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Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 12:23 am | Fair 44º


Local Advisers ‘Serve Up Solutions’ for Global Economy, Taxes and Financial Planning

Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf and Mission Wealth Management host Santa Barbara forum to offer insight and strategies

Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf LLP and Mission Wealth Management LLC “Served Up Solutions” on the global economy, tax landscape and financial planning at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara on Thursday night.

Matthew Adams, director of investments for Mission Wealth Management, provided insight on the global economy and investment strategies. He said other than the proposed 50 percent haircut for Greece’s debt problems, Europe has Portugal, Spain and Italy to worry about.

“The big problem in the room is Italy; $2.5 trillion in debt, it’s the third most indebted nation in the world,” Adams said.

There are two ways to get out of it — to grow its way out or through some form of austerity. Adams said the European Central Bank is the ultimate backstop.

“The problem with that, though, if the ECB gets involved, each of the sovereign governments have to recapitalize their own banks,” he said. “So it’s spread a little unevenly in the Euro Zone,” with Germany and France holding the bulk of it.

He said the good news is that U.S. exports have surpassed pre-recession levels, and the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — will grow at an average of 4 percent to 7 percent annually.

“They will be the engine that pulls the world economy along for decades to come,” said Adams, adding that America’s expected growth is projected to be less than 2 percent in 2012.

Investors should expect a volatile stock market because of algorithmic technology and high frequency trade, he said. A 5 percent to 7 percent move “doesn’t matter anymore.”

Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf partner Bridget Foreman discussed the proposed 9-9-9 Plan, the Fair Tax, the Jobs Act and the role of the “super committee.”

The super committee is tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over the next 10 years, with a proposal by Dec. 23. Foreman said that if the deadline isn’t met, there will be an automatic $1.2 trillion cut. She added that current tax incentives, such as deducting home mortgage interest, may be reduced or taken out.

Both speakers recommended accelerating income and capital gains to take advantage of the lower tax rates, capturing current deductions before 2013, transferring assets for state and gift planning, and refinancing debts.

She said this time next year, it’s going to be a nail biter.

“The best strategy right now is to understand your financial position, understand the complex makeup of your income and wealth events,” Foreman said. “Really understand them and work with your advisers so that as changes do start coming down the pipe, you have put yourself in the best position.”

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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