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The RPG  Planner

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The big news at RPG in March was the birth of Carter Evans to John Evans and his wife, Lindsey.  Carter was born on March 21st and everyone is doing great.  Links to pictures are below in the RPG News and Notes section.  Congratulations John and Lindsey!

We also welcomed a new employee to RPG - Andrew Shannon.  Andrew is a recent graduate of Western Kentucky University's financial planning program and we are excited to have him join the team.  We plan to have his full bio on the website over the next few weeks and link to it in next month's RPG Planner.  

We wrote two articles this month which are highlighted below along with other useful links and our investment commentary.  
Again, we are thankful for your support and we welcome any input to help make The RPG Planner more informative or useful. 
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Plan Right                      

  • Protecting Children and Grandchildren with an IRA Trust.  If you have meaningful savings in an IRA, 401k, or other retirement account that you intend to leave to living beneficiaries, you should understand the critical disadvantages of not setting up an "IRA trust".  We wrote this article to explain the benefit of establishing such a trust. 
  • Costco Transitions from Amex to the New Anywhere Visa Card.  Having fielded several questions from clients about this impactful transition, we wrote a timely article on the Costco credit card transition.  If you use the existing Costco Amex card or if you a Costco customer, this information and advice is worth your read. 

Around the Web

 

Investment Commentary
      

March capped off an eventful quarter with a sharp stock market rally and for the first time since the Great Depression, the S&P 500 fell by more than 10% during a quarter and then reversed course to post a 3-month gain.  

Global stocks (MSCI All Country Index) advanced 7.5% in March to eek out a 0.4% gain in the first quarter.  Emerging market stocks were the biggest winners with the MSCI Emerging Market Index posting a 13.2% return in March - its largest monthly gain since 2011.  

The significant rebound in stocks from the historically poor returns in the first 6 weeks of 2016 were led by two positive catalysts: the renewed willingness of central banks around the world to support sluggish economies and a sharp reversal in the US dollar.  The US dollar suffered its worst quarterly decline since 2010 against global currencies (-4.2%) which, in turn, was a positive for foreign stocks as gains in local currencies became even larger gains when translated to US dollars. 


Heading into the year, most investors and analysts expected continued strengthening in the US dollar as global investors bought dollars to benefit from higher US bond yields.  As is often the case, the consensus opinion of experts and the actual market response were polar opposites.  A renewed commitment to accommodative central bank policy, even from the US Federal Reserve, led US bond yields and, resultantly, the US dollar to plummet.  The 10-year Treasury yield fell from 2.27% to 1.78% in the quarter, sparking a strong rally in bond prices (which move opposite to yields).

We encourage you to call or email us if you have any questions about the markets or your portfolio.  As always, you can reference the RPG Monthly Market Snapshot by clicking here for some key economic data points and index returns.      

Reminders

  • April 18th is also the deadline for making 2015 IRA contributions.  Limits are $5,500 for those under age 50 and $6,500 if 50 or over.  Make too much to contribute to a Roth IRA?  Consider the backdoor Roth conversion.  
  • Use the tax filing period as an opportunity to shred what you no longer need.  This one page document provides a helpful guide of what to save or shred.

Fun Stuff and Free Resources

  • BillFixers is an interesting new service that takes the hassle out of obtaining lower monthly bills for cable, cell phone, and Internet services.  If you don't have time or desire to negotiate on your own, consider this option to easily reduce your monthly costs.
  • Unroll.me is an invaluable resource to help with email inbox management and one click unsubscribes.  Moreover, the daily rollup is a feature you won't know how you lived without.     

RPG News and Notes 

  • Resource Planning Group is again sponsoring the Volunteer for a Better Sandy Springs Day on Saturday, April 16th and we are looking for volunteers to join our work crew.  Please contact Brandon McGraw (brandon@rpgplanner.com) if you are interested in helping.
  • Our Seventh Annual RPG Open House is scheduled for Thursday, April 28th, from 5:00 - 8:00 pm.  We welcome you to join us and even bring a friend, family member, or colleague with you.  Please let us know if you would like to attend by replying to this email or calling us at 770-671-9500.
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Our mailing address is:
10 Glenlake Parkway
South Tower; Suite 150
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
770-671-9500

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