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February 2019 Market Update & Outlook image

Monthly Recap February we witnessed the same recurring themes and headlines in the US and abroad. The equity markets posted solid gains as the markets seem to believe that the Fed has got it's back once again. To recap, here are just some of the noteworthy events and stories from February: Amazon pulls out of NYC due to political backlashThe U.S.’s financial burden is growing despite a strong economy. Total public debt climbed to more than $22 trillion as of Feb. 11, according to a Treasury Department report. The US avoided another government shutdown, however, the President then declared national emergency to use funds to build the great wallBernie Sanders announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2020Trump met ...

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Cut Capital Gains Liability by Investing in Opportunity Zones image

What does it take to spur private capital to invest in areas that are struggling to create jobs and develop their communities? Would a tax break on capital gains realized by investors be enough to inspire them to reinvest those gains in low-income urban and rural communities across the country? Congress has decided to give that theory a try by creating something called Opportunity Zones: designated areas of the country that are crying out for long-term investments but which, until now, have offered little incentive for such speculation. The idea, established by Congress in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), offers a mechanism that enables investors with capital gains tax liabilities across the country to receive favorable ...

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January 2019 Market Update & Outlook image

Monthly Recap January 2019 came and went with much less volatility and fervor than we saw in December. Most equity markets saw meaningfully positive gains as the markets recovered from a treacherous Q4. To recap, here are just some of the noteworthy events and stories from January: The Fed left interest rates unchanged and signaled some potential policy adjustments (more on that below)Theresa May's Brexit vote failed spectacularly, however, she did survive her confidence vote. Lots of unanswered questions regarding their path forward and the Bank of England seems worried about the effects on the overall economy.Home sales sank 6.4% in December to their weakest level since 2015, ending a difficult year at a new low and offering ...

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December 2018 Market Update & Outlook image

Monthly Recap December saw a return to volatility following November's relative calm with the S&P 500 dropping just over 9%.  December's fast and furious drop has lead a lot of forecasters to believe 2019 is going to be a very rocky and volatile year.  To recap, here are just some of the noteworthy events and stories from December: Huawei CFO was arrested in Canada at the behest of American authoritiesThe US became a net exporter of oil for the first time in 75 yearsThe US government shut down as a fight between the president and democrats over wall funding heated upCohen gets prison and said his duty was to hide Trump's dirty deedsThe FED raised it's benchmark rate by .25% ...

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November 2018 Update image

Monthly Recap November was a relatively calm month following October's volatility and saw the S&P 500 claw back a 2% gain for the month.  In fact, most asset classes saw positive returns for the month of November with hopes that the market would be smooth sailing through year end.  To recap, here are just some of the noteworthy events and stories from November: Wildfires devastate California as millions are evacuated from their homes and the death count rose to around 85.  PG&E, California's utility company, is under scrutiny about whether its equipment caused one of the fires.  As a result, PG&E's stock and bonds fell dramatically in fears that it could go under. Jeff Sessions resigns as US AG at the request ...

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October 2018 Update image

Monthly Recap October brought with it a return to volatility in the markets with the S&P dropping 10% at one point before closing the month down approximately 7%.  To recap, here are just some of the noteworthy events and stories from October: US treasury bonds slid to a multi-year high as the 10 year bond hit 3.20%, a level not seen since 2011 President Trump's first annual budget deficit climbs to a 6 year high.  As a result, the U.S. Treasury Department estimates it will issue more than $1 trillion in debt this year. The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.5 percent pace in the third quarter.  Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, unexpectedly accelerated to a 4 ...

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Founder Dilution: What It Is and How It Affects Founder Equity image

Equity

As a startup that is raising capital, the amount you own today of your company will decline depending on how much capital you raise, how many times you raise, your pre-money valuations and any investor preferences along the way. This is known as dilution and being able to map this out from day one and in multiple scenarios is important so that, as a founder you can protect your equity (possibly). As more funding rounds occur, early investors will also become diluted – not just the initial founders. There are key dilution definitions each founder needs to fully understand.   Keep in mind that there may not be anything you can do to prevent yourself from being diluted over time.  That ...

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There Have Never Been So Many Bonds That Are Almost Junk image

That was the name of a recent article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.  The amount of BBB rated bonds, the lowest investment grade rating before junk status, has been growing as a % of the overall bond market. As you can see from the charts above, overall value of US corporate debt has grown incredibly since the financial crisis as low interest rates enticed a borrowing binge. The next downturn could be more painful than usual for creditors, with knock-on effects for shareholders.  Credit markets send two classic signals: The first shows excessive risk taking, when companies pay very little above Treasury bonds—as in the late 1990s and 2007, and again today. Furthermore, the scale of the debt at risk ...

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September 2018 Update image

Monthly Recap It was a very busy month, although it was overshadowed with sexual assault claims and hearing on Judge Kavanaugh and whether or not he should serve a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. To recap, here are just some of the noteworthy events and stories from September: The Federal reserve raised interest rates to between 2 - 2.25% and is expected to raise them again when they meet in December. Although, Fed President Bullard thinks the Fed shouldn't raise rates right now. Meanwhile, Turkey rises interest rates to 24% in a dramatic bid to control rocketing inflation and prevent a currency crisis. Goodbye, NAFTA. Hello, ‘USMCA.’ The deal has a new name, new rules for cars and trucks, and labor and ...

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August 2018 Update image

Monthly Recap August was an extraordinary busy month with Senator John McCain's passing, Musk tweeting about taking Tesla private with the help of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Argentina continuing to head towards crisis and many more.  To recap things effectively, below are some of the noteworthy events and stories from August:   Senator John McCain, an American hero, dies at the age of 81 after a battle with brain cancer. Arena Franklin passes away...and without a will Cohen and Manafort are both found guilty casting additional concerns at Trump and the White House US and Mexico reach a trade deal: The deal includes several provisions to alter a pact Mr. Trump has long branded “a disaster” for what he considers incentives encouraging ...

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