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2019 Changes to the Hardship Withdrawal Rules

Posted by Chad R. O'Connell AIF

Nov 8, 2018 11:10:01 AM

There have been several recent legislative changes, most notably the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“Tax Cuts Act”) and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (“Budget Act”). These changes can impact certain elements of 401(k), 403(b) and other retirement plans, as well as numerous health & welfare benefits. The changes to 401(k) and 403(b) plan hardship withdrawal requirements under the Budget Act will have the most significant impact.

What is changing?

The Budget Act made several changes to the hardship withdrawal rules that will become effective on the first day of the plan year that begins in 2019. The legislation:

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TARIFF TALK AND TRADE TROUBLES

Posted by Chad R. O'Connell AIF

Jul 13, 2018 12:30:12 PM

News of an escalating trade war between the United States and China dominated headlines late last week as both countries formally imposed substantial tariffs on one another. In response to the Trump administration’s 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods (largely industrial and technology products), the Chinese government levied tariffs of equal size on certain U.S. goods (largely agricultural products). The U.S. government is expected to launch a second round of tariffs on China, worth another $16 billion, in the next few weeks. Then on July 11, the White House announced it is preparing yet another wave of tariffs targeting China, this time a 10 percent levy on consumer and other goods worth $200 billion, to go into effect sometime after August 30.

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Topics: wealth management



The Rules of Prudent Investing

Posted by Chad R. O'Connell AIF

Apr 5, 2017 12:21:25 PM

 

Overview: The following rules can help investors build and adhere to a well-designed investment plan. These guidelines may be instrumental in giving investors the best chance of achieving their financial goals.

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Topics: investment strategy, performance, diversification



Bond Ladders in a Rising Rate Environment

Posted by Chad R. O'Connell AIF

Mar 23, 2017 3:57:36 PM

With a glut of information from the financial media, many investors have heard the drumbeat of rising interest rates. Market pundits are predicting higher rates due to rising inflation expectations coupled with an economy that is slowly picking up steam. The Federal Reserve has given more credence to the pundits by increasing the Federal Funds Target Rate twice in its past three meetings, causing investors to ask, “Will my bond ladder protect me in a rising rate environment?”

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Topics: bond ladder, interest rates



An Advisor’s View on the New Fiduciary Rule

Posted by Craig Cirbus

Mar 14, 2017 12:10:54 PM

You may have noticed the word “fiduciary” bouncing around the news lately. The Department of Labor announced last April that financial advisors who provide retirement investment advice would be held to a new fiduciary rule -- that is, they would be required to put investors' interests ahead of their own. This debate has gone on for many years, and the DOL ruling resulted in applause in some corners, angst in others, and spirited dialogue and debate all across the nation.

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Topics: fiduciary rule



A look back at 2016: What did it mean for your portfolio?

Posted by Chad R. O'Connell AIF

Jan 20, 2017 3:55:22 PM

With Weston Wellington, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP.

Every year brings its share of surprises. But how many of us could have imagined that 2016 would see the Chicago Cubs win the World Series, Bob Dylan receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Donald Trump elected president, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average close out the year a whisker away from 20,000?

The answer is very few—a lesson that investors would be wise to remember.

At year-end 2015, financial optimists seemed in short supply. Not one of the nine investment strategists participating in the January 2016 Barron’s Roundtable expected an above-average year for stocks. Six expected US market returns to be flat or negative, while the remaining three predicted returns in single digits at best. Prospects for global markets appeared no better, according to this group, and two panelists were sufficiently gloomy to recommend shorting exchange-traded emerging markets index funds.1

Results in early January 2016 appeared to confirm the pessimists’ viewpoint as markets fell sharply around the world; the S&P 500 Index fell 8% over the first 10 trading sessions alone. The 8.25% loss for the Dow Jones Industrial Average over this period was the biggest such drop throughout the 120-year history of that index.2 For fans of the so-called January Indicator, the outlook was grim.

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Topics: election, 2016 financial markets, portfolio, markets



New Market Highs and Positive Expected Returns

Posted by Chad R. O'Connell AIF

Jan 12, 2017 12:10:59 PM

There has been much discussion in the news recently about new nominal highs in stock indices like the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.

When markets hit new highs, is that an indication that it’s time for investors to cash out? History tells us that a market index being at an all-time high generally does not provide actionable information for investors. For evidence, we can look at the S&P 500 Index for the better part of the last century.

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Topics: Dow Jones, S&P500, stock markets, wealth management, volatility, return on investment, election, 2017



A Post Election Look at the Markets

Posted by Pat Bohen

Jan 3, 2017 4:30:58 PM

Happy New Year!  Patrick Bohen provided his insights to David Robinson of The Buffalo News for a New Year's Day article covering what 2017 may hold in store for the stock market. 

What will 2017 bring for stocks? Local investment advisers make predictions.

By

As Donald Trump goes, so goes the stock market.

That, in a nutshell, is how local investment advisers see 2017 shaping up.

The president-elect, if he’s able to deliver on some of his pro-business tax and regulation promises, could be a powerful force on Wall Street in 2017. If he can’t, Trump’s failure to cut taxes, ease regulations could lead to widespread disappointment among investors who now are counting on his promises becoming reality.

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Topics: Dow, NYSE, NASDAQ, stock markets, current events, new year, wealth management, election



Quelling Myopic Loss Aversion

Posted by Chad R. O'Connell AIF

Oct 28, 2016 6:37:00 AM

The Information Age has changed our lives. It has never been easier to access information. Good things have come from this technology: connecting with friends across the globe, communicating with colleagues more efficiently, learning about unusual subjects.

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Topics: myopic loss aversion, investment performance, investing,, investors, investments, market performance, dopkins wealth, wealth management



Comparing Equity and Fixed Income Trade Settlements

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Apr 1, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Many investors have not thought much about how stock, mutual fund and bond transactions actually settle. In most situations, the securities move in or out of a client’s account electronically. Most securities settle in one to three days after the trade date (commonly referred to as T+1 or T+3). Settlement simply means the securities are delivered in or out of the account on the established date.

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Topics: fixed income, trade settlements, shadow post





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