Market Minute - December 14, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Trade and Interest Rates

Financial market headlines continue to be dominated by two topics, tariffs and interest rates.  There were notable events regarding both recently and I’d like to take a minute to discuss them. 

Retirement Savings and Social Security Adjustments

Scan Alert Image.jpg by Matthew Emerson

Every year, the U.S. government changes a variety of investment and benefits thresholds based on the inflation rate.  But since inflation has been pretty tame, most of the changes have been modest these past ten years. The following are highlights of big changes set to begin in 2019.

Monthly Markets Memo - November 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

It goes without saying that the recent volatility has been unsettling as investors have watched 2018 gains evaporate amid the turmoil.  It’s times like these where we must remind ourselves that corrections are a routine occurrence and not necessarily a sign of an imminent prolonged downturn. Corrections, defined as a 10% drop from the most recent peak occur on average once a year.  Smaller market declines between 5-10% are even more frequent averaging about four per year.  Compared to recessions, they are relatively short in duration, but can still linger for several months.  Trying to time moves within a portfolio in anticipation of a correction is difficult due to their frequency and somewhat unpredictable nature.  Coming out of a correction, however, is a prudent time to assess the correction’s impact on a portfolio and rebalance appropriately.  

Market Minute - November 19, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Market Volatility

The month of October brought volatility back to the market as the major equity indices posted negative returns for the month.  This was also seen internationally, as developed and emerging markets were also negative for the month.  Investors were left wondering what caused the spike in volatility and will it continue?

Take the First Step

Scan Alert Image.jpg by Jon Flaherty

Have you ever procrastinated when it comes to your finances?  It could be something small like reviewing your recent statements or it could be something larger and more complex like deciding to finally do something with an old 401(k) account.  I’ve often found the first step seems to take the longest, especially if it is a task I’ve never done before.  It’s purely the decision to start that holds up the process, especially when there is an element of unknown involved.  When it comes to your finances, what are you putting off and do you realize how much it could be costing you?

Monthly Markets Memo - October 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

Market Update

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell recently gave a speech in which he stated that the Fed may need to continue to increase rates, possibly aggressively, especially if inflation begins to quickly move higher.  The yield on the 10-year treasury surged, with yields moving from 3.06% to 3.23% in four days, a big move for treasuries in a short amount of time.  The equity markets can typically withstand rising rates but tend to get nervous when the pace is this fast.  Next, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduced their global growth projections citing ongoing trade policy disruptions, specifically mentioning disruptions to NAFTA, Brexit and the European Union, as well as the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China. 

Market Minute - October 15, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Earnings Season

Third quarter earnings will start coming in this week with several of the large banks reporting last Friday.  Earnings reports typically start one or two weeks after the quarter as companies prepare their financial reporting.  This period is also known as “earnings season” and allows investors to analyze company’s financial performance and hear from management regarding strategy and outlook.

Fire in a Crowded Theater

Vantage Financial welcomes guest contributions.  Please know the information, opinions and forecasts expressed in the article below are presented from unassociated parties and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Vantage Financial Partners Limited. ​

Stock Market Graph Image.jpgby Bob Veres with Inside Information

Yesterday’s market declines—the Dow down 3.15%, the S&P 500 down 3.29% and tech stocks, as represented by the Nasdaq index, off 4.08%--were entirely within the normal range of mini corrections, which we’ve experienced numerous times since March 9, 2009.  But they represent an interesting test of character for the press and market pundits.

Monthly Markets Memo - September 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

U.S. Equities are putting on a one-man show posting positive returns over the past month.  Various economic indicators point to continued strength in the U.S. Economy.  Manufacturing activity is at a 14-year high, consumer confidence is at an 18-year high, and small and medium-sized business sentiment is at a 35-year high.  Developed international markets continue to languish but were mostly unchanged from a month ago. The U.K. continues to negotiate their exit from the European Union driving some uncertainty within the region.  Broader Europe appears to be coming out of an economic soft-patch that weighed down the first half of the year.  Turning to fixed income, yields on treasuries had been held down by investors seeking safety from developments in the emerging markets.  This reversed itself when the August jobs report revealed robust wage growth, sending treasury yields higher from 2.88% towards the 3.00% mark.

The New Wave in Charitable Giving

Scan Alert Image.jpg by Tom Rueger, CFP®

Donor-advised funds have become increasingly popular as a way to make charitable donations. In 2016 alone, more than $23 billion was contributed to donor-advised funds. Now, with the deduction for charitable contributions surviving the 2018 income tax changes, donor-advised funds will become even more popular. This is because the standard deduction has nearly doubled ($24K for Married filing jointly) and many components of the standard deduction are either being capped or eliminated (most notably the deduction for state and local taxes is being capped at $10K). As a result, many people will have the tax benefit of their charitable gifts either reduced or eliminated by the larger standard deduction.

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