We hope you and your family have a particularly special holiday season!!!

Santa stopped by this week on his way to the mall. After pictures, he spent a surprising amount of time with Eric behind closed doors. Eric’s stocking may be a little lighter than normal this year😉 With your encouragement, we are optimistic for Eric’s 2020. Kelly was suspiciously “absent” during Santa’s stop, so his stocking prospects appear equally dim.


Market Update

Speaking of the white bearded one, the Santa Claus rally is in full force this year, a well-received reprieve from last year. Like in the Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”, where all children are above average, 2019 was a “Lake Wobegon” year for investors. All asset classes were above average (Charles Schwab).


It is highly unusual for all asset classes to over perform. Drivers were central banks across the globe reducing interest rates, in part to offset tariff fears. The white house hints at a trade agreement with China, creating renewed optimism for 2020, while global manufacturing has rebounded nicely this year;

The $1.4 trillion budget deal signed by the white house yesterday includes substantial changes for retirees and pre-retirees. Tucked into the new budget is the SECURE Act, including important provisions for today’s savers.As poorly as economists predicted 2019 results, they appear equally perplexed in predicting 2020. The election cycle and tariff negotiations will surely add volatility to our markets. Investor patience will be rewarded.

Changes important to you:

IRA – inherited: have to be fully distributed within 10 years

  • Exceptions: spouses, minor children and disabled beneficiaries
  • Previously: IRA beneficiaries could leave funds in inherited IRAs for the duration of their life

IRA – Contributions: can contribute to IRAs regardless of age (you must have earned income)

  • Previously: could only contribute until age 70 ½

IRA – Required Distributions: can wait until age 72

  • Previously: mandatory distributions at age 70 ½

401k – Multiple Employer plans

  • Plans can potentially lower management costs by combining with other plans

401k – Safe Harbor

  • Limits fiduciary liability for plans offering annuities/guaranteed income options


Maximizing Social Security was very well attended. If you are “of age” (age 62-65), make sure to request from us your custom “Maximizing Social Security” report



Be sure to join us for the Investor Forum and Tax Update on January 16th from 8:00 to 9:45 AM. Topics include:

  • 2020 Market Outlook – new decade & new dividends
  • Advantages of Index Funds and “Smart” index funds
  • Tax Efficient Investing
  • Strategies to take advantage of the new tax code

Visit our Events tab to RSVP!


Book Review

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. A story about Nathaniel and Rachel, teenage brother and sister, set in postwar London. Their parents are transferred to the far east for work, while the kids are left behind in boarding school. Little is as it seems in this book, however, including a mother’s challenging choice between her children and her country.


We hope you found this educational and helpful. As we emphasize, it is our job to assist you!  If you have questions or would like to discuss anything in further detail, please give us a call.

As always, feel free to pass this on to someone important to you.

Thank you for the continued trust and confidence you’ve placed in our team.

Eric Tarver & Kelly Wood