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YEAR-END FINANCIAL PLANNING CHECKLIST

Although 2020 has been a year of unexpected changes, one routine has remained consistent: the fourth quarter means it’s time to begin organizing your finances for the new year. To help you get started, here’s a checklist of key topics to think about, including new tax and retirement considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ESTATE PLANNING UPDATE: HOW THE SECURE ACT AFFECTS IRA BENEFICIARIES

In December 2019, Congress passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, which is changing retirement and estate planning for many. One major provision of the law affects those who inherit individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

FROM THE BRINK OF ECONOMIC CALAMITY TO THE NEW SPECULATIVE EUPHORIA

Yes, the title was meant to be a bit dramatic and entice you to read on.

What a roller coaster of a year 2020 has been, to say the least. I will try and limit my comments to financial issues in this letter and stay clear of the many social issues we are all dealing with concurrently.

In January, we had just come off a strong year economically with solid growth, record low unemployment and an accommodative Fed policy. Everything indicated a green light for the economy.

MID-YEAR IS A GOOD TIME TO FINE TUNE YOUR FINANCES

The first part of 2020 was rocky, but there should be better days ahead. Taking a close look at your finances may give you the foundation you need to begin moving forward. Mid-year is an ideal time to do so, because the planning opportunities are potentially greater than if you waited until the end of the year.

2020 MIDYEAR OUTLOOK

The rest of 2020 will be all about the virus. We’re seeing localized outbreaks, but the necessary countermeasures are in place. So, we can reasonably expect the virus to remain under control. Despite the medical setbacks, millions of jobs have returned, along with consumer confidence and spending. The recovery remains on track and is likely to continue. And that's exactly what the markets are expecting.

SCAM ALERT! PROTECTING YOURSELF AND YOUR FINANCES

The number of stories about fraudsters taking advantage of unsuspecting victims seems to grow by the day. Of course, it’s easy to think, “This will never happen to me!” But to keep your money and personal information safe, it’s vital to stay abreast of the latest scams.

INVESTMENTNEWS 2020 BEST PLACES TO WORK FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS

Viewpoint Financial has been recognized as a 2020 Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers as announced by InvestmentNews today. Viewpoint Financial was chosen as one of this year’s top-75 based on employer and employee surveys delving into everything from company culture, benefits, career paths and more.

BENJAMIN WONG NAMED TO 2020 FINANCIAL TIMES 400 TOP FINANCIAL ADVISERS

Viewpoint Financial Network is pleased to announce that Benjamin Wong has been named to the 2020 edition of the Financial Times 400 Top Financial Advisers. The list recognizes top financial advisers at national, independent, regional and bank broker-dealers from across the U.S. 

IS THE BEAR MARKET HERE TO STAY?

With the Dow dropping more than 25 percent from its highs and the S&P 500 following suit, we have finally seen the end of the bull market. And so, we find ourselves officially in a bear market, with all that implies. Stock markets around the world dropped again on the news.

HOW WILL THE SECURE ACT IMPACT YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN?

With all the turmoil that was going on in Washington at the end of 2019, we'll forgive you if you missed out on the important retirement planning legislation that passed at the end of December. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act brought some significant changes to how you might save for retirement.