Year End Tax Planning, Charlie Munger & All-Kitchen Soup – Finger Financial Five #154

My dad was probably not the best cook, but he liked to cook. His best dish was homemade waffles, without a doubt. His second-best dish was a soup. This soup is best described as “all kitchen” soup. Basically, anything can go into the soup. Corn, okra, beef, tomato, potato, oysters, you name it, it was probably in there. 

This week’s Finger Financial Five is “all kitchen,” meaning there is a lot of unrelated but useful information to share. 

Billionaire investor Charlie Munger passed away one month before his 100th birthday this week. Charlie was Warren Buffett’s long-time partner at Berkshire Hathaway. He is credited with modernizing Mr. Buffett’s investing style. I enjoyed him most for his practical view of life. Here are some of his gems…

  • Those who keep learning, will keep rising in life. 
  • Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant. 
  • Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.
  • It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent. 
  • To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. 
  • You must force yourself to consider opposing arguments.
  • Reputation and integrity are your most invaluable assets and can be lost in a heartbeat. 
  • You cannot live an adequate life without making mistakes. 
  • Good businesses are ethical businesses.
  • Good businesses are ethical businesses.

And I have this on the wall in my office…

“The secret to life- it is easy and simple. You don’t have a lot of envy, you don’t have a lot of resentment, you don’t overspend your income, you stay cheerful in spite of your troubles, you deal with reliable people, and you do what you are supposed to do. All of these simple rules work so well to make your life better.”

-Charlie Munger 2024-2023

Finger Five #116 has a few more thoughts from Charlie Munger. 

You can listen to my podcast on Munger here

I completed my Certified Exit Planning Advisor coursework. Many small business owners have 80% or more of their net worth tied up in their business. Some steps can be taken to protect, enhance, and transfer their most valuable asset. 

Here is an infographic of the methodology:

If you know of someone who would like to discuss their options for this business have them email me at [email protected].

Some tax planning items that should be considered before December, 31st are:

  • Salary deferrals into retirement plans (401k for example).
  • Gifts completed-not just write the check, but the check needs to be cashed.
  • Tax loss harvesting to offset gains. Watch out for the wash sale rule which prohibits selling of an investment for a loss and replacing it within 30 days before or after the sale. 
  • Get a free step up in cost basis if you are married and filing jointly, and your income is below $89,250 or single and below $44,625. If you have an investment with a lot of gains and you are below these thresholds, you could sell and buy back, raising your cost basis and paying no tax. Then you could sell in the future and pay less in capital gains. 
  • Kids with $2500 or less in income could sell and pay no capital gains, as well. 

Please check with your CPA or tax planner before exiting any of these strategies.

On the lighter side, Elliott has been using his brainpower to do well as a freshman at the University of South Carolina, which has taken its toll on his skills in chess. He went 0-2 against his dad over Thanksgiving weekend. 😊 He finishes his semester on December 15th. His mom and I cannot wait.

Hope all is well with you and your family,


Finger Financial Five – 5 points in 5 minutes or less – is intended to provide you with a weekly shot of useful financial information.  My intention is to share principles so that you will have more clarity, more peace, and make better financial decisions. 

Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor. Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC and Riverbend Wealth Management are separate entities. This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Riverbend Wealth Management. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Stratos Wealth Partners and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.


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