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Timely advice & commentary about investing, taxes, financial planning and more.


Fall 2018: Perspectives and Planning: Economic Outlook
By Matthew S. Blank, CFA® / October 22, 2018
Despite worries over rising interest rates, a more hawkish Federal Reserve, and continuing trade friction, we are hard pressed to find signs of an imminent economic slowdown in the U.S. GDP advanced at a stellar 4.2% pace in the second quarter, the best quarterly gain since 2014. Eliminating a 1% boost to Q2 GDP from a surge in exports to avoid the imposition of Chinese tariffs, the economy seems likely to keep chugging along at a robust 3% clip in the back half of this year. It appears, the 2018 full year growth may even slightly exceed our projected 2.5% - 3.0% range.

5 Ways to Leverage your Social Security Benefits
By Kimberly I. McCarthy, Esq. / October 22, 2018
In October, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), will be released. Early indications suggest that the cost-of-living adjustment that will take effect for social security recipients at the beginning of 2019 could come in between 2.5%-3.00%. This is the first increase in some years that has not been consumed by Medicare premium hikes. Do you know enough about Social Security to leverage your benefits?

Summer 2018 Perspectives and Planning: Economic Outlook
By Washington Trust / July 18, 2018
Read the summer 2018 update featuring perspectives on the market and economy and planning tips from Washington Trust Wealth Management.

Spring 2018 Perspectives and Planning: Economic Outlook
By Washington Trust / April 13, 2018
There are no major changes to our forecast. The U.S. economy remains in solid shape and we maintain our call for real GDP to expand at a 2.5% to 3.0% pace in 2018 with the upper end of this range now looking more likely. Inflation is gradually accelerating and is likely to hit the Federal Reserve target of 2.0% (as measured by core PCE) this year as the Fed now concedes. Hiring continues to be robust and we acknowledge that job creation could exceed our 1.8 million estimate. As such, we expect a rebound in consumer spending after sluggish growth in the first quarter.

Maximizing Your Options for IRA Fee Payment – What’s New
By Washington Trust / April 13, 2018
The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law on December 22, 2017, makes numerous changes to the rules governing taxation of individuals. One of these changes is the elimination of all miscellaneous itemized deductions, which currently include IRA management fees. If you are an individual paying your IRA fees from non-IRA assets in order to obtain a tax deduction annually, you may want to reconsider this strategy going forward.

By Washington Trust / February 12, 2018
Recently, Kent Gladding, Chief Investment Strategist, and Peter Phillips, Chief Investment Officer, presented their Financial Market Outlook for Winter 2018.

Tax Reform: A New Era Commencing in 2018
By Washington Trust / January 18, 2018
It’s official! On December 22, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed a tax reform bill with a variety of tax cuts and changes effective in 2018. Some key provisions within the new legislation are highlighted below to help you recognize planning opportunities that may benefit your own financial situation.

Perspectives & Planning: 2018 Economic & Market Outlook
By Washington Trust / January 18, 2018
The U.S. economy entered 2017 in a sweet spot and exited the year in an even stronger position. Job creation remained strong, surpassing expectations and driving unemployment to a 17‐year low of 4.1%. With the labor market tight and incomes rising, consumers were spending. Consumption rose nearly 3% in 2017 and while gains may not be as robust this year, consumer spending should increase close to 2.5%. In addition to hiring, businesses also invested in plant and equipment as capital expenditures finally took off. With corporate profits surging, this trend could also persist. Finally, while housing statistics were erratic in 2017, the year ended on a firm note and residential construction should be buoyed by favorable demographics and a severely under supplied market.

By Washington Trust / October 13, 2017
A series of hurricanes in the third quarter could not derail the U.S. economy which continues to chug along at a moderate rate. Real GDP (GDP adjusted for inflation) is estimated to have increased at just over 2% in the recent quarter. Industrial production took a sharp hit in August and September as Hurricane Harvey shut down much of the petrochemical industry and consumption also suffered. Absent the hurricanes, growth probably would have been closer to 3%, a pace similar to that of Q2.

By Washington Trust / October 13, 2017
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost one in five Americans has a disability, and for more than half of them, the disability is severe. In some cases, it stems from issues at birth or a chronic disease. In other instances, an accident delivers immediate and life-changing harm. But in all situations, the disability generates significant financial questions that must be addressed by the individual and his or her family.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and may not reflect those of Washington Trust Wealth Management. The information in this report has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Any opinions expressed herein are subject to change at any time without notice. Any person relying upon this information shall be solely responsible for the consequences of such reliance. Performance is historical and does not guarantee future results.

Such information does not constitute legal or professional advice as all situations are unique and are based on individual facts and circumstances.

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