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Secure Act 2.0

While the focus in Washington right now is on infrastructure and the American Families plan, there is another piece of legislation that has drawn much less attention, but which has significant bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House and is being dubbed the SECURE Act 2.0.

Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments

Recently, there were changes made to the child tax credit that will benefit many taxpayers. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act that was enacted in March 2021, the child tax credit amount has increased for certain taxpayers; is fully refundable (meaning you can receive it even if you don’t owe the IRS); and may be partially received in monthly payments. The new law also raised the age of qualifying children to 17 from 16, meaning some families will be able to take advantage of the credit longer. The IRS will pay half the credit in the form of advance monthly payments beginning July 15. Taxpayers will then claim the other half when they file their 2021 income tax return.

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2021 Q2 Market Commentary: Riding The Wave

Summer is here and as we look back over the past year in the investment markets it might feel as though we’ve been on the ocean riding a neverending wave. Let's review the markets and see what we can learn about finance from a surf lesson!

The Psychology of Money

I’ve been a fan of Morgan Housel’s writing for years and frequently share his blog posts in our monthly newsletter. In my opinion, he has joined Jason Zweig as an absolute must-read for all investors. So when his new book, The Psychology of Money, came out last fall, I couldn’t wait to read it. While it’s a book about money, it won’t bore you with details about stocks and bonds or insurance and taxes. Instead, Morgan focuses on what drives our behavior around money and how you should think about money to have a successful financial life. As he puts it, “The premise of this book is that doing well with money has a little to do with how smart you are and a lot to do with how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people.”

2021 Q1 Market Commentary: Then vs. Now

Last year when I sat down to write my first quarter market commentary, lockdowns had just started and we were all adjusting to a new world of mask-wearing and social distancing. It’s been a long twelve months since then, and it’s hard to comprehend all that has changed in that time. We are not out of the woods yet and the alarming COVID case counts coming from some parts of the world should give us pause, but at least we can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel. Let’s take a look at where we were twelve months ago compared to where we are now in a few important areas.

2021 Tax Filing Dates

The IRS has announced an extension of the tax filing deadline for 2020 individual tax returns to May 17, 2021, and most states have followed suit. They did NOT extend the due date for 2021 first quarter estimated tax payments or fiduciary and gift tax returns. Maryland announced a different extended deadline of July 15, 2021. All these changes has caused some confusion so we though we'd summarize what is due when here