It Could Take the Federal Reserve Two More Years to Fully "Normalize" Interest Rates

March 14, 2017

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) will meet this week and almost assuredly will raise short term interest rates by a quarter of a percent or 25 basis points.

Where have all the workers gone?

February 23, 2017

Despite the highest level of U.S. employment ever and nearly the lowest unemployment rate since 2007, economists at the Federal Reserve (Fed) remain perplexed over how demographics are changing and shaping our workforce…

Don't Fear the Rising Interest Rate Environment – Just Roll With It

January 24, 2017

With interest rates as low as they are today, bond fund investors are rightfully worried about what could happen if (or when) interest rates begin to rise.

Market Outlook 2017

January 2017

This Market Outlook provides economic and financial market perspectives for our Private and Institutional Trust Clients.

Financial Markets, Businesses and Consumers Adjust to a New Political Landscape

January 4, 2017

The surprise election of Donald Trump as the United States' 45th President has been characterized as a sea change in economic policy. Although there are still few specifics about the future policies of the new administration, several broad proposals have raised expectations for a boost to growth in both 2017 and 2018.

"Trump Effect" on the Municipal Bond Market

December 12, 2016

Municipal bond yields have moved even higher and are now trading above Treasury yields. For those keeping score, this is a rare occurrence that some see as an attractive opportunity, particularly for long-term investors. Why has this happened?

Revisiting the "Active" versus "Passive" Investment Management Debate: Investment Styles Come and Go

December 1, 2016

"Deleveraging" Debt As a Society: What It Tells Us About the Health of the U.S. Economy As We Leave the Great Recession Behind

November 17, 2016

From 2000 to 2007, debt accelerated at an exceptionally fast pace, driven primarily by the explosion in household mortgage debt and bank debt.

Donald Trump's November Surprise: Where Do the Markets Go from Here?

November 10, 2016

The financial markets have quickly adjusted to their initial uncertainty regarding the surprising Republican sweep of Tuesday's presidential elections… So why all the volatility?

Oil prices not likely to spike anytime soon despite Russia joining recent OPEC production cut

October 27, 2016

The worldwide dynamic that has kept oil inventories overflowing for the last two years may have shifted late last month when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to cut cartel production to drive up prices.

Chronically Low Interest Rate Environment Keeps Pushing Investors Looking for Yield in Riskier Assets

October 13, 2016

During the past summer, we reached a point where more than 300 of the stocks in the S&P 500 index produced annual dividend yields that were greater than what investors could get for the benchmark 10-year U.S. treasury, now hovering between 1.5% and 1.7%.

Medicare Signup: Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Sort Through the Options

October 6, 2016

As part of the Social Security Amendments of 1965, Medicare legislation established a health insurance program for senior persons to complement the retirement, survivors, and disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act. The program we have today has grown complex. Making informed choices on your healthcare insurance as you approach retirement age is critical to meeting your unique long-term needs.

Long overdue – IRS finally gives taxpayers partial relief from 60-day rollover pitfalls

September 22, 2016

As head of The Commerce Trust Company's East Region tax group, Tom Bassett uncovers helpful strategies and shares his perspective on preparing for next year's taxes.*

Not Enough Economic Mojo – Federal Reserve Will Likely Hold Off on Potential Interest Rate Hike This Week

September 19, 2016

The Federal Reserve (Fed) meets this week to discuss a plethora of economic issues, but when the shouting is over, raising interest rates another quarter point is not likely to happen just yet.

What happens when an adult child inherits an IRA from a parent?

September 13, 2016

Sometimes, even the simplest, seemingly most straightforward financial transaction can be fumbled in a hurry without having the right expertise at your disposal.

Considerations before Buying a Second Home

September 6, 2016

It is estimated that between six and 10 percent of homes in the United States are second homes. If you are considering buying a second home, now could be a good time to take the leap with interest rates still near historic lows.

