2017 Clear Harbor Flash
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
December 26, 2017
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation has been passed by Congress and signed by the president. The Act makes extensive changes that affect both individuals and businesses. Some key provisions of the Act are discussed below. Most provisions are effective for 2018. Many individual tax provisions sunset and revert to pre-existing law after 2025; the corporate tax rates provision is made permanent. Comparisons below are generally for 2018.
Proposed Tax Reform Legislation
On November 2, 2017, House Republicans released their comprehensive tax reform plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Then, on November 9, 2017, Senate Republicans released their own plan. The two plans have much in common, but also have significant differences. Some key provisions of these tax proposals are discussed below. Of course, provisions may change as the legislation winds its way through Congress. Most provisions, if enacted, would be effective for 2018.
Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft
Massive computer hacks and data breaches are now common occurrences - an unfortunate consequence of living in a digital world. Once identity thieves have your information, they can use it to gain access to your bank and credit card accounts, make unauthorized transactions in your name, and subsequently ruin your credit.
Now more than ever, it's important to safeguard yourself against identity theft. Here are some steps you can take to protect your personal and financial information.
House Passes the American Health Care Act
May 17, 2017
On May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). With some changes, this is essentially the same law that was pulled from consideration by the House back in March. Compared to the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), the AHCA repeals the health insurance mandate for both individuals and large employers; caps Medicaid funding to states beginning in 2020; eliminates several ACA taxes, including those applicable to high-wage earners; and replaces tax credits and subsidies based on income with tax credits based on age and income. The House passed the AHCA prior to an updated analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as to the budgetary effects of the law.
The Uncertainty Paradox
May 7, 2017
“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.”
“The market hates uncertainty” has been a common enough saying in recent years, but how logical is it? There are many different aspects to uncertainty, some that can be measured and some that cannot. Uncertainty is an unchangeable condition of existence. As individuals, we can feel more or less uncertain, but that is a distinctly human phenomenon. Rather than ebbing and flowing with investor sentiment, uncertainty is an inherent and ever-present part of investing in markets.
Geopolitical Uncertainty...Market Complacency?
February 10, 2017
Headlines of late seem to describe two different planets at once. In the financial pages, we have seen equity indices march to new highs, and indications of volatility trend toward historically low levels. Yet in the geopolitical sphere, we see a reawakening of concerns not entertained in some cases since the Cold War—and in others since the days of Smoot-Hawley.
Amid such newfound political uncertainties, is it wrong to ask if complacency might be elevated among market participants? At Clear Harbor, we believe it is irresponsible not to.