Welcome to 2020! We hope that you and your family had an enjoyable holiday season. Each New Year symbolically offers the opportunity to make a fresh start for everyone.
As always, our primary goal this year is to continue our tradition of helping clients achieve their personal financial goals. To make that process more efficient, please review the 2020 CHECKLIST in this letter and identify any of the items you anticipate you’ll need addressed this year. Then bring it to your next review or call us and we can help you plan accordingly.
We take pride in our ability to understand and effectively respond to our clients’ needs and concerns and enjoy providing timely information and holistic service to our clients. One of our company’s main objectives is to always offer our clients a first-class experience.
We appreciate the confidence that you have shown in our practice. We are always available to provide the proper attention that you and your finances deserve by offering a strong and frequent line of service, commitment and communication.
2019 was a healthy year for our clients and we were honored to serve your financial needs. When we reviewed the growth of our company, we found that many of our new relationships have often started with introductions from our best clients. Through these introductions we have been able to meet high quality people who may benefit from our services. Recognizing that, we are asking for your support. Throughout the year, a theme you will hear from our office in 2020 is that we are having a “Growth Initiative.” We would like to offer our services to several other clients like you and therefore, we will be asking you to either add someone’s name to our mailing list or bring them to one of our educational workshops. Our goal is to share the information we provide about the current economic, estate planning, and tax environment.
As a valuable client, we thank you for giving us the opportunity to help you work towards your financial goals. We look forward to a great year!
Looking ahead to 2020
2019 was another strong year for investors, but the daily headlines kept investors on the edge of their seats. Trade wars, recession fears, geopolitical unrest, interest rate concerns and U.S political division all kept us wondering how each one would affect equity markets. The year also included its share of volatility in the U.S. equity markets which left many investors nervous. Despite a backdrop of concern, during the year, many indexes continued to set new highs. For 2020, investors should consider the mantra of “proceed with caution.”
In our second year of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers are still adjusting to new tax forms. The direction of interest rates, stock market volatility, a Presidential election and the continuation of potential trade wars could provide disruption for investors in 2020. Having a solid foundation, design and strategy is critical to the outcome of your financial plans. Keeping your plan up to date is always wise and will be especially integral. We are staying updated on the issues that may affect your personal situation. Our prime mission is to provide our clients with guidance and support on the road to their financial goals.
This is a good time to review and discuss your plans with us. We can help you determine if you’re still on track to meet your long-term objectives, confirm your time horizons and your risk tolerance. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our offices and we’d be happy to assist you.
Specific Areas to Watch in 2020:
Interest Rate Changes
In 2019, the Fed lowered interest rates for the first time in a decade. In July, September and October, the Federal Reserve lowered its key interest rate by 0.25% (0.75% total). Fed Chair Powell, said that the October decision to lower rates was intended to, “provide some insurance against ongoing risks.” At the December 2019 meeting, the Fed signaled that it was likely to hold rates steady in 2020. Low interest rates can make equities look attractive for investors seeking returns. For 2020, we will continue to keep a close eye on interest rate changes.
Trade War Fears
In December, China and the U.S. agreed to work towards a trade agreement. The uncertainty around the trade relationship between the U.S. and China has dampened global growth, according to Paul Gruenwald, Chief Economist at S&P Global Ratings. This trade war, which has lasted for almost two years, has weighed heavily on global economic growth, according to the International Monetary Fund. Analysts worry that tariffs could result in higher prices on goods and therefore affect consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the U.S. economy. In 2020, investors need to stay watchful on U.S. and China trade negotiations.
Stock Market Valuations
Analysts theorize that valuations are one of the key predictors of equity returns. For the last decade, equities have climbed higher. Investors who need access to their money in the next 10 years should understand that current valuations could lead to a period of lower returns and therefore need to plan accordingly. Risk is a part of investing and investors need to balance current conditions with their personal tolerance for risk. Although equity prices can continue to rise, we must understand that its near impossible to accurately predict short term moves and we need to continue to carefully monitor equity markets.
Your Personal Situation
Your personal situation is our highest concern. We make it a priority to keep our clieninformed throughout the year. If you’d like to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call our office and we will be glad to schedule time with you. Please keep in mind that each individual or household situation is different and we want to help you with your personal financial goals in 2020.
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.
The views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of LPL Financial and should not be construed, directly or indirectly, as an offer to buy or sell securities mentioned herein. All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. This article is for informational purposes only. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice as individual situations will vary. For specific advice about your situation, please consult with a lawyer or financial professional. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Sources: cnbc.com/2019/11/25. This article provided by The Academy of Preferred Financial Advisors, Inc. ©