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U.S. – China Technology Cold War

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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Background The recently signed “Phase One” trade deal between the U.S. and China has been viewed with skepticism by some analysts. The deal mostly left existing tariffs in place, and there are doubts whether China can actually deliver on its promised $200 billion of commodity purchases over the next two years. Still, the deal showed a willingness to compromise and is an important act of de-escalation that seems to take worst-case trade war outcomes off the table. However, even with this positive outcome and a path to the potential reduction of tariffs taking shape, the U.S.-China relationship has been altered…

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Climate Change and Investment Implications

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

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According to NASA, 2014 – 2018 were the five warmest years on record going back to 1880. Global temperatures in 2018 were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (F) warmer than the average from 1951 through 1980. NASA and many members of the scientific community believe that this warming has been driven in large part by increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by human activities. Climate Change Environmental and Economic Impacts Some of the impacts of climate change are more intuitive than others. For example, a warmer planet results in higher sea levels due to a combination of meltwater…

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Monthly Market Update for December 2019

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides a review of the prior month’s market data, the state of the economy, and the global financial markets. Global Economy: In the spirit of the coming New Year, significant progress was made in December to bring resolution to a number of ongoing uncertainties across the globe. Indeed, the last month of 2019 was ultimately peaceful and positive for equity and credit markets to complete an overwhelmingly strong year. Optimism surrounding a “phase one” trade accord between the US and China proved prescient, just in time to avert planned tariff…

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Secure Act Key Retirement Changes

Monday, January 6, 2020

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On Dec 20, 2019 President Trump signed into law The SECURE act, an acronym for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement. The bill is intended to strengthen American’s retirement security. Key points: Increasing the Required Minimum Distribution Age Effective January 1, 2020, the age at which individuals must begin taking their Required Minimum Distributions from their retirement accounts has been raised to 72 from 70 ½.  This only applies to people who turn 70 ½ after December 31, 2019. If an individual turns 70 ½ in 2019, the law does not apply. Contributions to Traditional IRAs after age 70…

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Your Last Minute Year-End Reminders

Thursday, December 19, 2019

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By Year End Fund Health Savings Account (HSA): For 2019, those in high-deductible health-insurance plans can contribute as much as $3,500 before taxes. For families, the figure is $7,000 and those age 55 and older can contribute an additional $1,000. Spend flex dollars: Unused funds in Flexible Spending Accounts are typically forfeited at year’s end, so make sure to tap them for eligible health and medical expenses by December 31. Some plans offer a “grace period” or may allow you to carry over some to use in the following year. Bottom line, check with your employer to confirm your plan’s deadlines. Contribute to…

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