2017 Highlights include:
- Politics – Continued to produce major headlines.
- Tax Reform – Approved at the 11th hour, and provided last-minute tax planning for accountants everywhere.
- Double-digit market returns –In the face of significant uncertainty, double-digit returns in the global equity markets was not something that anyone was predicting. This is why we pick a strategic asset allocation for your long-term money and stay the course; we never know what the market has in store for us in the short-term!
- Low volatility – 2017 was one of the top five lowest volatility markets in history. We expect market moving shocks to increase in frequency.
- International stocks – While they did very well in 2017, they are still valued less than US stocks on their price to earnings ratios.
- Your tax brackets have changed.
Married Filing Joint
Up to $9,525
Up to $19,050
$9,526 - $38,700
$19,051 - $77,400
$38,701 - $82,500
$77,401 - $165,000
$82,501 - $157,500
$165,001 - $315,000
$157,501 - $200,000
$315,001 - $400,000
$200,001 - $500,000
$400,001 - $600,000
- 401k contributions limits have changed, be sure to update your contributions if applicable!
- Under age 50 - $18,500
- Over age 50 - $24,500
- Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits have changed.
- Single - $3,450
- Married $6,900
- Those age 55 or greater can contribute an additional $1,000 as a “catch up”
- Significantly increased Federal Estate Tax exemptions on assets for Estate Planning purposes.
- The standard tax deduction has increased to $24,000 for a married couple and Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemptions have been significantly expanded.
While many signs point to a continued run in the equity markets, we would like you to brace for return of volatility. Since 1980, we have seen the market retreat an average of about 14% at some point each calendar year. That doesn’t mean it ends down 14%, as you can see in the chart below, the market is still positive in more than three out of every four years!
Please give us a call if you have any questions about the markets, your accounts or if you would like to talk about your specific situation.
Have a great 2018!
Your ISC team.