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Coronavirus Individuals CARES Act

Posted by on Apr 7, 2020 in blog | Comments Off on Coronavirus Individuals CARES Act

Coronavirus Individuals CARES Act

In these unprecedented times the Federal Government has passed into law the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Below is a summary of individual benefits your family might receive. (more…)

Coronavirus Market UPDATE

Posted by on Mar 16, 2020 in blog | Comments Off on Coronavirus Market UPDATE

Coronavirus Market UPDATE

 

As I write this, we have officially entered a bear market.  The first official bear market since the 2008 financial crisis.  The spread of covid-19 has caused supply constraints, lower demand, concerns in the credit market, and worsening sentiment.  On a more somber note, the mortality rate is around 1%.  Some countries (South Korea and Singapore) have done a better job of containing the spread.  Others (Italy and Iran), not so much.  This is the quickest bear market in history

Two events are going to happen in the short to medium-term

  • We will have a recession

This is no longer a “maybe” but a “how severe”.  Cruise lines and airlines were the first to be affected.  Now larger sectors of the market are beginning to feel the heat as large events begin to be canceled and credit conditions worsen.  The severity of the recession will depend on the depth of fiscal (so far tepid) and monetary (so far ineffective) stimulus applied to the economy.

  • This will pass

(more…)

5 Areas of Your Financial Life to Get Organized Before Retirement

Posted by on Mar 6, 2020 in blog | Comments Off on 5 Areas of Your Financial Life to Get Organized Before Retirement

5 Areas of Your Financial Life to Get Organized Before Retirement

The dream of retirement can be made a reality with a lot of careful planning and decision-making well before you actually plan to retire.

If you are seriously starting to think about your retirement plans, now is the time to start planning and organizing you financial life. Retirement is exciting and challenging at the same time. Making the decision on when you can retire, what retirement will be like and how you will live your life once you stop heading off to work every day takes some clear planning. Retiring is a big step, but the process doesn’t need to be intimidating.

There are several areas you need to focus on so you can retire to a comfortable and dignified life. Here are five of the areas you will want to pay particular attention to. (more…)

Coronavirus Scare

Posted by on Feb 25, 2020 in blog | Comments Off on Coronavirus Scare

Coronavirus Scare –

US markets entered 2020 at overbought levels poised for a drawdown.  The global economy was bouncing back from a difficult 2019 and a manufacturing recession in some parts of the globe.  The US-China phase 1 trade deal was helping to boost sentiment.   What we did not expect was a global pandemic scare with the coronavirus that originated in China and has now made its way to Italy and Iran.

To understand Monday’s massive market move and what it means for future returns I turn to the below excerpt and chart from Bespoke Investment Group, one of our trusted research sources:

“It’s hard to find positives on a day when the S&P 500 is down 3.5%, but we’ve at least got some notable stats that are quite bullish for returns going forward.

If the S&P 500 were to close at current levels, today’s 3.55% decline would be the 48th biggest one-day drop since SPY began trading in 1993. (more…)

Secure Act Passes Into Law – Now What?

Posted by on Jan 28, 2020 in blog | Comments Off on Secure Act Passes Into Law – Now What?

Secure Act Passes Into Law

Now What?

This tax act has many implications we will highlight a few from a high level.  We recommend 2020 as a time to review the personal and business plans you currently have in place.

The first, and in my opinion, biggest impact is the elimination of the Stretch IRA for anyone except for beneficiaries that are current spouses, disabled, chronically ill, minor children, and individuals not more than 10 years younger than the decedent.    This does include Roth IRA’s, so essentially we have a new wealth tax.

Required minimum distribution age was raised from 70 ½ to age 72, so if you were born on or after July 1, 2049 your RMD doesn’t start until the year you turn 72.

You can now take a 10% penalty free distribution of up to $5,000 from a qualified plan or IRA because of the birth or adoption of a child.

The introduction of a $10,000 distribution from 529 plans to pay towards student loans, this is a single lifetime limit per person. (more…)

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q1 2020

Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in blog | Comments Off on Global Asset Allocation Views – Q1 2020

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q1 2020

The S&P 500 closed 2019 at a record high and trending in the opposite direction from 2018’s December low.  Below I provide the returns of the S&P 500 over the past three years and the largest intra-year declines for context.

2017 – Closed up 19% / intra-year decline -3%

2018 – Closed down -6% / intra-year decline -20%

2019 – Closed up 29% / intra-year decline -7%

2018 and 2019 were also opposites in other areas (more…)

Don’t Rock the Boat!

Posted by on Dec 18, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Don’t Rock the Boat!

Don’t rock the boat!

Just as a boat sails through the open seas when all four corners of the boat are balanced equally in the water, your overall health allows you to sail through the journey of life when all four pillars are properly balanced.

4 pillars of health:

  • Physical/Mental
  • Work/Activities
  • Family/Friends
  • Finances

 Suppose I said to you that… (more…)

401k Plans

Posted by on Nov 26, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on 401k Plans

401k Plans

8, 18, 107, 56, 51

“From 8 lawsuits filed against employers in 2006, the numbers surged to 18 in 2007 and 107 in 2008, before declining for the next five years, according to the Boston College report authored by George Mellman and Geoffrey Sanzenbacher…

…But since bottoming at just 2 lawsuits in 2013, litigation against retirement plans has risen again, with 56 suits in 2016 and 51 in 2017, the two most recent years tracked.” (more…)

The Future of Fiduciary Standards

Posted by on Oct 31, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on The Future of Fiduciary Standards

The Future of Fiduciary Standards

Fiduciary standards are alive and well, although they are in a state of transition and confusion.  Do we look to the DOL (Department of Labor), SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), or Individual State Regulators.

Let’s first take a look at the DOL.  The Fiduciary rule which was introduced in April 2016 elevated financial professionals who work with retirement plans to act as a Fiduciary.  Which is a person or organization that acts on behalf of another person or persons to manage assets.   The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the [1] DOL’s fiduciary rule in March 2018, saying it represented regulatory overreach. But in its fall regulatory agenda, the [1]DOL said it is “considering regulatory options in light of the (5th) circuit opinion.” [1] (more…)

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q4 2019

Posted by on Oct 8, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Global Asset Allocation Views – Q4 2019

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q4 2019

Markets – The S&P 500 eked out a 1.19% gain for the quarter.  Europe, Emerging Markets, and Small Caps ended the quarter lower, unable to continue the momentum from the first half of the year.  Defensive sectors continue to lead the way as Real Estate, Utilities, and Consumer Staples continue to trade at elevated levels.

Interest Rates – The 10-year closed at 1.675%, levels not seen since mid-2017.  The fed cut rates another 25 bps at their September meeting.  US treasuries continue to look attractive as a safe haven, and one of the only positive yielding debt securities in the developed world. (more…)