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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2019 Important datesThe start of a new year always brings with it a great sense of potential. This year may you feel at ease knowing that you will accomplish all that needs to be done in a timely manner. Health careMedicare operates on...

 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan is increasing from $18,500 to $19,000 starting in 2019. The catch-up contribution limit for...

 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Value stocks have underperformed growth stocks for most of the past decade. In the last two years, this trend has been fueled by the rising popularity of the high-growth FAANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) in the...

 

Friday, November 16, 2018

The charts for the S&P 500 are setting up a long-term classic head and shoulders top. A head and shoulders pattern is a chart formation that has a baseline with three peaks, with the middle being the highest (i.e. it resembles a head...

 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Recent price action and economic developments suggest stock market uncertainty. Former market leaders have become laggards, the Fed's policy is removing liquidity from the system, growth is slowing, and generally valuations are still...

 

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Monday, October 22, 2018

When is the next time you or a loved one will go to the hospital? Is your job really secure? What if your car breaks down tomorrow? What if, while basting the Thanksgiving turkey, you set your house on fire? Are you prepared for a...

 

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Federal Reserve’s unprecedented quantitative-tightening (QT) campaign to unwind trillions of dollars of quantitative easing (QE) is just hitting full speed into the 4th quarter of 2018. The Fed recently had its 8th rate hike...

 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Does this Bull Market Have Room to Run? (Market) The great bull market that began in March 2009 and catapulted stocks to record levels four times as high could be dying. Excess liquidity caused by the central bank quantitative easing...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

A bad credit rating can influence your ability to take out loans, open credit cards or even cause you to have a higher interest rate. And it might now always be your fault. Some extenuating circumstances, such as hospitalization or a...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Stocks hit all-time highs in late January of 2018 and have shot upward in the late summer months. Underneath the current market surface, a disconcerting trend with corporate earnings began developing a few months ago and is continuing...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

How concentrated is today’s market? And why might it matter to investors going forward? Concentration is when fewer and fewer stocks are primarily responsible for driving the gains in the broader market indices, such as the S&P...

 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Since the financial crisis in early-2009, household wealth has surged by nearly $46 trillion or 83% to a record $100.8 trillion. The powerful increase in household wealth (blue line) has far exceeded the growth of the underlying...

 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Prepare for more dizziness as the latest economic worry is the inverted yield curve. It is said to be directly linked to the future health of the economy. The shape of the yield curve has been changing recently and is nearing an...

 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Invariably, the stock market turns down before a recession hits and rises before it is over. Of the 47 U.S. recessions since 1802, 43 (9 out of 10) have been preceded by stock market declines of 8% or more. Stock Prices and Business...

 

Friday, July 13, 2018

The reported national debt of $34 trillion is currently 120% of GDP, a level only seen before in the wake of World War II. Unlike the last time, there are no signs that debt has peaked. We use a percentage of GDP to convey our ability...

 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Yield Curve and StocksThe inversion of the Treasury bond yield curve in 2000 and again in 2006 kicked off dramatic retreats in year-over-year percentage job increases. Eventually, job growth turned negative alongside economic...

 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

In the first quarter of 2018, S&P 500 operating margins surged to a new all-time high at 11.36%. Margins may remain elevated at or beyond current all-time. The same way that advancements in technology around the turn of the millennium...

 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The U.S. personal savings rate is the lowest it has been since before the financial crisis, and near the lowest levels in 60 years. The dropping savings rate has not been a straight line but did begin around 1975 as Baby Boomers...

 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Next year at tax time, your accountant may tell you about all the tax planning that could have been done last year. But by then, it will already be too late. Unfortunately, many tax preparers are history teachers. They tell you what...

 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Are preparations in place to support your family in case of an accident or emergency? Brush up on insurance basics to make sure you have peace of mind for your financial future. There is a balance to be sought between paying for...

 

Monday, May 14, 2018

The average consumer checking balance has increased in 23 of the past 30 quarters. Stashing cash is generally seen as a sign of low economic confidence, and thus not portending good. The pre-global financial-crisis benchmark of less...

 

Monday, May 14, 2018

While it was impossible to know ahead of time exactly how each part of the market would respond, state officials had been warned about the general risks and failed to take proper precautions. Interest rates are on the cusp of rising...

 

Monday, April 16, 2018

April is tax month – get your taxes in on time to avoid any penalties. What else can you do to trim down your taxes? There are many things to consider when you prepare your taxes, and to keep in mind year-round.  Withholding the...

 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Contrarian long-term investors seek out bargains and will be patient to get the desired return. This is the kind of prudent behavior known to shoppers worldwide; just in the stock market. The fundamentals drive our process, because...

 

Friday, April 13, 2018

The stock market now exceeds the extreme valuation peak of 1929 and is only exceeded by the 2000 Tech Bubble as measured by the Shiller Cyclically Adjusted Price Earnings (CAPE) ratio. While the Shiller CAPE ratio may have some critics...

 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Here’s a number most people would like to see on an annual statement: 21.6 percent. That was the annual return for the Standard & Poor (S&P) 500 Index during 2017. In general, U.S. stock indices did quite well last year –...

