One of the great desktop admonitions is “eschew obfuscation”. We interpret that to be a message both to cut needless or unhelpful complexity and to keep it simple. In that spirit, a recent address caught our eye. As described in a December 2019 address by the director of the division of investment management at the SEC, the regulatory battlefield includes, as general categories, let alone specific sub-groups: finalized rulings, proposed rulings, exemptive orders, and outreach initiatives.
The S&P 500 Index returned 31.5% in 2019, its best year since 2013, whereas the FTSE All-World Index returned 27.2%, its best year since 2009. The market began 2019 beset by concerns the Fed was tightening monetary policy too aggressively, anticipating additional rate hikes. As the Fed leaned towards incrementally easier policy throughout the year, ultimately cutting interest rates three times, the market went on to make new highs. All eleven sectors of the S&P 500 generated double digit returns, and almost every asset class did well.
Tax Cuts and Growth
Although the day that all a taxpayer’s owed taxes have to be paid in is still April 15th every year, the “tax season” doesn’t end until the extension deadline around October 15th. The calendar year end brings the start of a new tax season although actually filing returns won’t start until February 1st. What state is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in?