Reasons not to be a momentum investor even with U.S. markets reaching all-time highs

August 30, 2016

As part of a series on how advisors can deliver value to their clients, Nick Fafoglia, CFA®, a senior Investment Portfolio Manager at The Commerce Trust Company, helps investors re-examine their underlying motivations in making buy-sell decisions for their portfolios.

Revealing Commentary on What Impact a Democratic or Republican Administration Could Have on the Economy

August 22, 2016

At a recent client teleconference, Commerce Director of Investment Strategies Joe Williams and Chief Economist Scott Colbert were asked how November's upcoming presidential election might affect the U.S. stock markets and economy in general.

What Is the Impact of Proposed IRS Regulations on Family Businesses?

August 9, 2016

The latest development comes as the Treasury Department releases this new set of proposed regulations that will make it harder for wealthy business owners to transfer assets to heirs without paying estate and gift taxes. Thomas Bassett, Tax Manager at The Commerce Trust Company, takes a moment to answer some questions about the proposed regulations.

Women and Finances: Empowering Your Financial Independence

August 3, 2016

Financial freedom doesn't happen overnight – nor does it come without obstacles – but the commitment to become financially independent can. In the second of her three-part series on Women and Finances, Kim Bridges talks about the importance of maintaining financial independence…

Does the 7-Year U.S. Economic Recovery Have Legs After Brexit?

July 28, 2016

Diversification Can Achieve Higher Returns, Reduce Risk

July 19, 2016

The heart of investing is not numbers and figures but setting goals and trying to reach them. Watch Barbara Turley, Director of Investment Research, talk about asset allocation, why it is such an important decision for a portfolio and how diversification can help you maximize returns and reduce risk.

U.S. Long-term Treasuries Near Record Lows – What It Tells Us About The World Economy Post-Brexit

July 7, 2016

Many were relieved last week to see the U.S. equity markets recover quickly from the impact of Britain’s referendum to exit the European Union (EU). It almost seemed too easy. But now the bond market is telling us a different story than the stock market, signaling the “exit” might not be all that simple.

Retirement Plan Services

June 30, 2016

Tracey Lewis, Senior Vice President of Institutional Sales and Relationship Management, and Jennifer O'Neill, Institutional Business Development Officer discuss how clients looking for retirement plan services can benefit from Commerce Trust Company deep expertise in developing custom solutions with our hallmark personal service.

The UK Deals Itself A New Hand With The European Union

June 24, 2016

As we mentioned in our communication to clients earlier this week, the vote by the United Kingdom (UK) to leave the European Union (EU) would be an historic one, and the surprising results of the British referendum this morning confirmed the country's decision to leave the European economic alliance of 28 countries.

Market Update 2016

June 2016

This Market Update provides economic and financial market perspectives for our Private and Institutional Trust Clients. Select the link below to view the full report.

What You Need to Know: Yes, the European Union Referendum Vote Can Affect Your Investments

June 20, 2016

U.S. investors may think of the European Union (EU) referendum as a temporary economic flap across the Atlantic, but Britain's decision to keep or revoke its EU membership on June 23rd could affect your investment portfolio – especially if you have exposure to international stocks or mutual funds.

Non-Profit Services at The Commerce Trust Company

June 15, 2016

Here at The Commerce Trust Company, we know that the non-profit community plays a vital role in the wellbeing of our communities. Click here to watch Amy Pieper, Director of Non-Profit Services, talk about the resources and services we provide to our non-profit clients.

Federal Reserve Will Likely Hold Off On Potential Interest Rate Hike This Week

June 13, 2016

For those who were concerned that a potential second Federal Reserve interest rate hike this week would roil the markets as badly as the first one did late last year, you can relax.

Commerce Trust Named Largest Trust Company in the St. Louis Area by Local Assets Under Management

June 9, 2016

The Commerce Trust Company has been named the largest trust company in the St. Louis area by local assets under management by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Is it best to liquidate an investment or borrow against it when you need cash?

