Two months ago, I wrote that the S&P earnings will suffer its first annual decline since 2008. The silver lining was that 2016 estimates still looked ok. However with the new year now drawing near, even those estimates are falling. For the first time, 1st quarter estimates are showing a year-over-year decline. Furthermore earnings for both 2015 and 2016 continue to contract.
For those of you at least 70½ years old, you are probably very aware of minimum required distributions (MRDs) that you are required to withdraw every year from your retirement account(s). What you may not know is that The Pension Protection Act of 2006 enabled IRA owners, age 70½ or over, to directly transfer up to $100,000 per year tax-free to an eligible charity. This option could be used for distributions from IRAs, regardless of whether the owners itemize their deductions. Moreover, the transfer counts as your required minimum distribution (RMD) but does not boost your adjusted gross income. As of this writing, however, Congress has not passed legislation permitting tax-free transfers from IRAs to charity.
Have you used BrokerCheck to perform a background check on your financial advisor? Don't worry. If not, you're not alone. In a casual survey, I found that only a small percentage of investors were familiar with BrokerCheck, a free tool from FINRA ( ) that can help you research the professional backgrounds of brokers and brokerage firms, as well as investment advisor firms and advisors. Among those who knew about it, a smaller percentage had used it. In an effort to change that, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) recently approved FINRA Rule 2210 requiring broker-dealers to include a "readily apparent reference and hyperlink" to BrokerCheck on their websites.
This week's Barron's cover story features the results of their semi-annual Big Money Poll. In the spring, a record 50% of respondents categorized themselves as neutral about the market's prospects through year end. This looks like a good call as the market traded sideways to slightly down since the spring.
In the latest fall survey, it found that the pros are slightly more bullish than in the spring. 55% of respondents call themselves bullish through next June, up from 45% in the spring survey.
Even though the bulls have increased, this doesn't mean that it will translate to big gains in the stock market. Based on their mean market forecasts, the Big Money bulls see the Dow ending the year at 17,140 which is below yesterday's close. The bulls expect the Dow to reach 17,965 by the middle of next year, for a slight gain of 4.3% from here.
The Runnymede blog has become one of the most visited sites for annuity reviews with over 100k views. Since 2013, I’ve been writing independent annuity reviews to help buyers like you understand the complexities of annuities and truly understand what the products can deliver. Today I’m going to talk about the 3 biggest fixed index annuity myths.
Back in March 2015, we wrote that you shouldn't count on the Fed to raise rates in 2015 because of deflation and slowing growth. In September, we wrote that recession is just around the corner in the US.
Therefore (unlike the street), we were not surprised by Friday's weak job report where job growth was less than expected. Not only that, wages disappointed, revisions to August's report were bad, and the participation rate fell to a new 38-year-low.
It's time for investors to stop listening to the media noise and if you look at the the actual data, you can only reach one conclusion: the Fed will not raise rates in 2015 or 2016, but they will soon turn 180 degrees and start talking about the next round of QE (quantitative easing) and/or negative rates.
Let's take a look at 3 reasons why the data dependent Fed can't raise rates anytime soon.
Robo-advisers not the end-all in financial technology
Other digital platforms that advisers should also have on their radar screens handle functions other than investing
Sep 29, 2015 @ 12:08 pm
By Alessandra Malito
While many economists have been (incorrectly) predicting a September rate hike from the Fed, Runnymede has been saying that the Fed won't hike rates since the beginning of the year and with recession on the horizon believe that there may be no rate hike in 2016 either.
With growth slowing around the world and inflation at zero, the Fed is unlikely to move rates off the zero level. In any case, the most surprising news from the September FOMC meeting is that one member predicted negative rates in 2015 and 2016! Yes you read that correctly. While the majority of the Fed is still predicting (poorly) a rate hike in 2015, there is one member that wants to go to negative rates. In Europe, the Swiss, Swedish and Danish central banks already have negative rates to stave off the risk of deflation.
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