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Market Recap

While domestic and geopolitical concerns continued to make daily headlines, the major stock market indices experienced another positive quarter. The 3rd quarter extended the upward momentum, allowing equity investors to continue enjoying solid returns for 2017.
Political stories dominated the headlines during the 2nd quarter, but investors were the beneficiaries of another set of solid gains for the major market indices although the ride was somewhat bumpy. Stocks were strengthened by good corporate earnings, the prospect of possible tax cuts, and strong economic numbers in the foreign markets. This extended gains from the 1st quarter, with the Dow’s YTD change at 8.03% closing at 21,350. The S&P YTD change through 6/30/17 was 8.24% closing at 2,423 while the NASDAQ was up 14.07% closing at 6,140 for the same time period.

Investing & Economic Commentary

Scott Kays, CFA, CFP®

December 7, 2018

This year has been a tough one in a lot of ways for investors. For most of the year, the major indices were showing gains, but this masked a lot of turbulence going on under the surface.

Most people use the S&P 500, which consists primarily of large U.S. companies, as their reference for how the stock market is performing. The S&P 500 is a capitalization-weighted index, meaning the larger the company, the bigger its influence on the index’s return.

With recent market volatility, we are rolling up our sleeves and looking for bargains. Over the last week, we took the opportunity to liquidate both our Honeywell International (HON) and Autozone (AZO) positions, as they had exceeded our estimates of fair value.

Financial Planning

This is a letter that I composed back in 2008, and I was absolutely surprised at the positive responses received from clients. There are some new items for 2019, but I have kept the framework the same because the basics really never change. So here we go again!
“… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin Much has changed in the world of taxes because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), but paying taxes remains (and, of course, we will all die eventually). I have written much over the last year regarding changes to taxpayers’ income tax liabilities, but none related to estates. The main reason? Not much changed, but there is plenty of planning still to do.