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Market Commentary – 4/9/19

The first quarter of 2019 brought a welcome reversal. Last year, Barron’s published a group of market strategists’ expectations for 2019 performance. The article came out in mid-December, before the steep year-end stock market decline. At that time, all of the strategists agreed: The S&P 500 Index would move higher during 2019. Their expectations appeared… Read More

Market Commentary – 4/2/19

“Fascinatingly counterintuitive…” That’s how Michael Arone, an investment strategist, described the U.S. market environment to Avi Salzman of Barron’s: “‘Stocks are rallying, but bond yields are reflecting much lower growth.’ Stocks rose during the quarter because the Fed backed away from raising interest rates, and investors grew more confident that the U.S. and China would… Read More

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Market Commentary 3/26/19

Wonder what the Federal Reserve’s 40-yard dash time is? On Wednesday, the Fed juked like an NFL running back and left investors wondering whether they should buy or sell. Heather Long of The Washington Post reported the U.S. central bank: Lowered its 2019 estimate for U.S. economic growth to 2.1 percent Announced its intention not… Read More

Market Commentary – 3/19/19

Stock and bond markets rallied. Last week, major U.S. stock indices finished higher for the 10th time in 12 weeks. Bond markets moved higher, too, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries dropping just below 2.6 percent, reported Randall Forsyth of Barron’s. Yields on 10-year Treasuries haven’t been this low since January 2018. The simultaneous rallies… Read More

2019 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

Maxing out your retirement account contributions can be a smart financial move not only to help reduce your tax bill, but also to work towards the goal of setting aside enough money for the future. But do you know how much you’re allowed to contribute? Contribution limits can vary greatly depending on the type of… Read More

Market Commentary – 3/12/19

Markets were rattled last week. The market hates surprises, especially when the surprise comes from a central bank. Last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) unexpectedly reversed course and took a more accommodative stance on monetary policy in an effort to encourage stronger European economic growth. Tom Fairless of Barron’s explained:1 “Officials are seeking to… Read More

Market Commentary – 3/5/19

Is it a soft landing? Economists use aviation metaphors to describe the results of central banks’ efforts to manage rapidly growing economies. If the Federal Reserve lifts rates enough to prevent the economy from overheating without jolting it into recession, then it has engineered a soft landing, according to Investopedia. (Rate increases that drop a… Read More

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Market Commentary – 2/26/19

Investors were pleased with the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) new approach to its balance sheet. The Fed delivered its semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress last week. The report recapped the events of late 2018 and reiterated the Fed’s intention to “…be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the federal funds rate may be… Read More

Navigating Health Care Taxes

Chances are you have heard about the 3.8% surtax that went into effect in 2013 under the Affordable Care Act—but do you know if and when you might need to pay it? While there have been significant changes to the tax code over the past year, the Medicare tax and net investment income tax remain… Read More

Market Commentary – 2/19/19

Why did the stock market do that? The great mystery of stock markets reared its head last week. With no clear driver, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 3 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index moved higher by about 2.5 percent. It was a puzzler. Ben Levisohn… Read More