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Latest Firm News

At Fortune 360 Group, we enjoy staying active in the financial services industry, expanding on our education, learning from our peers, and contributing in any way we can. Throughout the year, we frequently attend conferences and other events, as well as offer financial insights and quotes for a number of publications, including The Wall Street Journal. Here, we share our latest news and updates.


2016 ANNUAL RETIREMENT PLAN CONTRIBUTION LIMITS AND TAX GUIDE



For those of you who are a participant in a retirement plan or sponsoring a retirement plan, we send out the contribution limits and tax guide each year to help those who need to know the maximum contributions allowable.

In addition to the limits provided in the below guide, there are also phase-out rules for IRA’s that we have listed below.

While the contribution limits have not changed from 2015 to 2016, many of the phase-out’s below have changed from 2015 to 2016:

IRA contributors not covered by a workplace retirement plan and married to covered person, the deduction is phased out for couple with income between $184,000 and $194,000, up from $183,000 and $193,000. Contributors to the Roth IRA are phased out if their income ranges from $184,000 to $194,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $183,000 to $193,000.

For singles and heads of household, the income phase-out range is $117,000 to $132,000, up from $116,000 to $131,000. For singles and heads of household covered by a workplace retirement plan, the Traditional IRA is phased out for those with income in the range of $61,000 to $71,000. (This is unchanged from 2015)

For married couples filing jointly, in which the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the income phase-out range is $98,000 to $118,000. (This is unchanged from 2015) For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.



The AGI phase-out range for a married individual filing a separate return who makes contributions to a Roth IRA is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

If you are a participant in an employer sponsored retirement plan or you are a plan sponsor and you would like guidance on the withholding tax or salary deferral calculations, we recommend you contact your payroll company first.

If there are any additional questions we are happy to assist you or your company.


Wall Street Drama......


 
The stock markets are volatile, moving up and, more dramatically, down.  China is making headlines and it is common for us to hear questions about how much we should be concerned. 

Common questions asked include:

• “Are American companies less valuable because investors in China are panicking or the growth rate for their economy may be slowing?” 
• “Are events in the Middle East, North Korea, etc. likely to cause a reduction in the value of American companies’ stocks?”

It is perfectly normal and, in fact, commonplace for people to raise such concerns.  In each of the first four trading days of the year, China closed its markets due to a rapid fall in share prices—a move which may have made the panic worse, since it made investors fear being trapped in stocks that are seen as dropping in value.  It’s unclear exactly how or why, but the panic then spread to global markets.  

Global equity markets fell in early 2016, with many markets posting their worst opening week in recent history. The S&P 500 Index of U.S. large-cap stocks fell 5.9%, the Russell 2000 Index of U.S. small-cap stocks lost 7.9%, and the MSCI EAFE Index of developed-market international stocks lost 6.1%. Economic facts suggest a very different reality today: US markets are less correlated with Shanghai than any other major market. On the home front, major US economic indicators look promising and the Fed has sanguine expectations for the coming year.  

Additionally, energy prices, and in particular oil, have continued to fall.  While energy companies’ profits have suffered thus far, you may understand that longer term such reduced costs bode well for profitability of many industries including transportation, manufacturing and consumer spending. 

The question remains: Will prices go back up? 

It is difficult to know whether the markets are entering a correction phase which will make stocks even cheaper to buy, or whether people will wake up and realize that they don’t have to share the panic of Chinese investors.  The good news is there appears to be no major economic disruption like the Wall Street derivatives mess that triggered the 2008 downturn.  

The best, sanest investors will once again watch the markets for entertainment purposes—or just turn the channel.  We believe the health of the U.S. economy and the lack of any truly bad news in China supports improved stock prices from their recent dips and that now is not the time to sell out of stocks, but instead is the time for patience.