Greetings! As we rapidly approach the end of the 1st Quarter of 2017, I think we are all ready to put the winter behind us. Winter will soon be replaced by spring, which will not officially arrive until the St. Louis Cardinals take the field for regular season play. Hopefully we can put the Chicago Cubs back at the bottom of the Central Division, but I will admit that is unlikely.
Tax season has officially arrived, and the office is beginning to heat up as our clients “square-up” with the federal and state governments. I certainly hope you leave here in the black, but for those of you who find yourselves in the red, here is some simple advice. Before writing a check to the federal or state governments, be sure to ask your tax professional if you have any available options to legally reduce the burden of what is owed. While the question posed above is simple, the answer could prove to be very beneficial for some tax filers.
On the financial planning side, we continue to work through the final stages of the broker-dealer transition. A large majority of the assets have transferred at this point in time and my staff continues to work toward enhancing our reporting and client-service capabilities. While the process has been considerably more arduous and complex than we anticipated, we are pushing through the mountain of red tape toward the finish line. It is likely we will complete the entire broker-dealer transition several months ahead of our projected timeline provided by our new broker-dealer, Calton & Associates.
While the past 9 months have had their share of trials and tribulations for my staff and I, it is without question that the stock market’s performance has offered a helping hand. Stocks have roared higher through the first two months of this year on rising hopes that tax reform and an improved economic climate will serve to benefit public and private corporations around the country. The year-to-date domestic stock market returns are shown in the table below:
While the 2017 year-to-date returns are strong, the majority of the return for the year came in February. Time will tell if the stock market can maintain this upward pace throughout the entire year, but so far in 2017 investors have been rewarded for accepting risk in their portfolios.
In closing, I wanted to be sure to highlight the upcoming Honduran Street Party Run set for Saturday, March 25th at the Streets of St. Charles. This is one of our annual fundraisers for our special children in Honduras. This year, to keep the tradition going, I will be wearing a very unique costume in the race again. I would love to have you, your family, or your employer sponsor me. For more information related to sponsoring my participation or to find out how to participate in the race as a participant or race sponsor, please contact Katie here at our office at (636) 573-1233 for more details. In the meantime, please remember to stay healthy, wealthy, and wise, and certainly . . . stay tuned.