A New Look from the Brink of Historic Tax Reform
Tax Reform Guidance from Wells Fargo Investment Institute
2018 Outlook - Wells Fargo Investment Institute
Moving Ahead in an Aging Recovery
Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology - A Primer
Wells Fargo Investment Institute Special Report
3 Investment Plan Action Items After Your Divorce
Protect Your Interests and Plan For Your Future
What Every Woman Should Know About Social Security
An Overview of Social Security

A New Look from the Brink of Historic Tax Reform

Key Takeaways: 

  • The first major overhaul of U.S. tax reform since 1986 is most likely to become law before the end of the year
  • Our initial, high-level review shows more economic stimulus and potentially stronger equity-market support than indicated in our current forecasts, which we made after the House passed its version of tax reform in November

What It may Mean for Investors: 

  • While it will take financial markets some additional time to digest the tax reform bill's implications, some investment connotations are apparent. We recommend that investors looking to benefit from the new stimulus focus on cyclical equity sectors, which we already favor

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2018 Market and Economic Outlook - Wells Fargo Investment Institute

Global Economy

We believe the U.S. economy is in the last third of its recovery, but we do not expect a recession in 2018. In our view, another year of slow growth and low inflation should deliver mixed results for the U.S. dollar. 

Global Equities

We believe the U.S. bull market is maturing but still has room to run. We favor international stocks over U.S. stocks for 2018 because international stocks are earlier in their cycle. 

Global Fixed Income

We expect the Federal Reserve (Fed) to continue tightening monetary policy slowly and deliberately; we expect two Fed rate hikes in 2018 and no change in long-term rates as measured by the 30-year U.S. Treasury bond yield. Our outlook for international developed-market fiex income remais negative. 

Global Real Assets

We continue to have a negative outlook for commodities, which are in the seventh year of a bear market that could last 12 to 15 years. We believe that real estate investment trusts (REITs) offer opportunities because many of them are currently selling at a discount to their underlying assets. 

Global Alternative Assets

As the era of quantitative monetary stimulus slowly winds down, we continue to forecast an improved environment for active management. We believe that long/short equity and credit strategies should perform best, followed by strategies focused on special situations and stressed/distressed credit. 

Portfolio Implementation

We outline five actions that may make a difference for investors' portfolios in 2018, including evaluation portfolio allocations and exploring active strategies. 

Click here to read the full report or the one page summary here. 

Wells Fargo Investment Institute Special Report: Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology - A Primer

Key Takeaways: 

  • Bitcoin has gained tremendous popularity since its launch in 2009, and financial institutions and startup companies are investing increasing amounts in blockchain technology
  • While we don't offer guidance on these new types of virtual currencies, we believe that it is important for investors to understand this new technology

What It May Mean For Investors: 

  • It is important that investors understand the risks to investing in Bitcoin, including regulatory risk, security risk, fraud risk, and market risk

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3 Investment Plan Action Items After Your Divorce

Make A List of Action Items in Your Separation Agreement - And Do Them!

The separation agreement can have important pieces to your overall post-divorce investment plan, so it is a good idea to read it and understand its intricacies. If there is something that you are unsure about, consult with your attorney. Common action items that can be time sensitive are: 

The separation agreement can have important pieces to your overall post-divorce investment plan, so it is a good idea to read it and understand its intricacies. If there is something that you are unsure about, consult with your attorney. Common action items that can be time sensitive are: 

  • The QDRO – Qualified Domestic Relations Order – this is the order that gives you the right to certain employer sponsored retirement benefits that your spouse may have acquired during the marriage. If this is neglected you may not be able to receive the benefits you are entitled to as stipulated in the separation agreement. 
  • Life Insurance – Often, a life insurance policy is a requirement of a settlement agreement for example to cover spousal support in the event of the ex-spouse's premature death. Life Insurance can take a month or more to complete especially if you need a physical. 
  • Health Insurance – If your insurance was through your ex-spouses work, you will need to get health insurance some other way. Completing the separation agreement is a huge milestone. But the following through on the action items is equally important and time sensitive.

Protect Your Interests: 

The assets that you were awarded as part of the divorce settlement are now yours and yours alone! So remember to take your ex's name off those assets. These include:

  • Change the Title and Deed of the Marital Home – If you received the house as part of the settlement, change the title and deed into solely your name or solely your ex's name. You don't want to be on the hook if they miss a mortgage payment and you don't want them having undue access to the house. This can also be a great time to refinance and possibly lower your monthly payment.
  • Change Your Beneficiaries – Change your beneficiaries to one of your adult children or a sibling or friend. If you don't want your assets going to your ex after the divorce is finalized, update your beneficiaries to your retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, checking/savings accounts, insurance policies etc.
  • Change Your Passwords and Close Joint Accounts – Anything that your ex may have had access to you should update your password. This includes online banking, email, and other online subscription accounts to name a few. Any joint accounts should be closed and reopened in your name including club memberships, utilities, bank accounts and credit card accounts.
  • Update Your Will and Estate Planning Documents – Make sure your heirs get your assets and not your ex-spouse. Update your Will, any estate planning documents, your healthcare proxy and any durable power of attorney.

Develop a Comprehensive Investment Plan

Many questions may start to come up after a divorce. Can I sustain my lifestyle? Will I have to sell my home? Can I pay for my children's college education? Will I have enough to live on in retirement? It is a good idea to consult with a financial advisor after a divorce to see if you need to make changes to your investment plan to help you achieve your goals. The amount of money that went in to supporting one household likely has to support two now, so changes will need to be made. And likely your goals have changed too. A financial advisor can help answer these questions and help you create an investment plan going forward that is tailored to you.

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What Every Woman Should Know About Social Security

Women represent more than half of all Social Security beneficiaries age 62 and older and two-thirds of all beneficiaries over the age of 85. Only 13% of women received Social Security advice from their financial advisor. 

This article explores 10 crucial tips to remember, including:

  1. You earned it – collect it!
  2. Marriage Benefit
  3. A Disappearing Opportunity
  4. Same-Sex Marriage
  5. Collect on Your Ex
  6. Caregiving Spouse
  7. Survivors Have Choices
  8. Public Employees Offset
  9. Earnings Test
  10. New Suspension Rules

Social Security is a great benefit, and with so many rules and loopholes it can get confusing.  Talk to your advisors to see what the best strategy is for you and your needs.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.