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October 2014 Monthly Recap

Homemade Pumpkin Pie For ThanksigivingNovember is the month for giving thanks. As the holiday season kicks off, try to remember to tell your family and friends how much you appreciate them.

Best Wishes,
Mark Fissel

Market Recap

October lived up to its reputation for volatility as triple-digit intraday swings in the Dow became almost commonplace. Despite being spooked for much of the month–at one point the S&P 500 was down almost 8% from its most recent high–both the S&P and the Dow industrials rallied strongly to end the month at fresh all-time records…. (Read More)

Economic Perspective

  • 248,000 new jobs in Sept resulted in drop in unemployment from 6.1% to 5.9%
  • Fed stopped bond purchases in Oct as expected
  • Bank of Japan announces it will expand securities purchases to prevent deflation
  • Euro-zone saw largest monthly decline since Aug 2008
  • China’s growth rate still slowing. 7.3% vs. 7.5% target
  • US housing market still encouraging
  • Retail sales in US slipped .3% though still 4.3% ahead of last year.
  • CPI still contained at 1.7% (Read More)

8 Biases – Can You Relate?

Behavioral Economics is a fascinating field of study that examines how we are our own worst enemy.  (Read More)

Open Enrollment Season

It’s your annual opportunity to review your employer-provided benefit options and make elections for next year. (Read More)

529- Ohio Plan Gets High Marks!

If you haven’t heard, Ohio consistently has one of the top ranked 529 plans.  Check out Morningstar’s 2014 ratings. (Read More)

401 (k) Contribution Limits Raised to 18K

Cost-of-living adjustments will allow participants next year in 401(k), 403(b), 457 plans and those in the federal Thrift Savings Plan to boost their maximum annual elective deferral rate to $18,000, up from $17,500.

The IRS also announced that the “catch up” annual contribution limit, designed for pre-retirees age 50 and over, will increase to $6,000, from $5,500.

On a related note, Social Security benefits will go up by 1.7%. That increase amounts to about $20/mo for the typical SS recipient. (Read More)

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