Author Archives: bradmeiser

Traditional versus Roth: Which Retirement Account Maximizes Portfolio Value

A common question among investors is, “Should I contribute money to a Traditional or Roth retirement account?” If the investor isn’t constrained by contribution or tax-deductibility limits, the correct answer is strictly determined by which marginal income tax bracket they’re in now and which tax bracket they expect to be in when making future withdrawals… Read More »

October 2015 Economic Dashboard

October 2015 Dashboard US stocks staged their strongest monthly rally in four years in October, as corporate earnings have mostly surprised on the upside and, later in the month, the Fed raised the prospect of increasing short-term interest rates in December. We have been jilted at the altar of late by the Fed (see: September… Read More »

September 2015 Economic Dashboard

September 2015 Economic Dashboard In an effort to help spur spending and economic growth, The Federal Reserve has intentionally held short term interest rates near 0% dating back to the financial crisis in 2008. Many Fed watchers expected a small increase in the rate at its September 17 meeting, but the Fed decided otherwise. They… Read More »

August 2015 Economic Dashboard

August 2015 Economic Dashboard We hope your summer is going well, even as the volatile market since late July has put a damper on the season. Stocks suffered their worst month in August in over five years over worries about China’s growth and ongoing debates about the Federal Reserve’s first interest rate hike since 2006…. Read More »

July 2015 Economic Dashboard

July 2015 Economic Dashboard So, will the Federal Reserve raise short-term interest rates in September or wait until closer to the end of the year? Given the uneven economic data, collapse in commodity prices (often a sign of weaker economic growth ahead) and slowdown in China, will the Fed pull the trigger sooner or later?… Read More »

June 2015 Economic Dashboard

Special Edition Economic Dashboard: Fourth of July Index This year marks the fifth installment of our Fourth of July Index. Total cost this year came down by $1.52 due to gasoline being $0.66 per gallon cheaper. However, excluding the tank of gas, the total cost of food and supplies was $8.38 higher, an 8.8% increase…. Read More »

May 2015 Economic Dashboard

For the second time in two years, and the third time since the end of the Great Recession, first quarter inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) contracted. The Commerce Department reported in April that first quarter GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.2%, but with its first revision in May, it now reports… Read More »

April 2015 Economic Dashboard

“Sell in May and go away” is one of Wall Street’s oldest clichés. The basis of this statement is that the market tends to go in a sideways pattern or even decline before resuming its upward path sometime in October. In fact, August and September have the poorest record for performance of any month in… Read More »

March 2015 Economic Dashboard

The first quarter was volatile compared to the placid markets we experienced from 2012-2014. The main cause of concern for investors is the increasing likelihood the Federal Reserve will end its financial crisis policy of zero short term interest rates. The Board of Governors of the Fed meets ten times each year. Recent meetings have… Read More »

February 2015 Economic Dashboard

The stock market’s performance has started the New Year in much of the same manner as it did in 2014, with a large decline in January, followed by a sharp rally in February. Among the culprits for the year’s decline was the election of a new government in Greece that pledged to undo the harsh… Read More »

January 2015 Economic Dashboard

Investors these past two Januarys may disagree with poet T.S. Eliot, who wrote that “April is the cruelest month…” Similar to the poor start in 2014, this past month saw the major indexes fall between 2% and nearly 4%. Defying the old Wall Street axiom that “as January goes, so goes the rest of the… Read More »

December 2014 Economic Dashboard

At this time last year we presented data about the performance of the stock market in the year following a substantial surge in stock prices the previous year. 2013 was the 6th best year for stocks since 1952, with the S&P 500 gaining 29.6% that year. Our research showed that in the years following an… Read More »