Newsletter Third Quarter 2014
This Fall, the stock market decided to celebrate Halloween early. For several days, it seemed that witches had taken over Wall Street. Investors were spooked by signs of possible economic slowdowns abroad, a spate of earnings reports which ranged from lackluster to downright scary, and an assortment of other news items which can seem especially worrisome in the month of October, and after such a significant run up in the indexes.
We know this kind of volatility can be frightening. Most of this year we’ve discussed our expectation for a “healthy” market pullback. To that end, we held higher cash allocations than average, and made a list of positions we might want to take if a selloff should create an opportunity. Is what we have just experienced a healthy pause in a longer period of growth, or the beginning of a deeper correction?
If recent market action was a TRICK or a TREAT remains to be seen. The news has not all been negative. Projections for lower oil/gas prices over the winter, for example, could give consumers a boost in confidence, and a bit more discretionary income during the holidays. While ready to react to unfolding events, we have deployed some cash recently to add a few carefully selected positions to portfolios.
Lastly, below is an End of Year Checklist for items you may want to check off your list before Dec. 31. Companies are always busy processing IRA distributions, stock transfers, and gifts in December. So please prepare early to be sure your transactions are completed on time and call us with any questions.
Consider making more contributions to income deferred retirement programs.
If over 70 ½, be sure RMDs (based on acct values as of 12/31/13) are processed.
Make charitable gifts you plan to deduct in 2014, and discuss tax saving strategies with your tax professional.
Consider taking losses to offset realized gains, if appropriate. Again, ask us if you have questions.
If needed, send us an authorization letter to discuss/share documents with your attorney or tax advisor.
Make an appointment with your attorney if you need to write or update your will.
Review beneficiaries on all policies and accounts.
We hope to see or talk with you in the weeks ahead to wish you a wonderful holiday season. Please know that we appreciate your business and your confidence. We are here for you if you have any questions or concerns. We are grateful for our relationships with all of you, and have much to be thankful for.
The Galarneau Group Wealth Management Team