Why are global stock markets performing so well this year?

The year 2017 is shaping up to be one of the best years in a generation for international stock market investing.

For the first time in any year, the Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Index has posted a gain every single month through October. The media will offer all kinds of explanations, most of which are speculative and unsupported. Pick your cause: low oil prices, low interest rates, improved gross domestic products, Trump, Obama. In the end, no one really has any clue about what drives the investment markets.

Holiday pop-up market launches this week in Mountain View


Above and Below left Photos by Kathy Bonte, Below right photo by Caitlin Schaller/Special to the Town Crier
Artisan gifts available at the holiday pop-up market include wallets, above, jewelry and baby clothes.

While holiday shopping can be stressful, the season also can be hard on vendors who set up shop at festival after festival each weekend. That’s what led local business owner Kathy Bonte to organize a holiday pop-up market that’s scheduled to open Friday in Mountain View.

Bonte’s goal is to provide an affordable platform for smaller businesses to sell their handmade goods, as table fees at festivals can be costly.

Areté Dance Center still making moves

Five years after setting up shop in Loyola Corners, Areté Dance Center is still teaching locals how to cut a rug. But with a transition in ownership this year, the studio is looking to augment its dance offerings while still providing the inclusive, welcoming atmosphere often missing on the more competitive dance scene.

After former co-owners Rebecca and Lerey Bishop sashayed away from the studio, Kris Mola became Areté’s sole proprietor in July.

Assessor reminds homebuyers about supplemental property tax

At a recent Silicon Valley Association of Realtors meeting, Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone enlisted the help of realtors to remind new homebuyers about the supplemental property tax.

Stone said that while he is aware realtors mention the tax when explaining the real estate transaction process, he indicated that often new homebuyers are so excited about purchasing a home, they don’t remember that they will be receiving the supplemental property tax bill months after they move in.

Gitane boutique hosts fundraiser for PRERNA refugee organization


Elizabeth Barcelos/Town Crier
PRERNA volunteers welcomed shoppers to their trunk sale fundraiser, co-hosted by Gitane Freedom of Style boutique in downtown Los Altos. Supporters include, from left, Farah Al Saka, Shreyani Shah, Karen Mecker and Dharini Hiremagalur.

With the idea that the season of giving shouldn’t apply just to friends and family, Gitane Freedom of Style boutique on State Street in downtown Los Altos hosted a holiday trunk show fundraiser Nov. 9 for the refugee support organization PRERNA.

In addition to offering shoppers 15 percent off their purchases, Gitane donated 20 percent of the evening’s sales to the nonprofit agency.

Not paying attention to IRA rules can prove costly to contributors

Most people I speak to are aware of the 10 percent penalty for withdrawing from an IRA prior to age 59 1/2. But there also are penalties for contributing too much in a given year or for not withdrawing enough each year in retirement. Which is worse? By far it’s the latter.

The penalty for making excess contributions to your IRA – more than $5,500, or $6,500 if you’re over age 50 – is only 6 percent of the excess amount. That’s less than the penalty for withdrawing too soon. As long as you withdraw the excess amount prior to Oct. 15 of the year the tax is due (that’s Oct. 15, 2018, for the 2017 tax year), no penalty will be imposed.


Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos