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RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

Economy Outperforms Expectations But…

A Surprising First Quarter

The first quarter of 2013 is shaping up to be stronger than early expectations despite what appears to be some weakening in March. Real gross domestic product is expected to grow in a range of 2% to 2.5%. This is far better than the 0.4% increase registered during the fourth quarter of 2012 and far stronger than the 1% projections entering 2013. Despite uncertainties from Washington regarding the federal budget and the enactment of higher taxes, consumers and businesses combined to “shake off” these “headwinds” and increase their spending during January and February. Click to read more

U.S. Economy Steadily Creeping Toward 0 Percent Growth

After a disappointing second quarter, equity markets finished the third quarter of the year with strong gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 565.74 points during the third quarter or by 4.4 percent to 13,437.13 -- just a few hundred points below its all-time high of 14,164.53 set in 2007 according to the Wall Street Journal. The S&P 500 rose 5.8 percent to 1,440.67 and the NASDAQ rose 6.2 percent to 3,116.23. Supporting the market was the Federal Reserve's decision to move forward with QE3, which had been widely expected. The Federal Reserve's latest initiative adds liquidity to financial markets, which in turn drives up stock prices all things being equal. Click to read more

The Beat Goes On...

Final estimates of real U.S. GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2011 came in at 3 percent, the high end of our 2 - 3 percent projection. As discussed in our previous economic commentary, fourth quarter GDP growth was led by increased consumer spending (particularly in durable goods, led by autos); increased business investment led by strong inventory accumulation; and a significantly higher contribution from housing. Increased consumer spending was aided by upwardly-revised job creation during the fourth quarter. Click to read more

Summary: 401(k) Fee Transparency - What Does it Really Mean?

With the news of the final 401(k) fee disclosure regulations, which go into effect on July 1, 2012, it's important to understand what that really means to 401(k) retirement plan participants and their plan sponsors. These new regulations are intertwined with some other factors that affect qualified retirement plans. Click to read more

White Paper: 401(k) Fee Transparency - What Does it Really Mean?

This White Paper provides an extended examination of the final 401(k) fee disclosure regulations, which go into effect on July 1, 2012. It's important to understand what that really means to 401(k) retirement plan participants and their plan sponsors. These new regulations are intertwined with some other factors that affect qualified retirement plans. Click to read more

A Fourth Quarter Rebound in the U.S.: Is it Sustainable?

What a difference a quarter makes. In Q3 2011 we were concerned about weakening economic trends and the weak outlook for the final quarter. We were also concerned about conditions deteriorating further and triggering a "double dip" recession. Click to read more

Risk, Risk and More Risk

ParenteBeard Wealth Management is pleased to present the latest quarterly economic update from Morris Segall, President of SPG Trend Advisors. For the past four years, Mr. Segall has provided economic data and trend analysis to our family wealth guardians. Click to read more

Economy at a Crossroads

Beginning this month, ParenteBeard Wealth Management is distributing a quarterly economic update written for us by Morris Segall, President of SPG Trend Advisors. For the past four years Mr. Segall has been providing economic data and trend analysis to our family wealth guardians. This short article on the state of the economy can provide timely, relevant information that we hope you will find beneficial. Click to read more

What to consider when naming retirement plan beneficiaries

Income and estate tax ramifications are among the most important factors to consider when choosing retirement plan beneficiaries. This article explores those ramifications, and shows the advantages/disadvantages of choosing a spouse vs. someone else as a beneficiary, including a trust or charity. Click to read more

A guiding light even after death

It's not uncommon for people to worry about what might happen if their children should inherit their wealth before they've gained experience and maturity. But this article shows that an incentive trust will allow parents to establish specific criteria for their children to meet before becoming eligible to receive the trust's assets. The trust can mandate that the child meet particular personal or professional goals, and it can be set up to spread distributions over a set amount of time. Click to read more

How to Choose A Wealth Advisor

Choosing a partner in managing your family's wealth can sometimes feel like a game of "Eeny-meeny-miny-moe." Armed with the right knowledge and the right questions to ask, you'll be able to choose the best financial caretaker to help you guard and grow your family's wealth for generations to come. Click to read more

Do you think college financial aid is out of your reach?

As college costs continue to rise faster than inflation, it's never been more challenging — or more important — to have a plan for managing those expenses. But families more fortunate than others might not have realized the extent to which financial aid may be available to them. This article takes a look at grants, scholarships and loans, and offers tips to increase eligibility for aid. Click to read more