Summary of this Week’s Update:
- 2014 Income Tax information is now available online in the Liberty System. Logon now to download your tax information and save time and money when filing your tax return.
- Stocks, interest rates end last week higher, oil drops.
- If looking to refinance or secure a new mortgage, be sure to shop around for the best rate and lowest costs.
- Greece in the news again, gets a 4 month extension on bailout provisions.
- We see stocks higher to sideways for the next few months; pleased with all risk level returns so far in 2015.
READ ON FOR MORE DETAILS…………………………………………………
2014 Income Tax Information:
Just a reminder:Your 2014 1099-B information was mailed last week and you should have received your “hard copy” at this point. REMEMBER: This form ONLY applies to taxable accounts, not retirement accounts such as IRA’s. IRA accounts will only have tax reporting via form 1099-R IF distributions were taken during the year from the account. This information is also available online through the Liberty system under “Documents”. The Trust Company of America released this information regarding the download of the data by using the “CSV” (Excel) file that is also available online:
“When account owners use the TurboTax software for their tax filing, they will be able to select Trust Company of America from a list of financial institutions from which tax data is imported. The tax payer’s current Liberty login and password will be used as authentication of their identity and ability to import account tax data.
Additionally, Intuit has informed us that the tax data import features that let account owners electronically download tax forms from their financial institutions into TurboTax are coming to Intuit professional tax preparation solutions for accountants. The suite of solutions that will add this integration include Intuit Lacerte, Intuit ProSeries, and Intuit Tax Online.
If account owners need assistance importing data from TCA into TurboTax, they are asked to contact Intuit through their support system.
Note: Selecting Trust Company of America from a list of financial institutions is available on all versions of TurboTax except their free version which is available on their website.”
We encourage you to take advantage of the “CSV” file as it can save you and your tax preparer both time and money. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to call us at any time.
Last week the major U.S. stock indices ended the week higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up .67%, pushing the year-to-date gain to 1.78%. The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index rose .63% last week, making the overall gain so far in 2015 2.50%. (MarketWatch)
Oil prices weakened again, with the price of West Texas Intermediate Crude falling to $49.91 per barrel, $2.74 lower than the previous week. Interest rates rose last week with the yield on the 10 Year U.S. Treasury rising .11 to end Friday at 2.13%. (U.S. Treasury, CNBC) Mortgage rates ranged from 3.66-4.17% for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, and 2.94-3.44% for a 15 year fixed rate mortgage. (Bankrate.com)
Greece in the News Again:
Greece has been on and off the front pages since the summer of 2010, when it first required a bailout in order to maintain solvency. It’s been a problem that has been lingering ever since, resurfacing at the end of January when parliamentary elections brought the far-leftist Syriza party to power. Its platform – end austerity and push for debt forgiveness from its European creditors.
With its latest bailout agreement set to expire at month’s end, Greece agreed to a four-month extension last Friday, temporarily eliminating fears that it would be forced out of the 19-nation bloc that shares the euro as its common currency (Wall Street Journal, European Council). The four-month agreement, which has to be approved by the Greek Parliament, calls for reforms that must be presented on Monday and must pass muster with the so-called troika – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
This takes Greece to the end of June, when it owes 7 billion euros to the European Central Bank. So we’ll probably be revisiting this issue again (Wall Street Journal, CNBC).
Given recent moves in the major stock indices, global events, interest rates, and commodity prices, we look for the trend for stocks, at least over the next few months, to be generally higher or sideways. Based on longer term valuations, stocks are still overvalued, but given current indicators we follow, we don’t see a major or extended downturn in stocks very likely in the near term. We have made some adjustments in overall portfolio allocations since the end of 2014, and continue to focus on individual company issues as the major part of our current equity holdings. We are pleased with the net performance at this time for all risk levels for client portfolios so far in 2015. We will continue to keep you advised.
We hope you all have a great week and don’t’ hesitate to call or email if we can ever be of further service in any way.
Your TEAM at F.I.G. Financial Advisory Services, Inc.
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1 The Dow Jones Industrials Average is an unmanaged index of 30 major companies which cannot be invested into directly. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
3 The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged index of 500 larger companies which cannot be invested into directly. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
5 New York Mercantile Exchange front-month contract; Prices can and do vary; past performance does not guarantee future results.