Don’t forget about your 2020 IRA contributions!

Don’t forget about your 2020 IRA contributions!

There’s still time to contribute to your IRA!

If you haven’t already contributed to an IRA (Individual Retirement Account), there’s still time to do so. Many people don’t know that the 2020 contribution deadline is actually April 15, 2021.1  However, if you do decide to contribute, you must designate the year you are contributing for. (In this case, 2020.) Your tax preparer should be able to help you fill out the necessary forms, but please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need help.

For 2020, the maximum amount you can contribute is $6,000, or $7,000 if you’re over the age of 50.2  This applies to both traditional and Roth IRAs. If you’re unsure whether to contribute, remember: 
· Contributions to traditional IRAs are often tax-deductible. And while distributions from IRAs are taxed as income, your tax-rate after retirement could possibly be lower than it is now, lessening the impact. 
· Contributions to a Roth IRA, on the other hand, are made with after-tax assets. However, the advantage of a Roth IRA is that withdrawals are usually tax-free. 
· Whichever type you use, IRAs provide a great, tax-advantaged way to save for retirement.

If you or your spouse is covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan and your income exceeds certain levels, you may not be able to deduct your entire contribution.  You may qualify to contribute to an IRA for a spouse without taxable compensation. There are also income limitations to be able to make contributions to a Roth IRA.  The rules are tricky and there can be penalties for contributing to either a traditional IRA or Roth IRA when over income limits. Consult your tax advisor to be sure you are making the right contribution choices.

If you have yet to set up an IRA for 2020, you can still do that. The deadline to establish an IRA is also April 15th. In other words, if you want to take advantage of the benefits an IRA has to offer, there’s still time to do so, either by contributing to an existing account or by establishing a new one.

If you have any questions about IRAs – whether one is right for you, how it should be managed, or anything else – please give me a call at 240-401-2355.  I’d be happy to help you. 

Jack Reutemann
Research Financial Strategies

 

​1 “IRA Year-End Reminders,” IRS, https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ira-year-end-reminders
2 “IRA Contribution Limits,” IRS, https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-ira-contribution-limits

Market Commentary February 22, 2021

Market Commentary February 22, 2021

How Are Your Investments Doing Lately?  Receive A Free, No-Obligation 2nd Opinion On Your Investment Portfolio

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

February 22, 2020

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

It’s a contrarian’s dream come true.

Contrarian investors like to buck the trend. They buy when other investors are selling and sell when others are buying.

Last week, Bank of America (BofA) delivered a contrarian’s dream. BofA’s monthly survey of 225 global asset managers, who are responsible for $645 billion in assets under management, showed the managers were almost fully invested, according to CNBC.

The survey showed asset managers’, “…cash levels at the lowest since March 2013, global equity allocations at a 10-year high, and a record number of respondents reporting taking a ‘higher than normal’ level of risk,” reported Randall Forsyth of Barron’s.

Asset managers’ optimism reflects central banks’ monetary policies, governments’ fiscal stimulus programs, and positive signs of economic recovery.

  • Central bank actions are supporting low interest rates. Low interest rates encourage economic growth by making money inexpensive for companies and individuals to borrow. In the United States, the real (adjusted for inflation) 10-year Treasury yield finished last week at -0.80 percent, according to the S. Treasury.
  • Government stimulus is flooding world markets with cash. “Although percentage cash levels held by investment managers are falling, they are not falling fast enough to keep up the rapid expansion of money still flooding the system…U.S. household savings at the end of 2020 were still almost $1 trillion above pre-COVID levels…,” reported Mike Dolan of Reuters.
  • Economic recovery is gaining steam. While the virus continues to be a risk, last week much of the economic data in the United States was positive, with retail sales exceeding expectations and manufacturing holding steady, reported Nicholas Jasinski of Barron’s. Economic growth is forecast to be about 6 percent in 2021, reported Reuters.

Last week, yields on 10-year Treasuries moved higher and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite both finished the week lower.

It’s black history month. Throughout the month of February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements of Black Americans. President Gerald Ford started the tradition in 1976 to “…seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Test your knowledge by taking this brief quiz.

