Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged As Economy Slows (and More!)

Posted in , By David Robinson

The Fed chose to leave short term rates unchanged at the FOMC meeting this week, announcing that it did not foresee more rate hikes this year. The decision and announcement reinforce that the Fed is increasingly wary of current risks and is signaling that it will keep its foot off the interest rate brake indefinitely. Apart from the Fed and the economy, we encourage you to check out some interesting planning notes (e.g. Roth IRAs and retirement) and lifestyle notes relating to health and happiness as it relates to location. 

  • Why the Fed Turned Dovish: Nouriel Roubini, the widely followed NYU economics professor,  offers his insights into why the Fed has abandoned, at least temporarily, its plan to hike short term rates higher.
  • Roth IRAs and Estate Planning: One of our top 2019 planning themes will be analyzing whether some clients may benefit from converting traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, due to their unique tax situation. One often overlooked benefit to a Roth IRA is its estate planning advantages.
  • Colder But Happier? As we emerge from another winter, many are tempted to assume that those who live in warmer climates are happier. Per the latest World Happiness Report, that is not necessarily true as far as countries go. Finland claimed the top spot for happiest country, followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands. Weather might be one factor, but the six key happiness variables are: income; freedom; trust, healthy life expectancy, social support; and generosity.
  • Great Migration South: Whether those who move to warmer climates will find happiness or not, there is a big population shift from the Northeast to the South in the U.S. These states are losing the most residents: New York; New Jersey; Connecticut; Massachusetts; and Pennsylvania. New Hampshire is on the rise, however.
  • Maine Exports Increase in 2018: This Portland Press Herald article summarizes how Maine exports did in 2018. The good news is that exports grew 4%. The bad news is that the state could have done much better but for retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and Canada.
  • Acquiring Waterfront Property the Hard Way: A Zillow study suggests that some communities and many homes will be at serious risk for coastal flooding by 2050. Whether buying, building or selling property near sea levels, we need to keep this risk on our radar screen.
  • Possible New Alzheimer’s Treatment: These techniques using sound and light are promising but so far have only been tested on mice. With massive aging underway in our population, it feels like a race against time to find effective treatment for this disease that has or will impact so many families.
  • Are Eggs Okay or Not! Eggs are under attack again as unhealthy. As someone who follows nutrition closely, these back and forth studies give me dietary whiplash. By the way, I’m waiting patiently for the study demonstrating that donuts are in fact good for you.
  • Mindfulness Is Not a Fad: Mindfulness has become so trendy that many may be tuning it out. That’s unfortunate. If you’re open to it, check out this article, written by Andy Puddicombe, the fellow who created the popular Headspace meditation app.
  • Quote to Consider: In the words of Thoreau, “Simplicity. Simplicity. Simplicity.”

Feel free to send us feedback on any topic or make a request or to forward the notes on to anyone who might be interested.


About the Author David Robinson

A wealth advisor with more than 25 years of experience in the financial field, Dave serves as Robinson Smith Wealth Advisors’ Co-Chief Investment Officer and is a Co-Managing Member of the firm. As a Certified Financial Planner® and non-practicing attorney, he provides clients with deep expertise in areas including investment management and retirement planning.
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