Valley National News

For your convenience, you can now securely pay your tax preparation bill online! Our team continues to focus on the ease of our clients’ experience through secure and simple options to do business with us. It is as easy as 1, 2, 3 to view your invoice and pay it with a credit card or direct from a bank account via QuickBooks. Our website has a quick reference guide so you know what to expect: http://www.valleynationalgroup.com/webpay

YOU HAVE OPTIONS! We strive to make your financial life as simple as possible. Please use the method of payment that is most convenient for you – online, in person, over the phone, by mail.

Did You Know…?

The Friday before Easter is the only non-federal holiday among the exchange’s nine closed days. The New York Stock Exchange has been closed every Good Friday for more than 150 years, with the exception of 1898, 1906, and 1907.

Why? Several myths surrounding this market closure exist. The stories range of religious agreements, to historically low trade volume, to good old fashioned superstitions about bad luck. Whatever the reasons, the long-standing tradition remains.

The other eight stock market holidays in the U.S. are New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Did You Know…?

Last week we reported on the fact the stock market had indeed suffered a “Correction.” A Correction is a series of stock market declines over several days or weeks leading to a 10% to 20% decline from a stock market high. The stock market typically recovers from a Correction in a relatively short time of 3 to 12 months.

Personal Notes

Please join me in welcoming Stefany Keiser to our Valley National team as Administrative Assistant. The firm will be releasing an official announcement this week, but I wanted to let you know first. Stefany will be available immediately to assist my clients with scheduling appointments and taking questions. Of course, the rest of your service team will be right alongside to offer additional assistance and to help Stefany become familiar with our procedures and our people. They have already completed a week of intensive training with her on our systems and processes. I am confident that you will find your experience with Stefany to be everything you have come to expect from my team.

Stefany comes to us with 17 years of client service experience. She is originally from Easton and now resides in Bethlehem. She can be reached at skeiser@valleynationalgroup.com or by phone at extension 118.

Thomas M. Riddle
Founder & Chairman
Valley National Financial Advisors

Did You Know…?

The U.S. stock market, as well as most of the global stock markets, have entered into a “Correction”.  A Correction is a series of stock market declines over several days or weeks leading to a 10% to 20% decline from a stock market high. The stock market typically recovers from a Correction in a relatively short time of 3 to 12 months. As of today, we do not see any system-wide issue so large as to cause the market to slide further into a “Bear Market” which is a decline of 20% from a stock market high.  Our insight is also supported by strong consumer spending and business profits as further explained in The “Heat Map” section.

Did You Know…?

Starting in 2018, the “kiddie tax” is changed substantially. First, a child’s kiddie tax is no longer affected by the tax situation of his or her parent or the unearned income of any siblings – this makes tax return preparation simplified. Second, the taxable income of the child who must file a tax return is taxed using the Trusts and Estates rates – which could result in a higher tax on child’s unearned income like interest and dividends.

Did You Know…?

The new tax law knocks out the itemized deduction for interest paid on home equity loans. That’s right, a taxpayer may not claim an itemized deduction for mortgage interest paid or accrued on any home equity debt of any qualified residence of the taxpayer for tax years beginning in 2018 through 2025.

Tax Tips you can use

Mortgage interest related to home office. A self-employed taxpayer who reports his or her trade or business on Schedule C of Form 1040, and who uses a portion of his or her residence as a qualified home office will continue to be able to deduct the share of mortgage interest related to the home office, without regard to the mortgage limitation. (Note: The home office deduction is subject to limitation, based on the income earned by the taxpayer in the related activity).

Did You Know…?

The annual limit for gifts (to family members or other individuals) in 2018 has been raised to $15,000. Such gifts are free of income taxes for both the person giving the gift as well as the person receiving the gift.

Tax Tips you can use

Speaking of gifts, one the best gifts to consider is a gift to your child to jump start your child’s Roth IRA. The maximum Roth IRA contribution equals $5,500 per year. A gift of $11,000 would fund both 2017 and 2018 Roth contributions. Assuming your child is age 25, this $11,000 could grow to equal  $165,700 at age 65, if it averages 7% per year. The entire $165,700 can be withdrawn at that time TAX-FREE.

Disclosure: 7% rate of return is used for illustrative purposes only. There is no assurance this rate of return will be achieved. Investments are not FDIC insured and may lose money.

Did You Know…?

You are going to receive a raise in your February paycheck. The IRS is expected to post the new income tax withholding tables this month for your employer to use for payrolls in February. The new withholding tables reflect the lower tax rates stemming from the new income tax law.