Investments returns were solid across all asset classes in the second quarter, as economic growth continued to rebound from last year’s pandemic. U.S. stocks, international stocks, alternative investments, and bonds all generated positive returns.
There has been quite a bit of activity lately for one of our alternative funds, and we thought it would make sense to provide an update.
The Stone Ridge Alternative Lending Risk Premium Fund (LENDX) buys small consumer, business, and student loans. It does this through on-line lending platforms like Lending Club, Square, Sofi, and others. These loans are made to high quality borrowers with average FICO scores above 700. The interest rates on these loans are relatively high, as they are generally too small to be of interest to traditional lenders, such as banks.
Traditional retirement savings largely takes place within company-sponsored retirement plans, such as a 401(k) plan. The premise is simple: put money away directly from your paycheck and save money on taxes. However, for those with unique tax circumstances, Roth 401(k) plans are also available. The idea is the same as with a traditional 401(k), except that you don’t get a tax deduction when you make the contribution, and the money grows tax free thereafter and may be withdrawn tax free during retirement.
The first quarter of 2021 was a solid one for stock investors, but not so great if you own bonds. However, for both stocks and bonds it was a period of transition, reversing trends that have been in place for many years.
There is a lot of talk of impending inflation lately. Massive amounts of government stimulus during the pandemic have resulted in the largest rise in money supply on record, and the current administration promises far more in the future. Similar measures have been taken overseas, resulting in unprecedented global liquidity. Lots of money in the system, along with the reopening economy, will create a lot of demand for goods and services.
Some elements of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act have been extended into 2021. On the positive side, individuals who do not itemize deductions on their tax returns can still claim the $300 universal charitable deduction that was part of the original CARES act. Even better, the 2021 extension has doubled the amount to $600 for couples who file their tax returns jointly.
We are in a highly regulated business, which causes a few headaches, but also offers our clients important protections. There are certain disclosures that we are required to make regularly regarding our policies and procedures, including
Many are happy to see 2020 come to an end, but it was actually a pretty good year for investors. Just like every other aspect of life, the capital markets were a bit weird, but headline gains for both stocks and bonds were impressive.
Stocks are trading at all-time highs and stocks of unprofitable companies seem to earn the largest gains. Technology, momentum, and growth are the order of the day. Is bargain hunting in such an environment a fool’s errand?
To convert, or not to convert, that is the question. While Hamlet dithered over trivial questions about life and death, the consideration of how to optimize the tax efficiency of your IRA is far more interesting and important, but it can also be just as tricky.