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Downturns and Recoveries Thumbnail

Downturns and Recoveries

A historical account of past downturns and recoveries can present a better picture of potential market performance. These slides by Morningstar show all of the major downturns and corresponding recoveries since the Great Depression:

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Getting to the Point of a Point Thumbnail

Getting to the Point of a Point

Movements in the Dow are often communicated in units known as points, which signify the change in the index level. Investors should be cautious when interpreting headlines that reference point movements.

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Q4 2019 Markets Review Thumbnail

Q4 2019 Markets Review

This report features world capital market performance and a timeline of events for the past quarter. It begins with a global overview, then features the returns of stock and bond asset classes in the US and international markets. The report also illustrates the impact of globally diversified portfolios.

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SECURE Act of 2019 effective 1-1-2020 Thumbnail

SECURE Act of 2019 effective 1-1-2020

Sweeping legislative tax or retirement reforms typically happen only once every decade or so, but the final weeks of 2019 brought the second major piece of legislation in the past 24 months, as the SECURE Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019. Its provisions go into effect on January 1, 2020. The three most notable provisions affecting most investors are: 1) the increase in the age of RMDs (required minimum distributions) from retirement plans from age 70 ½ to age 72, 2) the elimination of the IRA contribution restriction at age 70, and 3) the elimination of the ability for a non-spouse beneficiary to withdraw retirement funds over his or her lifetime. All funds from an inherited IRA must now be distributed to non-spouse beneficiaries within 10 years of the IRA owner’s death (this rule applies to inherited funds in a 401(k) account or other defined contribution plan, too). There are some exceptions to this rule, though. Distributions over the life expectancy of a non-spouse beneficiary are allowed if the beneficiary is a minor child of the deceased account owner (until the child reaches the age of majority), a disabled or chronically-ill individual, or a beneficiary who is no more than 10 years younger than the deceased account owner. Please click on the following link for a summary of the Act:

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Schwab to acquire TD Ameritrade Thumbnail

Schwab to acquire TD Ameritrade

Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade both announced today that they have reached an agreement for Schwab to acquire TD Ameritrade. Both companies announced that the combined company will retain the Schwab name, and will reflect the best that each legacy firm has to offer, including leading wealth management and trading platforms. The closing of the acquisition will need to be approved by regulatory authorities and survive any anti-trust issues, and is expected to close in the second half of 2020. During that time, there should be no impact to how you work with us or TD Ameritrade Institutional. Most independent registered investment advisors, like ourselves, are somewhat hesitant about the merger because of reduced competition, since Schwab is already the largest provider of investment services to investment advisors. The three largest providers are Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade, in that order, with all three recently announcing the elimination of commissions on online stock trading, including ETFs. The following is a link to a FAQ about the merger provided by TD Ameritrade. If you should have any questions, please feel free reach out to us.

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