Spring 2023 begins on March 20th, so why am I still seeing snow on the ground? It’s been an interesting, if not frustrating, winter so I am hopeful the next few months are better. After an up January, volatility returned to the markets in February and March. According to YCharts, the S&P1 500 gained 6.18% in January, dropped 2.61% in February, and (as of March 15th) is down another 1.97%, putting the index up 1.37% YTD. The past week introduced a new concern, the Silicon Valley Bank failure. Suddenly thoughts of 2008-2009 came roaring back but this time things were different. Conditions in the banking industry are much stronger than they were back then and, it appears, this will be an isolated incident. However, concerns over how it will affect the markets and the economy are causing The Fed to re-think their approach to interest rates and fighting inflation. A month ago, CME Group’s Fed Watch Tool overwhelmingly showed the Fed bumping rates by 0.50% in the upcoming meeting. Today, those odds are fairly evenly split between a 0.25% hike or none at all2. The markets have been volatile this week digesting all this. I guess March came in like a lion. Perhaps it will go out like a lamb.
I hate to bring this up, but Tax Day is also right around the corner. April 15th falls on a Saturday this year so traditionally returns would be due the following Monday. But, D.C. celebrates Emancipation Day on the 17 so returns have been pushed to the 18th. The good news? Not only do you have extra couple of days to get your returns in but you also get the additional time to make IRA and HSA contributions. Hopefully you won’t be scrambling last minute and you’ve already met with your tax professional. Also, there are some changes coming this year and next that may affect your retirement and financial plans. The age to start Required Minimum Distributions from your IRA moved to 73. Contribution limits to 401ks have increased, and some changes to non-deductible 401k contributions for higher wage earners go into effect.
All these changes point to reviewing your plans to how they may be affected and if any changes should be considered. Don’t have a plan? Visit https://go.oncehub.com/ChuckVercellone to schedule a time to talk.
1 The S&P 500 is generally considered to be representative of the domestic large cap stock market. It is not possible to directly invest in an index.