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Higgins Capital Management, Inc.

Evaluating the Economy and Evaluating your Wealth

The Economy: Evaluating the economy is a matter of thinking locally within the context of the larger national and global picture. The US economy continues to expand as it has done since 2009. A combination of free money from the Fed, rising asset values in real estate/stocks, tax cuts, deficit spending, profit repatriation and a doubling of consumer debt has fueled this growth. All these factors have ended or are close to their limits as the environment has evolved. Future growth will have to come from areas other than monetary or fiscal stimulus as the Fed continues to tighten. One area of stimulus may be the integration of US Trade and Foreign policy. We’re seeing this with tariffs being imposed on friend and foe alike. Foreign policy is no longer being driven by trade and vice versa. These are long term trends that bear watching. For San Diegans, one thing is certain, with the Pivot to The Pacific in response to the rise of China, Defense Department money will increasingly pour into San Diego County. This will draw other industries into the area and continue to support the growth dynamic.

Food for Thought: Wealth confers annual audits, annual reviews and annual tax reporting. Do you have similar processes in place on the personal side? The need to update wills and trusts gets most of the press. But what about changing insurance needs, retirement planning reviews, medical coverage, long-term care or asset consolidation. It doesn't matter how much you make; what matters is how much you keep. Life is increasingly complex as you move through it. Everyone accumulates financial baggage that needs to either be combined or jettisoned. Executive compensation plans are notorious for complexities that grow with age and are either forgotten or lost. The new tax code has changed the landscape. Contact us if we can help you or your family with these issues. In the interim, Vote. The 2018 mid-terms are one of the most important elections in decades. Many see the issues as a culture war. Wage it at the ballot box. If you don't vote you're allowing those with opposing views to define your future. Vote. ... and be aware that this year the absentee ballot requires 2 stamps!