2023 Q4 Investment Commentary

2023 Defies Predictions 2023 began the year with most economists predicting the economy would fall into a recession and the majority of investment strategists expecting stock markets to struggle. Defying these pessimistic forecasts, the economy grew at a 2.6% real rate (6% in nominal terms) and the S&P 500 earned a total return of 26%. … Read more

Tax Saving Strategy for Business Owners

Key Takeaways: You can save a lot in taxes by strategically planning charitable contributions before selling your business, resulting in substantial tax savings and increased charitable contributions. Donating a portion of the business to a charitable account requires careful planning and engagement with wealth managers, CPAs, and attorneys. The timing, analysis, and valuation involved make … Read more

2023 Q3 Investment Commentary

Several trends changed course in the third quarter as both stocks and bonds fell a er rising in the first half of 2023. The reversal reflected concerns about rising rates, Fitch’s downgrade of US Government debt, and the narrow avoidance of a government shutdown. Despite the negative quarter, signs in the economy are positive. The … Read more

Generational Views on Financial Security: Survey Unveils Varied Perspectives

Bankrate.com recently shared the results of a survey they conducted and the results drew our attention. When asked, “What annual income would you need to feel financially secure/comfortable?” Bankrate reports the following: Gen Xers (1965-1980) felt they would need $273,000 per year Baby Boomers (1946-1964) thought $240,000 would suffice Interestingly, Millennials (1981-1996) agreed upon $224,000 … Read more

Debt Downgrade Explained

On August 1st, the credit rating agency Fitch downgraded the sovereign debt of the United States from AAA to AA+. Fitch is one of three credit rating agencies that also includes Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. In some respects, downgrading debt issued by the U.S. Treasury is total nonsense, but in other ways, it is … Read more

Quarterly Investment Letter – Q2 2023

It is remarkable how consistent total returns have been for the U.S. stock market over the long term. For the last 5, 10, and 15 years the returns have been 11.2%, 12.2%, and 10.6%, respectively. During those periods, our country has experienced a generational financial crisis, a pandemic, multiple wars, inflation spikes, energy crises, terrorism, … Read more

WHY 1984 WON’T BE LIKE 1984

Super Bowl XVIII was played 39 years ago in Tampa Bay and featured the Los Angeles Raiders taking on the Washington Redskins. Raiders fans will remember that they routed the favored Redskins by a final score of 38 – 9 to win their third (and last) Super Bowl Championship. At the beginning of 1984 and … Read more

LEGISLATION THAT WORKS!?

On December 23, 2022, Congress passed new legislation that will impact saving for retirement. The legislation known as Secure Act 2.0 follows up on the original Secure Act 1.0 of 2019, which changed rules on how you save and withdraw money from your retirement account. Secure Act 2.0 includes dozens of new provisions that were … Read more

MARKET QUICK HITS

After falling 19.4% in 2022, the S&P 500 Index rallied 6.2% in January 2023. Since 1945, there have been five other years where the S&P 500 gained more than 5% in January after trading down in the prior year. In those years (1954, 1961, 1967, 1975 and 2019), the S&P 500 rallied more than 10% … Read more

TO THE CONTRARY…

S&P500 Returns Graph

The University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index has been around for over forty years. As you might guess from its name, it measures how US consumers feel about financial conditions. From Investopedia: Consumer sentiment is a statistical measurement of the overall health of the economy as determined by consumer opinion. It takes into account people’s … Read more