What a nice change of pace to see interest rates steadily increasing, with every indication that they will continue to do so. This is great news for consumers who hold CDs, as you’ve been able to see your money grow with interest rates on short-term CDs now at 2.1-2.4%. These investments are even more attractive given that as interest rates rise, bond values tend to fall; CDs give you guaranteed rates.
The S&P 500, the 500 largest U.S. companies, have had positive returns each month this year except in February (-3.89%) and March (-2.69%), delivering 1.85% year-to-date growth. As the dollar weakens, we are rebalancing portfolios to reduce international stock exposure and shifting toward small and mid-cap U.S. stocks. Although we might not get to experience the fabulous growth we saw in 2017, we will continue to keep an eye on the market and rebalance portfolios accordingly.
Donor-Advised Funds for Charitable Giving
We’ve recently started working with a donor-advised fund (DAF) manager to provide a flexible way for clients to transfer appreciated stock to charities. The American Endowment Foundation (AEF) is America’s largest independent DAF program and we are so glad to be working with them. DAFs allow you to donate the full market value of appreciated securities; once the investment is transferred, it becomes irrevocable and is excluded from your taxable assets and estate. You have control over what gets contributed, to whom it is granted, and when you want all of that to happen. We can help you take advantage of this opportunity by helping you set up an account with AEF and then manage your assets at TD Ameritrade to maximize the support to you and to your cause.
Read more about the American Endowment Foundation at https://www.aefonline.org
Around the Office
There’s a lot going on at Gallant Financial Planning! Jackie, our client services coordinator, is continuing classes for a degree in accounting to eventually become a CPA. We will soon have two CFP®professionals on our team, as Irina is deep in her studying to take the CFP® Board exam later this year. We are wishing her the best of luck! And we have our newest full-time paraplanner, Courtney, who has just started the coursework on her journey toward becoming a CFP® practitioner as well. Our team continues to work hard to make sure clients get the best service possible, and we can’t wait to translate the team’s knowledge into your financial success.