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The RPG  Planner

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Plan Right                      

  • A Look at Protecting Children With an IRA Trust.  An article we wrote earlier this year on the growing utility of IRA trusts was recently edited, published, and promoted by Investopedia (albeit with a bunch of newly added links to other Investopedia articles). 

Around the Web

 

Investment Commentary
      

The old Wall Street axiom, "Sell in May and Go Away", suggests selling out of stocks during the typical lull between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  As with many axioms and rules of thumb, this one has a checkered history and unclear benefit.  2016 provided a painful lesson for anyone following this axiom's advice as stocks made record highs again in August following on gains in June and July.  During the 3 month period ending on August 31st, US large cap stocks advanced 4.1%, emerging market stocks gained 11.9%, and global stocks in aggregate added 4.0%.

As we advised in last month's commentary, investors have seemingly put any Brexit concerns in the rear view mirror and the focus has now shifted back to the Federal Reserve.  Following a lackluster 2nd quarter GDP reading of 1.1% growth and disappointing August employment report, expectations for a Fed rate hike in September are still uncertain with the futures market suggesting a quarter point rate hike probability of 30%.  

High grade fixed income investments took a breather in August although the riskiest segment of the bond market, high yield debt, provided additional gains as investors continued to search for yield in a low yield world.  High yield bond spreads, a measure of investor appetite for risk, have narrowed to unusually low levels which suggest that things have to go well in the future for this asset class to sustain the rich valuations.
 

You can view our monthly market snapshot to see the various market returns and economic data points.  As always, we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the markets or your portfolio. 

Reminders

  • September 15th marks several important tax deadlines including the final filing deadline for trust returns, corporate returns, and partnership returns.  It is also the last date for small business owners to make 2015 employer retirement plan contributions and the deadline for 3rd quarter estimated tax payments.
  • Starting for the first time in 2016, financial aid applications (FAFSA) launch on October 1st rather than the typical January 1st start date.  This new schedule means that parents can begin applying for financial aid before children are even admitted to college.  It's important not to procrastinate and to be ready to apply on October 1st or soon thereafter as some financial aid is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.  With filing season starting on October 1, applicants will use their 2015 tax return data to apply for 2017-2018 school year financial aid.

Fun Stuff and Free Resources

  • Here is a new free tool to help estimate if you might qualify for student loan forgiveness and how much you might have forgiven.

RPG News and Notes 

  • The cybersecurity education event we hosted in mid-August, "Defending Yourself Against Hacking, Phishing, and Spoofing Attacks", was a big success.  We hope that you were able to attend the in-person event or watch the video while it was on our Facebook page.  Although we only had permission to make the video recording available for a few days after the presentation, we are planning to write an article in the next month to highlight some of the key advice.
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