3rd Quarter 2017 Investment Newsletter
Economic and Market Overview
- Stocks have continued to rise, while an increasing number of analysts and economist Robert Shiller predict a correction due to low volatility and higher P/E ratios. Should a material dip occur, we will be opportunistic. In the meantime we encourage prudence (considering your risk tolerance, taking some profits out of stocks and investing new cash gradually), but not rashness (selling all your stocks in case the analysts are incorrect or premature).
- Following the massive Equifax security breach, freeze your credit with Transunion, Equifax and Experian. Also, check your open credit each year at www.annualcreditreport.com.
President Trump’s Tax Reform Proposal Includes:
- For individuals, the current seven federal income tax brackets would be reduced to three (12%, 25% and 35%), and the standard deduction would rise from $6,350 to $12,000 per person ($24,000 for a married couple). Most itemized deductions would be eliminated, except mortgage interest and charitable deductions.
- “Small businesses” (S-corps, partnerships and sole proprietorships) would enjoy a maximum tax rate of 25%. The tax rate on C-Corporations would fall from 35% to 20%.
- It also would repeal estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes (no mention of the gift tax), eliminate alternative minimum tax (AMT) for both individuals and corporations, and allow the “expensing” of business capital expenditures made after 9/27/17.
Year End Tax Planning
- If it becomes apparent that tax reform will be effective in 2018 and include lower marginal tax rates, it may help to accelerate deductions in 2017 (charitable donations, 4th quarter state tax estimates, business capital expenditures) and defer income where possible to 2018.
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|Market Index Returns||QTR 3|
|S&P 500 (Large Cap)||4.5%|
|Russell 2000 (Small Cap)||5.7%|
|MSCI International Index||5.7%|
|MSCI Emerging Markets||8.0%|
|DJ US REIT Index (Commercial Real Estate)||.4%|
|DJ Commodity Index||2.5%|
|1-3 Year Bond Index||.3%|