The Bull Market in Stocks

Market volatility continued in July with an overall trend to the upside.  Small caps led the market upward and growth is outperforming value.  The losses in the closing days of June were recouped in July with some to spare.  With the action in August, the S&P 500 Index is approaching its January highs. The Federal Reserve Board met on July 31 and … [Read more...]

Question: Can I name a Beneficiary on a Non-IRA account?

Yes, there is a way to designate a beneficiary on a non-IRA account and it is called a Transfer on Death agreement or TOD.  Some financial institutions use the term Payable on Death or POD.  It means the same thing.  This provision is used less often than the beneficiary designation on an IRA because it is seldom presented to clients as an option by banks … [Read more...]

Economy Strengthens and Stock Market Moves Higher

In May the U.S. economy continued to strengthen and the stock market continued its volatility.  Reports at the end of the month of a stronger than anticipated jobs report coupled with an incremental increase in the hourly wage were well-received.  Rising wages keeps inflation in the 2% range which is the goal of the Federal Reserve.  Many analysts believe … [Read more...]

Trade Wars and Volatility

In the first days of March the President tweeted that he intends to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum to protect American interests.   That sent the market reeling and a twitter storm ensued.  Investors fled the market fearing a trade war only to come back to the market when the administration softened the rhetoric.  The uncertainty generated by … [Read more...]

Before Tax Reform

It looks like we will have some version of a tax reform package before the end of this month to be effective on January 1, 2018.  No one can be certain what the exact terms will be, but we have enough information to make a few assumptions. What steps can you take before December 31 to reduce your income tax liability? Tax-deferred contributions:  Have you … [Read more...]

Tax Reform 2017

Tax reform dominated the airwaves in October but before it could tackle tax reform, Congress needed to successfully pass a budget.  By a narrow margin the budget passed on October 26th and Republicans immediately turned to drafting a new tax plan.  The administration is under great pressure to produce tax reform for the American people before the end of 2017 … [Read more...]

October Market Commentary

The month of September is often a challenging one for the stock market but this year the market sailed through the month unscathed.  That was in spite of the many events taking place which in the past would have rattled the market. The consensus at the September Federal Reserve meeting was to hold interest rates steady.  The projection of annual GDP … [Read more...]

The Equifax Security Breach 2017

The Equifax security breach is the worst Americans have experienced not only because of the large number of people impacted, but because of the volume of personal data that was exposed to hackers.  Everyone needs to expect that he or she has been affected by this breach and take precautions now to protect himself. A credit freeze locks your credit file … [Read more...]

Market Observations in September

On August 2nd the Dow Jones Index closed above the 22,000 mark for the very first time.  During the month the index traded in a range of 2.6% from high to low and ended the month close to where it opened.  As stock prices rise, risk increases and no can deny that prices are high right now. However, investors have become complacent in the environment since … [Read more...]