchange-traded funds, or “ETFs” for short, are all the rage.  From their start in the early 2000s, assets invested in ETFs have recently passed the $4 trillion mark, according to a report by That’s huge for a product that didn’t exist 20 years ago. While a strong stock market has certainly helped, fixed-income ETFs are experiencing rapid growth as…

Delivering Critical Support to our Neighbors

Randy Garcia

June 1, 2020

We know those at highest risk for COVID, whether a child with cystic fibrosis or an 83-year-old who is immunity compromised, should not be leaving their homes for food.  In Las Vegas there are many opportunities to obtain free groceries, meals, and school lunches, but every one of them requires leaving the house. Recently, the Investment Counsel Company (ICC), learned…

Should You Request a Financial Advisor Background Check?

Randy Garcia

May 27, 2020

Financial advisors are assumed to be trusted professionals who help you manage your money. The key word in the last sentence is “assumed.” Most people automatically believe financial advisors are trustworthy, but assumptions like that can be hazardous to your wealth. If you work with a financial advisor, or if you are considering hiring one, here is a statistic you…

Importance of Retirement Planning: Tips from Financial Advisors

Randy Garcia

May 14, 2020

COVID-19 has brought the importance of financial planning and retirement planning squarely into the limelight. Now is a perfect time to start making adjustments to help you feel more secure about your future. To get you started, top Las Vegas financial advisors at the Investment Counsel Company, the first independent, fee-only financial advisor firm in Nevada, offer some ideas. These…

Las Vegas Financial Advisor Randy Garcia Honors WWII Veterans

Randy Garcia

May 1, 2020

Las Vegas Financial Advisor and community patron, Randy Garcia, brought seven-time Emmy-award-winning author, Mr. Martin King, to speak at a private event honoring Nevada’s WWII veterans. Randy Garcia, CEO of the Investment Counsel Company, is a strong supporter of veteran causes. He was inspired to organize and sponsor this event after visiting Normandy for the 75th anniversary of the Allied…

Important Client Update

Randy A. Garcia, Founder and CEO

March 24, 2020

During unusual times of great uncertainty that result in financial and emotional turmoil, people ask themselves and others the same six questions throughout history. I believe it is useful to raise these questions now as well as offer appropriate responses. Through this effort, I sincerely hope that it provides you the balanced perspective necessary for logic to triumph over emotion.…

ICC Continuity Plan

March 15, 2020

The Investment Counsel Company has been closely monitoring the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rapidly evolving circumstances relating to the outbreak. ICC’s top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our employees, their families, and our clients. Therefore, we want to share with you information regarding how our Firm is proactively monitoring the situation, and the steps we are…

An Important Update from The Investment Counsel Company

March 15, 2020

Without exception, today everyone’s attention across the globe is focused on the movement of the coronavirus. One key difference between this crisis and the last is that although investors are deeply concerned, they better comprehend the economic and financial implications more clearly than the Great Financial Crisis. Regardless of the catalyst responsible for a crisis, reactions to financial markets seldom…

What Is A Fiduciary Financial Advisor & Why Do You Need One?

Randy Garcia, ICC Founder

March 9, 2020

When you hire a financial advisor, you want them to give you actual advice, right? Of course, that sounds like a dumb question. But unfortunately, it’s not. Believe it or not, the financial advisor you hire may not be required to give you real advice. Instead, they might just be giving you product recommendations that are better for the seller…

NBC Affiliate Interviews Financial Advisor Randy Garcia on the Coronavirus

March 3, 2020

Today, Randy Garcia, ICC Founder and financial advisor, was interviewed by the NBC Affiliate 3 News Las Vegas.  In light of the continuing coronavirus activity as well as the emergency federal reserve rate cut, news viewers were looking for insight. Randy offered several recommendations including “buckle up and diversify.” Watch the interview at this link:  

Asset Manager vs. Asset Gatherer: Choose The Right Financial Advisor

Randy Garcia, Founder, ICC

February 24, 2020

It would seem that hiring a financial advisor to manage your assets should be relatively simple. Unfortunately, that’s far from reality. Why? Because you have an entire industry — Wall Street — that benefits when you stay confused. Let’s say your investments have grown and you are ready to get help. Be careful who you hire. You probably want an…

