2021 Q2 Review and Outlook: Inflation: Transitory or Here to Stay?

July 19, 2021

The U.S. stock market continued to power along with a well-stimulated economy and COVID reopenings, as the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY) gained 8.4% in the 2nd quarter. The U.S. bond market (as measured by the US Aggregate Bond ETF – AGG) returned 1.8%, and a 60% stock/40% bond portfolio gained 5.7%.  Year to date, the…

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A Tale Of Two Plans

June 7, 2021

A trial has been set for August to determine the disposition of Aretha Franklin’s estate.  Initially everyone assumed the famous singer had died without a will.  However, three hand-written documents were later discovered that appeared to potentially be wills, some under the sofa cushions, and their terms were inconsistent.  In particular, questions were raised over…

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The RMD Vacation Is Over

May 14, 2021

Last year seniors were given a reprieve from the requirement to take minimum distributions from their IRAs and qualified retirement plans.  The suspension of the rules, included in the CARES Act, was enacted at a time when the stock market had moved sharply lower, and so it was intended to prevent a forced emptying of…

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Ask a Trust Officer: Roth IRA versus Traditional IRA

March 18, 2021

DEAR TRUST OFFICER:   I have $6,000 to put into an IRA before I file my tax return for 2020.  Which is better, the traditional IRA or the Roth IRA? — TARDY SAVER DEAR TARDY:   There is no simple answer to your question, unfortunately.  Do you qualify for the tax deduction for the contribution…

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2020 Q4 Review and Outlook: A Very Good/Very Bad Year

January 19, 2021

Imagine two archivists sifting through old stock charts 1,000 years from now and saying to each other “2020 must have been a great year!”  The U.S. stock market finished a very bad year on a very strong note, with the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY) gaining 12.1% in the 4th quarter. The U.S. bond market (as measured…

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Annuities: Approach with Caution (Free Dinners Aren’t Free)

December 23, 2020

Have you ever received a mailer about a “free dinner” at a local restaurant? All you must do to earn your $50 steak and $12 glass of cabernet sauvignon is listen to a “financial advisor” give you a pitch about “strategies to protect your nest-egg,” or “how to ensure a stress-free retirement in these turbulent…

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Ask a Trust Officer: What is a “Corporate Fiduciary”?

October 23, 2020

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: I understand that you are a “corporate fiduciary.” What is that exactly? Aren’t you just a different flavor of stockbroker or financial planner?—SHOPPING FOR ADVICE DEAR SHOPPING:  “Fiduciary” is a legal term that describes the duties that one party owes to another in a business relationship. A fiduciary duty is the highest…

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2020 Q3 Review and Outlook

October 14, 2020

Keep Your Politics Out Of Your Portfolio The stock market had a decent 3rd quarter, with the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY) gaining 9.0%. The U.S. bond market (as measured by the US Aggregate Bond ETF – AGG) eked out a 0.4% gain, and a 60% stock/40% bond portfolio gained 5.6%. Despite 2020 being…2020, investors…

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