June 9, 2016

Now that the economy is several years past the Great Recession, security-based lines of credit have been growing in popularity.

Institutional Investments at The Commerce Trust Company

June 1, 2016

Commerce Trust's Institutional team provides investment management capabilities and services to institutions looking for superior money management.

Yet another reminder in the news – no adult should die without a will

May 19, 2016

Be prepared! The recent passing of Prince will make headlines the rest of the year as we all learn what a financial fiasco it can be to die without, it appears, leaving a written will.

Alternative Investments: A less-paved path to a more successful portfolio

May 17, 2016

Alternative investments tend to be unfamiliar territory for many investors, but can play an important role in a portfolio. Click here to listen to Cindy Rapponotti, Director of Alternative Investment Strategy, discuss how alternative investments can help clients be more successful in reaching their financial goals.

How do I know I've been affected by new government rules for retirement savings plans?

May 3, 2016

The Department of Labor rolled out a long-anticipated new rule on April 6 aimed at transforming the way financial advisors are allowed to make investment recommendations for 401(k) and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

Equity Investing

April 29, 2016

Joe Williams CFA, our Director of Investment Strategy, outlines our philosophy behind equity investing.

Federal Reserve Will Likely Pause For Now, But Another Interest Rate Hike Is Lurking Before Fall Elections

April 26, 2016

Almost no one believes the Federal Reserve (Fed) will raise short-term interest rates another quarter-point at its April policy meeting this week given the rough impact of last year's first hike on U.S. and global markets late in 2015.

Why a Limited Liability Company Can Be an Advantageous Form of Ownership for the Real Estate Investor

April 22, 2016

In recent years, the Limited Liability Company (LLC) has become a familiar form of ownership for real estate investors. Investors are concerned about liability and are looking for effective ways to protect their assets.

Fixed Income Approach

April 15, 2016

Scott Colbert, our Director of Fixed Income Management, talks about how Commerce Trust's well-honed process and approach has led to recognized success and performance.

Women and Finances: Empowering a Better Future

April 12, 2016

Women now control $18.4 trillion in consumer spending, hold approximately 30% of global wealth, and are the sole heads of 32% of U.S. households. All that leads to the fact that more women are making financial decisions for themselves and their families than at any other time in history.

What Does The New Fiduciary Rule Mean For Retirement Investors?

April 6, 2016

The Department of Labor (DOL) announced today its long-awaited new "fiduciary rule." The rule provides a new interpretation of the term fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code, which state that a person is considered a fiduciary to a plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) if he or she offers "investment advice for a fee."

Investors: Understand the regulatory landscape to stay one step ahead

March 30, 2016

Today's current regulatory landscape is ever changing and complex. Listen to Jennifer O'Neill, Institutional Business Development Officer, talk about one of the most pressing issues in the retirement plan regulatory landscape today: how the Department of Labor's proposal on "fiduciary" responsibility will affect the investment industry.

Why would falling oil prices have a negative impact on the stock market?

March 22, 2016

Many analysts would say the economy is too complex today to expect one commodity like oil to drive all business activity in a predictable way. But that hasn't stopped some from recalibrating their analysis to find out if there remains or if there ever was a reliable correlation between the price of oil and the performance of the overall stock market.

Alternative Minimum Tax: How can it affect me?

March 16, 2016

The AMT now affects millions of families each year, and the complexity around it can create uncertainty for taxpayers. Learn more from Tom Bassett, Tax Manager of the East Region for Commerce Trust Company.

How long should I keep my tax records?

March 8, 2016

Is the financial paperwork piling up at your house? Despite the inconvenience, the truth is that many financial documents require long-term safekeeping. Holding onto your basic tax records for at least three years is the norm, and some should be kept indefinitely.

Tax ID Theft: How to protect yourself

March 3, 2016

Stolen identity tax fraud is a growing problem. Tom Bassett, our Tax Manager of the East Region, discusses what to watch out for, how to protect yourself and what to do if you become a victim.

