What to Expect from the Fed in 2018

December 14, 2017

On the economic front, the headline news is that the Fed raised rates another quarter point, as expected. So far, so what? But the details paint a more interesting and useful picture about what the Fed is likely to do with interest rates next year—and what that means for you as an investor.

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Monday Update: Mixed Results, Healthy Overall

December 11, 2017

Last week was a busy one for economic data, with significant reports across all areas. The news was mixed, with declines in several areas, although the overall levels remain healthy. This suggests that the recovery continues but that it may be peaking.

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The Tax Bill: What Matters Most for Taxpayers

December 5, 2017

Yesterday, I spent some time talking with my accountant, Dave, about the implications of the new tax bill as we understand it so far. The discussion focused on planning charitable giving, but I found the context of the pending tax bill to be illuminating beyond that. He made some excellent points about what really matters to most taxpayers that I thought were worth sharing. So, here we go. (Thanks, Dave!)

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Monday Update: Consumer Confidence Soars to 17-Year High

December 4, 2017

Last week gave us a detailed look at both how consumers are feeling and what they are doing, as well as the sentiment levels of manufacturing companies. Overall, the news was quite good. It matched or beat expectations across the board—suggesting that the recovery continues and may well accelerate.

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Dow 24K: Cue the Fireworks?

December 1, 2017

Well, the Dow has hit another milestone: 24K. Should we cue the fireworks, cheering, champagne bottles, and so forth? Since it is the fifth time this year that a 1,000-point milestone has happened, perhaps we want to take a step back first. Anything that happens five times in a year is hardly uncommon—and perhaps not worth getting all that excited about.

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Bitcoin: Price Versus Value

November 30, 2017

All of the coverage on bitcoin has centered on its radical appreciation this year. But I believe something is getting lost in the discussion. While much has been said about the price of bitcoin, there has been little mentioned of its value. What I mean by this is that the value of bitcoin, at this point, is purely speculative. People are buying it in the hope that it will become an asset class of its own or just because it has risen so much—not because of what it is intrinsically worth.

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Consumer Confidence and Expectations: It’s All About the Data

November 28, 2017

As we approach the end of 2017, I have been thinking a lot about 2018. Right now, there is quite a bit of good news out there. Hiring continues to be strong, people are earning and spending more, business investment is finally picking up, and the rest of the world economies have started growing again. And, of course, stock markets around the world have done very, very well in 2017.

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