After approaching new highs last month, our markets have been fixated on global trade this month. Market volatility increased as trade negotiations with China stalled. The administration is trying to ensure China respects American technology innovation and patents. China has a history of stealing patented technology, allowing them to produce products at greatly reduced prices because they don’t have the Research and Development costs. Additional negotiations include China’s currency devaluation, which allows China to unfairly lower their prices even further.
Even in Boise, we see impacts as our friends at Micron and HP see Chinese products priced lower because of patent infringement. Our farmers see China’s demand for Idaho wheat and lentils erode due to tariff uncertainty. Walmart announced this week it will raise prices by the end of the month reflecting new tariffs on consumer products imported from China. This potentially causes increase inflation. Given the complexity of these negotiations they may take a while, meaning our market volatility could continue.
Anxieties about a possible earnings recession may be fading. So far, first-quarter results for Dow firms are 5.3% above expectations, which compares to a 5-year average of 4.8%.
At some point, trade talk will come back, or other developments will lead Wall Street to chase other trends. The thing to remember is Wall Street is fickle: what preoccupies it one week may be shrugged off the next. Short-term trends ultimately amount to background noise during the long-term pursuit of your financial goals.
WOOD TARVER NAMED “TOP FINANCIAL ADVISOR”
We are honored and humbled to be among the Top Ranked Wealth Management Firms in Idaho by the Idaho Business Review. Thank you for your confidence in our team!
FIDUCIARY, AND HOW WE ARE DIFFERENT
- Required by law to always act in your best interest
- Comprehensive approach to financial planning, taxes and estate planning
- Never charge commissions or hidden fees on your investments
- Never recommend proprietary investments
YOUR 2019 FINANCIAL TO-DO LIST
What financial, business, or life priorities do you need to address for 2019? Now is a good time to think about investing, saving, or budgeting methods to employ from building retirement funds to lowering your taxes. You have plenty of options. Here are a few to consider.
- In 2019, contribution limits for a Roth or traditional IRA is $7,000 ($6,000 for those under age 50). Your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) affects how much you can put into a Roth IRA: singles and heads of household with MAGI above $137,000 and joint filers above $203,000 cannot make Roth contributions.
- You can contribute up to $25,000 to 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans, ($19,000 if you are under age 50).
- If you are self-employed, you may want to fund a solo 401(k), you may direct up to $56,000 yearly.
BOOK OF THE MONTH
This past month I read The Primer by James Castle- a book about a local artist who was mute and deaf but whose art has been displayed in The Louvre, New York and other top museums around the world. A great read!
Johnny’s tennis schedule has inhibited our ability to experience Boise’s Brunch Scene, but we recently tried a soufflé pancake on vacation and it’s our new favorite, that can be made at home! 5 Star Recommendation. Visit this website for the recipe: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020120-japanese-souffle-pancakes
YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN CONTRIBUTION WILL IMPROVE YOUR TAX OUTLOOK.
- Income limits on IRA contributions? If you participate in a workplace retirement plan, the 2019 MAGI phase-out ranges are $64,000-$74,000 for singles and heads of households, $103,000-$123,000 for joint filers when the spouse making IRA contributions is covered by a workplace retirement plan, and $193,000-$203,000 for an IRA contributor not covered by a workplace retirement plan, but married to someone who is.
- Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and 457 plans are funded with after-tax dollars, so you can’t take tax deductions for your contributions. Withdrawals will be tax free and not affect taxes on Social Security and Medicare.
- Contributions to Roth and traditional IRAs may be made as late as your 2020 federal tax deadline.
- Should you go Roth in 2019? You might consider this if you only have a traditional IRA.
- Distributions from certain qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, are not subject to the 3.8% Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) affecting single/joint filers with MAGIs over $200,000/$250,000. If your MAGI does surpass these thresholds, then dividends, royalties, and interest.
Consult a tax or financial professional before you make any IRA moves to see how those changes affect your overall financial picture. If you have a large, traditional IRA, the projected tax resulting from a partial Roth conversion may be compelling.
- Make charitable gifts. The individual standard deduction is $24,000 ($12,000 for single) so there is less incentive to itemize deductions for many taxpayers. Charitable donations are deductible if they are exceeding $24,000 ($12,000 single).
- Gift appreciated securities: donating appreciated stocks to charities allows you to deduct 100% of their fair market value and avoid capital gains tax.
- Open an HSA. If you are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan, you may set up and fund a Health Savings Account. You can make fully tax-deductible HSA contributions of up to $3,500 (singles) or $7,000 (families); catch-up contributions of up to $1,000 are permitted for those 55 or older. HSA assets grow tax deferred, and withdrawals from these accounts are tax free if used to pay for qualified health care expenses or after the age of 65.
Review your withholding status. You may have updated it last year when the I.R.S. introduced new withholding tables; you may want to adjust for 2019 due to any of the following factors:
- You pay a great deal of income tax each year.
- You get a big federal tax refund each year.
- You recently married or divorced.
- You have a new job, and you are earning much more than you previously did.
- Review beneficiaries of your workplace retirement plan account, your IRA, and other assets.
Consider tax impact of any upcoming transactions. Are you planning to sell (or buy) real estate next year? How about a business? Do you think you might exercise a stock option in the coming months? Might any large commissions or bonuses come your way in 2019? Do you anticipate selling an investment that is held outside of a tax-deferred account? Any of these actions might significantly impact your 2019 taxes.
- If you are retired and older than 70½, remember your year-end requited distribution. Retirees over age 70½ must begin taking RMDs from traditional IRAs, 401(k)s, SEP IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs by December 31 of each year.
Talk with a qualified financial or tax professional today. Vow to focus on being healthy and wealthy in 2019!
I hope you found this to be educational and helpful. As we always emphasize, it is our job to assist you! If you have any 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 very much for the trust and confidence you’ve placed in our team.
Financial Advisor – Wood Tarver Financial
Financial Advisor – Wood Tarver Financial