Phone: 301-377-9407
Email: Art@ArthurSteinFinancial.com

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Like Floating on a Cloud -- 2017 Market Review

Ah, floating on a cloud. Gradually going higher without many bumps. That was the stock market in 2017.
 
At the beginning of 2017, a common view among market commentators was that the financial markets would not repeat their strong returns from 2016 (12% to 17%). Problems mentioned included political turmoil in the US, Brexit, conflicts in the Middle East, North Korea’s weapons buildup, Chinese debt, etc.
 

TSP Withdrawal Restrictions Loosened by New Law

President Trump signed the TSP Modernization Act of 2017 on November 17, 2017. The new law allows the TSP to loosen some current restrictions on withdrawals from the TSP. Congress gave the TSP up to two years to make the changes.
 
Mike Causey interviewed me on this and other TSP topics December 13. You can listen to a rebroadcast by clicking here.
 
Or read the details below.
 

Tax Loss Harvesting -- 2017 Harvest Failed!

As December 31 approaches, I review my clients’ taxable investment accounts for “tax-loss harvesting” opportunities.
 
Tax-loss harvesting is an important year-end investment strategy. It refers to selling investments that declined in value, which generates capital losses. Those losses are then used to offset capital gains on client tax returns. That benefits them by reducing the capital gains taxes they pay.
 

Bitcoin and the $85,000,000 Pizza

 
Bitcoin -- a “digital currency” or “digital money” -- is receiving a lot of attention. Not surprising since the Bitcoin price increased 1700% this year, from $952 to $17,371 as of December 12. Definitely Impressive.
 
 

Investing in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a Workshop for Federal Employees and Retirees

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a critical for the financial security of FERS retirees. Most will need TSP withdrawals to supplement their annuities (pensions) at some point. If participants do not correctly manage their TSP accounts, their retirement security may be at risk.
 
Because the TSP is so important to Federal employees and retirees, Montgomery College asked Arthur Stein, CFP® to teach a one-evening three hour class.

Your Flood Risk May Be Greater than You Think

Your home may be at greater risk of flooding than you think. Storms are not the only cause of floods. And global warming increases flood risks from storms because:

-- Flood zones change more rapidly than flood zone maps and global warming may cause flood zones to change even more rapidly in the future.
-- Global warming increases precipitation, making floods more likely, even in areas not shown on flood zone maps.
 
Yet, you probably don’t have flood insurance.

Indexes and Index Funds -- So What's the Difference?

S&P 500 Index funds are one of the most common investments for individual investors. But what are “index funds” and how do they compare to “indexes?”

Market Returns During the First Half of 2017

A good way to describe stock and bond market returns during the first six months of 2017 is “placid.” As in low volatility with a gradual upward trend. That is a beautiful combination. But will it last?

Is the TSP G Fund Safe or Risky?

The G Fund is often described as the safest of the TSP investment funds. Sometimes it is called the “super safe” G Fund that “never has a bad day.”
 
As a result, TSP participants keep a higher portion of their TSP balances in the G Fund than any other Fund.

TSP Returns During the First Half of 2017

A good way to describe TSP Fund returns – and the stock and bond markets -- during the first six months of 2017 is “placid.” As in low volatility with a gradual upward trend.
 
The other news is that I Fund (stocks of non-US companies) finally rewarded investors with double-digit returns.
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Arthur Stein Financial, LLC ("ASF") is a registered investment advisor ("RIA"), located in the State of Maryland. ASF provides investment advisory and related services for clients nationally. ASF will maintain all applicable registration and licenses as required by the various states in which ASF conducts business, as applicable. ASF renders individualized responses to persons in a particular state only after complying with all regulatory requirements, or pursuant to an applicable state exemption or exclusion.

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