Asset Class Returns - 11/30/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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A relatively quiet month on the surface as the market seems content with a Fed on hold (reinforced at Powell Congressional testimony mid-month), inflation and GDP solid but not hot, and trade negotiations moving along.

New Contribution Limits for 2020

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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There are limits on the amount one can save in tax qualified accounts like 401(k)’s and IRA’s. For those age 50 and over (55 for HSAs) additional catch-up contributions are allowed. The IRS recently published the contribution limits for 2020. Check out the summary table compared to 2019 levels.

Asset Class Returns - 9/30/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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Despite the continued themes of trade war and slowing growth – and a couple new shocks in September – the markets remain resilient through September but economic indicators bear watching.

2020 ESTIMATED Social Security Inflation Adjustment: 1.5%

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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The fall season brings us changing leaves, harvest, football - and the inflation adjustment for Social Security benefits and maximum salary subject to Social Security payroll taxes. The final CPI-W data point will be released October 10th but with 2 of the 3 data points known, an early estimate can be calculated.

Asset Class Returns - 8/31/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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When a corporate bond ETF has a higher YTD return than US small caps which returned close to 12%, you know rates are an important story.

Asset Class Returns - 7/31/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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What a boring month in the markets … except for the last afternoon! It was only boring because the past months have been so volatile. Based on the first two days of August, not so boring...

Risk – How do you define and use it? (Part 1-Investments)

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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Risk can be many things - a game; an opportunity; a 4-letter word. For an investor, it can be all of them (though maybe only speculators refer to it as a game). This blog post will look at the different risks related to an investment portfolio. It is important to be comfortable with the amount of risk you are taking.

Asset Class Returns - 6/30/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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June equity returns were almost a mirror image of May - but with a positive number - bringing YTD returns back to April highs. Don't forget the base is off the relative lows of Christmas Eve, but still quite impressive. The same two drivers are present - trade negotiations and the Fed.

Social Security: Yes it will be there ... most of it

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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Each year the Social Security Trustees issue a report on the status of the program. Included is how long the funds are projected to last and what portion of promised benefits can be covered if no changes are made. It is not 100% and it is coming relatively soon, but it's not 0% either.