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State of The Firm 2018

Every January we sit down to review where we are as a firm, what happened over the past year and to set goals for the upcoming year. We wanted to put this in writing to share with everyone who makes our firm a success. We couldn't do what we do without each and every person reading this and we appreciate your support. Please let us know if there is anything you'd like to see from us in the new year or some way that we can better serve you.

L.K. Benson & Company is Proud to Announce...

Parents take great pride in the accomplishment of their children. Often children follow a dream quite unlike that of their parents; to see your son take a career path similar to your own generates a great deal of pride. To be able to work side by side with your child in your chosen profession on a daily basis is a blessing. To also see him take a lead in the profession you have worked so hard to build is icing on the cake!

2017 Year End Market Commentary

For the first time in history, the S&P 500 index, which tracks large cap US stocks, finished every single month in 2017 with positive returns. For the year it finished with a return of close to 22%, yet still wasn't even the top performing asset class for the year! Emerging market international stocks returned a whopping 37% and developed market international stocks returned about 25%. There is no shortage of positive return stories for 2017, as small cap stocks finished up almost 15% and REIT's were up almost 9%.

Tax Reform - It's Finally Happening!

Are you sick of hearing about the Tax Reform Bill? Don't worry, we are sick of writing about it! We followed the bill from the initial one page plan that was released in April to the nine page "framework" released in October. We pored over the almost 500 page detailed report in November and the thousand plus pages of the Senate and House bills passed earlier this month. Now we finally have a final version of the bill passed by the Senate and the House and ready to be signed by the President!

FIFO Cost Basis In Tax Reform Bill

The Senate tax reform proposal includes a provision that would require that the cost of any security sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of on or after January 1, 2018, be determined on a first-in first-out (FIFO) basis. Many observers have questioned whether opening separate brokerage accounts to hold the stock would avoid the application of these rules, but we do not think this would work as the rules would be applied across all accounts. It is important to note that this provision is not in the House version of the tax reform bill, so we still need to see if it survives the committee reconciliation process.

2017 Tax Reform Bill Inches Closer To Reality

In the early morning hours of Saturday, December 2, the Senate passed a tax reform bill that would bring sweeping changes to our income tax system for individuals and corporations. The House of Representatives had already passed a similar bill earlier in November, and now the reconciliation process has begun. While significant differences between the two bills remain (see here for a good summary), there are enough similarities that we believe the odds are high that a compromised version of the bill will be signed into law before the end of the year.