Tag: Current Events

Market Update – Seasonal Tailwinds and Easing Interest Rates

Jun 10, 2024

After a solid 2023 in which the Bloomberg Municipal Index was up over 6% (including a positive 8% in November and December), it’s been a slow start to the year in 2024. Changing Federal Reserve (Fed) rate cut expectations and already rich relative value ratios (versus Treasury yields) have, so far, offset still high tax-equivalent yields and solid fundamentals for the asset class. But with the unofficial kick-off to summer behind us, the muni market, we think, is set up for a number of potential tailwinds that could help push the index back into positive territory by yearend.

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Market Update – Stocks Benefit From Solid Fundamental Foundation

Jun 7, 2024

April showers brought May flowers as markets placed greater importance on economic growth and corporate profits than the “higher for longer” interest rate messages from the Federal Reserve (Fed). In fact, the S&P 500 ended May above where it ended March. So, as you prepare for summer vacations, how much should you worry about your stock portfolios? (more…)

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Key Market Themes During Election Periods

May 24, 2024

We recognize the presidential election is still a way off, but it’s not too early to draw some policy contrasts between the candidates. Though a sitting and former President facing off limits the amount of potential policy uncertainty investors must consider, there is no doubt the two candidates offer two distinct policy approaches in several key areas.

Here are some of the more divergent potential, economic and market positions to think about.

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Bad Money Habits to Break

May 17, 2024

Behaviors worth changing

Do bad money habits constrain your financial progress? Many people fall into the same financial behavior patterns, year after year. If you sometimes succumb to these financial tendencies, now is as good a time as any to alter your behavior. (more…)

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Market Update – Navigating May’s Stock Market Outlook

May 10, 2024

After a strong first quarter for stocks, some April showers rained down as the S&P 500 fell about 4% last month. Hopefully those showers will bring some flowers in May, despite the widely cited stock market adage, “Sell in May and go away.” There is some merit to this old adage because the S&P 500’s best six-month returns have, on average, come from November through April, and its worst between May and October (recall bear markets often end in October). Still, historically the index has gained an average of 1.8% from May through October — hardly worth avoiding. (more…)

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Market Update – The Patient Pause

Apr 26, 2024

It seems like we just can’t stop talking about the Federal Reserve (Fed). After an aggressive rate hiking campaign that we think ended last year, markets were expecting the Fed to start cutting interest rates as early as next month. But withan economy that continues to surprise to the upside, along with inflationary pressures that are still too hot, it seems it will still be a few months before we get any of those rate cuts.

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Conducting a Home Inventory

Apr 3, 2024

A home inventory is a complete and detailed written list of all your personal property that’s located in your home and stored in other structures like garages and toolsheds. It should include your possessions as well as those of family members and others living in your home. You should prepare an inventory whenever you move into a new home. To keep track of new additions and discarded items, be sure to update it every year.

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A Decision Not Made is Still a Decision

Mar 27, 2024

Person with Options
Indecision can lead to no decision.

Investment inaction is played out in many ways, often silently, invisibly, and with potential consequence to an individual’s future financial security, especially when it comes to retirement planning.

Let’s review some of the forms this takes. (more…)

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What Are Personal Tax Credits?

Feb 28, 2024

Tax Written on Paper
Deductions you do not want to miss

Have you ever thought that you’re paying too much income tax? You may be, if you’re not claiming all of the tax credits for which you are eligible when you file your federal tax return. These credits may significantly reduce your tax liability.

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How Could the Markets Surprise Us in 2024?

Feb 12, 2024

Byron Wien recently passed away. He was a true Wall Street icon. I had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Wien once when I was seated behind him at an investment conference during the depths of the Great Financial Crisis (GFC). Mr. Wien was probably best known for his annual top ten list of surprises for the year ahead. He defined a surprise on his list as something that the average investor would only assign about a one-in-three chance of occurring, but that he thought was closer to 50/50.  I always thought this was a useful exercise. Markets have a way of habitually surprising us and proving the conventional thinking wrong, so having an idea of where the potential forks in the road may come just makes us better prepared and informed as investors. (more…)

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More Insights

Jun 24, 2024

What does a good retirement look like to you? Does it resemble the retirement that your spouse or partner has in mind? It is at least roughly similar? The Social Security Administration currently projects an average of 18 years for a retiring man and 21 years for a woman (assuming retirement at age 65). So, … Continue reading “Couples Retiring on the Same Page”

Jun 21, 2024

When you lose a spouse, partner, or parent, the grief can be overwhelming. In the midst of that grief, life goes on. There are arrangements to be made, things to be taken care of – and in recognition of this reality, here is a checklist that you may find useful at such a time. If … Continue reading “Estate Planning Checklist for When a Spouse or Parent Passes”

Jun 17, 2024

Seventy-three is an important age milestone for those in or near retirement, as it marks the time when required minimum distributions (RMDs) begin to be withdrawn annually from IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans (previously, the threshold was 70 ½). The milestone carries with it tax consequences that are not fixed. Rather, there are a few … Continue reading “Optimizing Required Minimum Distributions”

Jun 14, 2024

Bottom Line at the Top Line Markets reacted positively to this week’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) release. Softer inflation is good news for the Federal Reserve (Fed). Despite a good report this morning, the Fed will still likely communicate this afternoon their intentions to keep rates higher for longer in their updated Summary of Economic … Continue reading “Market Update – Reaction to Softer Inflation”

Jun 12, 2024

You’ve probably heard the saying that “cash is king,” and that truth applies whether you own a business or not. Most discussions of business and personal “financial planning” involve tomorrow’s goals, but those goals may not be realized without attention to cash flow, today. Management of available cash flow is a key in any kind … Continue reading “Cash Flow Management”

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