MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR 05/01/23. WE ARE MOVING TO 415 DETROIT ST STE 100 ANN ARBOR MI 48104!
The final quarter of the year provided some relief to equity markets. October 12th became the low point for the year at a reading of 3,588 for the S&P 500. In the weeks to follow, rays of hope hit the equity market as inflation showed signs of cooling and Fed hawkishness was seen as shifting more dovish. Investors, both retail and institutional, flocked to equities and a rally ensued.
The IRS has recently announced contribution limits for individuals and employees for IRA’s and retirement plans for 2023 (these limits do not include any employer matching contributions). These increases are some of the highest we have seen in years due to the impact of inflation. Please review your current plan contributions and options to make sure you are taking full advantage of these savings opportunities.
Traditional IRA and ROTH IRA
2023 Contribution Limit $6,500
Catch Up Contribution (greater than age 50) $1,000
2023 Contribution Limit $15,500
Catch Up Contribution (greater than age 50) $3,500
2023 Contribution Limit $66,000
On August 24, 2022, President Biden along with Vice President Harris and The Department of Education announced a program to assist student loan borrowers in the short term and long term.
Student Loan Repayment Pause
The Administration will extend the pause of repayment of student loans for the final time through December 31, 2022, with payments resuming in January 2023. You do not need to do anything for the pause to take place; your student loan service provider should do this automatically.
Student Loan Debt Relief
Having too much cash is rarely a problem people complain about too much. Whether you’re a business owner or running a household budget, one of the most sought after answers is where to put excess cash in such a low interest rate environment. Keeping short-term cash in a checking account is a viable option, but the interest rates are negligible. This is where high-yield savings accounts can be beneficial.
A high yield savings account is an FDIC-insured account commonly offered through online banks, though some brick-and-mortar banks do have them. The annual percentage rate offered is typically several times higher than the national average rate. As of this writing, the national average savings account rate is .06% whereas there are high-yield savings accounts offering an ann
You hear on Podcasts or on some YouTube Video that if you don’t qualify for a ROTH IRA there is a way you can do a ROTH using a loophole in the tax code that allows you to get the advantages of a ROTH IRA. So what is it and is it right for you?
You are “allowed” to make a ROTH IRA Contribution for 2020 if your AGI is below $196,000 if you file as married filing jointly or if you file as head of household. The AGI limit for a single filer is below $124,000. For 2021 those income limits went up to $198,000 and $125,000. If your AGI is greater than those numbers, you can not contribute to a ROTH IRA. This is where a backdoor ROTH could be beneficial.
So your income exceeds the limits and you have participated in your employer-sponsored plan… ho
With the increased reliance on technology and many people being separated from family and friends more often with COVID-19, criminals are stepping up their activity in trying to scam people. These scammers are using technology to their advantage and becoming increasingly professional on how they approach our neighbors and loved ones. Here are some easy steps you can take to avoid these criminals.
Presidential and Congressional election cycles draw out emotions of uncertainty and concern as well as excitement and anticipation. Election result questions often arise surrounding how potential changes in law and policy will affect particular stocks, sectors, and the stock market as a whole. Additionally, investors are curious about the lead up to the election. History can provide a guide for market performance and volatility, but the election is not the only factor affecting stock performance during election and post-election years. Those other factors, whatever they may be in a given year, potentially drive market performance and volatility more so than the election.
Markets loathe uncertainty and few known events are as unpredictabl
The third quarter of 2020 got off to a roaring start with the bulls retaining dominance in the market. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq tallied multiple record highs while posting the best August return since 1986. There are a number of possible explanations for the early quarter euphoria:
With mortgage rates at historical lows, one of the questions that we face from homebuyers and those looking to refinance is which is better: a 15 or 30 year mortgage? The answer to this question is - it actually depends on the person and their life goals. The following comparison will give you quick reference points on which one is best for you.
