Are You Getting the Most of Your Midland Client Portal?

Are You Getting the Most Of Your Client Portal

As a self-directed IRA custodian, Midland is all about putting the tools for financial freedom in your hands. Your Midland Client Portal is just one of those tools! Make sure you are getting the most out of your self-direction journey with these 5 portal highlights.

1. Initiate New Transactions

Are you looking to make a new investment? Send additional money to an asset you already hold in your IRA? What about requesting a distribution or bill payment?  All of these requests (and more!) can be initiated through your Midland Client Portal. Simply log in, and click on the transaction type you are looking for under the Quick Links section of your Home page.

2. Receiving Rental or Note Income? Invite Payers to Your Online Payment Portal!

Tired of waiting for your rent or note payment to be mailed to Midland and wondering if and when it was delivered? Renters and borrowers can now make payments online through our Payment Portal. From the Home page, go to the Account Details tab and under Account Asset Holdings select Invite Payer from the drop-down menu next to the desired property.  Your payer will then receive an invitation to establish login credentials and will be able to set up one-time and recurring payments directly to your IRA.

3. Skip the Form – Update Your Fair Market Valuation Online

It’s that time of year again!  Midland sent requests for end-of-year values for assets held in your IRA at the end of December. Skip the paper form and update your value through your Midland Client Portal.
From the Home page, go to the Account Details tab and under Account Asset Holdings select Update Value from the drop-down menu next to the applicable asset.

4. View Your Quarterly Statements and Tax Forms

Did you know that Midland uploads statements to your portal every quarter? View and download your statements by going to the Documents tab of your Midland Client Portal.  Midland will also upload any applicable tax forms as they are generated (1099-R or 5498).

5. Review and Update Your Billing Preferences

Are your Midland administrative fees set to be charged to a credit card? Has your credit card expired (or is it close to expiring)? You can update your billing preferences in the Billing section of your Client Portal. Just click on the Billing link located in the upper right-hand corner of the Home page. 

In addition to updating your credit card information, you can also change your preferred billing method, as well as pay any Midland administrative fees that are currently due on your account.

Learn More About What Your Midland Client Portal Can Do For You

While the above five items are all great ways to utilize your Midland Client Portal, there are many other features and benefits not mentioned. Go to portal.midlandtrust.com to sign in to your Midland Client Portal to see what other tools are available!

2020 Charitable Focus: Midland Serves Retirees

2020 Charitable Focus Midland Serves Retirees

At Midland, we know how important it is to be an active part of the communities we serve. Being part of a company that focuses on retirement gives us insight into the retirement experience for those in our communities. Over the past several months, we have zeroed in on our long-term charitable focus for the company being the people we serve – retirees.

Did you know more than 40% of seniors experience loneliness?

In Ft. Myers, we have forged a great relationship with the Senior Friendship Center.  The Senior Friendship Center’s mission is “to promote health, dignity, and quality of life throughout the journey of aging.” Over the 2019 holiday season, Midland prepared 60 gift bags that included a reusable shopping bag, blanket, and an ornament. Midland also donated Publix gift cards, allowing seniors to purchase their last-minute holiday groceries. Throughout the year Midland volunteers with the center, helping to pack and deliver non-perishable food items to those enrolled in their food program.

Our Chicago office has been volunteering several days per month at Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (LBFE). We spent the holiday season wrapping presents for hundreds of seniors so that all seniors in the program had hand-delivered gifts in time for the holidays. In total, LBFE delivered over 1,000 gifts to seniors across Chicagoland. LBFE’s mission is to bring “conversation, companionship, celebration and connection” to those they serve, which is done through sponsored events, parties, and visiting programs.

Serving those nearing retirement means we are focused on the issues that impact them:

  • Retirement Planning
    Helping clients understand how to contribute to a better retirement, educating our clients on contribution limits, their investment options, and how current legislation impacts their retirement.
  • Reducing And Preventing Fraud
    Tips for preventing account fraud and tips to improve your password.
  • How To Help The Aging Senior Population
    Connecting with seniors through volunteer efforts and providing corporate sponsorship to the institutions that serve them.

Over the course of the next several months, you will continue to see our focus on the retiree population and what we are doing to help in the local communities we serve.

If you would like to know more about how Midland plans to serve retirees in 2020, contact us today!

Trading Futures and Forex in a Retirement Account

Investing In Futures and Forex With Your IRA

Most investors are looking to maintain their current standard of living once they reach the golden years of retirement but with Social Security uncertain, saving on their own has jumped higher on the list for most US workers. Trading futures and forex can provide diversification for your retirement account.

As of mid-2017, 35% of US households owned IRAs with a mean asset value of more than $88,000 according to an Investment Company Institute study. 57% of those IRAs also contain rollover funds from an old employer 401(k).

With money available to invest, IRA owners are looking to preserve their assets and improve their diversification in an unstable  – and sometimes quite volatile – market.

