Articles

Kodak slide of beach held up into the light of a sunset

“Optimism is a Moral Duty”

This newsletter is going to come across a bit disjointed. There are a couple different topics I wanted to touch on, so I thought I’d do a bit on each topic running through my head in quick fashion.

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Should Investors Worry About the U.S. Presidential Election?

Investing in an Election Year: Should Investors Worry About the U.S. Presidential Election?

Should Investors Worry About the U.S. Presidential Election? Happy New Year, everyone! I know we’re already nearly a month into 2024, but this is my first article to our clients in the new year and I just took down my Christmas tree embarrassingly late in January, so it still feels appropriate. At the beginning of every year, the financial media is awash in market forecasts. It should come as no surprise that I am not one for market predictions, but it is valuable to consider the developments so far in 2024, understand the market environment we find ourselves in today, and think about the challenges and opportunities the coming year may have in store. One topic I expect to come up in conversation this year is the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Throughout my career, every presidential election cycle has brought fresh anxiety for investors and questions about what a given election outcome might mean for the markets. So, we’ll consider that question today and hopefully avoid some apprehension later.

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How to Plan for the 2025 Sunset of the Federal Estate Tax Exemption 

As of January 1, 2026, the current lifetime estate and gift tax exemptions will sunset and revert to 2017 amounts (adjusted for inflation), resulting in exemptions that will be half of what they are now. Families that face estate tax liability in 2026, roughly speaking if your assets are at, above, or will grow to $5 million at the time of death, could potentially save a significant amount by making strategic changes to their estate and financial plans now.

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Discover Our Team’s Must-Reads from 2023

As the year draws to a close, our team at Howe & Rusling has gathered to share the books that have resonated most with us in 2023. From heartwarming novels to insightful non-fiction that sparks introspection, these recommendations reflect the diverse tastes and passions of our team members. Whether you’re in for a wild adventure, a good laugh, or a deep dive into the human experience, we’ve got a book for you. So, grab a cozy blanket, brew a cup of something delightful, and get ready to update your reading list!

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Snowy mountains at dusk

Your Year-End Financial Checklist: Contributions, Tax Planning and more  

I know that we’re all in the midst of planning for the holidays. As we create our to-do list for preparing for family gatherings, gift giving, and other festivities, we at Howe & Rusling also think it’s important to create a financial check list before we ring in the new year. We would like to highlight seven points that would be beneficial to review.

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Collage with financial news and families enjoying the holidays

The Important Things: tuning out the financial noise to focus on what really matters

As the end of the year rapidly approaches and we all spend time with our friends, family, and loved ones, it feels as though time is accelerating and 2023 will be in the past before we know it. Reflecting on the topics of blog articles this year, I wrote about legislation a few times including changes to Roth rules, debt ceiling battles, and banking regulation interventions. Macroeconomic conditions, geopolitical tensions, and market reactions to both were also common topics. Perhaps the most common subject was the Federal Reserve and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), and it was so frequent that we need not count. There was another Federal Reserve meeting this week and, while the Summary of Economic Projections was a point of some interest for the markets, reflecting on such a strange year for economics and the markets got me thinking of the bigger picture. Perhaps it’s the season, but it feels like a good time to take a step back and reflect not on the noise of the financial press and the minutiae of the financial markets, but on the reasons we all bother to get up in the morning, go to work, do the hard things, and invest for the future.

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citrus fruits

Your Guide to HSA Year-End Contributions

With the year swiftly coming to a close it’s time for taxpayers to think about those year-end financial housekeeping items.  While there are many topics to consider such as year-end tax deadlines, portfolio allocation, and the cost of the holidays, what we’re thinking about today is Health Savings Accounts or “HSAs.” Today we’ll review HSA contribution limits and deadlines, the value of HSAs as a tax planning and retirement planning tool, and investing your HSA balance.

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Golf green with golf ball next to hole

Tiger Woods’ Putting Precision: Lessons in Consistency

Tiger Woods’ journey to becoming a golf maestro carries an additional layer of significance in the context of his early golf career. Contrary to the conventional pursuit of mastering the longest drive off the tee, Tiger consciously chose to prioritize an aspect of the game often deemed less glamorous – putting.

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Behavior Gap

What is the Behavior Gap?

Any time the market moves several percentage points in a week, let alone a day, it can make an investor wonder if they need to be doing something, anything, in response. I regularly get questions from clients around the time of big moves in the markets in either direction. Should the strategy change? Am I missing out? Could I be better positioned? One example of such a move was Tuesday of this week when CPI data was released and came in slightly better than expectations. The S&P 500 index was up 1.91% at the close while the Russell 2000 index, a widely followed small-cap U.S. stock index, ended the day up 5.49% and U.S. Treasury yields dropped sharply. Today we’ll examine what might explain that big day in the markets, why investors might feel a need to act, and whether taking some action makes sense.

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Holiday gifts wrapped in brown paper under Christmas tree

Three Financial Tips for Holiday Gifting

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is the perfect time to start planning your family gatherings, shopping list, and most importantly your budget. Having a plan and sticking to a budget can help you to avoid buyers remorse as you enter the new year and look back at how quickly your holiday expenses have added up.

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