The Fed Opens An Uncertain Door To Rate Hikes (Mar 19, 2015)

Investors closely eyed the Federal Reserve (the Fed) this week, looking for indications of the first Fed funds rate increase since 2008.

The federal funds rate is the key driver for all types of interest rates and varies depending upon the strength of the economy. It sets the bar for bond prices, mortgages, loan rates, investments, real estate valuations, and so much more. As expected, the Fed removed the word “patient” from its policy statement, thereby opening the door to higher interest rates in the near-term.

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Oil And Troubled Waters (Jan 13, 2015)

2014 was a banner year for the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrial Average as both indices set new records.

While the celebrations were joyous, they were also lonely when we look broadly across the investment markets. Smaller US companies posted meager returns after trending flat to negative for much of the year. International stocks had a less favorable outcome, ending down for the year in the wake of a global economic slowdown.

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Emerging Global Risks (Oct 9, 2014)

Our domestic economy enjoyed a number of growth achievements in the third quarter, but investment results were mixed, with more negative results than positive in the wake of troubling global developments. The S&P 500 and the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index managed to post modest advancements of 0.62% and 0.17%, respectively. However, a far longer list of asset classes retreated, including US small-cap stocks down -7.36% and international equities down -5.27%, along with declines in real estate and commodities. The strongest sectors of the quarter were health care and technology. Energy and utility stocks fared worst.

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Protecting Your IRA Assets: A Recent Supreme Court Ruling (Aug 20, 2014)

Since enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in 2005, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) have been protected under federal law if you declare bankruptcy.

Over the years, federal court decisions have been divided over whether or not inherited IRAs are protected under the Act.

To resolve this conflict, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Clark v. Rameker.

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A Sea Of Green (Aug 1, 2014)

Investment markets painted a sea of green through the first half of the year as all major asset classes (stocks, bonds, commodities and real estate) were in positive territory. Stocks posted several new highs, despite advancing at a slower pace than 2013. The ‘surprise’ investment was bonds, which rallied as the 10-year Treasury rate dropped from 3% at year-end to 2.5% as of June 30th, rewarding bond owners at a time when many expected rising interest rates. Investors who remained in the markets have enjoyed positive absolute returns and an unusual level of market tranquility, offering a pleasant start to summer.

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Summer Jobs For Students – Tax Tips (Jun 24, 2014)

Many students take a job in the summer after school lets out. If it’s your first job it gives you a chance to learn about the working world. That includes taxes we pay to support the place where we live, our state and our nation. Here are eight things that students who take a summer job should know about taxes.

This information regarding tax tips for students who take a summer job was recently released by the IRS. Please feel free to pass it on to anyone who may benefit from this useful advice. Please visit www.IRS.gov for more about tax rules for students, or click on the links below.

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Changing Investment Climates: From Weather To World Politics (Mar 31, 2014)

After a stellar year for the stock market in 2013, the first quarter ended largely unchanged, yet with a fair amount of volatility along the way.

Stocks eked out modest gains, allowing the extended bull market to celebrate its fifth birthday in March, making this the sixth longest bull market since 1928. Bonds posted the greatest returns as investor confidence began to wane, causing flight into the safety of Treasuries. Bonds surged 1.8% in the first quarter, reflecting investor fatigue towards growth in the midst of Fed tapering, one of the worst winters in history and geopolitical uncertainty in the Ukraine that resurrected coldwar tensions with Russia.

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The SageVest LifeList (Mar 14, 2014)

Whether you’re buying a home, starting your own business, or retiring, life’s major events can be a challenge.

So can finding the documents you need.

The SageVest LifeList is designed to help you organize the important paperwork and information associated with key aspects of your life. It serves as a reference list of where each document or piece of information can be found.

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The Top Three Investment Headlines of 2013 (Dec 31, 2013)

U.S. stocks dominated investment returns in 2013 as the S&P 500 index posted a 30% return, the strongest since 1997. Investors rejoiced in continued economic recovery as well as continued easy money policies extended by the Fed.

It was a year when U.S. stock markets maintained positive year-to-date returns on every trading day of the year, following an almost perfect upward trajectory in the fifth year of a bull market.

Returns elsewhere were more mixed.

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The Federal Reserve And The Federal Government (Sep 30, 2013)

A strong year in the US extended in the third quarter as both the US stock market and household net worth set new all-time highs. Fortunately, the good news didn’t stop there. Previously sluggish international stocks staged a strong rally, climbing a handsome 9.6% for the quarter. Bonds also posted positive returns as interest rate pressures began to subside. It was generally a quarter of good news, with one big zinger at the end: the US government shutdown, which perpetuates as of the writing of this commentary. SageVest Wealth Management explores a number of surprises that emerged in recent months, positive signals looking forward, and a few meaningful short-term risks that the fourth quarter entails.

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