Klingman & Associates, LLC

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Klingman Insights

   Reflecting on the Current Market Environments

March 14, 2017

Dear Valued Client:

Sitting in my office in the middle of a blizzard seems like a good time to reflect on some important recent anniversaries, as well as the current state of the equity markets and the global economy. It was eight years ago last week (March 9, 2009) that the S&P 500 index reached its bottom during the Great Recession. Since those darkest of days the index has returned 290% (including dividends). I remember well waking up at 3:30am day after day that month and coming to the office to follow markets and communicate with clients. And it was just over one year ago today on February 11, 2016 that stocks started the year by declining 11%, appearing to foreshadow a global recession. Over the past 13 months, stocks, as measured by the S&P 500 index, have returned 33%. If there is anything that we have learned as long-term investors it is that it is impossible to successfully predict market tops or bottoms, despite the efforts of many of the “talking heads” featured in the press (of which I am often one).

The only clear lesson is that patience and discipline are the keys to long term success. At market bottoms it is natural to feel the fear and anxiety and the desire to “just get out”. This is when sticking to our strategic asset allocation and long-term financial plan is most critical. On the other hand, at market tops, optimism and euphoria are widespread and almost all news is viewed as good. At these times we also need to remain disciplined and consistent with our long-term plans and not overreach for returns.

Although we continue to be positive on global equities, particularly compared to the alternatives in fixed income and cash, it is important to recognize that valuations are relatively rich and we have experienced well below historic volatility over the past year. Corrections in the equity markets, as reflected by a decline of 10% or more, and bear markets, reflected as a decline of 20% or more, are common and are part of the economic concept of the equity risk premium: historically investors in equities are rewarded with higher long-term returns for tolerating increased volatility. It has been 13 months since we’ve had a correction and over 8 years since we’ve had a bear market (although we had a 19% decline in 2011). While we are not saying that such events are imminent, it is important to understand that they are part of the investing process. We often refer to this as a “lifeboat drill”: During periods of good markets and calm seas it’s important to remember how we should react when volatility returns and the seas get rough.

Now back to the blizzard …

Gerry

   Watch Gerry Klingman's discussion with Liz Claman of Fox Business News about the outlook for 2017
   Important Year-End Financial and Tax Planning Opportunities

November 30, 2016

Dear Valued Client:

We hope that you and yours had a terrific Thanksgiving holiday. Every year, we are at amazed at how quickly the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's seems to fly by.

In the days ahead, we encourage each of you to consider some important financial and tax planning items, including:

  • Consider your likely taxable income and expenses for this year and next year to determine whether it makes sense to accelerate the realization of income or deductions before December 31. On the heels of the Presidential election, much has been written about potential changes to the tax code. For certain individuals with sizeable incomes, it may make sense to significantly increase tax deductible items into 2016. Strategies to do so include contributing appreciated securities to donor advised funds to "pre-fund" future years' charitable contributions.
  • If you intend take advantage of the $14,000 annual gift-tax exclusion, please make sure that your gifts for 2016 are made prior to the end of the year.
  • If you are eligible to contribute to 401(k) or similar retirement plans, determine whether you have contributed the maximum allowable (or affordable) amount for 2016 ($18,000 for those under 50 years old and $24,000 for those older than 50).
  • For those of you who must take required minimum distributions, we either have spoken with you or will be reaching out to you to ensure this is taken care of.

As always, don't hesitate to contact me, Craig or Tom with any questions about your particular situation. In the meantime, wishing you a very happy holiday season and a healthy New Year!

Gerry

Klingman News

These materials are being provided for information purposes only and are not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Klingman & Associates, LLC and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing materials are accurate or complete. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss regardless of strategy selected. Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Diversification and asset allocation do not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your individual advisor about your individual situation. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

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