Valley National News

Meet our tax season interns!

They will be assisting our tax preparation team with document intake and digital set up as well as providing support on special projects.

All four students were selected for Valley National’s tax season internship program, which is in its fifth year. The program is designed to provide real-world experience for individuals interested in a career that may include tax planning. Tax interns are exposed
to and participate in every part of the process, working alongside seasoned CPAs and financial planners in a professional office environment.

Interns from past years have gone on to have successful careers in a variety of different fields, including finance & accounting – most notably, our own Brinda Vyas, Junior Accountant at Valley National Financial Advisors joined the team after her internship and subsequent graduation from DeSales University in 2016.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”


Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized excluding dividends. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Freddie Mac

The health of the US economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we grade 5 key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.



Consumer confidence was hindered somewhat by the market volatility experienced during December. We are awaiting further data from the US Depertment of Commerce (which has been delayed due to the government shutdown) in order to make an assessment regarding whether this merits a new grade.



The Federal Reserve implemented its fourth interest rate hike of the year in December. Rising interest rates tend to reduce economic growth potential and can lead to repricing of income producing assets.



Corporate earnings remain strong, but we anticipate earnings growth will taper off in 2019. We are also beginning to see a higher number of companies reducing forward earnings guidance, a sign that earnings growth may have reached its peak in 2018.



The US economy added 312,000 new jobs in December, blowing estimates out of the water. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9% as a result of new workers entering the labor force. Growth in the size of the labor force is a sign of a healthy labor market.



Inflation is often a sign of “tightening” in the economy, and can be a signal that growth is peaking. The inflation rate remains benign at this time, but we see the potential for an increase moving forward. This metric deserves our attention.




The above ratings assume no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 5. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.


Our tax team created three videos about tax preparation, offering instructions, CPA tips, and answers to frequently asked questions. Visit to access them all and get more resources.

Frequently Asked Questions WATCH NOW

Welcome New Tax Clients WATCH NOW

Tax Preparation “Preparation” WATCH NOW

The Markets This Week

by Connor Darrell CFA, Assistant Vice President – Head of Investments
Global equity markets extended their winning streak to four weeks and built on their strong start to 2019, bolstered by reports of further progress in the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. Markets have climbed higher despite rising uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations and the government shutdown, and there has been a meaningful positive shift in market sentiment over the past few weeks. The market reacted positively to earnings reports from several major S&P 500 constituents even despite results that were otherwise less-than-stellar; a sign that market prices were reflecting overly pessimistic expectations following December’s selloff.

Earnings Season Underway
The quarterly earnings season kicked off last week with approximately 10% of S&P 500 constituents reporting Q4 2018 results. According to FactSet Research, the blended earnings growth rate for those companies that have reported is 10.6%, the fifth straight quarter of double-digit earnings growth.  Analysts have been steadily reducing their estimates for earnings growth throughout the rest of the year, but the expectation is still for growth to remain positive. The earnings growth rate experienced during 2018 was fueled in large part by the year-over-year effects of corporate tax reform, which will no longer have an impact during 2019, so a decline from the mid-20 percent range experienced last year is to be expected.

“Your Financial Choices”

The show airs on WDIY Wednesday evenings, from 6-7 p.m. The show is hosted by Valley National’s Laurie Siebert CPA, CFP®, AEP®.

This week, Laurie will discuss “Financial Planning – What is it and who can help you?” Laurie will take your calls on this or other topics at 610-758-8810 during the live show, or via

Recordings of past shows are available to listen or download at both and