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Timely advice & commentary about investing, taxes, financial planning and more.


Spring 2019: Market & Economy
By Washington Trust / April 24, 2019
Although 2018 ended dismally amidst tumbling financial markets, 2019 kicked off with optimism. Risk assets surged during the first quarter. Global stocks, led by the U.S., soared 12%1. Corporate debt including high-yield produced mid to high single digit returns. The transition by investors from extreme risk aversion to “risk on,” inspired by a shift in Federal Reserve policy, was almost instantaneous.

Economic and Financial Market Review & Outlook-Winter 2019
By Washington Trust / January 28, 2019
With apologies to Charles Dickens, 2018 was the “best of times and the worst of times”. The U.S. economy apparently grew at its fastest pace since 2005. (We don’t know for sure as the Bureau of Economic Analysis was shuttered due to the impasse in Washington, although the Bureau of Labor Statistics has remained open.) For the full year 2018, we estimate that GDP advanced just over 3%. The S&P 500 index, on the other hand, fell by 4.4%, posting its first negative return in a decade. Benchmarks for smaller capitalization stocks and foreign shares suffered double digit declines. Bonds managed to finish the year essentially flat, erasing earlier losses.

The ABCs of Tax Reform for 2019: DAFs and GLIs
By Kimberly I. McCarthy, Esq. / January 28, 2019
The Tax Reform Act changed so many income tax provisions affecting individuals, corporations, pass-throughs, and specific industries that it is impossible to provide a brief and succinct overview of new planning opportunities. But DAFs and GLIs are two tax-planning acronyms to consider in 2019.

Fall 2018: Perspectives and Planning: Economic Outlook
By Matthew S. Blank, CFA® / October 22, 2018
Despite worries over rising interest rates, a more hawkish Federal Reserve, and continuing trade friction, we are hard pressed to find signs of an imminent economic slowdown in the U.S. GDP advanced at a stellar 4.2% pace in the second quarter, the best quarterly gain since 2014. Eliminating a 1% boost to Q2 GDP from a surge in exports to avoid the imposition of Chinese tariffs, the economy seems likely to keep chugging along at a robust 3% clip in the back half of this year. It appears, the 2018 full year growth may even slightly exceed our projected 2.5% - 3.0% range.

5 Ways to Leverage your Social Security Benefits
By Kimberly I. McCarthy, Esq. / October 22, 2018
In October, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), will be released. Early indications suggest that the cost-of-living adjustment that will take effect for social security recipients at the beginning of 2019 could come in between 2.5%-3.00%. This is the first increase in some years that has not been consumed by Medicare premium hikes. Do you know enough about Social Security to leverage your benefits?

Summer 2018 Perspectives and Planning: Economic Outlook
By Washington Trust / July 18, 2018
Read the summer 2018 update featuring perspectives on the market and economy and planning tips from Washington Trust Wealth Management.

Spring 2018 Perspectives and Planning: Economic Outlook
By Washington Trust / April 13, 2018
There are no major changes to our forecast. The U.S. economy remains in solid shape and we maintain our call for real GDP to expand at a 2.5% to 3.0% pace in 2018 with the upper end of this range now looking more likely. Inflation is gradually accelerating and is likely to hit the Federal Reserve target of 2.0% (as measured by core PCE) this year as the Fed now concedes. Hiring continues to be robust and we acknowledge that job creation could exceed our 1.8 million estimate. As such, we expect a rebound in consumer spending after sluggish growth in the first quarter.

Maximizing Your Options for IRA Fee Payment – What’s New
By Washington Trust / April 13, 2018
The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law on December 22, 2017, makes numerous changes to the rules governing taxation of individuals. One of these changes is the elimination of all miscellaneous itemized deductions, which currently include IRA management fees. If you are an individual paying your IRA fees from non-IRA assets in order to obtain a tax deduction annually, you may want to reconsider this strategy going forward.

By Washington Trust / February 12, 2018
Recently, Kent Gladding, Chief Investment Strategist, and Peter Phillips, Chief Investment Officer, presented their Financial Market Outlook for Winter 2018.

Tax Reform: A New Era Commencing in 2018
By Washington Trust / January 18, 2018
It’s official! On December 22, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed a tax reform bill with a variety of tax cuts and changes effective in 2018. Some key provisions within the new legislation are highlighted below to help you recognize planning opportunities that may benefit your own financial situation.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and may not reflect those of Washington Trust Wealth Management. The information in this report has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Any opinions expressed herein are subject to change at any time without notice. Any person relying upon this information shall be solely responsible for the consequences of such reliance. Performance is historical and does not guarantee future results.

Such information does not constitute legal or professional advice as all situations are unique and are based on individual facts and circumstances.

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