Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2021 Outlook: Wealth Managers Weigh In

 


While challenges likely still lie ahead, there’s no denying we all weathered our fair share of storms in 2020. Now that the calendar has turned to a new year, we looked to wealth managers across the nation to find out what they’re expecting for 2021. As you’ll see, the answer often changes depending on where you look.


According to its latest 2021 economic outlook, UBS expects widescale availability of the COVID-19 vaccine will increase global output in 2021. The firm anticipates corporate earnings will return to pre-pandemic highs by the end of 2021 and recommends that investors diversify their portfolios by rebalancing out of U.S. large caps and global consumer staples and into global equities and cyclical stocks with catch-up potential.1

 

Merrill Lynch anticipates full recovery will take a bit longer. It doesn’t see a complete restoration of growth, innovation and stability until 2022. However, the firm predicts 2021 will see progress, particularly in industries that benefited from the pandemic. It also sees opportunities for sectors in which pent-up demand could soar, such as air travel and hospitality.2

 

Goldman Sachs has dubbed its projection for a V-shaped recovery the “Vaccine-Shaped Recovery,” reinforcing its outlook now that the vaccine is becoming available. The money manager anticipates economic activity will rebound by this summer, with a ramp-up in depressed sectors such as travel, accommodation and food services. Goldman projects the United States and Europe will end the year with a 2% jump in GDP, while most emerging economies will lag with a somewhat slower recovery.3

 

JP Morgan Asset Management also predicts a relatively fast rebound thanks to vaccine availability. It warns, however, that job recovery, GDP and inflation are more dependent on policies implemented by the Federal Reserve and the new presidential administration, so they may lag somewhat. Its analysts say U.S. equities already boast high valuations, so investors may find more growth opportunity in international stocks and alternative assets that offer both income and downside protection.4

 

Whether you’re bullish or bearish on the coming recovery, the U.S. economic prospects seem to look much better than they did six months ago. If you’d like a financial review to see if there are ways to better position your assets for the future, please give us a call. 

 

We take pride in assisting our clients with incorporating all aspects of their life into their Retirement Roadmap 360®. Take control of your financial future and give us a call at (734) 769-1719 today to see how we may be able to help you!  

 



1 UBS. 2020. “A Year of Renewal.” https://www.ubs.com/us/en/wealth-management/market-news/cio/insights-display-adp/global/en/wealth-management/chief-investment-office/market-insights/2021/year-ahead.html#livestream. Accessed Dec. 17, 2020.

2 Merrill Lynch. Dec. 17, 2020. “Outlook 2021: How to Prepare for the Year Ahead.” https://www.ml.com/articles/2021-market-outlook-portfolio-investments.html. Accessed Dec. 17, 2020.

3 Goldman Sachs. Nov. 7, 2020. “V(accine)-Shaped Recovery.” https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/pages/gs-research/macro-outlook-2021/report.pdf. Accessed Dec. 17, 2020.

4 JP Morgan Asset Management. 2020. “The Investment Outlook for 2021.” https://am.jpmorgan.com/content/dam/jpm-am-aem/global/en/insights/market-insights/investment-outlook-2021-us.pdf. Accessed Dec. 17, 2020.

 

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance and investment products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Investment Advisory Services are offered by Imber Financial Group, LLC., a Registered Investment Adviser firm. Insurance services are offered through Imber Wealth Advisors, Inc. Imber Financial Group, LLC. and Imber Wealth Advisors, Inc. are affiliated companies

 

 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

What's Ahead for the Stock Market?

 


In November, the Dow experienced its best month since 1987, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes enjoyed their best month since April of this year.1

 

With the election behind us and a vaccine on the horizon, the stock market has plenty to celebrate. Many consumers used the pandemic period to shore up their savings, which bodes well for their prosperity in the coming year. There is a low chance of increased taxes or massive reforms given the divide in Congress, and while interest rates remain low, the home-buying market is poised to soar on renewed consumer confidence. All of these factors may be historically good news for investment markets.2

 

The stock market increases 82% of the time in the first year of new presidential terms,3 and the S&P 500 has averaged 11.7% returns in the first year of every presidential term since the end of World War II, regardless of party affiliation. Furthermore, the S&P 500 has averaged 15.6% returns with Democratic presidents compared 10% with Republican presidents. Industries like technology, health care, financials and industrials tend to thrive under a Democratic president.4

 

Despite jobs and economic growth taking a hit in 2020, that fortunately wasn’t reflected in the stock market. For more insight on how to plan for the coming year, feel free to reach out to one of our financial advisors for a review.

