4th Quarter 2019


Why Two, Kaye?...

Not only did the most recent New Year’s Eve usher in the passing of 2019, but it also marked the end of a decade, the first score of the 21st century, and the twentieth anniversary of the millennium – which gave us the angst-ridden build up to the end of 1999, eponymously referred to as Y2K. One can recall the dire warnings surrounding the concern about how computer script might misinterpret the step from 1999 to 2000 as being instead to 1900 (given the coding convention of just noting the last two numbers in a given year), and thereby impacting everything from electrical power grids, to airline and other transportation systems, along with the more mundane calculation of bank interest, and rates, on loans and savings.

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Domestic and Global Market Recap...  FRANCIS J. DAVIES, III

The financial markets ended 2019 on a high note. It was a great year to be invested as stocks charged upwards and fixed income also provided substantial total returns. Markets were reassured as geopolitical risks faded (before the current Mid-East actions), optimism about the economy rose following potential trade developments and, most importantly, central banks continued to support economic activity. For context, 2019 saw the largest amount of central bank easing since 2008, a time of global economic catastrophe.

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Richard “Chip” Harlow

After a rather flat 3rd quarter, the 4th quarter resumed the march higher, with positive trade news helping. The S&P500 rose 9.1% during the most recent quarter and once again gave us a Santa Claus rally. On the year, the S&P 500 rose 31.5% with the Technology sector leading the way, up a whopping 50.3%. All sectors finished the year in positive territory with Energy picking up the rear at 11.8%

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2020 Regulatory Limits for Retirement Plans…  STEPHEN L. EDDY

In October 2019 the IRS announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for retirement plans in 2020. Most limits for 2020 will change because the increase in the cost-of-living index hit the statutory thresholds that would trigger Cost-Of-Living-Adjustments (COLA). These adjustments, if any, are typically in $500 increments for contribution limits and $5,000 increments for compensation limits. Below is a chart of some of the more important plan limitations.

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OPA Out & About:

The start of a new year is when a variety of non-profit organizations further their annual fundraising efforts so they can continue to enhance the fabric of our community. Although by no means complete, the events below are but a sampling of the organizations that our firm, employees, colleagues and clients are involved with, should you want to consider supporting their missions.

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