Certified financial planner Wes Moss provides personal finance advice and accessible investment strategies. His guest post appears here weekly.
As Washington transitions from a lame-duck Congress to a new session and a second term for President Barack Obama, little has changed from an investor’s point of view:
• The “fiscal cliff” still looms — $700 billion worth of federal spending cuts and tax hikes that will take place in the new year if Congress doesn’t act on some type of fiscal reform. This essentially represents the deal leftovers from the debt ceiling debate earlier this year, along with the last few years of political wrangling. If left unresolved, it would affect unemployment benefits, payroll taxes, defense spending and the alternative minimum tax — a combined 4.4 percent drag on gross domestic product in 2013.
• Expiration of the Bush tax cuts would mean $220 billion-plus in