Category: Personal Financial Management

Personal Financial Management

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through November 18th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks posted a slight decline for the week with question about the tax overhaul weighing on the market. The S&P 500 fell 0.1% and the Dow dropped 0.3% for the week. Abroad, Japan and Europe slipped 1.3% for the week. The yield on the 10 year Treasury bond eased to finish at 2.35%.  Article

Japan’s GDP grew at 1.4% in the third quarter marking its longest growth streak in 16 years.

Total US household debt rose for the 13th straight quarter.

The House passed its tax overhaul bill, however passage in the Senate is uncertain.

GE announced plans to undergo a massive restructuring cutting its dividend by $4 billion, cutting board seats and streamline operations.

Target’s sales rose, but it issued a disappointing forecast.

Wal-Mart posted its strongest quarterly sales growth in almost a decade.

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through November 11th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks had their first down week since September as tax reform came into question. The S&P 500 edged down 0.2% and the Dow fell 0.5% for the week.  Internationally, Japan rose 0.6% and Europe sank 1.9% for the week. The yield on the 10 year Treasury rose over the week to finish at 2.40%.  Article

Chip maker Broadcom made an unsolicited bid for Qualcomm for $105 billion.

US regulators said AT&T needs to sell either CNN or DirecTV if it wants to complete its deal with Time Warner.

Macy’s, Kohl’s and Nordstrom posted mixed results.

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

How Does the Proposed Tax Plan Impact You?

A major focus of the President and Congress has been tax reform. After much deliberation the House unveiled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which would represent the most sweeping changes to US tax rules in over 30 years. Given it is very early on and there are many competing groups fighting for their interests, there will likely be many changes before anything is passed.

However, we thought it would be helpful to provide a high level overview of the potential changes that are being considered. We don’t recommend taking any actions yet, but if a final version of the bill becomes more likely to pass we may make recommendations in order to best position and take advantage of the changing rules.

This article does a great job of summarizing many of the key changes.

 

Index Performance Oct. YTDTrl 1 Yr
US Stock (Russell 3000)2.18%15.55%24.93%
Foreign Stock (FTSE AW ex US)1.95%23.38%23.82%
Total US Bond Mkt. (BarCap Aggregate)0.06%3.20%0.90%
Short US Gov. Bonds (BarCap Gov 1-5 Yr)-0.10%0.99%0.05%
Municipal Bonds (BarCap 1-10yr Muni)0.07%3.79%1.67%
Cash (ML 3Month T-Bill)0.09%0.66%0.72%

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

Photo courtesy Anthony Quintano.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through November 3rd

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks rose over the week and ended at record highs on strong corporate earnings and potential tax reform. The S&P 500 gained 0.3% and the Dow rose 0.4% for the week. Internationally, Japan soared 2.4% and Europe climbed 0.7% for the week. The yield on the 10 Year Treasury finished the week at 2.34%, down from the previous week. Oil prices reached their highest level since July 2015, $55.64 a barrel, up 3.2% for the week.  Article

Jerome Powell was nominated to be the next Fed Chairmen. He is expected to continue current Chairwomen’s Yellen’s policies.  Article

Auto makers reported solid October sales.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged at its most recent meeting, but stated they remained on pace for one more interest rate increase this year. The have one remaining meeting in mid-December.

Republicans unveiled their proposed tax overall reducing corporate taxes down to 20% from 35% and making a number of changes to personal taxes.

US companies hired 261,000 new employees in October falling short of expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 4.1% the lowest level since December 2000. August and September were both revised upward by a combined 90,000 jobs. Wage growth cooled to a 2.4% annual rate from 2.8% in September.  Article

The Bank of England raised their benchmark interest rate to 0.5% from 0.25% for the first increase in a decade.

The Eurozone economy grew at a 2.4% rate in the third quarter down slightly from the 2.6% pace in the second quarter. Despite the slowdown the European economy is on pace for its best year since 2007. Inflation rose 1.4% in October down from a month earlier which will likely drive caution from the ECB as it unwinds its easy money policies.

The S&P 500 is expected to post 3rd quarter earnings growth of 4.7%.

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through October 28th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US Stocks ended the week at record highs driven by strong economic readings and corporate earnings. The S&P 500 gained 0.2% and the Dow was up 0.5% for the week. Internationally, Japan surged 2.6% and Europe rose 0.8% for the week. Japan’s Nikkei Index posted a record 15 straight days of gains and is now at its highest level since 1996. The yield on the 10 year Treasury reached 2.43%. Up over the week and the highest level since March. Oil rose 4.5% over the last week to finish at %53.90 a barrel.  Article

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won reelection with a strong majority, driven by his handling of the economy.

The ECB announced it would continue buying bonds through September 2018, but will reduce the amount from 60 billion euros a month after December to 30 billion euros as it moves to curtail its easy money policies. ECB President Mario Draghi indicated bond buying would probably be extended again, beyond September 2018, a surprise, and that rate rises remained well off.  Article

The US economy grew at 3% in the third quarter despite two major hurricanes. It marks the best six month stretch of growth in three years. The gain was driven by higher consumer and business spending and topped expectations.  Article

Over half of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings for the third quarter and over 75% have beaten analysts’ expectations.

CVS Health and Aetna are close to a $66 billion merger.

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com