The RPG  Planner

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We hope that all of you are enjoying the longer days, the nice spring weather, and the (moderately) reduced traffic now that schools and colleges are winding down for summer.  

In this month's newsletter, we share two articles we wrote in May addressing questions we commonly receive - one on 529 college savings plans and the other on non-deductible IRA contributions.  As always, we also share some other
financial planning links on topics that we hope you find useful.  Many of you have provided feedback on what topics you find most useful and we use that feedback to help in our monthly aggregation of links so please keep it coming.  

We hope you enjoy this month's edition of The RPG Planner. 
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Investment Commentary

The mood of investors continued to turn decidedly more upbeat as the stock market rally that began in mid-February continued into May.  The sharp stock market decline of more than 10% in the first 6 weeks of 2016 seems to be a distant memory with the MSCI World Index back to positive for the year after advancing 9.4% in the March-May time frame.

Stock market gains have been mirrored by a recovery in domestic economic data.  Despite a sluggish 1st quarter GDP growth rate of +0.8%, second quarter US economic growth appears headed back into the 2-3% range.  A strong durable goods orders, continued improvement in the housing sector, and the largest increase in consumer spending (which accounts for roughly 70% of US economic activity) in over six years all provided encouraging economic data points in May.  While the recently encouraging economic data looked to give the Federal Reserve more justification to increase short-term rates in June, today's weak employment report makes it more likely that the Fed will leave rates unchanged at it's mid-June meeting.

After posting sharp gains in March and April, emerging market stocks reversed course in May with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index falling 3.9%.  The loss was largely attributable (-2.9% of the -3.9%) to a strengthening US dollar which hurts overseas investments in US dollar terms.  The reduced likelihood of a Federal Reserve rate hike given the weak US employment report provides the biggest boon for emerging market stocks as it stems the strengthening US dollar and assuages fears of more capital leaving foreign markets for the US.

We always encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the markets or how your portfolio is impacted by the markets.  Lastly, you can reference the RPG Monthly Market Snapshot by clicking here for some key economic data points and market returns. 


  • June 15th marks the 2nd deadline for 2016 quarterly estimated taxes.
  • June 30th is the deadline for reporting foreign financial accounts to the Department of the Treasury via the FBAR form.  While this has been an overlooked area in the past, the IRS is now aggressively pursuing US taxpayers who fail to report foreign accounts and there are stiff penalties for failing to file on time.

Fun Stuff and Free Resources

  • If you are ever curious about your personal life expectancy, provides a great free calculator that uses 40 quick questions about your family history and health to calculate your specific life expectancy.

RPG News and Notes 

  • Congratulations to RPG Advisor Christian Mauser on being named to the NAPFA South Region Board.  NAPFA is the country's leading professional organization of Fee-Only financial advisors and we are excited that Christian has been appointed to a board position within this excellent organization.
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