Market Insights – October 2019

Markets Remain Resilient in the Third Quarter Markets in the third quarter of 2019 looked surprisingly similar to the second quarter as more U.S.-China trade war uncertainty and a lack of clarity on future interest rate policy caused a sharp increase in volatility in the middle of the quarter, but the S&P 500 remained resilient and ultimately recouped those losses to finish the quarter not far from the new all-time highs established in late July. The third quarter started strong as news of a “trade truce” between the U.S. and China, which was announced at the G20 meeting in late June, combined with better-than-expected second-quarter corporate earnings to propel the S&P 500 to new [...]

Market Insights – July 2019

Volatility Returns but Markets Remain Resilient Historically typical volatility returned in the second quarter as uncertainty regarding U.S.-China trade relations, future Federal Reserve interest rate policy, and the state of the U.S. and global economies caused a more-than-6% pullback in the S&P 500 during May, before stocks broadly recovered in June and finished the quarter near fresh all-time highs. In sharp contrast to the quiet, steady gains of the first quarter, stock market performance in the second quarter was one marked by extremes. The S&P 500 logged a 4% gain in April thanks to solid first quarter corporate earnings reports, which further reduced concerns that earnings growth peaked in 2018. Additionally, due in part [...]

Market Insights – April 2019

A Strong Start to the Year, But Risks Remain Stocks rebounded strongly in the first quarter thanks to a combination of improving U.S.-China trade relations, the Federal Reserve halting interest rate increases, and a better outlook for corporate earnings. The S&P 500 finished the first quarter of 2019 with the best quarterly return since 2009. Starting with U.S.-China trade negotiations, significant progress was made towards a new deal over the past three months, highlighted by the removal of the March 1st trade deal deadline imposed by the administration back in late November. Most of that progress occurred in January and that was one of the initial catalysts for the first quarter rally in stocks. [...]

Health Savings Accounts might be the best savings vehicle available

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) I have spent many hours discussing the relative advantages and disadvantages of Roth 401(k)s versus Traditional 401(k)s. The answer in that debate? It depends ... but what if you could have the best of both? While Roth plans generally give you tax-free distributions, you pay taxes prior to contributing dollars to the plan. Conversely, Traditional plans allow your contributions to avoid current taxation, however you pay taxes on your distributions. So the IRS gets you on the way in or on the way out. However ... HSAs generally allow you to take a tax deduction on your contribution (like the Traditional) and gives you tax free distributions (like the Roth). The [...]