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    Decoding the Debt Ceiling Crisis

    The headlines this week have warned that we’re nearing a “debt ceiling crisis.” What does this mean? It’s estimated that on January 19, 2023, the United States will have borrowed as much money as it’s legally allowed to borrow and will be prohibited from borrowing more. Why is this happening? In short, the new Congress has failed to pass a law allowing the Treasury to borrow the money that’s needed to make required payments. The Treasury, therefore, will have to use cash on hand right now, as well as any inflows, to pay the outstanding bills for as long as possible—until the money runs out.

    A Message for the New Year from Bartholomew & Company

    It has been said that days go by slowly, and years go quickly; however, the year 2022 made that statement feel quite a bit different. There were times when it felt as though the year might never end. Now that it has, we wanted to take some time to recount, reflect, and reaffirm our strategy to you, our valued clients.

    It’s Here: What You Need to Know About SECURE 2.0

    On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, an omnibus spending bill that includes the SECURE 2.0 measure (a.k.a. the Securing a Strong Retirement Act 2.0). Broadly, SECURE 2.0 is intended to make retirement saving more straightforward and accessible to a wider range of people. As such, it encompasses many aspects of financial planning and retirement saving.

    A 2023 Outlook: It Will Be Better Than It Looks

    In 2022, we faced rising prices, market volatility, and recession fears. Can we expect some good news in the new year?

    We always strive to keep you informed and help you stay on track toward your long-term financial goals. Today, we present a 2023 outlook provided by Brad McMillan, CFA®, CAIA, MAI, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network®, the firm we partner with to serve you. Brad summarizes the economic risks we face, along with his predictions for the economy and markets in the coming months. And, to answer the question above: yes, there is good news here.

     

     

    Tips for Avoiding Common Holiday Cyberscams

    For many of us, the holiday season is a wonderful time of year. Unfortunately, it can also be an especially profitable time for cybercriminals. With many consumers shopping online, we almost always see a significant increase in cyberscams during November and December. To help you avoid becoming a victim of holiday cybercrime, watch out for these common scams.

    IRS Benefit Plan Limits for 2023

    On October 21 2022, the Internal Revenue Service released Notice 2022-55, announcing cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans and retirement accounts in 2023. The list below, though not exhaustive, highlights key changes that retirement plan sponsors should be aware of, as well as several limitations that remain unchanged from 2022.

    Why You Shouldn’t Panic About Higher Rates and a Falling Market

    As we encounter another downswing in the ongoing bear market, it’s only natural to be concerned and ask questions. Here’s where we are at the moment: using the S&P 500 as a measure, the markets are down 22 percent from the peak at the end of last year, and just under 14 percent from the end of the most recent rally in August. This year, there have been four drops and three rallies. We’re down quite a bit, and that doesn’t feel good. The question to ask is: what should we do about it? To figure that out, we need to look at two things.

    The Current Market Decline, Explained

    When you see the current headlines, you may be asking yourself: why is the market going down? The short answer is interest rates. Interest rates are going up, and when rates go up, stocks tend to go down. This leads us to ask additional questions—why are interest rates up? And will they continue to rise? In the short term, it seems they will indeed continue to increase. Here’s why.

    President Biden Announces Student Debt Relief Plans

    On August 24, 2022, President Biden announced plans to offer student loan forgiveness to selected individuals. Below is a summary of the executive action that the Biden Administration plans to effectuate. It’s important to note that strong legal challenges to these provisions are likely because the changes are sought to be implemented without Congressional approval.

    2022 Midyear Update: Slowing, But Growing

    As we enter the second half of the year, the outlook might appear grim at first glance. Covid-19 continues to spread, both here and worldwide. Inflation remains close to 40-year highs, and the Federal Reserve (Fed) is tightening monetary policy to fight rising prices. The war in Ukraine is ongoing, and it threatens to become a long-term conflict. Midterm elections loom in the U.S. Looking at the headlines, you might expect the economy to be in very bad shape.