3rd Quarter 2018 Investment Newsletter

Elser Financial Planning is honored to be recognized as one of the 50 Fastest-Growing Registered Investment Advisors in the U.S. by Financial Advisor magazine.*
Your business and referrals make this possible. Thank you!

Economic and Market Overview

  • August marked a record 95th straight month in which more workers were hired than fired and saw the fastest year-over-year wage growth since the financial crisis. In September, consumer confidence reached its highest level in 18 years.
  • On strong economic data, the Fed bumped the federal funds interest rate target up 0.25% to 2.25% at the end of September, boosting yields on bonds and cash. Large cap U.S. stocks led during the quarter, while developed international and emerging market returns trailed on trade concerns and a strengthening U.S. dollar.

Year-end Planning

  • If you are over age 70½ and still need to take your required minimum distribution (RMD) for 2018, you may want to gift a portion of your RMD to fulfill any year-end charitable gifts to avoid both federal and Indiana income tax on the gifted amount.
  • For those who are not subject to RMDs, consider giving appreciated securities instead of cash for year-end charitable gifts.
  • If you plan to maximize your contributions to your employer’s retirement plan, review your year-to-date contributions to ensure you are on track. The maximum contribution in 2018 is $18,500 for those under age 50 and $24,500 for participants 50 and older.
  • Consider making a 529 plan contribution for education costs. Mailed contributions must be postmarked by 12/31/18 and electronic contributions must be initiated by 12/31/18.
  • The annual gift exclusion amount increased to $15,000 in 2018. The recipient must deposit the gift by 12/31/18.


We welcome and encourage your calls with questions, and sincerely appreciate both your business and referrals.

* Financial Advisor (FA) Magazine’s 2017 RIA ranking was based on responses from 707 registered investment advisors (RIAs) who completed an online survey. To be included in the ranking, firms need to be independent RIAs who perform financial planning as part of their business services. The 50 fastest growing RIAs with AUM of $250 million+ were determined by percentage growth in year-end 2017 AUM over year-end 2016 AUM. FA Magazine is not affiliated with Elser Financial Planning and Elser Financial Planning did not pay a fee to participate in or for the FA Magazine ranking. Awards, rankings and other forms of recognition are not indicative of Elser Financial Planning’s or its advisors’ future performance.


Market Index Returns QTR 2
S&P 500 (Large Cap)      7.7%
Russell 2000 (Small Cap)      3.6%
MSCI International Index      1.3%
MSCI Emerging Markets     -1.0%
US REIT Index (Commercial Real Estate)      0.7%
DJ Commodity Index     -2.0%
OofA 1-3 Year Corproate & Gov’t Bond Index      0.4%
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