Condor has sent out its 2018 3rd Quarter Newsletter!
- Don’t Believe Every Indicator You See
- Down the Donut Hole: The Medicare Coverage Gap
You can read our online copy by clicking here.
Today’s relatively sharp market sell-off is generating a lot of discussion around the impact of rising interest rates on financial markets. Although there are legitimate concerns that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases could reduce demand for relatively riskier asset classes like stocks and slow the economy more than expected, it is our view that these concerns are outweighed by other, more positive factors. Our outlook is rooted in the continuing underlying corporate and economic strength domestically, as well as a longer-term contextual view of why interest rates are rising in the first place.
A roundtable of prominent CEOs was asked an intriguing question: what makes an irreplaceable employee? How would you describe this person? You might think their answer would cite extraordinary skills, a great educational background or industry certifications. But instead, the CEOs listed three different attributes:
If you’ve been paying attention to the financial news lately, you’re probably seeing a lot of ominous predictions—and they’re usually backed up by some ominous headline. The most simplistic are saying that the bull market has now lasted ten years, so therefore it’s about to come to an end—as if bull markets come with a time limit. Others, equally simplistic, are saying that the market has reached a new high, and, well, don’t markets fall from their all-time highs? This ignores the fact that more than 70% of the time, a new high is followed by another new high—and ultimately, so far in history, every new high has eventually been surpassed by the next one.
Recent federal tax reform legislation has added several favorable new tax provisions for ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts. ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities that are typically used to cover qualified disability expenses. Generally, an ABLE account is disregarded for purposes of determining eligibility for, and the amount of, any assistance or benefit provided under certain means-tested federal programs.
Ten years ago, the Internal Revenue Service proposed regulations that would define how to value (and prove the actual value) of non-cash donations to charity. The regs involved things like artwork, jewelry and other possessions whose value is often in the eye of the beholder.
Quick: What’s America’s national savings rate? A generation ago, you might have guessed 10% and been pretty close to the market. More recently, there has been a lot of hand-wringing about a precipitous decline in how much of their income Americans are saving—down, according to the U.S. government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, to just over Continue reading “Correction: We’re Saving More Than We Realized”
One of the unexpected gifts from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was the virtual elimination of the so-called “marriage penalty.” But at the same time, the new tax regime imposes a new “stealth” marriage penalty which will show up for taxpayers in higher-tax states.
People who are contemplating divorce could be surprised by some provisions of the new tax law—and should be including it in their separation plans. The new laws affect the taxation of alimony payments, and also the valuation of certain assets that are usually part of a divorce agreement.
Front and center in the news lately is the concern over Turkey’s currency crisis, with the country’s lira falling against the dollar by as much as 20% in one day. Last week’s downfall was led in part by President Trump’s doubling of tariffs on imported Turkish steel and aluminum along with continued heated rhetoric over an American pastor being held in the country. Couple this with Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his brash tone toward international and domestic policies, and you can see the idiosyncratic factors that sent the lira tumbling.