We take pride in assisting our clients with incorporating all aspects of their life into their Retirement Roadmap 360®. Take control of your financial future and give us a call at (734) 769-1719 today to see how we may be able to help you!  

 


1 Matt Egan. CNN. Nov. 30, 2020. “Trump said the stock market would crash if Biden won. The Dow just had its best month since 1987.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/30/business/stock-market-dow-jones-trump-biden/index.html. Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

2 Jeremy Siegel. Knowledge@Wharton. Nov. 21, 2020. “Jeremy Siegel: What’s Ahead for the Stock Market?” https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/siegel-markets-economy/. Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

3 Mark Hulbert. Marketwatch. Nov. 28, 2020. “Opinion: Here are your odds that stock prices will be higher at the end of 2021.” https://www.marketwatch.com/story/here-are-your-odds-that-stock-prices-will-be-higher-at-the-end-of-2021-2020-11-24?mod=MW_section_top_stories. Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

4 Savita Subramanian. Merrill Lynch. Oct. 8, 2020. “The Markets and Presidential Elections.” https://www.ml.com/articles/market-volatility-presidential-elections.html#financial-research-and-insights. Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.


We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance and investment products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Investment Advisory Services are offered by Imber Financial Group, LLC., a Registered Investment Adviser firm. Insurance services are offered through Imber Wealth Advisors, Inc. Imber Financial Group, LLC. and Imber Wealth Advisors, Inc. are affiliated companies

 

 

Monday, December 21, 2020

China's Rebound

 

In mid-November, China signed an important and symbolic free-trade agreement with 14 countries, including Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia. The deal, which represents 30% of the world’s population, eliminates tariffs and quotas on 65% of goods traded in the Asia-Pacific region. Global economists say the deal is further evidence of Asia’s growing power, particularly considering China’s feuding tariffs with the U.S. throughout the past four years.1

 

According to data from the International Monetary Fund, in 2019, China represented 40% of global economic growth – more than the global growth contributions of the U.S., Europe and Japan combined. This year, China’s economy has proven quite resilient, particularly when compared to other developed countries in the wake of the global financial crisis, Trump tariffs and even the coronavirus.2

 

How about you? Has your household proven to be as resilient in the wake of this global pandemic as your friends, family and colleagues? If so, what was the key? Perhaps it could be because you were able to maintain your level of income. Consider whether your spending levels as the same as before. Perhaps not the same types of expenses, but has your financial status given you confidence to spend without interruption? These questions can be helpful when assessing your situation.

 

We should continue to engage in intentional, goal-driven financial planning to keep our household on track. If you’ve been able to maintain your financial state through the global pandemic, keep doing what you’re doing. If the global pandemic has affected you, assess your financial state and devise a plan to help get back on track. As always, we are here to help assess investment opportunities for your family’s financial future.

 

In China, the coronavirus seems to be mostly under control. Consequently, the economic recovery has been V-shaped, led by strong domestic consumer demand. This trendline demonstrates a direct correlation between “flattening the curve” and economic recovery. Chinese revenues continue to trend upward in auto sales, residential real estate, and even restaurants and bars – although the latter are not fully restored to pre-pandemic levels due to continued caution with large indoor gatherings.3

 

The lesson here can be that containing COVID-19 is the key to any country’s economic recovery. The evidence doesn’t lie solely with China. Other countries that have successfully controlled the spread of the virus, such as Taiwan, South Korea and Lithuania, also experienced lessened economic effects.4

 

Like every other country in the world, the Chinese economy will likely not be able to recover completely until a safe and effective vaccine is widely available. However, because it acted quickly and aggressively to contain the virus within its boundaries.5

  

We take pride in assisting our clients with incorporating all aspects of their life into their Retirement Roadmap 360®. Take control of your financial future and give us a call at (734) 769-1719 today to see how we may be able to help you!  