Preserving assets over the long haul becomes easier for investors when they’re allowed to pursue options they know and understand. For many, those options lie outside the realm of the traditional stock and bond markets typical at a large custodian and fall into the category of alternatives – including futures and forex trading.

Trading Futures and Forex

Futures and forex (foreign exchange) trading has been allowed in IRAs since they were established in 1974 and there are some real benefits to both the investor and futures professionals. We’ll look at the benefits for both groups.

On the investor side, adding futures to a retirement planning strategy can mean investing in something they have worked with or around for decades – allowing them to use their in-depth knowledge and expertise to benefit their retirement. Futures also adds a dimension of diversification and can help hedge against losses in other markets.

On the professional side, offering the IRA option to your clients can help you serve your clients better because most investors are misinformed and don’t realize they can even use IRAs to invest in futures or forex. Offering IRAs can also grow your business by doubling the number of accounts you establish per customer – personal and IRA.

Futures and forex trading accounts can be held in any type of IRA including; Traditional, Roth, SEP, SIMPLE, and Solo 401(k) plans. These plans allow individuals to save for retirement tax-free or tax-deferred and gives professionals an alternative source of funds that their clients can use.

So if you’re looking to grow your business, consider offering your clients the IRA option – you’ll both benefit.

Contact Midland

If you have questions about trading futures and forex or would like to open an account to start diversifying your retirement portfolio, contact Midland Trust.

10 Resolutions for Financial Success in 2020

10 Resolutions for Financial Success in 2020

Happy New Year!  We are all starting fresh with the hope of perfect clarity and “vision” in the new year and decade. As a result, we thought we would put forth our compilation of 10 Financial Resolutions for Success as we ring in 2020.  Whether you are 20 or 80, you can benefit from the following financial resolutions.  Please consider the following list. You should be proud of the ones you are already doing and then pick a few to work on through the course of this year.

1. I will learn my spending habits

First step is to figure out what your take-home pay is (after-tax income).  Then look at your credit card statements and recurring expenses. How do you spend your paycheck?  What trends can you see? Find opportunities to save more by eliminating unnecessary expenditures.    

2. I will create (and try to stick to) a budget

Find a budget that works for you.  About 50% will go towards needs (think: housing, food, healthcare).  The other 30% will go towards discretionary spending like entertainment or shopping.  The last 20% can be invested or saved. This is the 50-30-20 Rule, which is used as a guideline to find a budget that works for you.

3. I will invest in my retirement

Retirement might feel like a lifetime away but starting early and utilizing the compound returns effect is key.  Take full advantage of your 401(k) or IRA opportunities.

4. I will pay off all (or a good chunk of) my debt

By paying off debt, you will be able to save more.  The sooner you do this, the better off your wallet will be.  Do not be frightened! If you make a plan (and dedicate yourself), you can execute it!

5. I will schedule time for professional help

Meeting with a financial professional is very important for long-term goals.  You can make sure to stay on the right track by scheduling thirty minutes to an hour with a financial professional once or twice a year.

6. I will generate side income

After you have maximized your investing, creating additional sources of income can help you achieve your financial goals like paying off debt and building your net-worth.  Whether you walk dogs, sell your clothing, or give guitar lessons, picking up additional income can be a wonderful financial resolution. 

7. I will stay curious and learn more

Succumbing to information overload is too easy.  Start slow by subscribing to a podcast or newsletter (the Skimm is one I read most days).  Learn about the markets and investment vehicles like mutual funds and ETFs (what they are, why and how they move).  You can even follow news headlines by social media (Twitter). 

8. I will connect with others about money

Don’t be afraid to talk about money. Most people think of money as an awkward subject but it does not have to be. Choose someone to talk with about this and schedule the time to do it. This way you will both be accountable for creating and reaching your financial goals (just like having a gym buddy makes you more accountable to reach your fitness goals).

9. I will donate to a cause I care about

Make sure to give back to your community. Statistics show that givers feel a higher sense of gratitude, appreciation, morale, wellbeing, happiness, a greater purpose in life, and naturally lower stress levels.  If you are tight on cash, you can still donate your time.  

10. I will enjoy my money

Remember to treat yourself! You have worked hard to enjoy the benefits of your money. Taking the steps to make a budget, to invest it wisely for the future, and to save enough for yourself will help you feel empowered with your money and achieve success in your life.

Pay It Forward

Don’t keep these secrets for financial success to yourself!  If you know of someone in your life who could benefit from any of these tips, forward this on. The compound effect of one email being sent to 10 people is much like the compound effect of money over time. Small actions can have big consequences over time!

About Midland

Midland Trust specializes in Self-Directed IRAs. This type of retirement account offers a great way to save for retirement by allowing investing in alternative investments like real estate, futures and forex, precious metals and notes. All gains inside of individual retirement accounts grow tax-free and there is no limit on how much profit you can earn.

Written by Eli Cooper, Client Services Associate