Introducing The Milwaukee Company’s Global Risk Assessment

International investments can create important diversification benefits that enhance returns and lower volatility over the long term. Investing overseas introduces political, fiscal, and market risks not associated with domestic investments. These risks should be identified and managed – but not eschewed. The Milwaukee Company’s Global Risk Assessment is a monthly post that provides readers with our current assessment of these risks.      “I love my country far too much to be a nationalist.” – Unknown Introduction I have previously written about the inherent value of global diversification and how exposure to international stocks can improve portfolio performance over the…

The Market Week in Review

The U.S. stock market finished the week lower on the shortened Martin Luther King Jr. week as fears of the coronavirus sent stocks lower.  Interest rates also moved lower as the 10-year treasury yield dropped from 1.84% last week to 1.68% today.  Meanwhile the price of gold rose 0.83% to $1,570 an ounce as investors fled to the haven metal.  The price of crude oil dropped 7.5% to $54.37 a barrel amid fears of falling demand and oversupply of the finite resource. This Week’s Economic Highlights Existing home sales rose by a larger-than-expected 3.5% in December. Demand for homes has…

The Market Week In Review

The U.S. stock market ended the week higher amid the signing of a ‘Phase 1’ trade deal between the U.S. and China and better than expected big bank earnings.  Interest rates were, however, little changed as the 10-year treasury yield rose from 1.83% to 1.84%.  The price of gold was also little changed as the safe haven metal dropped 0.24% to $1,557 an ounce.  The price of crude oil only fell 0.37% to $58.81 a barrel as trade optimism was offset by sluggish economic growth in China (the world’s largest oil importer). This Week’s Economic Highlights The Consumer Price Index…

The Newly Enacted SECURE Act is a Game-Changer

The passage of the SECURE Act has resulted in major changes to the tax rules governing contributions to, and required withdrawals from, qualified retirement plans and IRA accounts. In many cases, the Act makes existing estate planning for retirement benefits obsolete. While most of the changes will accelerate taxes on retirement assets, there are also some taxpayer-friendly changes as well. “Nothing lasts forever but the certainty of change.” — Bruce Dickinson Prior to January 1 of this year, IRA, 401(k), profit sharing and/or 403(b) accounts (collectively referred to here as “qualified retirement accounts” or QRA’s) allowed for account benefits to…

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