 



1 Jill Disis and Laura He. CNN. Nov. 17, 2020. “China signs huge Asia Pacific trade deal with 14 countries.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/16/economy/rcep-trade-agreement-intl-hnk/index.html. Accessed Nov. 17, 2020.

2 Andy Rothman. Matthews Asia. July 16, 2020. “China’s Economic resilience.” https://global.matthewsasia.com/resources/docs/global.matthewsasia.com/pdf/Sinology/071620-Sinology.pdf. Accessed Nov. 16, 2020.

3 Andy Rothman. Matthews Asia. Aug. 14, 2020. “Four China Trends.” https://global.matthewsasia.com/resources/docs/global.matthewsasia.com/pdf/Sinology/081420-Sinology.pdf. Accessed Nov. 16, 2020.

4 Joe Hasell. Our World in Data. Sept. 1, 2020. “Which countries have protected both health and the economy in the pandemic?” https://ourworldindata.org/covid-health-economy. Accessed Nov. 16, 2020.

5 Andy Rothman. Matthews Asia. Oct. 19, 2020. “China After COVID.” https://us.matthewsasia.com/perspectives-on-asia/sinology/default.fs. Accessed Nov. 16, 2020.

 

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance and investment products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Investment Advisory Services are offered by Imber Financial Group, LLC., a Registered Investment Adviser firm. Insurance services are offered through Imber Wealth Advisors, Inc. Imber Financial Group, LLC. and Imber Wealth Advisors, Inc. are affiliated companies

 

 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Open Enrollment: Health Care Insurance Takes Priority

 


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) – passed in 2010 and known colloquially as “Obamacare” – has experienced quite a ride. Initially, it was embraced by millions of Americans for whom it afforded tax-subsidized health insurance without access to employer-sponsored coverage. At the same time, it was derided for increasing government sharing costs to provide that coverage.

However, throughout the years, the ACA has become more embraced by a wider audience. As workers lost jobs, they discovered an affordable insurance option and, today, most know someone who has benefited from health reform legislation. Perhaps the most popular benefit is banning insurance companies from declining coverage – or charging more – for pre-existing conditions.

One of the more challenging provisions has been the individual mandate that requires everyone to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. This particular clause has been challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) three times, most recently in November. Even if the mandate is found unconstitutional, it’s unlikely the Supreme Court will strike down the entire ACA.1

Regardless of the popularity or fate of Obamacare, it still doesn’t fully meet the nation’s needs. To date, 43.4% of the nation’s adults ages 19 to 64 are underinsured and 12.5% of adults remain altogether uninsured.2

This fall, Americans have engaged in yet another open enrollment period amid the backdrop of the SCOTUS hearing and the presidential election. For many, health care was a primary issue on the ballot. The enrollment period affects nearly everyone, including workers who select employer-sponsored insurance3, those in the individual market4, and individuals who can continue or change their Medicare plan.5 Health care insurance options can be confusing, mainly because they don’t always cover all of your needs. If you are looking for ways to help pay for possible uncovered health care expenses, we may be able to help. Some insurance products, such as life insurance and annuities, provide various options you may want to consider. We’d be happy to discuss your options based on your unique situation.

Because of the many jobs lost due to the coronavirus, employer-sponsored benefits are more appreciated than ever before. And because of the pandemic, benefits experts say employees are more aware of options they may not have paid attention to in the past – such as sufficient life and long-term disability insurance.6

With a new presidential administration taking office, it will be interesting to see how new health care reforms play out in Congress. According to a new report on the current state of our health care system, the numbers aren’t good. Presently:

 

·         Americans are living shorter lives than they did in 2014.

·         African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to die from treatable conditions.

·         Health coverage gains have stalled rather than increased.

·         Insurance coverage rates vary widely from state-to-state.

·         Health insurance affordability and out-of-pocket costs have gotten worse.

