Will You Avoid These Estate Planning Mistakes?

Estate Planning Mistakes

Too many wealthy households commit these common blunders. Many people plan their estates diligently, with input from legal, tax, and financial professionals. Others plan earnestly, but make mistakes that can potentially affect both the transfer and destiny of family wealth. Here are some common and not-so-common errors to avoid. Doing it all yourself. While you … Read more

Weekly Economic Update 1/25/2016

Economic Update

January 25, 2016 OIL REBOUND DRIVES STOCKS HIGHER Thanks to frosty weather hitting the Northeast and a round of short covering, WTI crude settled at $32.19 on the NYMEX Friday – up 9% for the day and 9.4% for the week. Oil’s surge (and hopes of quantitative easing overseas) bolstered stocks: across four days, the … Read more

2016 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

2016 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

Tame yearly inflation means very little change. Over the past 12 months, consumer prices have increased very little. The latest Consumer Price Index (September) shows 0.0% yearly inflation and only 1.9% core yearly inflation. That means no cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security, and very few IRS adjustments to retirement plan contribution limits.(1) Roth IRA & … Read more

China’s Stock Market Turmoil

Can U.S. shares hold up in the wake of January’s shocks? On January 7, China halted stock trading for the second time in four days. The benchmark Shanghai Composite sank 7.0% on January 4 and dropped 7.3% three days later, both times activating a new circuit-breaker rule that stopped the trading session.(1) Markets worldwide fell … Read more

Weekly Market Commentary 1/19/2016

Weekly Market Commentary 1-19-2016

The Markets We all have our pet peeves, and if there is one thing markets do NOT like, it is uncertainty. Unfortunately, we entered 2016 with a lot of unanswered questions: How much has China’s growth slowed? How will the country’s slower growth affect companies and investments around the globe? How will the Federal Reserve’s … Read more

Weekly Economic Update 1/18/2016

Economic Update

January 18, 2016 LIGHT SWEET CRUDE SETTLES AT $29.42 Oil closed at its lowest level in more than 12 years Friday, plummeting 11.3% for the trading week on the NYMEX. Two factors contributed greatly to the rout: the Energy Information Administration’s forecast of the global crude glut lasting well into 2017 and the imminent expiration … Read more

Weekly Economic Update 1/4/2016

Economic Update

January 4, 2016 HOUSEHOLDS MORE OPTIMISTIC AS 2016 APPROACHES In December, consumer confidence increased. The Conference Board’s respected index posted a reading of 96.5 in the last month of the year, 3.9 points above its revised November mark. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected a reading of just 93.5. (1) PENDING HOME SALES INDEX FALLS The … Read more

Monthly Economic Update December 2015

Monthly Economic Update December 2015

December 2015 THE MONTH IN BRIEF While the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq Composite advanced significantly in November, the S&P 500 did not – the broad U.S. benchmark rose a mere 0.05%. Terrorists took hundreds of lives in France, Lebanon, Nigeria, Mali and Tunisia during the month, and the fear in the wake of those attacks … Read more

Weekly Economic Update 12/28/2015

Economic Update

CONSUMER SPENDING IMPROVES 0.3% This November increase matched the forecast of economists polled by Briefing.com, and it was a nice change after a flat October reading (revised down from an initially reported 0.1% gain). Consumer incomes also rose 0.3% in November. (1) HOUSEHOLD OPTIMISM INCREASES IN DECEMBER At mid-month, the preliminary University of Michigan consumer … Read more