Tax Season 2016: How to fight back during a down market

February 3, 2016

As head of The Commerce Trust Company's East Region tax group, Tom Bassett takes a moment to share his bird's-eye view of various issues that federal tax filers will face as we build toward the April 15 tax deadline.

Is this a bear market or a market correction?

January 21, 2016

The "bear" word is back in the investment lexicon as economists debate whether recent market turbulence is a normal cyclical disturbance or a bear market possibly leading to recession.

Rocky start to new year is no surprise

January 5, 2016

U.S. stocks got off to a rocky trading start in the new year, buffeted by continuing concerns over global economic slowdown, yesterday's drop in Chinese stocks, downward pressure on energy prices and increasing political tensions in the Middle East.

Market Outlook 2016

January 2016

This Market Outlook provides economic and financial market perspectives for our Private and Institutional Trust Clients.

Want to donate from your IRA?

December 23, 2015

Deadline looming to take advantage of recent changes in qualified charitable distribution rules.

The Commerce Trust Company has a new website!

December 2015

We're excited to announce the launch of the new Commerce Trust website. Not only have we secured a new location for our site, we've also completed a full website redesign.

Interest Rate Hike Is Right Prescription

December 16, 2015

While it may be anti-climactic, we've taken our first spoonful of medicine. We think Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen got it right when she hiked interest rates 0.25% today.

File-and-Suspend: No longer available to married couples ready to claim Social Security

December 3, 2015

One of the primary strategies for claiming Social Security benefits was closed by the government last month. The closure of the "file-and-suspend" strategy will affect many married couples nearing the retirement plateau. The new rules do not kick in until April 29, 2016, and those who are at full retirement age (or will reach it in the next six months), will still have the opportunity to file-and-suspend.

10 Financial Steps to Take Before Year-End

November 2015

The end of the year is quickly approaching – which often means colder weather, family gatherings, and a hefty to-do list.

Worldwide markets remain resilient after this weekend's terrorist attacks in Paris

November 16, 2015

Many investment analysts are echoing similar sentiments this morning that terrorist events tend to have very limited long-term impact on the worldwide economy and markets. With some minor exceptions, worldwide markets have generally taken measured responses and have not by any means overreacted to the events in Paris this past weekend.

Finding an Investment Advisor

November 2015

Six Questions to Help Find an Advisor who Shares Your Vision

Economic theatrics? Investors look for clarity on when the Fed will hike interest rates

November 3, 2015

History dictates that interest rates will not stay low forever, but the speed at which rates rise and how far up they climb is difficult to predict. With ongoing discussion in the marketplace about when rather than if the Federal Reserve (Fed) will raise rates, we thought it was an ideal time to talk with Commerce Chief Economist Scott Colbert about the possible timing and effects of an interest rate hike.

Search upcoming earnings reports for the 'canary in the coal mine'

October 26, 2015

Look for third-quarter company earnings reports to trickle out over the next few weeks, jostling jumpy markets and making the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) decision on how far out to push a possible interest rate hike just that much harder to predict. So far, initial earnings have been lackluster.

Mid-Semester Report Card: Did Your College Student Sign a Healthcare Power of Attorney?

October 15, 2015

Bruce Talen, general counsel at The Commerce Trust Company, gives you some practical steps in avoiding a scenario where you cannot make decisions about your child's care.

Weak Job Growth Took Wall Street by Surprise

October 7, 2015

U.S. employers have slowed hiring new workers over the last two months and wages fell in September.

Will the Fed take a pass today?

September 17, 2015

The Federal Reserve will tell us today if they will or won't raise rates. We doubt they will raise them, but even if they do, the forward path of future hikes is likely to remain modest and not roil the markets.

How to Protect the Elderly from Fraudsters

September 3, 2015

Financial fraud against the elderly is an increasing problem as scammers find new tricks to exploit the unwary. Retirement nest eggs can disappear as a result, and lost sums are virtually unrecoverable. Doug Nelson, CPA, Commerce Tax Manager for the West Region, takes a moment to discuss the latest deceptions, and gives you seven practical ideas to make sure you or your loved ones aren't tricked by these modern-day thieves.

