Updates

Bull Markets Climb a Wall of Worry

Stocks rallied to new highs last week with all three of the major U.S. stock indexes closing at new all-time highs, the Dow Jones Industrial Average over 27,000, the S&P 500 breaching 3,000, and the NASDAQ breaking 8,200. The new highs hit in an atmosphere of caution rather than euphoria. First, investors have been cautious […]

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Worker Earnings Are Up – Corporate Earnings May Not Be

The S&P 500 was up 1.65% last week, leaving the index up 19.29% year-to-date. Due to the sharp runup, we began reducing equity allocations several weeks ago and have trimmed our overweight position in equities by two percentage points. We are planning another round of reductions in the coming weeks which will amount to as […]

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Seasonal Doldrums

Markets were relatively flat last week, going into the weekend’s G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. Little detail emerged from the summit, other than announcements of the resumption of trade negotiations which had stalled. The welcome restart of negotiations still leaves us a long way from resolution which will likely take years. The best we can […]

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Ask a Trust Officer: Saving for Retirement

Dear Trust Officer: How much of my salary do I need to save for retirement? — RESPONSIBLY PLANNING DEAR RESPONSIBILY PLANNING: The irreverent answer would be “all of it.” All kidding aside, there is no simple answer for everyone. The answer depends upon how many years until retirement, how much income will be required then, […]

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Market Timing is a Fool’s Game for Investors

The yield on the 10-Year Treasury stood at 3.20% early last November and the S&P 500 stood at 2,800, down about 4% from its late September high. The market timers’ crystal balls flashed images of recession and steep stock price declines. The Fed, we were told, had sealed the deal when it raised the fed […]

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Generosity and Taxes

Commencement speaker Robert Smith surprised the graduating seniors at Morehouse College in May when he announced that he would pay off all of their student loans.  What are the tax implications of this magnanimous gesture? Potential gift taxes The value of Smith’s gift has been estimated at $40 million, for some 400 graduating seniors, about […]

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Early Summer Doldrums

Little has happened in the two weeks I was away. Conflicting messages on the economy continued but our stuttering expansion continued. The stock market, while volatile on a daily basis, finished the past 2-week period with a correction of just 0.93%. The bond market left us with slightly lower yields over the period with the […]

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Opportunity Zones

According to the IRS: “An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his […]

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Minors and Estate Planning

Reportedly, only one-third of parents with a minor child have a will in place.  One obstacle seems to be the naming of a guardian for the child if a parent dies while the child is a minor.  Considerations One should start with the largest possible list of potential guardians.  Relatives, friends, business partners, parents of […]

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Money and the Single Senior

Facts of life: Most retirees will be single for some period of time, and most of those singles will be women.  Throughout the life cycle, financial planning for singles differs from planning for couples.  Obviously, there is only a single set of assets to work with, and no surviving spouse to plan for.  Less obviously, […]

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