Our Thoughts

FJY News to Know #19

Trade Talks With China Are Strained, But GDP is 3.2% in Q1 

The S&P 500 has fallen from its recent record high to a current position and had the worst decline yesterday since January 3rd. This is mainly due to the fact that the U.S. and China are still trying to hash out a trade deal.  Energy shares including oil have dropped, with the latter because of investor confidence in producing nations such as the U.S., Russia, and Saudi Arabia.  Treasury bonds rose in reaction to the fact that the Fed hasn’t raised the interest rate. All amid steady GDP growth in the recent quarter.

U.S. Productivity is on the Upswing — But is it Here to Stay?

  • Productivity is up significantly, rising in the first quarter at the fastest 12-month pace in 12 years, excluding the recession-induced spike in 2009-2010.
  • Since Trump’s election and the ensuing tax cuts, businesses have been able to invest more — helping productivity.
  • Many experts have chimed in that this is only a temporary shot in the arm.
  • However, even a small increase in GDP rate could be a big gain for the economy — and help the US grow faster.

Are You Aware of the Tax Rates of Your Retirement Accounts?

It’s easy to group all retirement accounts because of their shared purpose — but one shouldn’t be automated when regarding their tax implications.  The first retirement accounts that could be candidates for income should ideally be the taxable ones.  Municipal bonds should be a top priority, followed by stock dividends — which are taxed at a 20% rate.  The Roth IRA is the last retirement account you should tap — due to its tax-free status.  Their assets can even be withdrawn by heirs tax-free also.

Chase Puts Foot in Mouth With Recent Tweet… 

JP Morgan-Chase bank deleted a recent tweet from its Twitter account after a subsequent backlash on social media, as well as from many political leaders.  The tweet dramatized a brief encounter between a customer and his/her own bank account after the customer asked why the account was so low.  The reply effectively shamed the customer for being ‘poor’.  Some politicians used the tweet to attack CEO Jamie Dimon, whose salary last year — $31M — was the most of any bank CEO in the country.