The Fed’s Role in Determining Interest Rates

October 4, 2019

Interest rates have been in the news recently due to the Federal Reserve’s decision last month to cut the target for its benchmark interest rate level by .25% to a range of 1.75% to 2%. This cut on Sept. 19 (announced Sept. 18) was the second time the Fed cut rates in 2019.

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Activating Your Social Security

October 30, 2018

When planning for retirement, it is important to figure out what income you will need and where that income will come from once you leave the workforce.  For most American retirees, Social Security benefits will provide an important source of income in retirement, but many people aren’t sure when they should start taking the benefits. The answer to this question will depend on your individual situation and your immediate and long-term financial needs.  Read more

5 Things to Know About the New Credit Freeze Law

October 1, 2018

A new federal law that went into effect this September, makes it free for Americans to have their credit files frozen and unfrozen by credit reporting bureaus.

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law on May 24, adjusted the federal law dealing with consumer credit guidelines. The law went into effect on September 21. Read more

Insight2Markets: Earnings Update

August 22, 2018

Are you being paid for the risk you are taking?

 This is a question consistently asked in the investing world. If the underlying companies in a portfolio are not growing earnings, a higher price and return on the investment generally isn’t justified.  Facebook’s recent miss and price drop is a prime example. Investors do not “like” it when companies fail produce the results they said they would. Read more

Insight2Markets: Inversion Diversion

July 9, 2018

A frequent question of late is what to make of a flattening yield curve and what action should we take?

In short – the yield curve is used as a tool which can illustrate high probability recession risk with considerable lead time of about a year and should not affect drastic portfolio decisions this early on.  This is perhaps a topic not worthy of a rapidly moving news cycle but does play into the drama and thus emotions of investors. Read more

Shedding Light on Potential Tax Reforms

February 16, 2017
It’s safe to say that the last 90 days have been trying for many Americans. Don’t despair, there may be some good news about tax reforms. We could be facing the first significant tax reform since 1986!

Let’s shed light on some exciting possibilities:
– Elimination of the ACA Surtax: as you know there is currently a 3.8% tax on income above $200,000 ($250,000 filed jointly) for the Affordable Care Act. Read more

Market Overview and Strategy Change – March 2016

March 28, 2016

As we had anticipated, 2016 has been an interesting year for the markets. Volatility returned in January as the major indexes declined over 10%. Staying invested in a diversified portfolio paid off as the major indexes regained nearly all of those losses over the last month.

Although we have recently seen a reduction in market volatility, there are still some looming uncertainties which we feel warrant maintaining a conservative outlook for the remainder of 2016. These include; oil price instability, negative foreign interest rates, mixed corporate earnings, and the presidential election in November.

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Market Overview – 1st Quarter 2016

December 28, 2015
This year has been an interesting one for the markets. The major US stock market indices spent the first 8 months of the year trading in a narrow range as economic data and corporate earnings were mixed, commodity prices slumped and the fed sat poised to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade. Then August brought a turndown in US stocks as a mini crash in China sparked fears that the world would fall into global recession. With that came a return of volatility which has since subsided but has left the market nearly flat for the year as investors look cautiously ahead.

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Market Overview – 4th Quarter 2015

October 5, 2015

Just as we were about to enter the fall, as the kids start back to school, a shock has occurred in the markets. China, which has been the global leader in growth for the last decade has been experiencing a stock market crash. This has spilled over into the U.S. stock market which, at the time of this writing, has seen the DJIA drop 7 consecutive days for ~8.57% and is now off ~14.6% from the year’s highs. Fresh in everyone’s mind is the crash of 2008 and for those approaching retirement, market volatility such as this can create uneasiness to say the least. Unlike the last several years where we have seen headlines cause selloffs like the Euro crisis or the taper tantrum; this is not a headline with an inevitable end point. Because of this, we are likely to continue to see volatility rear its ugly head for the coming months as both markets and expectations realign.

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