Weekend Reading

Key Numbers 2020

Dear Clients & Friends,

 

Happy New Year! And welcome to the first issue of our 2020 Weekend Reading Series. 

Weekend Reading: December Market Risk Update

It’s time for our monthly risk update.  Not much has changed since last month, except that the President wants to delay tariff negotiations with China until after the next election.  Simple logic dictates that this delay is a political move intended postpone the trade negotiations to a time closer to the next election in order to assist with his re-election campaign. Eventually, this tariff relief will likely cause  substantial movement in the stock market and a large but temporary spike in domestic GDP.  Other than this one (rather large) development, things seem to be about the same.  We see a surprisingly strong consumer and labor environment, along with economic concerns that are growing very slowly.

Markets continued their upward climb in November, bringing the major U.S. equity indices to all-time highs during the month. Just as with the economy, however, there are several key factors that matter for the market in determining both the risk level and the immediacy of the risk. And we now turn to our good friends Brad McMillan & Sam Millette for our market risk update.

Weekend Reading: 4th Annual MORWM Giving with Purpose List

The MOR Wealth Management family has brainstormed and compiled the following list of websites. Each site allows for easy browsing and provides a variety of gift ideas that also pay it forward in some way. Many of these companies either give back to the community or are committed to have sustainable business practices. These gift ideas are appropriate for many occasions, including the holidays. 

Weekend Reading: The Wealth Tax

There has been a lot of talk recently about the “wealth taxes” that have been proposed by a few of the Democratic presidential candidates.  There has also been quite a bit of misinformation spread about these proposed taxes. At this juncture, MOR Wealth Management has not rendered an opinion about these taxes, primarily because we feel that these suggested tax proposals may evolve over the next few months. However, we thought we’d take a moment to offer some clarity.

Weekend Reading: Ever Heard of FOMO?

Ever heard of FOMO?  “Fear of missing out.”  Because we think mutual fund managers are suffering from that ailment at this very moment!!

This week, I want to briefly discuss an interesting phenomenon that we think is happening. For the past several months, we’ve seen mutual fund managers slowly but steadily increase their cash positions.  The overwhelming assumption is that mutual fund managers are getting less aggressive as the economy loses momentum; therefore, they are holding less stock in their arsenal. But in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a sharp decline in the amount of cash on hand within mutual fund portfolios.

Weekend Reading: November 2019 Monthly Risk Update

Dear Clients & Friends,

It’s time for our monthly market risk update written by our good friend Brad McMillan.  I also want to give a shout-out to our colleague Sam Millette for helping with this month’s article.  As we did last month, we are going to look more at economic factors than market metrics; both are equally important. 

The summary is this: the outlook is getting grim, but we do not think that the economy, or the market, will turn over in the very near future. However, we are slowly but surely working to reduce risk in all client portfolios because we are worried about 2020 and 2021. I cannot say for sure, but I expect that we will want to reduce risk again in early 2020. These predictions are in line with a forecast we made in February 2018 for a possible recession in 2020. In the meantime, bolstered by positive feedback from our family of clientele, we are very pleased with our 2019 performance (especially given our reduced risk exposure).  That being said - Brad, take it away…

Weekend Reading: 529 vs. UTMA

As the fall weather sets in, leaves begin to turn, and pumpkins and ghosts begin popping up everywhere, we thought that it would be appropriate to write about one of personal finance’s spookiest topics: college costs and how to plan for them. Many readers have probably heard about the 529 plan, America’s college funding darling; however, there are other options, such as the UTMA (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act) or UTMA 529. Today, we will highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and which circumstances might make each a compelling option.

Weekend Reading: We're Back

After taking a few weeks off from our weekend reading, we’re back! 

We had taken a few weeks off in order to devote extra time to the annual Multiple Sclerosis fundraiser.  Before we get into the topic for the week, we want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of our MORWM family for participating in this effort. While I personally have been volunteering for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for several years, this was only the second year that the company has ridden as a team in the BikeMS event.  Out of all the companies in the Philadelphia area who rode “for a world free of MS,” we ranked #2 in fundraising - and we are a very small company!!  We out-raised companies like Comcast, Campbell Soup, and Nova Care, all of whom are based here in the Philadelphia area.  We are very proud of our efforts.

Weekend Reading: August Market Risk Update

It’s that time of month for Market Risk Update from our good friend Brad McMillan.  My intro this week will be short since our forecasts remain relatively unchanged.  However, I would be remiss in not mentioning the recent increase in market volatility.  We expect this volatility to continue for the foreseeable future for three reasons.

Weekend Reading: Yield Curve

Dear Clients & Friends,

There has been a lot of talk recently about “the yield curve” and, more specifically, an “inverted” yield curve.  News pundits say that an inversion is very, very bad -but they don’t explain why very often, likely because the concept is perceived as being too daunting and complicated for the average viewer’s understanding.  So, I am going to exercise my talent in simplifying complex topics and explain this in a way that non-financers can understand.  Here we go.