Wealth and Wisdom: Week of April 8, 2024

Our firm has released its most recent Investment Strategy Quarterly, and as usual there are several interesting observations:

  • While the Fed has stopped pumping the brakes on the economy, the federal government still has the pedal to the metal by spending at record levels. Downside: inflation remains higher than any likes. Upside: we no longer anticipate a recession in 2024.
  • Americans are still complaining about higher prices at the grocery store, but the prices of four key staple crops – corn, wheat, rice, and sugarcane – are actually falling. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index began this year 10% lower than a year earlier.
  • Investors are nervous about high stock prices (see third item below), exuberance over artificial intelligence (AI) companies, and persistent inflation. Beneath the surface, however, our strategists see a healthier and broadening equity market.

This report – even if you don’t get past the two-page summary letter – should be well worth your time.

Should we be working longer?

America’s idea of normal retirement age hasn’t changed since the Ottoman Empire – and the current retirement crisis requires us to rethink it. (Reading time: 5 minutes)

When to consider moving when you retire

Seven signs that you’d be better off with a change of scenery when you stop working. (Reading time: 4 minutes)

Investing in nosebleed territory

Even with equity markets at all-time highs, the odds remain on your side – especially if you’re investing for long-term goals. (Reading time: 3 minutes)

CNBC might be losing you money

I’ve often told clients they’d be better off watching the History Channel. (Reading time: 11 minutes)

Those pesky capital gains

Selling investments at a profit can be rewarding – until tax time. Here are some ideas that might help soften the blow. (Reading time: 4 minutes)

Don’t let a surprise tax bill sink you

What you should consider when the taxes you owe are higher than expected – and what not to do if you can avoid it. (Reading time: 3 minutes)

Baby steps on the path to riches

Helping your teenager open and fund a Roth IRA could teach some life-changing lessons. (Reading time: 3 minutes)

Finding free money

It’s never been easier to search for money that belongs to you. Here are 11 ideas to get you started. (Reading time: 5 minutes)

Back in the right direction

After a two-year decline during the pandemic, U.S. life expectancy has started climbing again. (Reading time: 2 minutes)

More good news

Given the evidence he’s seeing, this millennial can’t understand why his generation is so pessimistic about the future of America. (Reading time: 6 minutes)

Words to the Wise

“Pessimists sound smart. Optimists make money.”

– Nat Friedman

Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

Links are being provided for informational purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members.

The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Brown Family Wealth Advisors and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.

The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market.

Investors should consider, before investing, whether the investor’s or the designated beneficiary’s home state offers any tax or other benefits that are only available for investment in such state’s 529 savings plan. Such benefits include financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors. There is also a risk that these plans may lose money or not perform well enough to cover education costs as anticipated. Most states offer their own 529 programs, which may provide advantages and benefits exclusively for their residents. The tax implications can vary significantly from state to state.

Unless certain criteria are met, Roth IRA owners must be 59 ½ or older and have held the IRA for five years before tax-free withdrawals are permitted. Additionally, each converted amount may be subject to its own five-year holding period. Converting a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA has tax implications. Investors should consult a tax advisor before deciding to do a conversion.

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Brown Family Wealth Advisors is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.

These policies have exclusions and/or limitations. Guarantees are based on claims paying ability of the issuing company. Long Term Care Insurance or Asset Based Long Term Care Insurance Products may not be suitable for all investors. Surrender charges may apply for early withdrawals and, if made prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to any gains being taxed as ordinary income. The cost and availability of Long Term Care insurance depend on factors such as age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Please consult with a licensed financial professional when considering your insurance options.

Dividends are not guaranteed and must be authorized by the company’s board of directors.