15 Year Mortgage Pros:
15 Year Mortgage Cons:
30 Year Mortgage Pros:
30 Year Mortgage Cons:
Market participants looked past all of the economic damage wrought by the Covid-19 shutdowns as well as looming earnings weakness to fuel a historic run in equities in the second quarter. Hope of a vaccine, Fed intervention, and unprecedented market speculation fueled the rally from the March low. As Exhibit 1 depicts, the tech-heavy Nasdaq soared to a 36.66% return and reached new highs while the Dow 30 and S&P 500 posted strong gains but remained in negative territory for the year.
We all have stories when we are women business owners. When I passed the Series 7 licensing exam for the securities industry, the old tradition was to celebrate by going to a gentlemen’s club. My colleagues did not know what to do with me then and some of them still don’t.
When I started Darden Wealth Group, it was built upon the idea of providing the best solution possible to our clients. Too much of the competition is interested in being an asset gatherer and the actual service provided is just “better than the average investor can do for themselves”, or so they assume. Oprah Winfrey once said, “Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism&
On February 19th, 2020 the S&P 500 was making another all-time intraday high hitting 3,393.52. Fundamentals remained strong as we set up for another good quarter in the markets. This was to be followed by the fastest bear market in history. A bear market is typically defined as a fall of 20% from a previous high mark. The current bear market reached 20% in only 21 trading days. The second fastest was in 1929 and took 36 sessions.
Exhibit 1: Index Decline From Peak
In the face of several potential market landmines, the S&P 500 surged for a 9.88% return in the final three months and rounded out the best year since 2013.
Exhibit 1. Fourth Quarter Performance
As we digest our Thanksgiving dinner and move into December, the issue of trade is still the top headline moving markets. In spite of the mixed messages on a pending trade deal with China, stock markets continue to eke out new highs with the S&P 500 climbing 3.4% for the month. We feel stocks can continue to slowly move higher so long as the news on trade remains positive. Given the magnitude and importance of China/US trade, we believe the Phase One deal is imminent but may not be finalized prior to the additional tariffs being implemented on December 15th. A collective sigh of relief will be heard across the investing world once a signing date is announced.
December also has us looking at economic data for signs of continued consumer strength a
As we wrap up the third quarter, many domestic and global issues remain at the forefront of the market landscape. Domestically we face Presidential impeachment proceedings, a slowing economy, and Fed interest rate decisions. On the global front, the US-China trade dispute, slowing China growth, Brexit, USMCA trade deal, and Iranian tensions are impacting commodity, equity, and fixed income investments. With this as the economic backdrop, many investors are concerned a recession is on the horizon for the United States.
As mentioned in our last blog post, for the first time in over ten years, the federal reserve reduced the benchmark lending rate (also known as the fed funds rate), by 0.25%. Interest rates in the US and around the world remain at historic low levels. Two key reasons are driving the low-interest-rate regime:
Earlier this week the Federal Reserve announced its first interest rate cut in more than ten years. After raising interest rates (fed funds rate) from 0.25% to 2.5% during the course of the last 3.5 years, the federal reserve lowered the benchmark lending rate by 0.25%. The fed funds rate now stands at 2.25%.
While the overall US economic backdrop remains decent, the weaker cross-currents in the global economy led the Fed to announce this preemptive interest rate cut. Uncertainty related to US-China trade war and a below-target inflation reading in the US (below their 2% target) also contributed to this decision to cut rates.
With the federal reserve and other central ba
Tariff Overhang - June 2019
The old Wall Street adage, sell-in-May-and-go-away has lived up to its name this year. After a strong start to the year, most major stock indices were down 6 to 8% for the month of May. The good news is, despite this sharp sell-off in May, most major equity indices are still positive for the year, up +5% to 10% (as of May-end). Looking back a bit further in the rear view, the equity market is at the same level it was last spring (as shown in the chart above, for the S&P 500 Index). This is chart shows a stock market that is a bit tired on the upside and is waiting for a better fundamental backdrop to move higher.
The catalyst for this sell-off last month? Escalating trade war with China, restricting US market (supplier and e
Welcome to The Confidence Tribe - Our Blog to Empower Confidence!