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INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUES OF TODAY

Spend some time with these resources that cover a variety of topics, and, if you have any questions, we’re only a call, an email or visit away.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Believe me, everyone on Wall Street wants inflation to go away, or at least shrink back to below 2%, a level we enjoyed not so long ago.But Tuesday's Consumer Price Index report showed it might be some time before we see 2% again....

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Have questions about the recent student loan forgiveness announcement?I’ve got (some) answers.(Please send this blog to anyone you know who might need some clarity about their student loans. There's also a very important note...

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

New laws are here!The new Inflation Reduction Act is a big enchilada of green energy spending, corporate taxes, and some pretty major changes to Medicare.Is this deal a big deal? Could be. I'll wrap it up for you at the end.First, here...

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Many people are very proud of their wealth. And why shouldn't they be? They worked their entire life to build their investment accounts and often sacrificed a great deal. However, once they retire and hit the 'distribution' phase, the...

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Is the bear market over?Let's discuss.(Don't want a dive into the latest market and economy stuff? Scroll down to my P.S. for a big-picture question. I'm eager to hear what you think.)Good news first: inflation might be cooling off....

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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Are we in a recession?Depends on who you ask.That's pretty confusing, right?Let's discuss.(Don't want to hear about recessions right now? I've got you. Scroll down to my P.S. for something fascinating.)The most common definition of a...

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Scams got a big boost during the pandemic and I've been hearing about more folks (even very tech-savvy ones) getting caught up.I wanted to reach out with some tips so you and your loved ones can stay safe.I’d also like to ask for...

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Preparing for retirement can look a little different for women than it does for men. Although stereotypes are changing, women are still more likely to serve as caretakers than men are, meaning they may accumulate less income and...

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Markets rallied in relief on some better-than-expected data on Friday, July 15th.1 It was a bright spot in what has seemed like a relentless parade of bad news.But the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq still all closed out the week with losses...

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

For the past few months (years, really) it seems like there's a 24/7 stream of bad news bombarding us all the time.Markets, the economy, housing prices, grocery store prices, gas prices, and that whole COVID thing that's still...

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The SECURE Act of 2019 represented the biggest update to retirement law in over a decade. Now, Congress is deliberating on what “SECURE 2.0” legislation might entail.In March, the House passed the Securing a Strong...

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Some of us share a common experience. You're driving along when a police cruiser pulls up behind you with its lights flashing. You pull over, the officer gets out, and your heart drops.“Are you aware the registration on your car...

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

In case you didn’t know, June is National Internet Safety Month. With nearly 4 billion people on social media worldwide, plus the risks of using online brokerage and bank accounts, the need for digital security has never been...

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Summer’s here, and the time is right for vacations, outdoor activities, and fun. It’s also a good time to consider a few financial matters. Here are some questions to ask yourself mid-year.Goals still the same for 2022? Has...

Friday, June 17, 2022

I'm dropping you a quick note to talk about what's going on with markets.Well, it happened.We knew that markets were going to continue their wild ride, and here we are.Stocks slid into bear market territory after a bad May inflation...

Thursday, June 9, 2022

A philosophical question for you before we dive into the latest.Is the world more uncertain right now than it has been in the past?Or are we simply more aware of our lack of predictability and control?You don't have to go far to see...

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Retirement can have many meanings. For some, it will be a time to travel and spend time with family members. For others, it will be a time to start a new business or begin a charitable endeavor. Regardless of what approach you intend...

Thursday, May 26, 2022

The last few weeks (and months) of volatility have told us that we're sailing in stormy waters.This is a quick note to tell you that it's going to be OK.A few things I'd like you to keep in mind right now:"Unprecedented" events can...

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Markets gifted us with another burst of volatility and headlines are looking apocalyptic again. Some folks might think it's time to bail on markets for the summer, but I'll tell you why that thinking is a mistake. First, let's peel...

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Markets bucked and sold off again.1 Should we be worried? Not necessarily. These things happen pretty regularly, especially when headlines are negative. In fact, you might recall that we kicked off 2022 with a big drop.2 So,...

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Today, a quick overview of what's going on in the financial and economic world.  (Plus a discussion of the hunt for beauty in the mundane.) Stocks seem to be caught in a volatile pattern as Q1 earnings season heats up. ...

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Recently the yield curve inverted for the first time since August 2019 (which means that long-term interest rates have dropped below short-term rates). Why do we pay attention to this? Because this inversion suggests that investors...

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

First, a quick note: There's not much new perspective on current events I can offer. Markets are still locked in a volatile pattern and will probably continue that way for the foreseeable future. We're watching the data closely. Today,...

Thursday, April 14, 2022

What do The Dukes of Hazzard, M*A*S*H, and The Love Boat all have in common? They were top-rated television programs in 1982; the last time inflation was hovering in the 7% range. When inflation is running hot, you can feel its...

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Last week, the yield curve inverted for the first time since August 2019 (as a refresher, a yield curve inversion means that long-term interest rates have dropped below short-term rates). Why do we pay attention to this? Because this...

Thursday, April 7, 2022

April marks the start of Financial Literacy Month, a nationally recognized movement to promote and support financial understanding in children and teens. For many, it's a fantastic opportunity to teach and connect with their children...

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Federal Reserve recently announced that for the first time in three years, it would increase short-term interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point. In addition, the Fed has stated that it would like to see short-term...

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Just a quick note to offer some perspective on the (many) headlines floating around. There are almost too many things to be worried about right now, so I’d like to pause for a second to remember the abundance in our lives....

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Hard times are here. (I’m still optimistic, though; I'll explain why at the end.) People are dying, running for their lives, and watching everything they’ve worked for go up in literal flames. And, because of technology,...

