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Quarterly Insights - January 2022Markets Again Overcome Pandemic Uncertainty to Hit New Highs

Stocks overcame numerous headwinds during the past three months, including a resurgence in COVID cases, the Federal Reserve moving aggressively to end the current QE program, and a lack of additional stimulus from Washington, to hit new all-time highs in the fourth quarter and produce very strong returns for 2021.

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Why Have Stocks Been Dropping?

December 21, 2021

The steepness of the declines in stocks over the past two days has elicited that question from clients, friends, and acquaintances, as following the Fed meeting from last Wednesday most assumed the market would melt up higher into year-end, yet quite the opposite has happened.

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Will Politics Force a Fed Policy Error?

December 15, 2021

There is a long and well-documented history of politics influencing monetary policy, and every time it ends in some form of economic pain. We’re being reminded of that in Turkey as we speak, where government influence on monetary policy has collapsed the lira and unleashed awful inflation on Turkish citizens.



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Watch the Yield Curve, Not Just Headline Inflation StatisticsWatch the Yield Curve, Not Just Headline Inflation Statistics

November 15, 2021

Stocks fell modestly last week, but despite it being the most cited reason, “inflation” was not why stocks dropped. Yes, the financial media was 100% focused on inflation (as were politicians in Washington), but it was actually rising Treasury yields and tech weakness that caused last week’s losses.



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Quarterly Insights - October 2021 Another COVID Wave Fails to Derail the Rally in Third Quarter

October 1, 2021

We hope this quarterly newsletter finds you and your family well.

The S&P 500 hit new all-time highs again in the third quarter as investors looked past a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and instead focused on the positive combination of a resilient economic recovery, ongoing historic support from the Federal Reserve, and strong corporate earnings.


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Markets Remain Resilient, But More Volatility Lies Ahead

September 27, 2021

Stocks were again impressively resilient over the past week, as the Fed generally meeting expectations for tapering helped investors look past the multiple sources of volatility emanating from China. And we think that last week’s price action fully reinforces the point we have been making for a while now: Markets are likely going to get more volatile, but volatility does not automatically mean a correction.

 

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What to Make of Monday's Collapse.

September 21, 2021

Stocks dropped substantially on Monday but the out-sized declines in stocks do not mean that the Evergrande saga deteriorated (it did not, at least not from where it was on Friday), and as such our opinion on Evergrande (that it’s a China problem, not a contagion problem) remains intact.


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A Critical Six Weeks for Markets - Volatility is here!

September 20, 2021


The S&P 500 declined modestly last week but despite the declines, the market demonstrated impressive resilience as markets encountered numerous headwinds including China angst (regulation, Evergrande, etc.), earnings warnings, and tax hike headlines.

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Market Update- The Four Pillars of the Rally Updated

July 17, 2021

The broad stock market performance last week was worse than the S&P 500’s modest decline would imply. The reason for the weakness was clear: More erosion of our “Four Pillars” of the rally. But while further erosion is occurring, and this market is vulnerable to a pullback (especially if we get a new incremental negative headline), the four pillars still remain intact, ...


 

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Important FOMC Preview – Will We See a Correction?

June 15, 2021

No Change Is Expected to Rate’s or the QE Program

 There are two unknowns that will decide whether tomorrow’s FOMC meeting is hawkish (hawkish – Fed worried about inflation) or dovish (dovish – less worried about inflation and more about weak growth). First, how does the Fed admit it is talking about tapering QE? Secondly, do the “dots” show a rate hike sooner than expected.

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Will the Stock Market Volatility Continue?

May 24, 2021

After a year of constantly digesting positive events (Fed backstopping everything, CARES Act, electoral clarity, second stimulus, third stimulus, vaccination progress) the markets are transitioning to a new paradigm where (1) There isn’t a majorly positive event looming every three months, and (2) Some of the stimulus etc. will be dialed back, and that transition will be a process of starts and stops, and it likely will cause more volatility, which we saw that last week…

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The Biden Tax Proposal

May 4, 2021

President Biden's proposed tax platform could lead to major changes to existing federal tax rules.....

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Rising Headline Risk But Fundamentals Still Strong

April 9, 2021

Stocks dropped for most of last week (before Friday’s rebound) not because anything actually “negative” occurred, but instead because at 4,100+ in the S&P 500, investors have aggressively priced in a lot of things, including...

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Quarterly Insights - April 2021

April 8, 2021

A Strong Start to the New Year
We hope this quarterly newsletter finds you and your family safe and healthy during these still- unprecedented times.

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Why Are Rising Yields Hurting Tech?

March 4, 2021

I wanted to share my thoughts on why rising yields are hitting tech so hard.


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Can There Be Too Much of a Good Thing in Markets?

February 8, 2021

Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing in markets? We’re going to find out.