 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” a 1,097-page bill, should provide a boost to the U.S. economy and bring relief to many taxpayers. However, not everyone will benefit. Standard DeductionThe standard deduction has been increased...

 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fed tightening periods include:• the 1981 tightening (began late 1980)• January 1994• January 2000• January 2005. As in 2005, the Fed has now lifted short-term interest rates enough to put the difference between the...

 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Investors consistently repeat the same mistakes. From exuberance to fear, buying high to selling low, chasing returns, and always believing this time is different, only to once again be reminded it is not. An environment of daily price...

 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Historically, 10% market corrections have taken place, on average, every half year; 20% declines every other year; and 30% slumps every seven years. Since 2009, only four 10% corrections have occurred and no 20% or 30% drops. Market...

 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Here’s a riddle for you: Some people are reluctant to start me, unless I’m automatic. I’m frequently exhausted when I don’t roll over. I’m sometimes left behind. Retirees devour me. What am I? Answer: A...

 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The new tax bill is a major coup for U.S. corporations, but a mixed bag of give-and-take for individual taxpayers, with benefits sharply skewed to the wealthy. The top corporate tax rate, which affects publicly traded companies, will...

 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2017 brought strong returns and almost no volatility which are tough to come by and tough to repeat. It was the kind of smooth returns that typically come with hefty management fees but instead was available on any index-tracking fund...

 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Fifteen years ago, a Health Services Research report described the challenges ahead for the United States as the Baby Boom generation aged into retirement. Four issues were paramount: 1) improving payment and insurance systems for...

 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The last bear market in bonds began in the middle of the last century and lasted for about 31 years. Some investors who bought bonds in 1950 locked in relatively low rates of return for a very long time. On January 1, 1950, 10-year U...

 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

If you want to save some extra money this holiday season, create a list of everyone you need to buy presents for and list the amounts you think you can spend. Then stick to it. Here are some helpful holiday-season hints, too. Online...

 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Investors tend to be very ambitious. Much of the discussion surrounding investing deals with “optimizing,” with not leaving any “money on the table.” This is human nature in action. We all want things –...

 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The low interest rate market from 2008 through the present day is largely responsible for the reflation of the equity markets since the lows registered in March of 2009. Historically low rates for the past 9 years provided a market...

 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

There is a simple and unsettling reality in the United States. Most Americans are not financially prepared for retirement. There is a simple and unsettling reality in the United States. Most Americans are not financially prepared for...

 

Friday, November 17, 2017

This market has been fueled by euphoria over tax cuts and that many staple stocks are going to find a bid, because every dip looks like a bargain to this market, regardless of the company's underlying financials and what the narrative...

 

Friday, November 17, 2017

“Markets behave in ways, sometimes for a very long stretch, that are not linked to value. Sooner or later, though, value counts.” – Warren Buffett As the equity bull market has entered its ninth year, market...

 

Friday, November 17, 2017

When inflation lags, one of the key tools in the central banks’ arsenal is policy rate manipulation. Theoretically, reducing rates in a stagnating inflationary environment discourages saving and cash hoarding, and encourages...

 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Overall in 2017, more money has flowed out of such funds than has flowed in, according to EPFR Global, even as the Dow has climbed to 51 fresh highs this year. A surge in stock buybacks and growing inflows from foreign investors and...

 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

When is the next time you or a loved one will go to the hospital? Is your job secure? What if your car breaks down tomorrow? What if, while basting the Thanksgiving turkey, you set your house on fire? Are you prepared for a financial...

 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Stocks and bonds are overvalued asset classes and have been overvalued for some time. Thanks to the once extraordinary monetary policy from global central bankers designed to rescue the worldwide economy from its imminent destruction...

 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Smartphones are incredibly handy. That may be why about three of every four Americans own them.1 On average, smartphone users spend almost three hours a day – 86 hours every month – using their phones. They send texts and...

 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How times change! In 1940, half of Americans finished their education in eighth grade. College degrees were relatively rare. Just 6 percent of men and 4 percent of women had one.1During the past 80 years, college has become far more...

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

A bad credit rating can influence your ability to take out loans, open credit cards or even cause you to have a higher interest rate. And it might now always be your fault. Some extenuating circumstances, such as hospitalization or a...

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme. ~ Mark Twain The Dot Com Crash: 2000 -¬ 2002Futurists turned out to be correct and maybe even understated when they predicted how much influence the internet was going to have on...

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

There have been three major bubbles in US stock market history. The biggest ran between 1997 and 2001, caused by a speculative mania centered on technology stocks and a whizzy new thing called the internet. The second largest peaked in...

 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In a 2002 interview with Mike Wallace, former First Lady Nancy Reagan said she often reread the love letters written by her husband, former President Ronald Reagan. The letters, which had sustained and enriched their relationship,...

 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The earlier you start planning for retirement, the better off you will be. Americans today are living longer and requiring more money to retire. Experts say you will require about 60%-70% of your income if you want to maintain your...

 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A boom in securities-backed lending is bolstering bank profits, but it does not always benefit investors, and regulators have been keeping a close eye on the practice. Executives at Morgan Stanley highlighted these loans to individuals...

 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Very few days go by without the word “historical” popping up in the financial news. Today’s great stock market comes with a variety of caveats to consider. The equities market and debt are at historical highs....