After the Big Drop, What's Next for the Market?

August 25, 2015

Commerce Trust Chief Economist and Director of Fixed Income Scott Colbert, CFA, discusses the causes of recent market activity and what might be on the horizon.

Emotions and Investing

August 2015

Don't let your feelings cloud your investment decisions.

Spring's Brief Oil Price Rally Fades As Stockpiles of Global Crude Continue to Build

August 17, 2015

Commerce Trust Senior Portfolio Manager Chuck Freedman, CFA, CAIA, takes a moment to update his energy overview from the first quarter to assess where we are now and where we might be headed this fall.

Is the Chinese economy the tail that wags the global markets?

August 3, 2015

Recent financial commentaries have generally focused on the economic slowdown in China as the main culprit behind the yo-yo volatility in the markets last week.

Avoid the Common Social Security Mistakes

August 2015

Minimize taxes by maximizing tax-efficient investing strategies

"Midyear Economic Update – How Will U.S. Economy and Financial Markets React to Impending Fed Interest Rate Hikes?"

July 21, 2015

Market Volatility: 4 Ways You Can Manage It

July 2015

During market volatility, many investors become nervous and begin to question their investment strategies. Remember that it is the nature of the markets to move up and down over the short term, so attempting to time the market is nearly impossible.

What's Next for Greece and the Markets?

July 1, 2015

Commerce Chief Economist Scott Colbert, CFA, offers some insight on why the current Greek economic drama does have real impact on your investment portfolio, and how the European Union (EU) and its euro currency could affect world economies.

Understanding the Role of Cash in Your Portfolio

June 2015

It's easy to understand why investors may be wary of stocks. The stock market has suffered two major pullbacks in recent memory: January 2000 to July 2002 and December 2007 to June 2009. Since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009, the stock market has continued to reach record highs. Despite the run-up in stocks, people have actually been adding to their cash balances, regardless of their age or amount of wealth.

What will rising interest rates mean for the stock market?

June 19, 2015

The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) has been telegraphing a rate increase for some time now so it seems like the question is no longer "if", but "when". Nick Fafoglia, CFA®, a senior Investment Portfolio Manager at The Commerce Trust Company, takes a moment to address the impact of the impending Fed action and the potential impact on stocks.

What is Your Investing Personality?

June 2015

It's a question every investor should ask and be asked. Why? Because no two investing personalities are alike, no one-size-fits-all investing formula exists, and every investor weighs the tradeoff between risk and return with a different scale.

Gifting Strategy of the Future: "Please Send the Bill to Grandma"

June 10, 2015

As head of The Commerce Trust Company's East Region tax group, Tom Bassett uncovers helpful strategies and shares his perspective on preparing for next year's taxes.

Reaction to Increasing Litigation Directed at 401(k) Retirement Plan Sponsors

June 10, 2015

If litigation in the 401(k) arena isn't keeping retirement plan advisors up at night, it should. The top Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) class-action settlements exceeded $1.3 billion in 2014, which was 10 times higher than the previous year; by the close of 2014, there were in excess of 7,000 ERISA lawsuits.1 No other area of employment workplace law experienced this level of growth in 2014.

Market Update 2015

June 2015

This Market Update provides economic and financial market perspectives for our Private and Institutional Trust Clients. Select the link below to view the full report.

Actionable Investment Insights from Warren Buffett's Teachings

May 2015

Billionaire, philanthropist and arguably one of the greatest investors of all time, Warren Buffett needs little introduction. He is known for delivering practical investment advice nearly everyone can use. Part of his genius lies in his ability to simplify complex ideas into bite-sized quotes that provide extraordinary insights such as the following.

Retirement Readiness Checklist

May 2015

Deciding when to retire should be a balanced decision that weighs a variety of key factors. Use this checklist to help explore those factors.