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Revisiting Modern Monetary Theory (Because It's Visiting Us for the Foreseeable Future)

January 19, 2021

What a difference a year makes. Last year, about this time, the topic of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) was being widely discussed by the financial media, and largely disavowed by mainstream economists and government officials, including Treasury Secretary Mnuchin...

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What Would Cause a Disorderly Rise in Treasury Yields? (Hint: Think Global)

On Wednesday, the 10-year Treasury yield declined 5 basis points, the largest decline in several weeks, and the reason for the drop had nothing to do with stimulus expectations, COVID vaccines or central bank talk.

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Quarterly Insights - October 2020

November 2, 2020

Optimism Drives Stocks in 3rd Quarter
We hope this quarterly newsletter finds you and your family safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.

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Are We in Tech Bubble 2.0? Similarities to the Late 1990's.

August 13, 2020

As tech continues to outperform and almost single handedly support the entire market, we’ve been hearing a lot of discussion in the financial media about this being another “tech bubble.”  Given that, we wanted to examine the growing number of similarities between now and the late 1990’s.     

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What is the Yield Curve Saying About the Stock Market?

August 8, 2020

We began to cover the yield curve much more in depth last year as the 10s-2s yield curve spread threatened to fall below zero (more commonly referred to as inversion). And even though no one could foresee the outbreak of the coronavirus...

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Quarterly Insights - July 2020 A Historic First Half of 2020

July 5, 2020

We hope this quarterly newsletter finds you and your family safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.


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CARES Act Modification Allows More Retirement Savings Access 

June 29, 2020

Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may now be able to access retirement accounts to help cover daily expenses, penalty-free.

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US Banks Flush with 2 Trillion Dollars in Cash

6/23/2020

An “eye-popping” $2 trillion in cash has been stashed in deposit accounts at U.S. banks since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the country in January.1

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June 16, 2020 Weekly Market Insights

June 16, 2020

Investor sentiment turned negative last week, amid an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in states where reopening has been underway as well as a subdued economic forecast from the Federal Reserve.

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What Happens to the Market If There is A “Prolonged Recession?

We have cautioned that the expectation for a quick economic recovery has driven much of the recent stock market gains, and that if the expectation of a quick recovery was put in jeopardy, we could see a pullback in stocks. That’s partially what happened yesterday as stocks suffered their worst losses in weeks.

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CARES Act Suspends Required Minimum Distributions from Retirement Accounts for 2020

The COVID-19 stimulus bill includes relief for retirees by allowing all RMDs due in 2020 to be waived. You do not have to take your RMD, which in turn can reduce your 2020 tax bill.

Who qualifies?

Anyone with an RMD due in 2020 from a company plan, like your 401(k) or 403(b) plans, or an IRA, qualifies, including beneficiaries, and including those who turned age 70 1/2 in 2019 and were required to take their first RMD by April 1, 2020.

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Quarterly Insights - April 2020 After a Historically Volatile Quarter, Where Do Markets Go from Here?

April 2, 2020

First and foremost, we hope this letter finds you, your family and loved ones healthy and safe.

Market volatility surged in the first quarter to levels last seen more than a decade ago during the financial crisis, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe and prompted the partial shutdown of most major global economies, including the U.S., EU and most of Asia. But while the pandemic was the main cause of the historic volatility we’ve witnessed over the past several weeks, the coronavirus outbreak was not the only source of volatility in the markets during the first quarter, as geopolitics and domestic political developments also impacted markets over the past three months.

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What’s the Ideal Election Outcome for the Market?

Feb 4, 2020

Let me start off by saying we will only focus on the market’s political opinion. Our opinion is immaterial and not reflected in this article. Everyone should make their own choice and vote for the candidate that best represents his or her values and interests. With...

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How will the SECURE ACT impact You and What you need to Know!

Dec 26, 2019

The SECURE ACT (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement ACT), was signed by President Trump on December 20, 2019 and set to go into effect January 1, 2020. This retirement legislation will impact many things and many people. We have listed five...

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The Markets and “FOMO”

Dec 2, 2019

Stocks continued their relentless grind higher last week thanks to the usual suspect (non-specific, yet positive U.S.-China trade chatter). Yet the most important event of the week happened late-morning Friday and it’s a potentially trade negative, and that’s why...

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Where are we on US-China trade?

Nov 22, 2019

Clearing the Fog: Where Are We on U.S.-China Trade? The headline noise surrounding U.S.-China trade and phase one has intensified over the past week, as conflicting headlines on the progress of negotiations are now hitting the tape daily. On Friday, Larry Kudlow...

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Did the Fed just restart QE?

Oct 18, 2019

Lost in all the focus on trade last week was a pretty significant move by the Fed, as the Fed announced a plan to begin buying Treasury bills every month, a move that prompted several financial news sites and analysts to declare that “QE” is back. But while the plan...

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