Wealth and Wisdom: Week of April 1, 2024

The first quarter of 2024 is officially in the books, so let’s take a quick look at where things stand:

  • U.S. equity markets are showing strong gains year-to-date, nearly across the board. For the most part, domestic stocks continue to outpace their global counterparts. By most conventional measures, stocks are beginning to look expensive.
  • Bonds have been a losing investment thus far in 2024, but fixed-income investors are still holding out hope that the Fed will cut interest rates several times before the end of the year, which would clearly be a positive.
  • The U.S. economy continues on a solid growth path. The labor market is still cranking out new jobs, and few concrete signs remain that a recession looms in 2024. Inflation is well above the Fed’s 2% target.
  • Market volatility is near its lowest levels since before the pandemic, but most strategists are expecting a significant increase in turbulence as the November election approaches.
  • The St. Louis Cardinals are heading into yet another season with some serious questions about the pitching staff.

Using your tax refund to get ahead

You’ve loaned your money to the IRS interest-free for a year. Now that you’re getting it back, don’t blow the chance to improve your financial life. (Reading time: 5 minutes)

Those annoying surtaxes

Earning a high income can trigger additional taxes and higher Medicare premiums. Here’s how you might soften the blow. (Reading time: 2 minutes)

Some investments are ‘tax machines’

Some investment vehicles – certain types of mutual funds, for instance – can drive up your tax bill unnecessarily. (Reading time: 6 minutes)

Your rights as a taxpayer

The IRS says everyone who files a tax return is entitled to these 10 fundamental rights. (Reading time: 3 minutes)

No way to run a business

Chrysler’s parent company recently scheduled a mandatory work-from-home day for 400 employees. Then, in a virtual meeting – it fired them all. (Reading time: 3 minutes)

In search of financial stability

Here are three simple things you can do to lower your stress level – and put some distance between you and your next financial setback. (Reading time: 3 minutes)

Avoiding 10 big retirement mistakes

These are the mistakes financial professionals see most often among their retired clients. (Reading time: 2 minutes)

Deciding when to claim Social Security

Without knowing the future, it’s impossible to make the perfect decision – but these 7 factors will at least put the odds more in your favor. (Reading time: 3 minutes)

Using your HSA in retirement

Health savings accounts are a powerful planning tool in retirement. This comprehensive guide should tell you much of what you need to know. (Reading time: 10 minutes)

Having fun shouldn’t cost a fortune

Here’s a list of 10 ideas that are fun – and free. (Reading time: 5 minutes)

Words to the Wise

“One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.”

– Dale Carnegie

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