Tis the season….
One plus from this past election is the emphasis on freeing up religious holidays from the political correct. So with that, we wish those who recognize the holiday, Happy Hanukkah, Happy St. Nickolas, Merry Christmas! It is more about the time of year as much as the actual event days. There is something in the air that says, Peace, good will to all men.
Meanwhile, back to the future. As things stand, we are still subject to the jaded non productive nature of Congress. So you can rely on nothing changing until 2017. So you have some tax planning to do, some gifting, all based on current rules and regulations.
Contributions to Charity from your IRA are still good to go. You need to be 70 years of age, the maximum you can give to the charities is $100,000, and the amount must go directly to the charities from… Read moreFacebook ∗ Twitter
It begins. Worldwide economy. Actually, the economies of several countries have been affecting our local economy for decades. But now pundits are finally admitting that places like the Federal Reserve and Washington are not the only factors in how things work.
Interest rates are going up. Count the number of times that phrase has been repeated in the past several years. It has taken on an “OJ in the white Bronco” flavor. The fact is that rates will go up. And yes, the Federal Reserve will be the instrument of change when it happens. But waiting for it to happen is like watching paint dry. Move on, already!
Two important timelines for you to watch. If you are over 65, you have until December 7th for Medicare open enrollment. Actually, the words are Medicare Supplement Insurance open enrollment. In case you haven’t been watching the TV commercials that are all over the… Read moreFacebook ∗ Twitter | Download PDF
The numbers are looking rocky. Federal Reserve numbers are due out next month on interest rates. Geopolitical battles are still happening. The 2016 political campaigns are starting.
Our review of account performances for the first quarter showed that indexed accounts stayed close the respective index. Long term holdings did the same. The higher percentage of returns versus the respective index showed up in accounts with activity in ETFs and dividend paying stocks. Cash must have been a good thing to have for the first quarter.
By: Darla Mercado InvestmentNews
With the April 15 deadline for tax filing past, it is time to take a hard look at that form, Form 1040.
Though the individual income tax return is a window on the past, what it reveals also can shape future savings as well as add future value to the upcoming returns.
“Taxes are… Read moreFacebook ∗ Twitter | Download PDF
A good month for color. Flowers, grass, rabbits, etc.
Also a good month to finalize that annual event, tax date. I call it an annual reunion, since the person(s) only come around once a year. Very interesting the events that happen in one’s life in just one year.
So, remember to send in extensions by April 15th, if you are not ready to file. It cuts down the amount of penalty and interest that may occur. Efile if all possible. This year, the state programs were late coming online and there is a mixed bag of refunds getting out the door at the IRS and state. So have patience with the agencies.
Did you know that the IRS can keep your refund if you don’t file within three years? You have three years to claim a refund. If you don’t claim your refund within three years, the money becomes property of the… Read moreFacebook ∗ Twitter | Download PDF
Brace yourself. The U.S. economy looks like it went on a roller-coaster ride at the start of the year.
Revised numbers released Thursday show the economy shrank in the first quarter, marking the first downturn since early 2011. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic growth, fell at a 1% annual pace, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
A slump was entirely expected, and economists aren’t too worried. They forecast a bounce back in the spring.
Take for example Joseph Lavorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank. He predicts the economy will rev up, growing at more than a 4% pace in April through June. In a note to clients this week, he cautioned investors not to worry if the first quarter numbers were lousy.
The January through March period tends to be the slowest for growth, he noted, and… Read moreFacebook ∗ Twitter | Download PDF
Simply put, it is spring somewhere in the U S.
We are overdue on that topic. The markets are slowing down, the Fed Reserve is cutting back its activity in the
market, and Congress is out campaigning for money.
The past month was bumpy and ended like this…
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of America’s biggest bank, says it’s time to stop worrying about the Fed. After all, he’s not worried.
In his annual letter to shareholders, which was released on Wednesday afternoon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) said there is “little question” that the Federal Reserve’s signature stimulus program boosted the economy and hastened the recovery. What’s more, he says the Fed’s exit from QE, which is expected to happen this year, isn’t likely to reverse that.
That’s not a universally held view, particularly on Wall Street. Last year, Warren Buffett said he was worried about what will happen… Read moreFacebook ∗ Twitter | Download PDF
January did not turn out to be such a “Sweetheart” month. Winter was all over the Midwest and East Coast. Markets lost over 5%.
Last year was painful for emerging markets and 2014 is shaping up to be even worse.
Among the hardest hit are Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and South Africa — dubbed the ‘Fragile Five’ by Morgan Stanley last August.
Those countries have seen their currencies tumble 15% to 20% over the past year. And that plunge has continued this month, despite a series of aggressive and, in some cases, unexpected interest rate rises aimed at stopping the rot.
So after years of rapid expansion, and relative calm, what’s going wrong?
For one, economic growth has slowed. As a group, emerging and developing economies grew on average by 6.4% over the past decade. Last year, that number was 4.5% and its forecast to rise only modestly in 2014.
And signs of instability in China’s huge… Read moreFacebook ∗ Twitter | Download PDF
Lately the news has been focused on when the Federal Reserve will begin the “Taper” (Buying less bonds from the market) Sprinkled in the mix has been good reports on the overall economy. Granted there have been pockets of bad company reports, but generally the trends have been up.
The latest reports indicate that the economy has finally found its footing. Overall employment increases, actual unemployment drops and positive earnings all look up going forward. Even the end of the Federal Reserve bond program is firming up as being in March 2014.
What is missing in this picture? The trillion dollar piece called Congress. The latest Congress, Democrat, Republican and Independent together have introduced the least number of fiscal bills of any Congress on record. The record, 2 centuries of records. So for your trillion dollars, you get nothing. This has the effect of creating a flow of laws to make this a market economy, then turning… Read moreFacebook ∗ Twitter | Download PDF
Happy 4th of July,
Do you remember that childhood routine between two siblings? The conversation goes, “I didn’t do it, you did it. No, I didn’t do it, you did it.” This goes on until the adults in the room stop the useless and senseless exercise. Now, fast forward to today. As we watch the adult version of this senseless act in Congress and the Senate, the Supreme Court stepped in and corrected the “children” who can not stop this petty exercise on their own. Immigration, Same Sex, voting rights.
Go figure, we actually voted this body of individuals into office, proceeded to give them 90 days of work, paid them $170,000 a person, added a sizable allowance to cover staff and furnishings, gave them full medical benefits, and then told them to go play in Washington and don’t bother the adults.
How’s that working for you?
Finally, you need to pull out that score card that you used… Read moreFacebook ∗ Twitter | Download PDF