Week In Review

The trade dispute with China was the toast of the town for the second week in a row. With all of the rhetoric out there right now the biggest question I have is what is the real cost of tariffs on Chinese imports? Let’s think about this. Tariffs are a tax. Last year we paid $5.51 trillion in federal, state and local taxes. The new increase in tariffs is the equivalent of a $30 billion tax increase. Which sounds like a lot on its own. But not a lot when you compare it to the $5.51 trillion we’re already paying.

Marketwatch has an opinion piece here that goes in to more detail.

Perhaps the silver lining here is U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. was "close to an understanding with Mexico and Canada" about resolving those tariffs. And, the Trump administration is likely to delay tariffs on auto imports.

What I’ve been reading:

You’ve graduated and now it’s time to pay your student loans. Where do you begin? Some of your loans are subsidized, some are unsubsidized. You have some that are private loans and others that are direct federal loans. Which do you pay off first? Student Loan Hero has a great blog post on this topic here.

The final episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones airs this weekend. If you’re wondering what details you might have missed in last week’s Episode 5, CNET has just the article for you here.

Something to think about. When is the last time you looked at the investments inside of your kids (or grand kids) 529 college savings plan? You typically have three options when you set these plans up. You can invest based on the amount of risk you want to take, the age of your kid, or through a customized portfolio you designed yourself. With the volatility in the market over the last two weeks it could be a good time to revisit your investments and make sure they are still appropriate. If your kid is getting ready to go to college and their 529 is invested predominately in the stock market then the last thing you want is to be caught off guard with prolonged market volatility.

*These are the general views of Stanton Burns and they should not be construed as investment advice for any individual. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Stanton Burns does not maintain positions in any securities mentioned as of the writing of this article. Past performance is historical and does not guarantee future results.