January 2018 – Insights
2017 was a great year for the stock market. The S&P gained about 19% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was even higher. It’s not very often the stock market has a positive gain in every month of the year. The bond market finally saw some price drops due to several increases in the interest rate throughout the year. The passing of sweeping tax changes gave the markets a big boost towards the end of 2017 and will likely continue to do so throughout 2018.

2018 seems to have started off similarly to 2017. The momentum is clearly in favor of the economy and the stock market. Is it time to be more aggressive? It depends on your financial plan.
Review your performance relative to your financial plan, not the latest performance measure of bitcoin or some specific index on the news. The risk in a strong bull market is resetting the expectations for an average market return after the market slows down. We are now in our 10th year of a bull market since the recession. And while the economic indicators point to a strong year in 2018, we need to remember the longer-term averages of the market. And the process to get to these averages means we’ll experience a year or two of losses at some point in the future.

One of the main drivers of the stock market and the economy over the past few months has been the optimism around the tax reform bill. Even prior to the bill passing the Senate and the House of Representatives, the stock market began weeks of growth. And while it’s good for our account balances, it does create additional government debt over the long term. And while it gives us a little more money in our pockets, there are many aspects we don’t yet understand regarding the overall impact on each of us.
We’ve spoken with several accountants and tax attorneys who all agree it will be several months before every aspect of the tax reform bill is fully understood. To address a few of the tax reform changes for each client, we’ve attempted to address a few financial planning issues. But we are not tax advisors and strongly recommend you contact your accountant or CPA to plan your individual tax strategy.

We will have two workshops around some changes in financial planning strategies as a result of the tax reform. We hope you can join us for one of these workshops. You can join us in person or watch them online with your computer. We would also suggest scheduling an appointment to review your financial plan with us sometime in the first quarter of 2018. Details for both workshops are here:

Visionary Horizons: Tax Reform and Financial Planning
Tue, Jan 30, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/830196429

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States (Toll Free): 1 877 309 2073
United States: +1 (224) 501-3217

Access Code: 830-196-429

and/or

Visionary Horizons: Tax Reform and Financial Planning
Wed, Jan 31, 2018 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/781506349

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States (Toll Free): 1 888 640 7162
United States: +1 (571) 317-3117

Access Code: 781-506-349

 

Respectfully,
Your Visionary Horizons Team

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