Wealth Management News - 2021
You see it in prices at the grocery store and the gas station. You feel it in your monthly budget. So why don’t the financial markets seem too concerned about inflation?
The end of the year can help remind us of last-minute things we need to address and the goals we want to pursue. To that end, here are some aspects of your financial life to think about as this year leads into the next.
Overcoming rising Delta variant infections, a slowing economic expansion, and growing inflation worries, stocks raced higher through the course of the first two months of the third quarter, propelled by strong corporate earnings, the absence of compelling investment alternatives to stocks, and a “buy on the dip” investor mentality.
The news keeps getting better for Social Security recipients. It's now projected that benefits will increase 6.1% in 2022, up from the 4.7% forecast just two months ago. That would be the most significant increase since 1983.
The second quarter began by building on the first-quarter’s gains, with stretches of sideways trading and incremental increases that led to multiple record highs over the course of the three months. Encouraging economic data, a strong corporate earnings season, and the broadening of the nation’s economic reopening was juxtaposed by heightening inflation fears, a short-lived spike in bond yields, and a simmering anxiety over potential changes in Fed monetary policy.
Inflation can be a scary word for people who are retired. It’s code for “prices are going up, but my income may stay the same.”
Now and again, the price action on Wall Street can surprise even the most seasoned investors. Look no further than when President Biden in late April proposed an increase in the tax on capital gains to 39.6% from 20% for those Americans who earn more than $1 million.
The first quarter started on a bumpy note as investors grappled with a slow national vaccination rollout, political uncertainty, and worries that the economic recovery may take longer than anticipated. Sentiment turned more positive, however, as a stream of positive economic data and solid fourth quarter corporate reports powered U.S equities to strong gains in the first quarter of 2021.
Will you pay higher taxes in retirement? Do you have a 401(k) or a traditional IRA? If so, you will receive income from both after age 72. However, if you have saved and invested much of your life, you may also end up retiring at a higher marginal tax rate than your current one. In fact, the income alone resulting from a Required Minimum Distribution could push you into a higher tax bracket.
You may have heard the news about stocks for certain companies suddenly ballooning, quickly going from lunch money prices to several hundred dollars a share. In one case, the shares rose over 1700% since December 2020.
All three major Wall Street indices ended 2020 with 12-month gains, with the Nasdaq Composite far outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500. As a tragic year ended, participants in financial markets here and abroad hoped that vaccine rollouts, further economic support measures, and dovish monetary policies would help stabilize the global economy in 2021.