  1. In 1972, the first Black woman elected to Congress launched a campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination with the slogan: Unbought and Unbossed. She once said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” What was her name?
    1. Yvonne Brathwaite Burke
    2. Shirley Chisholm
    3. Barbara Jordan
    4. Gwen Moore

 

  1. Eugene Bullard was the first African American pilot to serve in the Armed Forces. He worked as an air gunner for the French Army and served in two American wars. Which wars did he serve in?
    1. World War I and World War II
    2. World War II and Korean War
    3. Korean War and Vietnam War
    4. Vietnam War and Grenada

 

  1. One Black American author, who has won the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, the MacArthur Genius Grant, and many other awards, described the work this way, “When you write, it’s like braiding your hair. Taking a handful of coarse unruly strands and attempting to bring them unity.” What is the author’s name?
    1. Candace Carty-Williams
    2. Marlon James
    3. Edwidge Danticat
    4. Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

  1. Alabamian Percy Julian didn’t attend high school, but he earned a PhD from DePauw University. Julian graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the top of his class. Historically, he is regarded as one the most influential leaders in his field. What was his field of study?
    1. Law
    2. Medicine
    3. Chemistry
    4. History

 

Quiz Answers:

  1. B – Shirley Chisholm.
  2. A – World War I and World War II.
  3. C – Edwidge Danticat.
  4. C – Chemistry.

 

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”
–Alice Walker, American novelist and poet

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

 

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

Special Edition from Jack – the 45 DAY REPORT!

Special Edition from Jack – the 45 DAY REPORT!

Special Edition from Jack – the 45 DAY REPORT!

Friends and Clients, 

Hard to believe, isn’t it?

The first quarter is half over. The year is 45 days old. It’s 1/8th over with!

The stock market bull rally continues, and hopes for President Biden and his COVID stimulus package are high. Looks as if it’ll pass. The president is also promising an infrastructure bill, which will create jobs and fuel several sectors that we are thinking about adding to our aggressive growth model: the industrials, building materials, trains, planes, cement, steel, tractors, heavy machinery, etc.

If the infrastructure bill passes, we’re looking at two ETFs. Click here for details on the holdings in XLI and XLB. Lots of infrastructure companies.

Interest rates continue to remain very low, and residential real-estate sales, as well as new construction, remain high. One of my close friends and clients, a broker in Ocean City, Maryland, said that while he was in church on Sunday, from 9:00 to 10:30 AM, he missed 17 calls from buyers wanting to see properties. I hear similar stories all day long from my network.

Here’s How We’re Doing

Our 45-day returns look like this:

Our Growth Model

·         The AG model is + 9.15% so far in 2021.

·         The S&P 500 equity benchmark is +4.5972%.

·         So our performance is almost exactly twice the performance of the S&P.

Our Bond Model

·         The bond model (“fixed income”) is + 5.16% YTD.

·         AGG, the Barclays fixed income benchmark is negative 1.362%.

·         So we’re miles ahead of the benchmark.

Both models are on track to match or beat our record setting returns of 2020!

Defense When Necessary

As always, I am prepared to take decisive and speedy defensive action if market conditions turn against us. We will not let your wealth suffer in a market plunge.

Thank you … for your trust and confidence.

Sincerely,

Jack

Call me on my cell 240 401 2355
Please share my number with family, friends, clients, and colleagues.

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Little Drummer Girl

On this Valentine’s Day, we often find the feeling of this special day in relationships between people so different you’d never imagine a relationship ever forming.

This is one of those stories you often receive in emails with the admonition:

      ​Must watch!

Many of those can make your day. We hope this one helps to send a Valentine’s message to you from all of us at RFS..

Ten-year-old Nandi Bushell hails from Ipswich, England—half a world away from her idol, Dave Grohl, world-famous drummer for the band Nirvana and the one he founded, Foo Fighters.

Sold-out concerts, hit records, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame—these make Dave’s resume shine. Nandi plays in her basement.

If you haven’t noticed, kids these days think Rock & Roll belongs only to those Old Boomers, a generation whose time has come. But don’t tell that to little Nandi. Rock & Roll is her life.

The pandemic cooped her up. But she worked and worked at her drumming craft and began to post videos of herself and her drum on YouTube. One day she recorded her “cover” of Dave Grohl’s biggest hit, a song called Everlong, first released in 1997, long before Nandi was born.

As the video began, she twirled her stick, stared straight into the camera, and issued her challenge:

      ​“Dave Grohl, I challenge you to a drum off!”

Asked why she challenged an icon, Nandi’s logic was refreshingly simple:

      “He’s a drummer, he thrashes the kit really hard, which I like, so why not? My dream is to one day jam with Dave Grohl.”

When the video started to go viral, Dave Grohl’s phone blew up with texts.

