How Safe Is Your Financial & Estate Plan After the SECURE Act?

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 a/k/a the “SECURE Act” made sweeping changes to expand retirement savings options.1 That’s the good news. The bad news is that it also completely gutted the concept of the ‘stretch IRA’ for beneficiaries of IRAs and similar retirement plans. Under the pre-SECURE Act tax [...]

How Your Brain Impacts Your Investment Decisions

The Golden Rule of Investing is “Buy Low, Sell High”. Seems rather simple and easy to follow, so why do individual investors consistently underperform market indices? Despite the simplicity of the rule, it turns out it’s difficult to implement. Countless factors impact how individuals make decisions on a daily basis, and, generally speaking, these factors [...]

Indicators of Future Returns

Returns on stocks and bonds have been quite impressive over the past 10 years ending September 30, 2019. In fact, stocks (as measured by the S&P 500 Index) have had a total return just over 13% per year, while the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond has had a total return of approximately 4% annually1. While it’s [...]

Now is a Good Time to Consider Alternative Investment Strategies

Negative yielding bonds overseas, coupled with slowing growth due to the trade war with China and a dovish Fed, has pushed long-dated Treasury yields to historically low levels.1 Investors searching for income have gravitated toward the defensive sectors of the stock market, particularly the RUST sectors (i.e., REITs, Utilities, Consumer Staples, and Telecom), resulting in [...]

IMPLICATIONS OF LOW TO NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES

Interest rates around the world have declined to some of the lowest levels in my lifetime of 70 plus years. The 30-year U.S. Treasury was at its lowest yield ever in August1 since being first issued in the mid 1980’s. The long-term (30-year) U.S. Treasury is selling at a yield that is about ¼ of [...]

2020-03-23T12:46:56-05:00September, 2019|George Karpus, Published in the Daily Record|

Active vs Passive: A Longer-Term Perspective

Let’s face it, passive investing is all the rage. It makes perfect sense when, since 2011, active large-cap equity management has only outperformed in one year. Some are wondering if active management has any future. In the current black or white, this or that, all or nothing climate of discourse, data gathered by Hartford [...]

Buying Premium Municipal Bonds at a Discount

Everybody likes a bargain. One such bargain today lies in municipal bond closed-end funds. Although they are not as attractive as they have been at in other points in time, municipal bond closed-end funds currently have an average discount to net asset value of around six percent. This means that investors can purchase $1.00 worth [...]

Honest Measurement as to How Your Monies Are Managed

In the last 35 plus years we have experienced a great “bull” market in both stocks and bonds. The stock market as measured by The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gone from 1000 in 1982 to over 25,000 today. Interest rates as measured by the 30 year U.S. Treasury have declined from over 12% in [...]

Is It Halloween In May?

This time each year investment pundits suggest we should “sell in May and go away”. The reason is that historical stock market returns in the U.S. have shown a tendency to be worse in the “summery” months of May through October and much better in the “wintery” months of November through April. You may also [...]

Sneaking in the Backdoor

With April 15th just behind us, many investors consider using tax refunds to bolster retirement savings. Roth IRAs are a great way for many investors to grow their retirement nest egg free of tax implications. Unfortunately, the ability to contribute directly to a Roth IRA is phased out for high income earners. In 2019, the [...]