Don’t Pull the Plug on US Stocks

Investors are wondering whether the bull run in US equities is over. With the economy gathering steam and interest rates likely to head higher, we think stocks are still the best game in town—and value stocks neglected in the recent rally look even better.

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European Equities: In the Market with an Airbag

Confidence returned to European markets in 2013 after several turbulent years. As the continent continues to resolve its problems, we believe that European stocks offer compelling long-term return potential. But since short-term uncertainties remain, investors should consider balancing a strategic position with tactical short-term defense mechanisms.

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Don’t Forget the Beginning-of-Year Gifting Season

Tara Thompson Popernik (pictured) and Brian Wodar Many people see December 31 as the deadline for tax-advantaged giving each year. While that’s generally true for charitable donations, it may make sense to give one type of gift as early in the year as possible—the annual exclusion gift.

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Welcome, Taper

The Federal Open Market Committee’s statement that it will begin to taper its bond purchases in January is a good sign that the US economy continues to heal, in our view.

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Lessons Learned in 2013

In 2013, interest rates rose, bonds fell, equities soared, and US income-tax rates climbed higher. Before starting to place bets for 2014, investors would be wise to think about some important lessons from 2013.

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Detroit and Illinois Work Toward Resolving Their Issues

Recent negative news about Detroit’s bankruptcy and Illinois’s pension overhaul has raised fears about the poor financial health of many cities and states. And it’s shaken individual investors’ confidence in municipal bonds. Just how worried should investors be? Not very, in our opinion, as bond defaults remain very rare. In fact, we view recent events [...]

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Patterns of US Economic Recovery Suggest Faster Growth Ahead

Recoveries from past financially driven recessions have tended to be slow, and so far the current US recovery is following that pattern. But abundant liquidity and fading headwinds suggest to us that growth is likely to accelerate.

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The Market Hits All-Time High. So What?

Dianne F. Lob (pictured) and Ding Liu With the US stock market repeatedly reaching all-time highs in recent weeks, many investors are becoming leery of investing in stocks. Focusing on the market’s level is a mistake, in our view. It’s market valuation, not level, that matters. 

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Doing Well by Doing Good

Tara Thompson Popernik (pictured) and Paul Robertson Charitable giving remains one of the few ways that US taxpayers can avoid taxes outright. If you’re philanthropically inclined, giving can be a win-win that benefits you and society at the same time.  

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Taming the New Medicare Surtax

The wealthy will likely see higher 2013 income taxes. One of the newest additions to the tax bill is the 3.8% Medicare surtax. By planning ahead, you may be able to reduce the tax bite—or possibly avoid being bitten altogether.

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