The Markets

Markets lost some exuberance last week as news out of Europe weighed on U.S. investors. Despite some selling pressure however, the rally rolled on as the S&P 500 edged to a five-year high.[1] Major indices ended the week mixed, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.31%, the Dow losing 0.12%, and the Nasdaq gaining 0.46%.[2]

Friday showed very low volume as snowstorm Nemo pounded the Northeast and traders watched the clock, waiting for the final bell to ring so they could hustle home. Even so, a batch of encouraging economic data was enough to push the S&P 500 to its highest level since November 2007. Reports showed that international trade in China and Germany has improved, and that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in December, indicating that global demand is improving.[3] To the contrary, the December wholesale inventory report released earlier in the week showed a 0.1% decrease, which was significantly worse than expectations. This carries negative implications for the upcoming revised fourth quarter GDP growth report as the Bureau of Economic Analysis had estimated inventory growth of 0.7% in their preliminary estimates.[4]
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What It Could Mean For You

After sending the U.S. economy over the fiscal cliff for one day, the Senate and House took action to avert the consequences of $600 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes that were due to strike on January 1, 2013 by passing the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R.8). This report will discuss the major provisions of the deal and what it means for taxpayers and investors.

On January 1, 2013, the House of Representatives voted to pass the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,” a bill to avert the fiscal cliff. Having already been passed by the Senate, the bill was quickly signed into law by President Obama, thereby preventing the U.S. economy from being battered by a combination of tax increases and mandatory spending cuts. Although, technically, the economy went over the cliff by one day, all provisions of the bill were backdated to January 1.

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Picture Your Retirement with More Income

Electing your Social Security income benefit may be the most important financial decision you make in your lifetime. Singles, and especially couples, can miss opportunities to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional income over their lifetimes by making poor Social Security income election decisions. By applying little-known, yet creative claiming strategies, you may be rewarded with significant additional retirement income over your lifetime.

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Winter 2012-2013

Although fall is over and winter is upon us, the stock market certainly hasn’t cooled off! Even though markets haven’t always done what we want them to do, we have learned that a downside always means an upside somewhere else and we enjoy the challenge of seeking out opportunities for our clients.

2012 has been an excellent year at Leading Edge Wealth Management; our clients enjoyed the Annual Client Appreciation and Educational Seminar on Market Conditions in August. For 2013, we will be having ongoing Educational Workshops some topics include:

  • Money Matters – Current Market Environment and impact on your Portfolio
  • Social Security – When to Apply and Related Topics

We are proud of our clients who have been engaged with us and took actions in preparation for the aftermath of the Fiscal Cliff.
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2013 Tax Planning


It’s Year-End Tax Planning Time

As the end of the year approaches, we know you are busy with holidays, family, and travel, but it is also a good time to do some last minute tax planning. As a courtesy, we want to provide you with a few eleventh-hour tax tips you may find useful. Although tax planning is rarely fun, these strategies could help you keep more of your hard earned money.
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