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All About RMDs

July 13, 2021

There really is a purpose behind required minimum distributions (RMD) of tax-advantaged retirement accounts. IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans feature tax-deferred income contributions and earnings growth throughout the lifetime of the account. There’s just one catch — when you take money out of that account, it then gets taxed at ordinary income tax rates. Some…

Tax Strategies

June 29, 2021

In an effort to pay for new legislation, the Biden administration has proposed higher taxes for the nation’s highest earners. The president advocates returning the top tax rate to 39.6% for individuals earning $452,700 or more, and married couples with more than $509,300 in combined taxable income.1 This top tax rate was just reduced in…

What’s Driving Oil Prices?

June 8, 2021

Oil prices are influenced by supply and demand, and 2020 was a great demonstration of this principle. With global and local shutdowns due to the spread of the coronavirus, there was less demand for products and services. While online shopping was up, foot traffic in stores languished and retailers – both local and nationwide –…

Investment Consolidation Strategies

May 25, 2021

Throughout the investment industry and financial media sources, we constantly hear the message that our money should be diversified. By spreading assets throughout a number of different vehicles, we can take advantage of various market opportunities while helping protect them from some investment risks. But how much diversification is too much? And what exactly should…

Social Security Proposals and Strategies

May 20, 2021

As the Social Security Trust Fund approaches its expiration date, many existing entities are offering helpful suggestions for funding alternatives. For example, the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) recommends a combination of changing how the cost of living adjustments are made, delaying retirement age, and updating the delayed credit strategy. Among its proposals, the…

What the Stimulus Could Mean for Investors

April 27, 2021

Millions of Americans have embraced the new relief money resulting from the $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan. They’ve been able to pay for utilities and put food on the table while looking for employment. Those who maintained their jobs throughout the pandemic have embraced the payout as well, but for different reasons. For them, it’s…

Global Recovery in a Post-Pandemic World

January 19, 2021

In 2020, the World Economic Forum published its annual Global Competitiveness Report, as usual. However, in light of the global pandemic, it put its long-standing Global Competitiveness Index rankings on hold. Instead, the report focused on priorities for recovery and revival instead of competition.1 Indeed, economic globalization over the past two decades, in many ways,…

2021 Outlook: Wealth Managers Weigh In

January 18, 2021

While challenges likely still lie ahead, there’s no denying we all weathered our fair share of storms in 2020. Now that the calendar has turned to a new year, we looked to wealth managers across the nation to find out what they’re expecting for 2021. As you’ll see, the answer often changes depending on where…

What Is “Stakeholder Capitalism”?

January 7, 2021

In its monthly Investment Insights publication, Merrill Lynch noted that while nationalism has been a strong trend throughout the past few years, globalism in the prior 30 years did much to reduce poverty worldwide. As trade agreements shifted many U.S. jobs and operations overseas, the average income of the lower 50% of global earners nearly…

The Effect of Debt on the Global Economy

December 28, 2020

The national debt is a measurement of how much the federal government owes creditors, most commonly depicted as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). A high debt-to-GDP ratio is considered viable when the economy is expanding, because that growth allows the government to generate higher tax revenues to help pay down the debt. However,…

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