Economic Update – 2nd Quarter 2017

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Blog, Economic Update

The past quarter and first half of the year were characterized by historically low stock market volatility, the strong performance of both stocks and bonds, and the reversal of several market trends. In this quarter’s commentary, we attempt to explain these phenomena, some of which may seem contradictory. Investment Environment The S&P 500’s actual realized volatility has fallen to among …

The Evolution of Bitcoin – Market Fact

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Client Education, Currencies

Bitcoin, essentially virtual money traded by digital exchange, has received tremendous media coverage this past month.  This “currency” emerged on the market in 2008 designed by a programmer or group of programmers under the name of Nakamoto, whose real identity remains unknown.  Bitcoins exist as software, not physical currency, and are not regulated by any country or banking authority. Mined …

National Parks Contribute Over $34 Billion To Economy – Federal Programs

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Blog, Economic Impact, US Economy

With the summer months upon us, the National Parks are a destination for tourists all over the United States. National Parks are part of the National Park Service, which was established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. Beginning with Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming, there are 417 parks today covering 84 million acres. On a recent visit to …

A Brief History of Tax Cuts – Historical Note

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Blog, Taxes

With so much effort right now by the current administration to lower taxes, an historical look at previous efforts seems appropriate. For nearly a hundred years, tax cuts have been a centerpiece of political strife among politicians, with both parties at times lobbying for lower tax rates. An accepted belief has been that lower taxes widen the Federal deficit and …

45% of Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax – Fiscal Policy

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Blog, Fiscal Policy, Taxes

Disparity of income has been a preponderate subject for politicians and activist groups for some time, yet in the end, it’s those that earn the higher incomes that pay for the majority of taxes. An estimated 77.5 million Americans, identified as households, pay no federal income tax. The non-partisan, non-profit tax group known as The Tax Policy Center released income …

Which States Have the Highest Gas Tax – Fiscal Policy

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Client Education, Energy Markets, Fiscal Policy, Taxes

Many states continue to grapple with the effects of falling fuel prices.  Resource-heavy states like Alaska are particularly hard hit.  Even states that do not produce gasoline are being affected.  The lower fuel costs are bringing in less gas tax revenue in some states causing budget deficits. Taxing gasoline is controlled by the states, not the federal government, allowing states …

Macro Overview

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Dow Jones, President Trump, US Overview

Macro Overview February 2017 A change in sentiment was prevalent throughout the markets as new rules and regulatory reversals began to take effect. Volatility rose as markets tried to discern President Trump’s policies. Equity markets propelled to new highs in January as optimism fueled U.S. equities, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a new milestone level of 20,000. The …

Trump Tax Proposals – Fiscal Policy

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Fiscal Policy, Tax Proposals, Taxes

A new presidency usually brings the promise and hope of a more efficient government, lower taxes and a simpler approach.  With a new administration now in place, the pursuit of these ideals is in play.  Trump’s proposals aim to simplify taxes by reducing the number of brackets from the current seven, to three. Some argue that this simplification may actually …

Economic Update – 1st Quarter 2017

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Economic Update

The year 2016 has been a very interesting year on the economic front.  (Not to mention, on the political front.)  It began with a steep double-digit plunge in stock markets in January and into February and ended with a six-week market rally following the election. Equities Overall, global stocks performed reasonably well. U.S. stocks again took the lead, with larger-cap …

Stock Indices Reach New Highs – Domestic Equity Overview

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Dow Jones, Market Fluctuations, S&P 500, Stock Indices, Stocks

Although there will always be reasons to be cautious and diversified in our investment portfolios, there are many reasons to be optimistic right now. Many analysts believe that the stock market rally following Trump’s election reflects the expectations of a new era of fiscal stimulus. Both economists and analysts agree that the Fed has basically exhausted all of its stimulus …