Updates

I Can See Clearly Now

Just kidding. But the fog does seem to have lifted slightly. The U.S. economy has been an island of persistent if uneven expansion in a world of sputtering growth. A pickup in international trade would help all and we picked up a few positive signs last week. Ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) would […]

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Jobs are Job One

After a rocky start to the week which we were told was due to the waning likelihood of a phase one agreement in the trade talks with China, the markets rebounded to finish higher. The economic news was flat to negative early in the week, but the Department of Labor’s jobs report surprised everyone Friday […]

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Retirement Plan Limits Bumped Up for 2020

To make it possible for voluntary retirement savings to keep up with inflation, the various numerical limits embedded within qualified retirement plans are indexed for inflation. The IRA contribution limit stays at $6,000 if the individual is younger than age 50 in 2019, and $7,000 if he or she attains age 50 or older in […]

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The Market Will Fluctuate – Guaranteed

Stocks, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, continued to show strength last week, moving to another new high and closing the week up another 0.99%. Treasury yields were little changed with the 10-Year finishing the week at 1.78%. Versus one year ago, the S&P 500 is up 13.8% and the 10-Year Treasury yield is […]

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Happy Thanksgiving

After six straight weeks of gains, which saw the S&P 500 Index rise over 7.25% to a new all-time high of 3,122.03, the equity markets stabilized last week, finishing a fraction lower for the week at 3,110.29. Interest rates have remained stable with the 2-Year Treasury yielding 1.62% and the 10-Year Treasury at 1.77%. The […]

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Market Milestones vs. Personal Milestones

The S&P 500 Index moved higher for the sixth straight week closing at a new milestone high of 3,120.46. The NASDAQ Index and Dow Jones Industrial averages also moved to new all-time highs. The mood has been positive as signals of a phase one, U.S.-China trade agreement is likely before December 15th when barring an […]

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A Recession in Recessionary Talk

The S&P 500 closed at 3,066.91, the second consecutive weekly new high and a gain of 11.92% from the year-ago level. Treasury yields were lower with the 2-year finishing the week at 1.55%, down 7 basis points. The 10-year yield dipped a similar amount and closed with a yield of 1.73%. The backdrop has been […]

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Happiness in Old Age – Observations of a Family Physician

(What you can do to experience happiness in old age) In no particular order: Stay outwardly focused by keeping your mind on the well-being and/or the activities of others.  If you can only do one thing, this is it. Everything below will help keep you outwardly focused. Take on volunteer jobs that will help others. […]

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No Broad Earnings Decline

We are having a better October than last year when the S&P 500 was beginning its fourth quarter correction. With four trading days to go, this October finds the index up 1.50% compared to the 7.0% decline we experienced in October 2018. Corporate earnings have been mixed but are in no way signaling the beginning […]

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Ask a Trust Officer: Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust

Dear Trust Officer: I’m financially secure, and have married for the third time. Lately, my children from the first two marriages have been asking about their inheritances. They seem to be concerned that my spouse—or perhaps a future spouse—might freeze them out. How might I allay their concerns? — THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM DEAR THIRD […]

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