facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast blog search brokercheck brokercheck

The Best of What They Said and I Read week ending 12/22/2019

Short excerpts from articles I found interesting.   I may not agree with the author and the following material is not intended as investment advice. 

Barron’s – December 20, 2019 – The S&P Is Heading for Its Best Year Since 2013  – Ben Levisohn

  • “There are just six trading days left in 2019, and the market doesn’t seem to be able to stop going higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 78.13 points on Friday, finishing the week up 319.71 points, or 1.1%, at a record high of 28,455.09. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 gained 1.7% on the week, to 3221.22, as the Nasdaq Composite leapt 2.2%, to 8924.96.” 
  • “At this time last year, the major indexes couldn’t seem to stop falling. The S&P 500 had dropped 12% through Dec. 21, and was on the way to its worst December since 1931. It was a black hole of selling created by fears of a Federal Reserve interest-rate hike, one whose gravitational force was boosted by the lack of liquidity that accompanies end-of-year trading.”  
  •  “Investor sentiment was in panic territory entering December 2018, creating a very positive setup for stocks in the subsequent 12 months,” writes Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citigroup. Did it ever. The Dow has climbed 22% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has added 28.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite has surged 34.5%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on their way to their best years since 2013.” 

The Wall Street Journal – December 20, 2019 – Significant Changes Are Coming to Retirement Plans:  What You Need to Know  – Anne Tergesen

  • “ The spending bill the Senate passed on Thursday includes a variety of changes for people with retirement accounts.  Here are answers to questions Wall Street Journal readers have raised about the retirement provisions of the bill, which President Trump is expected to sign into law, and its effect on 401(k) and individual retirement accounts.” 
  • “Q: I turned 70½ in 2019 and am scheduled to take my first required distribution from my retirement account by April 1, 2020. Can I take advantage of the law’s increase in the age for starting required distributions to 72?” 
  • “No. Only account owners who turn 70½ after Dec. 31, 2019, can start mandatory distributions at 72 years old.” 
  • “…Q: What are the new rules for people who inherit IRAs or 401(k)s?” 
  • “Currently, people who inherit Roth and traditional accounts can often stretch required withdrawals—and make associated tax payments—over their own lifetimes, a technique known as the “Stretch IRA.” The legislation would require those who inherit from people who die after Dec. 31, 2019, to take the money out and pay any taxes due within a decade.  The bill exempts some beneficiaries, including surviving spouses, who can still stretch the distributions—and tax payments—over their lifetimes.” 

The Kiplinger Letter – December 20, 2019 

  • “...9) Deep fake videos will flood social media as the 2020 election heats up. The computer-generated videos make a real person appear to say or do something they never said or did. The quality is uncanny, perfectly mimicking the subject. Politically manufactured deep fakes will be made by nefarious foreign agents and domestic tricksters intent on sowing falsehoods about candidates and parties. The underlying tech is increasingly sophisticated and widely available. For some videos, it takes forensics experts to discern whether they are real or fake. Some folks will begin to dismiss legitimate videos of politicians, CEOs and others as the widespread proliferation of deep fakes increases overall skepticism. No near-term solution is in the offing by Congress or the tech world.” 
  • “10) While there’s still lots of time for things to change between now and NovIf the economy holds up and if the Dems can’t unite around a candidateAs it stands now, President Trump is likely to win reelection. Historically, a good economy favors the incumbent. Trump’s approval rating has been low throughout his first term in office, but he’ll be able to run on a growing economy. A formidable Democratic opponent could change the equation: A candidate who can consolidate support from the moderate and progressive wings of the party. Potentially Joe Biden, for example. But that may be a tall task in this Democratic field.” 

Get Acquainted meeting

We offer a complimentary 45 minute “Get Acquainted” meeting. 

Contact Us