Recently, in its monthly update, the Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service announced that there is a 50 percent chance that El Niño conditions will develop during the second half of 2012, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology also is seeing climate indicators pointing to El Niño.
Last week after a summit in Brussels, EU leaders declared a turning point in the Greece fueled Euro debt crisis. Leaders pledged to shift their focus away from budget cutting and onto pro-growth projects.
The tax legislation enacted at the end of 2010, just before we were scheduled to return to a top federal estate and gift tax rate of 55% and an exemption of only $1 million, provided three significant changes in the federal estate and gift tax laws.
Two months ago in our series of blogs on oil, I highlighted Canada and its oil sands as a niche area showing great potential. With the recent pullback in oil prices, there is another region, often overlooked by investors, that offers potential.
U.S. stocks have roughly doubled from their nadir in the spring of 2009 and with this rally we can (at last) point to positive returns for the past 10 years — the S&P 500 is up about 35 percent over that period.
The tax bill enacted at the end of 2010 provides a $5 million exemption from federal gift tax for aggregate lifetime gifts ($10 million for a married couple). This exemption applies for 2011 and 2012, and is in addition to the $13,000 annual exclusion gifts that may be made free of federal gift tax every year.