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Gene Todd, Executive Vice President/Managing Director of First Bank's Wealth Management Group

From monthly archives: March 2017

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'March 2017'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Strategies for Trump’s Potential Tax Plan in 2017

Just as the characters in Game of Thrones unequivocally know Winter is coming, we also know Change is coming with President Trump. During his speech to Congress on February 28th very little details were revealed of his new tax plan. According to Mick Mulvaney he expects a full budget proposal will not come until May. Summarized below is a review of President Trump’s proposals in the past as we speculate what changes might come for our tax system. Note we do not discuss the House GOP’s blueprint which differs from Trump. Personal Income Tax Trump wants to consolidate and simplify the current tax brackets. Whether the impact of the proposed changes will be good, bad or ugly will depend on your present tax situation. Notice in the table below the capital gains rate may actually increase for many taxpayers from 15% to 20%. Those in the higher end of the 28% bracket will see increased tax rates for both income and capital gains. Other notable proposals would be to repeal the Alternative Minimum ...

Investment Shock Absorbers - 2017

Have you ever ridden in a car with worn-out shock absorbers? Every bump is jarring, every corner stomach churning, and every red light is an excuse to assume the brace position. Owning an undiversified portfolio can sometimes trigger similar reactions. In a motor vehicle, the suspension system keeps the tires in contact with the road and provides a smooth ride for passengers by offsetting the forces of gravity, propulsion and inertia. You can drive a car with a broken suspension system, but it will be an extremely uncomfortable ride and the vehicle will be much harder to control, particularly in difficult conditions. Throw in the risk of a breakdown or running off the road altogether and there is a real chance you may not reach your destination. In the world of investments, a similarly bumpy and unpredictable ride can await those with concentrated and undiversified portfolios or those who constantly tinker with their allocations based on a short-term rough patch in the markets. Of course, everyone feels ...

Capital Markets Update - March 2017

February was another strong month for the U.S. stock market continuing its recent momentum as the S&P 500 increased nearly 4% for the month and is up approximately 6% for the year. The gains so far this year have been almost straight up as during the month of February, the Dow Jones came close to setting a new record of consecutive up days, but stopped at 12, just short of the record, which is 13 days. In addition, the Dow Jones hit 21,000 during the month taking only 24 trading days to move up from Dow 20,000 tying the shortest time period to move up to the next 1,000 level interval. Internationally, stock prices also did well, with the MSCI EAFE Developed Market Index up 4.4% for the year, the MSCI Emerging Market Index up 8.7% and the MSCI EAFE Developed Small Cap Index up 5.9%. Fueling the global stock market rally has been a combination of good corporate earnings reports and optimism that the various initiatives from the Trump administration will help stimulate economic growth. These initia ...

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