2021 Market Outlook

When my clients ask me for my 2021 Market Outlook, I gently laugh and say, “Well, let’s hope it is more accurate than last year’s.” On January 6, 2020 I noted that the upcoming year would likely be a “decent one” for the US economy. At the time, that statement seemed like a pretty safe bet. I recently heard that...

The Housing Market Is On Fire, Is It 2007 All Over Again?

One of the shining spots in the US economy right now is the housing market. Between seeing it firsthand in my own neighborhood and hearing the experiences of clients buying and selling homes, the housing market appears to be as hot as it was in 2006-2007. “For Sale” signs are popping up one week, and “Sale Pending” signs are there...

Market Optimism

Our investment committee went into the election feeling quite positive about the equity markets for 2021. The outlook looked constructive whether the election produced a blue/red wave or divided government. As of this writing, the country is likely to end up with divided government: Democratic President and House of Representatives along with a Republican Senate. Strategas research has taken a...

Has the Federal Reserve done enough? Will we see negative interest rates?

Before COVID hit, a few family members and I were competing in our own version of Biggest Loser, trying to see who could lose the most weight over a set period of time. For the month of January, besides trying to exercise more, I took bread and cheese out of my diet entirely. By the time February had rolled around...

Be Prepared for Your First-Time Home Purchase

Clients often ask me what one can do to best prepare for buying a house, especially for the first time. If you are considering making such a purchase, there are some things you can do to ensure you are best positioned to act when opportunity strikes. Review and Improve Your Credit Score Having a strong credit score will allow you...

A Tale of Two Bridges

The question I get most often from clients is, “Why is the stock market doing so well when the economy is suffering?” For most of the summer, the stock market has been buoyant. According to Barron’s, equity investors are up $13.1 trillion or 55.7% from the March 23rd lows and up $2.2T or 6.3% since the end of 2019, even...

The Time Has Come to Scrap the RMD

Before we get to why I believe that we should finally put an end to the outdated and unnecessary Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) rule, it is important to see how we got here. In 1986, as the popularity of the use of IRAs, 401(k)s and rollover IRAs grew, Congress began to become worried that these tax-deferred accounts would be used...

My employer just offered me an early retirement package, what do I do?

Last week Brown University announced they would be offering an early retirement package to some of their staff. Dubbed the “Staff Voluntary Retirement Program”, Brown is clearly hoping to reduce payroll during a challenging time due to COVID. Brown University is the #8 employer in the state, so this could potentially affect a lot of employees. We’ve been seeing more...

COVID-19 is Advancing Greater Interest in ESG Investing

If you are a supporter of ESG investing (combining traditional investing with environmental, social and governance related issues), then COVID-19 may have a silver lining for you. ESG investing has been playing an outsized role in investment decisions since the beginning of the year. The virus has exposed the critical need for companies to beef up practices that can lead...

States Are Reopening, Are Consumers Starting to Spend?

You will often hear, “so goes the consumer, so goes the United States economy.” This is a phenomenon that has grown during my lifetime, as we shifted away from a manufacturing economy to a more service-based economy. Look below at the chart and you will see that consumer spending does make up almost 70% of US GDP and has for...