Our Weekend Word

Outlook 2021: Where We Are and Where We’re Headed

As we approach the beginning of a new year and consider what it may bring, it’s helpful to reflect on the one now behind us. After what has been a tumultuous year of unbelievable events and unprecedented circumstances, we’ve made it to a point where there may actually be more good news than bad.

SECURE Inheritance

2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, and on top of it, IRAs might now be the worst investment vehicle to inherit.

Fall Planning Checklist 2020

Health has been on the mind a lot in 2020 so in the spirit of having a positive mindset, here are some great steps to improve our financial health at the end of the year.

Election Uncertainty

As the election continues to play out—with Biden being declared the winner of the presidential race and the Republicans taking back some seats in the House and likely retaining control of the Senate—it’s a good time to evaluate what this might mean for your investments. To start, let’s look at how the markets have responded, so far, to the election results.

Presidential Policy

Four months ago we wrote a piece about how the markets can potentially predict the presidential election (Presidential Predictor).  The gist of that article is that 87% of the time the S&P 500 has predicted the winner of the election.   If between July 31st and October 31st the index is up, they predict the incumbent candidate will win, if it is negative, it is expected the challenger will win.  Well… during that period the S&P 500 had a -.04% return.  Statistically speaking, that is within the margin of error and essentially flat.  I think that does a great job of summarizing what this week has been like.  Even now on Friday, we might be a little closer to declaring a winner, but not much. 

Since the outcome is still yet to be determined, we wanted to take a second to discuss something that we have been fielding some calls on, Joe Biden’s potential tax plan. This still very early folks, so take this all with a grain of salt as not only would Biden have to win but his plan would have to make its way through congress before we get the final policy.

The Power of Postponement

We started this blog in early 2016 in hopes of being able to provide our clients, friends, and family some timely input on various aspects of the financial sphere.  During that time, we have managed to send out 247 weeks of consecutive Weekend Words.  If you have been on this rollercoaster with us for that long there is no doubt you have heard us talk about investing early, the power of compounding and how important those key factors can be in attaining your retirement goals.

Home Sweet Home

The work and love that goes into making a home can make them of high sentimental value. Apart from this, our homes also represent another large actual value, making up around 30% of the average homeowner’s net worth. This inevitable mixture of business and pleasure can make our homes a particularly tricky thing to deal with when we start to approach retirement.

COLA Conundrum

Earlier this week the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced the 2021 cost of living adjustment (COLA) will be a paltry 1.3%. For the average beneficiary that equates to a ~$20 a month raise, barely enough to cover the increase in Medicare Part B premiums.  

Unfortunately, this is far from a new occurrence. 

The Blitz

With the NFL season almost a 1/3 of the way through, quarterbacks have been under pressure left and right.  Though it isn’t just on the gridiron that we get rushed, this year especially.  We are being bombarded by pandemic reports, global news, market updates, and to cap it all off it is an election year.  Unfortunately, seniors are fighting off even more with the amount of television, newspaper and mail advertisements targeting them for a different type of season. 

Going Green

ESG investing has really taken off over the past five years with assets breaking the $1 trillion mark earlier this year. Lately we have also seen a rise in the issuance of a similar investment, Green Bonds.