Reaction to Fed Chairman Janet Yellen's Comments About U.S. Stock Valuations

May 7, 2015

Joe Williams, CFA®, Director of Investment Strategy for The Commerce Trust Company, adds some historical perspective to Fed Chairman Janet Yellen's remarks on U.S. stock valuations.

How to Prepare for Healthcare Expenses in Retirement

May 2015

You have probably spent time daydreaming about retirement – exploring new hobbies, enjoying more time with the grandchildren and taking extended vacations. You have probably even calculated how much you will need to make your dreams a reality, but have you considered the potential impact of healthcare costs in retirement?

Six Strategies to Reduce Your Tax Bill

April 2015

Minimize taxes by maximizing tax-efficient investing strategies

Behavioral finance: Why do savvy people often make big investing mistakes?

April 28, 2015

As part of a series on how advisors can deliver value to their clients, Nick Fafoglia, CFA®, a senior Investment Portfolio Manager at The Commerce Trust Company, helps investors re-examine their underlying motivations in making buy-sell decisions for their portfolios.

Retirement Concerns that May Keep You Up at Night

April 2015

Your retirement dreams may be filled with traveling, hobbies or simply spending more time with family and friends, but you may also have sleepless nights due to common retirement concerns.

Consolidating Your Retirement Accounts

April 2015

Putting your retirement savings in one place helps you keep an eye on the big picture

Slow and Steady Employment Growth Is Better Than Boom and Bust

April 8, 2015

The government's jobs report last Friday was the weakest since December 2013, but in the long run it simply gives the Federal Reserve (Fed) more runway to work with in determining the timing of anticipated interest rate hikes.

Regional Economic Success Continues for United States While Most Global Neighbors Lag Behind

April 1, 2015

While global economies generally advanced or declined in lock-step during the past decade, we are currently witnessing divergences between the outlooks for major regions of the world. And regional geography becomes more and more a determining factor for investors' portfolios.

Complexity of Tax Returns Rises Again - Implications of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

March 23, 2015

As head of The Commerce Trust Company's East Region tax group, Tom Bassett takes a moment to share his bird's eye view of a growing problem that federal tax filers will face as we build toward the April 15th tax deadline.

Fed Gives Itself Some "Flexibility" on Timing of Rate Rise

March 19, 2015

All economic ears were tuned into the Federal Reserve's pronouncement Wednesday that the economy is growing stronger, but not quite strong enough to identify the exact timing of the anticipated interest rate hike.

Trending Upward Again in 2015 - Taxpayer Identity Theft

February 25, 2015

As head of The Commerce Trust Company's East Region tax group, Tom Bassett takes a moment to share his bird's eye view of a growing problem that federal tax filers will face as we build toward the April 15th tax deadline.

The top economic themes that clients have on their minds in a five-minute read…

January 29, 2015

Market Outlook 2015

January 2015

This Market Outlook provides economic and financial market perspectives for our Private and Institutional Trust Clients.

Sell-off in petro commodities looms large for global economy, but Energy Master Limited Partnerships can position you for success

January 9, 2015

While the sell-off in oil and commodities command headlines, master limited partnerships (MLPs) that invest in energy-related infrastructure supporting oil and gas production are enjoying a quiet resurgence not seen since the 1970s.

Who do we thank for low oil prices? Why China, of course

December 10, 2014

You may still be a little incredulous as you pull away from the pump – maybe even a bit giddy. You dreaded emptying your wallet into your vehicle's tank only six months ago, and now you wonder how long this discount energy bonanza will last.

"Five years later – Is the financial hangover finally gone?"

July 17, 2014

Market Update 2014

June 2014

This Market Update provides economic and financial market perspectives for our Private and Institutional Trust Clients. Select the link below to view the full report.

Market Outlook 2014

January 2014

This Market Outlook provides economic and financial market perspectives for our Private and Institutional Trust Clients.

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