Our Weekend Word

2019 Economic and Market Outlook: Not a Bad Place to Be

As we approach year-end, we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. Over the past several years, despite mounting worries about politics and other issues, the economy—and the stock market—have kept growing. In the first half of 2018, the markets were moving higher, albeit with a few breakdowns, and economic growth was accelerating. People were increasingly confident, believing the worst was behind us. It seemed we had finally found a safe place after the heartaches and losses of the financial crisis.

End of the Year Checklist

I am not entirely sure where the rest of the year went but it’s December now… just three short weeks and we will have made it through another year.  So, before the year is out let’s take a second to double check you’re in a good place this year and have a head start on 2019

Secure Holiday Shopping: New Tips for 2018

Although the holiday season is known for gift giving and good cheer, it’s also known for an increase in cybercrime and identity theft. Before you get a jump start on your holiday shopping, follow these four tips to ensure that you’re protecting yourself this season.

Saving Trees and Money

Mike has done an exceptional job with the last few Weekend Words and this time around he’s passed the torch on to me.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I can top the amount of quality information Mike provided the past few weeks, but hopefully you will find it equally intriguing in a different way.

Last week we received news from Commonwealth that they are going to be reducing transaction costs for clients who opt in to e-delivery for all mailings.  As Commonwealth matures, they have made continued improvements to their offerings, much of which has been for our benefit as the advisors, but now we’re starting to see Commonwealth’s scale allow for more cost-effective transactions for you.  We’ve done our best over the years to minimize the transaction costs you experience as clients, but this change will help when we aren’t able to avoid those costs.

What Now

2018 has been a confusing year for investors and the month of October pretty much summed it up. We’re up, we’re down, we’re sideways. The S&P is at new highs, wait, no, it’s a correction. The economy is good, the FED is nuts. Who knows what to believe.

In times like this, the place we look for solace is the bond market. We’ve written many pieces about bonds being “smarter” than stocks. And we say this because bonds behave in a much more technical nature than stocks. They are obligations of the companies or governments that issue them and their returns can actually be calculated for a given scenario. Their pricing is primarily affected by interest rates and credit quality.

Close to Home

Dear Readers,

This week we want to take the time to acknowledge and remember the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shootings. In the past years we’ve seen hate manifest itself in many areas of our country and now Pittsburgh is added to the list of communities tasked with dealing with tragedy on a personal level.

What Could Take the Market Back Up?

We have spent the past couple of days worrying about the market dropping. Indeed, today we have a further decline. This volatility isn’t unexpected, certainly. But the further down we go, the more worried we should be—and the more inevitable further declines look.

Given all the bad news out there, further drops do seem reasonable. We have the U.S. midterms, Chinese slowdown, Saudi Arabia, Italy and Brexit, the Fed raising rates, and on and on. It seems, all of a sudden, the bad news has become overwhelming. In the face of such turmoil, what could take the market back up?

5 IRA Misconceptions and How You Can Make the More Informed Choice

Some IRA planning and investment strategies may appear easy to execute, but errors can lead to unexpected taxes or penalties, loss of the IRA’s tax-exempt status, and even disinherited beneficiaries. Where can things go wrong? Here are five common IRA misconceptions, as well as tips for making a more informed choice.

Where are my All-Time-Highs?

With the S&P crossing the 2900 mark, it’s back in all time high territory, but many investors aren’t experiencing anywhere near the 7.2% return the S&P has posted this year.

Top 4 Exceptions to the 10-Percent Early Distribution Penalty

Generally, the IRS will impose a 10-percent early distribution penalty if you withdraw assets from your traditional IRA before the age of 59½. Here are four of the most important exceptions to this penalty.