Updates

Required Minimum Distributions

The best way to prepare for retirement is to save, early and often.  Generally, one should set aside 10% to 15% of one’s income each year.  If the habit takes hold early in one’s career, a very meaningful nest egg should be the result. Saving is easier when there is a tax deduction for it, […]

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Market Signals

Short-term Treasury yields moved higher last week as the 2-year rose 4 basis points to 2.58%. The 10-year rose early but was off late in the week to finish flat 2.83%. Although the 2 year/10-year spread narrowed to 25 basis points, a level not seen since August 2007, renewed concerns about inversion, a signal of […]

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Planning for a Long Life

Not many years ago, the typical retirement age, 65, was viewed as the onset of old age. Today, gerontologists define matters differently: If you’re between the ages of 65 and 74, you are one of the “young-old.” To be considered “old”, you need to be in the 75-to-84 age bracket.  After that, you’re known, demographically, […]

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Stocks Signal Trade Dispute Not War

Tariffs, first announced in March, were levied last week and reporters announced the beginning of a U.S. trade war. U.S. stock indexes, however, shrugged off the noise. The S&P 500 finished the week up 1.52% and cooler heads are talking of a trade dispute, refusing to elevate the latest tariff announcements to the level of […]

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Beware of Financial Fraud, aka “Phishing”

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), formerly the National Association of Security Dealers, continues to warn investors and consumers about “phishing,” a scam that uses spam e-mail to lure investors into revealing account information, passwords or PINs, or other types of confidential information. Often the e-mails falsely claim to be from service providers that investors […]

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Do I Need a Fiduciary? (Part VI)

Planning does not get easier in the distribution phases of a plan. There is not sufficient room in this brief to cover all of the issues involved. Step #6 points to just a few of the planning issues in a very broad way. The details in a personal financial plan can best be addressed by […]

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Are the Tax Cuts Working?

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: Are the tax cuts enacted last December having the hoped-for impact? How is the economy doing? — ETERNAL OPTIMIST DEAR ETERNAL OPTIMIST: Too soon to say, but we have a number of good portents. Gross Domestic Product was up 2.2% in the first quarter. In the last four years, the first quarter […]

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Do I Need a Fiduciary? (Part V)

We expand step #5 this week with some brief comments on risk. Establish financial objectives and determine the time frame associated with each one. Determine the amount of savings which will be necessary to fund the investment accounts sufficiently. Determine the types of investment accounts available to best take advantage of provisions in the tax […]

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Battle Brews Over SALT

Several high-tax states, including California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are trying to establish a legislative work-around to the new $10,000 cap on the deduction for state and local taxes (SALT).  The cap will only affect the highest-income taxpayers, who have long been the target for state tax increases. Nevertheless, these states apparently fear […]

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Yield Curve Signals and Timing

We will finish the series on the value of a fiduciary in the coming weeks but we will pause to comment on the market activity. The stock market has been up in four of the last five weeks. On Friday, the S&P 500 closed at 2,779.66, up 7.7% from the correction low close of 2,581.00 […]

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