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Second Quarter Commentary 2024—Relative Calm in an Unsettled World

By Uncategorized

Since we are conversing with some about concerns over the upcoming election, we start by acknowledging and concurring with the reporting about the unsettling and embarrassing Presidential debate covered by conservative, liberal, national, and international news sources. More interesting is the fact that the stock market did not react much to the event.  It is fair to surmise that both…

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Correction or Collapse?

By Investments

After 10% returns in the first quarter and on the heels of the late 2023 rally, the S&P 500 gave up almost half of the year-to-date gain in April.  As we have entered May, earnings reports are generally on or above target, and stocks have rallied from their April lows.  At this point, the recent sell-off feels more like a…

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January 2024 Outlook

By Investments, Tax

January has been an up-and-down month after pleasantly strong investment returns across most assets in November-December 2023.  The return of the “Magnificent Seven” was widely reported in business news.  For most of 2023, seven giant companies drove the return of the entire S&P 500 index.  At the end of October, they were collectively responsible for the S&P 500 positive year-to-date…

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2023 – The Year of the … ?

By Investments, Thought Pieces

When we started the year, the general consensus was that coming off 2022’s worst U.S. bond market in modern history, 2023 would see the fixed-income sector stabilize and rebound with solid returns.  Through the first quarter, that is precisely what happened.  However, as inflation proved more persistent, the Federal Reserve kept hiking the Fed Funds rate and fixed income assets…

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Low Notes and Turmoil at 3rd Quarter’s End

By Investments, Tax

As we head into the fourth quarter, there is a lot to unpack as political dysfunction and an onslaught of bad news dominate headlines. While political battles are often noise, the next looming budget fight is less than six weeks out and could affect global equity markets if it devolves into a shutdown. U.S. debt could be downgraded, and global…

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Secure Act 2.0: Changes to Retirement Plans

By Retirement, Tax

As we approach the final quarter of 2023, we want to address some year-end planning issues related to retirement plan distributions and upcoming open enrollment elections.  There have been many changes to retirement planning, but most are minor or occur in later years. The SECURE Act 2.0 (“Secure 2.0” or the “Act”), signed in December 2022, was intended to enhance…

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Fall Outlook 2023

By Investments

Post Pandemic Economy   The 2023 second quarter earnings season wrapped up last week, with AI industry leader Nvidia posting significant sales growth to become the first chip manufacturer with a market value in excess of $1.0 trillion.  Nvidia’s quarterly sales grew to $13.0 billion.  Yes, this is a great company, but a market valuation of 20 times sales and…

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Debt Limit Dysfunction, AI, and Portfolio Changes

By Investments

Debt Limit Commentary The idea of the United States defaulting on its debt is (and was) a very low probability event.  The effects would be both immediate and devastating to global financial markets.  Nevertheless, loud voices advocate rejecting the Biden/McCarthy Agreement finalized on Sunday.  Unfortunately, our system led us to this place.  The U.S. is the only major developed country…

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Obstacles and Opportunities

By Investments

We always experience times in markets where buy or sell opinions are debated daily.  Seldom do those possibilities diverge as much as we are seeing today.  Economic pessimism seems rampant, driven by politics, global conflict, rising interest rates, and inflation.  However, U.S. economic resilience has been remarkable despite substantial obstacles.  We see some pockets of opportunity in markets and will…

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Bonds, A New Risk/Reward Paradigm?

By Investments

While there has been significant market stress and negative news, the markets have held up reasonably well.  We will have a more thorough review of equity investments next week after seeing some key earnings reports.  In the meantime, we wanted to briefly update you and focus on what we see are significant opportunities in fixed-income markets (bonds). As measured by…

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