Stocks ended the week in mixed territory as trouble with Turkey's currency affected U.S. equity performance on Friday, August 10. For the week, the S&P lost 0.25%, the Dow declined 0.59%, and the NASDAQ increased 0.35%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE stumbled, giving back 1.57%.
FACT OF THE WEEK
There are over 50 types of poetry. Poetry is categorized by the number of lines in the poem, the words in the poem, whether it rhymes or not, and what it is about. Some types of poetry examples include haiku, free verse, sonnets, and name poems, although there are many more types as well.
Although last week brought relatively few economic updates, we did learn that the labor market continues to improve and consumer prices are on the rise. While this news may have affected market performance, the challenges facing Turkey's economy had an outsize impact on global stocks.
What happened to the Turkish lira?
The Turkish lira dropped 14% to 6.46 per dollar, the weakest on record with the largest drop in more than 17 years. The lira ended the week at a record low against the U.S. dollar. Tension between the U.S. and Turkey played a part in the decline as President Trump tweeted plans to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports. This potential tariff hike followed a stalled conversation between the two countries concerning an imprisoned U.S. pastor who Turkey believes supported a 2016 attempted coup.
How did investors react?
The resulting drop in the lira's value concerned investors and led to losses in markets worldwide. Friday, the S&P 500 marked its largest daily decline since June after getting close to a new record high.
Why do investors care?
The lira's drop is another sign that emerging markets are experiencing challenges in their economies. Some investors worry that Turkey's economic crisis could spread to other countries or affect interest in other emerging markets.
Should you be concerned?
Probably not for now. U.S. companies don't have a tremendous amount of exposure to Turkish markets.
We know that global dynamics can be complex and understanding their specific effects on your financial life may seem challenging. If you have any questions, contact us any time.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THEFT DURING SUMMER
Theft and Burglary crimes increase by roughly 10% during the summer months. A big reason is because many people are traveling and taking vacations without considering the possibility of theft. There are 3 big rules to remember in order to prevent theft from happening to you:
1. Always have your home appear to be occupied.
Leave a few lights on inside and outside your home along with leaving any extra vehicles parked in the driveway.
2. Go the extra mile when locking up your home.
Even if you're not on vacation, always have your garage doors closed unless within a very close proximity. Experts suggest to even get into the habit of locking the door from the garage into your house as well.
3. Don't keep expensive items in your car.
Car doors and trunks are not considered secure and are relatively easy to break into. Items you should absolutely never leave in your car are laptops or anything with access to personal information, as these could be used to steal your identity.
FINANCIAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
LIMIT YOUR ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX (AMT)
The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was originally known as the "millionaires' tax". It was intended to make sure the rich didn't get away tax free.
Today, you only need to be concerned if your AGI exceeds the AMT exemption amount. For the 2018 tax year, the threshold is $191,500 for taxpayers married filing jointly, single and head of household. It is $95,750 for married filing separately under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs act signed by President Trump in 2017.
AMT does not allow personal exemptions and specific itemized deductions. These include state and local income taxes, foreign tax credits, employee business expenses, interest on home equity mortgages (unless it was used to improve your home) and real estate and personal property taxes.
AMT may also include other income streams not counted towards regular income such as stock options (exercised), tax-exempt bond interest, foreign tax credits, passive income and losses and net operating loss deductions.
Here are a few ways to potentially reduce the AMT liability if your AGI exceeds the exemption amount:
- If you're an employee, get your company to reimburse you for expenses.
- Be sure your state tax withholding does not exceed your expected payment.
- Don't prepay property taxes, pay only when they are due.
- Sell exercised incentive stock options in the same year in which you exercised them. If you exercise options, but don't sell, the value of the options becomes income for AMT purposes.