Las Vegas Financial Advisor Randy Garcia Updates Tax Advisors

January 20, 2020

When Nevada’s top CPAs and tax advisors were seeking an expert to discuss today’s market, they reached out to Randy Garcia, a Las Vegas financial advisor. Randy is CEO of the Investment Counsel Company, one of the first financial advisors in Nevada to adopt the fiduciary standard. Randy presented at Fair, Anderson & Langerman’s 15th Annual Year-End Seminar. This annual…

Independent Financial Advisor vs. Brand-Name Firm: Which To Use

Randy Garcia, Founder, ICC

January 6, 2020

As a consumer, we often gravitate to brand names. Usually, we assume that brand-name products or services are a safer buy and offer higher quality and consistency. While this might make good sense when buying a car or refrigerator—is it smart to apply that same thinking when choosing a financial advisor? Great question! After all, we’ve all seen the ads…

Financial Planning: Considering How To Invest During a Trade War

Randy Garcia, Founder, ICC

December 24, 2019

While the trade war with China has been grabbing the headlines, President Trump has been firing serious tariff warning shots at several regions, including Europe(1), Mexico(2), and Canada(3), over the past months. While the situation continues to evolve, it’s likely that tariffs and trade wars will remain a hot topic for the foreseeable future. So, many concerned investors want to…

The Investment Counsel Company Introduces New Website and Blog

December 11, 2019

The Investment Counsel Company, a Las Vegas-based independent financial advisory firm, is pleased to introduce our new corporate website. Founded in 1987, The Investment Counsel Company (“ICC”) became the first firm in Nevada to act in a fiduciary capacity (meaning we put our clients’ interests first).  Over three decades later, we continue our leadership, and were voted the No. 1…

Federal Reserve Rate Cuts: Financial And Stock Market Insights

Randy Garcia, Founder, ICC

July 2, 2019

In recent weeks, you have likely heard increased discussion in the media and financial news about the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates in the near future. What are the immediate and longer-term implications of these Federal Reserve rate cuts? Why The Federal Reserve Rate Cuts are Significant The Federal Reserve was originally created with a dual mandate to “promote effectively…

Trade, Tariffs, And The Market: Reacting To Market Swings

Brett Myer, Vice President of Investments and Research, ICC

May 17, 2019

In recent weeks, the increase of unpredictability in the U.S. stock market has become a constant concern for investors. The hardest hit stocks have been those of companies who do business that requires importing from or exporting to China. Investors are aware of the prevailing cause–turmoil surrounding trade talks and additional tariffs between the U.S. and China. But what we…

Safe Investing in Uncertain Times – Quarterly Insights: Q1 2019

Randy Garcia, Founder, ICC

April 10, 2019

Investing in uncertain times can be difficult, which is why it is important to stay on top of market insights. Stocks and bonds seldom rise together. Fortunately, 2019 is proving to be an exception along with many other investment, economic, and political precedents in recent years. Global financial markets have fully recovered from their modest declines in 2018, leading the…

Understanding How To Create A Financial Plan For Your Future

Michelle Konstantarakis, Vice President, ICC

March 9, 2019

In recent years, the media has been less than optimistic about our financial future. Across all mediums, the reports and statistics point to the difficulties of saving, investing, spending, and planning for you and your family’s future. Even for those who are meticulous investors or those with higher incomes, preparing for the future can often seem like an impossible task.…

Guide to Alternative Investments & Investment Diversification

Brett Myer, Vice President of Investments and Research, ICC

February 4, 2019

Whether you are a seasoned investor or just getting started, the most common advice you may have heard is the importance of a diversified investment portfolio. Investment diversification means investing your money in various types of assets and financial markets, both domestic and international, to help ensure that your funds are not solely dependent on one country’s economy or a…

Understanding Wealth Management vs. Financial Planning

Michelle Konstantarakis, Vice President, ICC

December 14, 2018

What does it mean to manage one’s wealth (or assets) versus financial planning? Some might think the two are synonymous and approach their wealth management and financial planning similarly. While the differences between the two are nuanced, knowing the distinction between wealth management vs. financial planning is important for any investor. When we talk about wealth management, we’re referring to…