Another insight evidenced by the coronavirus is that the U.S. health care system is far less prepared than other wealthy nations to adequately deal with a pandemic situation.7

We take pride in assisting our clients with incorporating all aspects of their life into their Retirement Roadmap 360 – including health care. Give us a call at (734) 769-1719 today to see how we may be able to help you! 


1 Nina Totenburg. NPR. Nov. 10, 2020. “Will Supreme Court Invalidate Obamacare A Decade After It Was Enacted?” https://www.npr.org/2020/11/10/932441334/will-supreme-court-invalidate-obamacare-a-decade-after-it-was-enacted. Accessed Nov. 13, 2020.

2 Sara R. Collins, Munira Z. Gunja, and Gabriella N. Aboulafia. Commonwealth Fund. Aug. 19, 2020. “U.S. Health Insurance Coverage in 2020: A Looming Crisis in Affordability.” https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/aug/looming-crisis-health-coverage-2020-biennial. Accessed Nov. 13, 2020.

3 Maggie Germano. Forbes. Nov. 13, 2020. “Half Of Employees Believe Open Enrollment Is More Important In 2020 Than It Was In 2019.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiegermano/2020/11/13/half-of-employees-believe-open-enrollment-is-more-important-in-2020-than-it-was-in-2019/?sh=21b01f6e74d5. Accessed Nov. 13, 2020.

4 Julie Appleby. NPR. Oct. 20, 2020. “The Affordable Care Act’s Fate Is In Flux But 2021 Health Plan Prices Are Stable.” https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/10/20/925596125/the-affordable-care-acts-fate-is-in-flux-but-2021-health-plan-prices-are-stable. Accessed Nov. 13, 2020.

5 Sarah O’Brien. CNBC. Nov. 4, 2020. “Here are tips for getting your 2021 Medicare drug coverage right during open enrollment.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/04/here-are-tips-for-getting-your-2021-medicare-drug-coverage-right-.html. Accessed Nov. 3, 2020.

6 Jessica Dickler. CNBC. Nov. 2, 2020. “Open enrollment is underway — here are 5 tips for maximizing your benefits during a public health crisis.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/02/5-things-to-watch-out-for-during-open-enrollment-amid-coronavirus.html. Accessed Nov. 13, 2020.

7 Dan Cook. BenefitsPro. Sept. 12, 2020. “U.S. health care system on life support, say test results from new study.” https://www.benefitspro.com/2020/09/14/u-s-health-care-system-on-life-support-say-test-results-from-new-study/. Accessed Nov. 13, 2020.

 We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance and investment products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Investment Advisory Services are offered by Imber Financial Group, LLC., a Registered Investment Adviser firm. Insurance services are offered through Imber Wealth Advisors, Inc. Imber Financial Group, LLC. and Imber Wealth Advisors, Inc. are affiliated companies

Friday, October 23, 2020

Federal Legislative and Administrative Rules Update


If you received a stimulus check last spring to help cope with the financial effects of the COVID-19 virus on your household, there’s something you should know. Those funds are technically an advance rebate of a special 2020 tax credit. Many taxpayers will be able to reconcile that rebate on their 2020 return to equal the tax credit allowed. However, there will be some for whom credits exceed their rebates and they can claim the balance as a refund, and others for whom their rebate exceeds their credits — although tax professionals do not believe those payments will have to be repaid.1

By a variety of measures, 2020 has been a tough year for many Americans. That is why it’s important to take a step back and consider what legislative changes and new administrative rules have been implemented to make this year a little easier. As you navigate this new landscape, please give us a call if you would like guidance in your investment decisions and future retirement income strategy.

