Client resources & news
December 8, 2020

As this year winds down, we will be making sure our clients are taking advantage of any year-end opportunities, as well looking ahead to achieving your 2021 goals. Also, we recommend that you allow for extra time when completing any transactions this month, because of holidays, market closures, and general year-end issues.

This December also marks a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence in the sky. Check my article below for which planets are forming the Great Conjunction later this month.

As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

Warm regards, 
Market Update
Stocks marched higher last week on an improving outlook for the passage of a fiscal stimulus package. Read more about last week's market and economy news.

Avoid Bank Scams
According to the American Bankers Association, deposit account fraud losses topped $25 billion in 2018—and that figure is growing. These scams are always evolving, so it’s important to periodically refresh your understanding of common rip-offs and how to avoid them. Read more about the four most popular financial fraud tactics.
Virtual Holiday Magic Toy Drive
Thank you to everyone who donated toys for distribution to needy and unhoused children in our community. We appreciate you supporting our first virtual Holiday Magic Toy Drive—we couldn’t have done this without you!
Capital Gains
If you look at your account during the next week, you may notice your balance going up and down. Every year, without exception, investors viewing accounts on any cap gains Ex-Date will see a temporary drop in account value roughly by the amount of gains that were distributed (plus or minus market activity for that day). Please note that this investment value will again ‘become whole’ the following day when gains are reinvested and additional shares are purchased automatically (as many investors have the reinvestment of dividends and cap gains set up on their account). For SEI accountholders, the Ex-Date could be December 9, 10, or 11 depending on the SEI fund, with the “Pay Date” being the following day or December 14.

Contributions to IRAs & Roth IRAs
In 2020, you can contribute a maximum of $6,000, or $7,000 if you are age 50 or over. Remember, you have to have taxable income to contribute to an IRA, but if you are married and filing jointly, you can each make contributions even if only one of you is working. Speak to a tax advisor to learn about how your deductions will be affected by an employer-sponsored retirement plan. 

Roth Conversions
Please make sure to keep an eye out for our correspondence regarding possible year-end actions. Also, those clients who complete a Roth conversion during the last quarter of 2020 may need to report their taxable income and/or pay estimated taxes in January. We suggest that you contact your accountant regarding your specific situation. Blattel & Associates does not render legal, accounting, or tax advice. 

Allow for Extra Time
Please remember that the holiday season will affect timing on withdrawals and other transactions. Please allow for extra time to process your requests from now until the end of the year. Also, be aware that there are typically deadlines ahead of December 31 for certain activities to be reported for the 2020 tax year. 
Bob's Star Corner

Instead of sharing my favorite movie, this week I’m recommending a different sort of show with stars—the Great Conjunction. Read my full article and learn why you should look up on December 21st.

“To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit."

-Stephen Hawking, Astrophysicist
Holiday Hours

Blattel & Associates office will be closed December 24 & 25 for the Christmas holiday.

We will also be closed on January 1 for New Year's Day.
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