The first day of Autumn is this Saturday. Although our afternoons have been remaining stubbornly hotter than most probably want, the mornings have been refreshingly cool. I always look forward to this time of year. I enjoy the coloring of the leaves of course, but I particularly like noticing how the changing schedule of the sun affects the world, both how it looks and how people adapt their own schedules to the difference.
The summer doldrums seem to be officially upon us. I happen to enjoy the summer months. Trading slows down. Each morning the stock market “futures” are usually a very small percentage, and volatility for the most part remains muted throughout the day. Even the Wall Street kids go on vacation in the summer.
I am sick of all the fighting. The real story and subject of conversation in newsrooms, on talk shows, court T.V., and reality T.V. is the fight between the people. It doesn’t matter what is supposedly being talked about, the viewers and fans really show up for the battle and friction between people. We then all take that fight out into the world. Coworkers fight each other and upper management, politicians fight with each other and voters on both sides, and voters fight other voters on both sides as well. Parents conflict with teachers and other parents, while kids fight parents, teachers, and other kids both in-person and virtually.
Fear is the current go to subject of the day. Most of us don’t outwardly admit to one another that we are scared. However, at the end of a conversation about politics, society, schools, vacation within or without our national borders, I find it common that people will sum up with something like, “I’m scared for… the future, our children’s future, the next generation…”
Today is Justin’s birthday, so as a gift I’m taking over the monthly letter duties this time around in hopes of giving him a bit of a break. Unfortunately for you all, that means less talk of markets and investments and more talk of compliance, regulations, and tax numbers. But, I’ll try to keep it relatively short and simple!
First, I’m sure most of you have seen or heard talk about the SECURE Act 2.0. The original SECURE Act was passed in 2019, and the 2.0 version was signed into law at the end of 2022. SECURE stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, and the main goals of the new regulations are to encourage people to save for retirement and to make retirement plans easier for employers to create and manage. SECURE 2.0 has many many provisions, and I wouldn’t be able to list them all out in a letter, or at least not in a letter anyone would want to read. But, I do want to mention some provisions that may apply to you or to someone in your family.
“This is the most difficult time to forecast that I have ever experienced in my career.”
– Brian Wesbury, First Trust Chief Economist
Whenever I’m struggling to think of something to include in our letter, and I ask Kendall for ideas, he never fails to remind me “That’s how it was for me every time… I had writer’s block every single time.” Once my complaints get to a certain level, Libby will just lash out with a quick topic and expect me to move on. This time it was, “Don’t you usually do a forecast? Do that.”
Kendall J. Anderson, CFA, Founder
Justin T. Anderson, President