According to a Care.com survey of parents with children younger than age 15, nearly three-quarters report that they intend to make major changes in their careers to accommodate the potential need for childcare this year. 2 Among them, 15% indicate they may leave the workforce altogether. As you plan, be aware that you may be eligible for paid leave to care for your children through a provision included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Passed in March, this provision grants up two weeks (80 hours) of emergency paid sick leave at two-thirds pay (capped at $200 per day) for parents unable to work because of a need to care for a child under the age of 18 if their school or care provider is closed or unavailable due to the pandemic. If schools open with an intermittent schedule, parents may be able to take paid leave only on the days their children are at home.3

In light of the amount of people who need to need to stay home because they are either sick, quarantined for possible exposure to COVID-19 or at high risk if they do contract the virus, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has relaxed rules regarding in-home care and medical services. Specifically, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants can now provide home health services for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries — previously unavailable unless certified by a physician. They can now order, establish and review a plan of care and certify eligibility for home health services.4

If you’re a business owner and planning for your own care needs in retirement, be aware that Sub-Chapter C Corporations can deduct long-term care (LTC) insurance premiums on behalf of employees, business owner spouses or dependents. Self-employed workers also may deduct 100% of LTC premiums up to certain age-based limits.5 Unfortunately, individual tax filers may deduct LTC premiums only if they itemize tax deductions and only to the extent those premiums exceed 7.5% of their adjusted gross income.6 Note that some states allow for limited deductions on state tax returns.7

Given the national controversy on immigration rules, one lesser-known change made this year is that the federal government has actually loosened restrictions for certain visas. Effective May 14, 2020 through May 15, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security has removed certain limitations for employers to hire H-2B workers already residing in the U.S. to provide temporary labor or services essential to the food-supply chain. This was in response to disruptions caused by the COVD-19 pandemic.8

As for rule changes that affect the country’s financial health, the Federal Reserve announced in March that large banks have held up well in light of the strain caused by the recent economic decline. Moving forward, the central bank has mandated that large banks suspend share repurchases, cap dividend payments and limit dividends in an effort to help preserve capital during the third quarter of 2020.9

With a strong financial plan in place, we can help you prepare to leave the workforce and live comfortably. Take control of your financial future and give us a call at (734) 769-1719 today!

 

1 Joy Taylor and Rocky Mengle. Kiplinger. June 22, 2020. “Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year.” https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/taxes/t055-s011-tax-changes-and-key-tax-amounts-for-2020/index.html. Sept. 8, 2020.

2 Jennifer Liu. CNBC. Aug. 17, 2020. “Parents may qualify for paid leave, unemployment if schools are closed for the fall.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/17/parents-may-qualify-for-paid-leave-unemployment-due-to-school-closure.html. Accessed Sept. 8, 2020.

3 Ibid.

Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. April 30, 2020. “Trump Administration Issues Second Round of Sweeping Changes to Support U.S. Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic.” https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/trump-administration-issues-second-round-sweeping-changes-support-us-healthcare-system-during-covid. Accessed Sept. 8, 2020.

5 LTC Partner. 2020. “2020 Long Term Care Insurance Tax Deduction.” https://www.longtermcareinsurancepartner.com/long-term-care-insurance/2020-long-term-care-insurance-tax-deduction. Accessed Sept. 8, 2020.

6 Internal Revenue Service. Sept. 20, 2020. “Topic No. 502 Medical and Dental Expenses.” https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc502. Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.

7 LTC Partner. 2020. “2020 Long Term Care Insurance Tax Deduction.” https://www.longtermcareinsurancepartner.com/long-term-care-insurance/2020-long-term-care-insurance-tax-deduction. Accessed Sept. 8, 2020.

8 Federal Register. May 14, 2020. “Temporary Changes to Requirements Affecting H-2B Nonimmigrants Due to the COVID-19 National Emergency.” https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/14/2020-10486/temporary-changes-to-requirements-affecting-h-2b-nonimmigrants-due-to-the-covid-19-national. Accessed Sept. 8, 2020.

9 Federal Reserve. June 25, 2020. “Federal Reserve Board releases results of stress tests for 2020 and additional sensitivity analyses conducted in light of the coronavirus event.” https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/bcreg20200625c.htm. Accessed Sept. 8, 2020.

Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. government or any governmental agency and does not provide tax or legal advice.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance and investment products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

 Investment Advisory Services are offered by Imber Financial Group, LLC., a Registered Investment Adviser firm. Insurance services are offered through Imber Wealth Advisors, Inc. Imber Financial Group, LLC. and Imber Wealth Advisors, Inc. are affiliated companies