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January 2015 Monthly Recap

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Give me five shows GroundhogHappy Groundhog Day!

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, which predicts another six more weeks of winter. Let’s hope he’s wrong! 🙂

Best Wishes,
Mark Fissel

Market Recap

(Un)Happy New Year: Fresh uncertainties in Europe, slowing economic growth, anticipation of a looming Federal Reserve rate hike, and a stronger dollar all contributed to a volatile month for equities. The losses weren’t good news for believers in the January Effect (the idea that equities’ behavior in January suggests what might happen during the rest of the year). However, it might also be useful to remember that the S&P 500 lost 3.6% last January but ended 2014 up 11.4%… (Read More)

Economic Perspective

  • GDP grew at 2.6% in the fourth quarter
  • Unemployment down to 5.6% after adding 252,000 jobs in December
  • European Central Bank announced stimulus plan of $1.3 trillion.  
  • Greece elected a new President who’s party pledged to renegotiate the terms of the bailout. 
  • Fed said it is in no hurry to raise interest rates. 
  • New home sales were up 11.6%  in December after sluggish November. 
  • Durable goods orders unexpectedly fell in 3.4% in Dec. The fourth decline in the last five months. 

(Read More)

Key Numbers For 2015

Every year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announces cost-of-living adjustments; here are a few of the key adjustments for 2015. (Read More)

More 401(k) Millionaires Than Ever

This is a testament to many Americans who have taken the duty of saving for retirement very seriously. With employer pensions on the decline for the past 30 years, employees are responsible for their own destiny in retirement.
Record average account balances in the nation’s 401(k)s have translated into a surge in retirement savers who can now consider themselves millionaires.
New data from Fidelity Investments shows about 72,000 workers have $1 million or more parked in 401(k) plans, twice as many in 2012 and five times as many as a decade ago.  (Read More)

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