      “You’ve been called out by a 10-year old, Dave. What are you going to do about it?”

Most famous Hollywood types would smile, pat themselves on the back, and go on with their glimmering lives.

But not Dave. He went about recording his own video, where he said:

      “Nandi, I’ve gotten at least 100 texts from people all around the world saying, ‘This girl is challenging you to a drum-off.’

      ​You’re an incredible drummer! I’m really flattered that you’ve picked some of my songs to do for your videos, and you’ve done them all            perfectly. So today, I’m going to give you something you may never have heard before. This is my response to your challenge—so now          the ball is in your court!”

​Nandi watched the video, listened to Grohl’s song—and two days later, recorded her own rendition of it, saying:

      ​“Dave Grohl, that was epic! It’s an honor to battle you!”

A friendship then blossomed. Dave and Nandi started meeting on Zoom. He then told her he was writing a new song just for her:

      ​“She’s got the power / She’s got the sound / Nandi on the drums makes the world go round!”

Not to be outdone, Nandi wrote her own song, titled “Rock and Grohl”:

      ​“Rock n’ roll’s my love / Rock n’ roll’s my soul / Rock n’ Grohl will help me change the world!”

Whatever kind of music you listen to, it’s impossible not to smile when you see these two very different people—with kindred souls—come together over the instrument they love. Their videos have now been watched by millions of people, and the two have made plans for Nandi to realize her dream and play with the Foo Fighters onstage as soon as the pandemic is over.

According to Grohl:

      ​“There’s something about seeing the joy and energy of a kid in love with an instrument, She’s a force of nature. But [she’ll have to play]           at the end of [our concert] because she’s going to steal the show!”

A force of nature, indeed.

Here’s the Little Drummer Girl. Watch and enjoy. So far, 3,901,493 people already have.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRvHI8tgx8A

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

With best wishes,

Research Financial Strategies

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

 

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

SPECIAL EDITION MARKET UPDATE

SPECIAL EDITION MARKET UPDATE

How Long Can This Last?

Performance Numbers

Our aggressive growth model is once again outpacing the S&P 500 Index. We’re up 8.48%  year-to-date, while the S&P sports a mere 4.25%. And get this: that 8.48% performance occurred while holding 18% of assets in cash.

There’s more: our fixed income accounts now enjoy a 4.16% gain, just barely behind the S&P itself.

So far, so good.

The Market

I have no idea when this party will end. We remain on guard for a pullback, if (and when) it ever happens.

Right now, the market likes President Biden and his stimulus package. Stimulus money means more consumer spending, and money printing means ever-increasing demand for assets … such as the stock market. Low interest rates continue to fuel the boom in new home sales. Those low rates and the increase in the money supply also propel our holdings in XLY (consumer spending) and TQQQ (technology companies).

Bitcoin

Yesterday, the financial world absorbed the news that Elon Musk (whose net worth now exceeds Jeff Bezos’s bottom line) has purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin for Tesla’s treasury account. Further crypto news included the move by Bill Miller to devote 15% of his Miller Opportunity Trust to Bitcoin exposure through purchases of Grayscale’s GBTC (a trust instrument backed by Bitcoin).

Mr. Miller, we should note, is a very old-school value investor. He gained much of his fame when he led the old Legg Mason Value Trust. His move might just resemble your 90-year-old grandmother signing up for Tik Tok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all on the same day. In a word: jaw-dropping.

Our Exposure

Some might ask about our approach to Bitcoin. Right now, we enjoy significant Bitcoin exposure through our ownership of Tesla. We own four ETFs with significant Tesla holdings:

·         QCLN – Tesla is the #1 holding

·         PBW – Tesla is the #1 holding

·         XLY – Tesla is the #2 holding

·         TQQQ – Tesla is the #4 holding

Strategy to Protect Your Wealth

Why are we holding 18% cash? Shouldn’t that be invested to enjoy these amazing gains? Why sit on money that’s just sitting there?

Because we stand ready to play defense.

Remember last Spring? The market plummeted very quickly. We weren’t caught unawares. We bought some ETFs that go up when the market goes down. Using this leverage, we protected our clients against one of the most frightening declines in recent stock-market history.

If our technical analysis portends similar dives in the market, we are ready to deploy that cash to a defensive position that will protect your account.

As Always

Please feel free to call my cell number whenever you have any questions or comments: 240-401-2355.

Have a wonderful week.

Sincerely,

Jack

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