Word on Wealthstreet Blog

The Secure Act and What this Means to You

By Leslie Reynoso

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, better known as the SECURE Act, was signed into law on Friday, December 20, 2019. Many of these changes  went into effect on January 1, 2020. Here are the major changes created by the new law: New Age Requirements for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). Because people…

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Thanks Santa!

By Michael Kane

The Grinch had the upper hand during the last quarter of 2018 but it was Santa’s (or Hanukkah Harry’s) turn in 2019.  During the last three months of 2018 the S&P 500 lost 13.5%, in contrast the S&P 500 gained 9.1% this past year.  In all, the full year of 2019 was very strong with…

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A Remarkable Year

By Joe Ray

2019 was a remarkable year for the stock market. Despite the yearlong trade issues with China, the S&P 500 with income was up 31.5% while the technology laden NASDAQ returned a whopping 36.7%. Other issues such as Brexit, impeachment, the failed IPO of WeWorks and slowing profit growth failed to negatively impact stocks as we…

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Saddled with Uncertainity

By Joe Ray

A relatively flat stock market obscures the volatility and uncertainty that characterized this third quarter. Trade was the biggest issue going into the summer and as we exit the warm weather little progress with China has been made. Same could be said for other important trade issues such as Brexit and congressional passage of the…

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Don’t Fight the Fed

By Michael Kane

In 2008, the Federal Reserve lowered the Federal Funds rate to zero in an effort to stabilize financial markets and stimulate economic growth resulting from the Financial Crisis.  This was an extraordinary measure to deal with extraordinary times.  Over the subsequent years the financial system, markets and the economy slowly recovered. Then began the debate,…

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Stocks Exert Their Muscles

By Michael Kane

There has always been some disconnect between stocks, bonds, and the economy. Stocks and the people who own are often the optimists of the group. They look forward and try to extrapolate the future winners and losers, willing to pay multiples of earnings or revenue in order to own a part of a company’s or…

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May You Live In Interesting Times

By Joe Ray

May you live in interesting times…  Forgive me if I have used this phrase in a previous article, but it is again on my mind.  While the phrase is intended to sound like a blessing, it is always used ironically as a curse.  Often attributed to the Chinese, though its origin is debated, it did…

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Don’t Fight the Fed

By Michael Kane

What a difference three months makes.  In mid-December the Federal Reserve raised the Fed Funds rate by 0.25%, the 4th such increase during 2018.  The December increase in the Fed Funds rate caused elements of the yield curve to invert (short-term rates higher than long-term rates) which is often a precursor to recession.  The economic…

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The Fed Blinks

By Joe Ray

No one will ever be sure why Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his associates decided to raise rates on December 19, 2018 in the face of Brexit uncertainty, trade tensions with China, and quantifiable signs of a slowing domestic economy. President Trump had publicly criticized Chairman Powell and the Fed for its seemingly steadfast…

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Crisis of Confidence

By Joe Ray

The fourth quarter began with Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, making unscripted comments suggesting that the Federal Reserve was on “automatic” pilot. While unscripted and limited, markets began a sharp descent on the belief that these comments were in stark contrast to the Federal Reserve’s traditional stance of data dependency to both inflation and employment.…

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