Our Weekend Word

How to go about Bonds

Bonds have historically been an extremely important part of an investor’s portfolio. They provide relative value stability when compared to stocks and a stream of income for the investor. We’ve previously talked about what bonds you can own (http://www.laurelfinancialgroup.com/content/different-breeds-bonds), but there is also the question of how to own them.

Basically, we have two options here: we can own individual bonds, or we can own them in some sort of investment product like a mutual fund.

The Kiddie Tax 2019

The IRS’s kiddie tax rules limit parents’ ability to transfer investment assets to a minor child in order to take advantage of the child’s lower marginal tax bracket.

Behind The Scenes

That trading combined with high-frequency traders, index funds, and market makers accounted for roughly 85% of trading volume according to Marlo Kolanovic of JP Morgan. 

What Year Is It?

Investors are unhappy because the Fed is raising rates even though inflation appears quiet. The president is ready to slap tariffs on the world's No. 2 economy. The media and Congress are putting pressure on the president that may result in an impeachment vote. The stock market had been doing well early in the year, but was slammed in the second half.

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.