Mountain Money Blog

Time Flies When You’re Paying Less in Taxes – Trump Tax Cuts to Sunset in 2025

By Steven Smith | June 17, 2024

During Donald Trump’s first year in office, Congress passed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). It was the broadest tax package in decades. Due to an obscure Senate rule most comprehensive changes to the tax code expire – or “Sunset” – after ten years. Astonishingly, the TCJA is due to expire on […]

1st Quarter Client Note – Nvidia, Bitcoin and the Loss of Another Giant

By Steven Smith | April 17, 2024

For the most part, 2024’s first quarter markets performed exceptionally well. The S&P 500 (Total Return) Index gained 10.56% — on the heels of 2023’s stellar gain of 26.29% The market continues to be led by high tech growth stocks; contributing further to concentration and overweight in highly valued companies. But not by as wide […]

4th Quarter Client Note – Who Woulda Thunk It?

By Steven Smith | January 18, 2024

2023 began on the heels of one of the worst years both stock and bond markets have seen. Here is a bleak reminder: Beginning in March of 2022, to combat rising inflation, the Fed hiked interest rates seven times. By October of this year the 10-year Treasury yield had topped 5% for the first time […]

3rd Quarter Client Note – Stay Away from the Rocket Science

By Steven Smith | October 19, 2023

The first half stock market rally stalled in the 3rd quarter. The S&P 500 (Total Return) Index fell 3.27%, reducing its YTD return to 13.07%. Overall, value stocks continue to underperform. But lost less (1.91%) than growth stocks in the quarter. Overseas, developed market stocks lost 3.8%, while emerging markets fell 1.54% Commodities gained 4.71% […]

2nd Quarter Client Note – The Bull is Back

By Steven Smith | July 13, 2023

Led by a handful of big technology stocks (and defying most expectations), the S&P 500 (Total Return) Index gained 8.74% in the quarter and is up 16.89% YTD. These gains have led socks into “bull market” territory – up 20% from its previous low reached on October 14, 2022. Large Growth is up a whopping […]

1st Quarter Client Note — Bank Runs Are Back

By Right Path Investments | April 14, 2023

The markets shook off news of dramatic bank runs and failed banks being taken over by the FDIC and sold off in piece parts. Led by a big rebound in technology stocks, the S& P 500 (Total Return) Index gained 7.57% in the quarter. Large cap growth technology stocks were up 14.3% with large cap […]

Will Artificial Intelligence replace your financial planner?

By Steven Smith | February 9, 2023

Artificial Intelligence applications — and especially chatbots, which can seemingly research and write like us humans, are becoming increasingly prevalent. Chatbots are by no means perfect in the output they produce. And they are somewhat controversial, particularly in academia, as students begin to use them to assist with their homework. The following answer to the […]

4th Quarter Client Note – Out with the Old. In with Secure Act 2.0

By Steven Smith | January 19, 2023

Well, that was fun. It wasn’t quite the worst ever year for stocks. Thank goodness for that. But bonds had one of (if not) their worst years ever. Consequently, the role that bonds usually play in a portfolio – buffering losses in the occasional bad years for stocks – didn’t happen – and even balanced […]

ESG Investing Back in the Arena, Political Hot Potato Gets Tossed Again

By Steven Smith | December 28, 2022

The political football has been tossed back into the hands of workplace retirement investors who want to take their values into account in managing their portfolios. At the end of 2020, the US Department of Labor, responsible under ERISA for regulating 401Ks, changed the rules for sustainable investing, moving the goal posts for fiduciaries by […]

3rd Quarter Client Note – A Roller Coaster Ride

By Steven Smith | October 13, 2022

Talk about a yo-yo. We reached bear market (top-to-bottom drawdown of 20% or greater) status twice this year. The S & P 500 (total return) index was down 22% on June 13, 2022. Then recovered to be down only 9% on August 16. But ended the third quarter down 24% for the year. Since I […]

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