HFS Headlines

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…)

Are we in it for the long haul?

Posted by on Jul 23, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Are we in it for the long haul?

Are we in it for the long haul?

Since 1960, the average American life expectancy rose from 69 years of age to 79 years of age, as modern medicine has made treatment more effective, complimented with more time being spent on preventative care, and thus boosting the health of individuals around the globe. The increased emphasis on mental and physical health has also played a large role in this development. Many employers now incentivize their team members to purchase gym memberships, and to reach other fitness goals throughout the year in order to receive bonuses. We live in a proactive society, built on change, in the pursuit of lasting health and happiness. (more…)

Q3 Global Asset Allocation

Posted by on Jul 15, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Q3 Global Asset Allocation

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q3 2019

Q2 Highlights –

Markets – The S&P 500 returned 3.79% to settle at its all-time closing high.  The Russell 2000 (a representation of small cap companies) closed up 1.74% and posted a new two month high.  International markets were also positive with Europe being the main regional standout and Emerging Markets lagging.

Interest Rates – At its most recent meeting, the Federal Reserve decided to keep rates unchanged.  The dot plots, or future projections, are projecting a rate cut by year-end.  The 10-year rate, closely tracked by market participants, closed at 2.01% for the quarter, near levels last seen since Q4 2016.  Rates have moved lower due to expectations for Fed easing as well as continued interest in treasuries from overseas buyers. (more…)

There’s a Retirement Crisis in America!

Posted by on Jun 17, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on There’s a Retirement Crisis in America!

There’s a Retirement Crisis in America!

Americans are struggling to save enough for retirement, therefore the House of representatives has passed “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019” or SECURE Act by a bi-partisan vote of 417-3.   The Senate is expected to move quickly on this bill which could occur before the August recess.  How will this bill help to address the savings gap which is impacting millions of Americans? (more…)