Thursday, March 10, 2022

2022 is off to a challenging start for most investors. Stock prices have been down 6 of the past 9 weeks, and the major averages are either in or teetering on correction territory. Bond prices are lower, and yields are higher, which...

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Some perspective on the grim situation in Ukraine and what could happen in markets. (Need a break from it? Scroll down to the P.S.) The invasion of Ukraine is a serious and scary escalation in tensions between Russia, Europe, and the...

Thursday, February 17, 2022

As we consider the tensions driving recent market movements, a Korean folk saying seems apt: “When whales fight, the shrimp’s back is broken.” The idea is that bystanders get hurt when big folks duke it out. What are...

Thursday, February 10, 2022

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the IRS has released updated actuarial or life expectancy tables. Those who take required minimum withdrawals (RMD) from retirement accounts may already know we use these tables to calculate your...

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Markets cratered last week, heading into correction territory, and then bounced right back.1 And then continued bucking and kicking the next day. Weird, right? Not really. These things happen pretty regularly when investors get jittery...

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Markets are driven by numbers, right? Earnings, interest rates, expectations of future growth, etc. It's just a math equation. Right? Or is it? Let's discuss. Folks like cold, hard numbers because they're neat, logical, and measurable....

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Welcome to 2022! May it bring us peace, prosperity, and a whole lotta love. And some greater certainty about what lies ahead. This email includes precious little certainty, but it does have kittens. (All the way down in the P.S.)...

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Updating the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies and financial accounts isn’t the fun part of financial planning, but it’s critical to making sure your loved ones are protected and your money goes where you want....

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Let’s talk about omicron. (If you’d rather not, scroll right down to the P.S. for something beautiful.) Since the first known cases of COVID-19 were detected in China, we've seen a number of notable mutations as the virus...

Thursday, December 2, 2021

A confident consumer can be a powerful ally in an economy. But when the consumer starts to have questions, we can measure consumer confidence in everything from retail sales to home buying to the personal savings rate.In recent months...

Monday, November 22, 2021

I hope you're warm, well, and looking forward to some time with family and friends. I wanted to drop you a quick email about a couple of things: infrastructure, inflation, and taxes. And I've got a blue-sky question for you at the end....

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Preparing for retirement just got a little more financial wiggle room. This week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced new contribution limits for 2022.Staying put for 2022 are traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)...

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

While it’s still too early to draw any final conclusions, Congress is getting closer to outlining what tax law changes are under consideration to pay for the proposed $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Plan.1For now, it appears...

Thursday, October 28, 2021

While the world has begun to recover from the economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, the delayed reaction has been felt in the supply chain. Industrial shutdowns around the world slowed production to a relative crawl, leaving...

Friday, October 22, 2021

How are you feeling about work these days? Are you taking stock of your life and thinking about moving on? (You're not alone.) Are you a boss struggling to fill roles and retain your people? (You're in good company.) America is going...

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Capitol Hill is producing more drama than Hollywood. We've got bold statements, ultimatums, cliff-hangers, and confusing sequels. We've even got folks paddling up to Senators' party boats to discuss tax reform. Let's recap what we know...

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your Medicare policy? With open enrollment fast approaching, there are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before you renew, add, drop, or switch coverage.Have you switched...

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The stock market got a little crazy last week. Is a storm coming? Let's take a look at what's driving markets right now. (Scroll to the end if you just want my takeaways.) A few things are driving the market volatility: Fears of a...

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Most likely, you’ve heard what’s brewing in Washington, D.C., called by one of these names.The Build Back Better Act. Or the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. Or the Jobs and Economic Recovery Plan for Working...

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

It can be incredibly difficult to make sense of data. A report coming from one body may tell you one thing, and another report might seem to offer a wholly different perspective.Such is the case with August’s jobs numbers from...

Thursday, September 9, 2021

The stock market notched its 7th straight month of gains in August, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index has set 53 new highs so far in 2021.1During August, stocks rallied as investors looked past the increased number of COVID-19...

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Over the last year, many have seen their lives impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ways in which we work, live, and communicate have drastically changed, to say the least.It’s difficult to predict what other aspects of life...

Monday, August 16, 2021

Are you having a tough time keeping track of inflation's mixed signals? You’re not alone.Consumer prices in July climbed at their fastest rate since August 2008. Worse, producer prices, which can be an indicator of future price...

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics wrap up with closing ceremonies on August 8, and it’s been an Olympic games like no other. We’ve watched the world’s finest athletes go for the gold. Which leads many to wonder: what exactly...

Monday, August 2, 2021

Summer jobs are a perennial aspect of the American workforce. It’s a time when teenagers are filling out applications and, in many cases, earning wages of their own for the first time. But some of what we’ve become...

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The news keeps getting better for Social Security recipients.It's now projected that benefits will increase 6.1% in 2022, up from the 4.7% forecast just two months ago. That would be the most significant increase since 1983.1...

Friday, July 16, 2021

It’s long been an aspirational target for entrepreneurs. It literally goes beyond “blue sky,” in terms of location, to a place no business has gone before: Outer Space!Longtime space enthusiast and entrepreneur...

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

With June officially behind us, it’s time to face the facts: we’re headed toward the second half of 2021. While there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the rest of summer, we encourage you to slow down and check up on...

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Inflation is defined as the general upward price movement of goods and services in an economy. The key word is “general.” Inflation tends to be uneven and affects the price of some items more than others.If you’ve...

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

At its June meeting, the Federal Reserve confirmed what many of us have suspected for some time: prices are rising. In fact, prices are climbing faster than many expected. In response, the Fed raised its inflation expectation to 3.4%,...

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The real rate of return is an important personal finance concept to understand.It’s the rate of return on your investments after inflation. The real rate of return indicates whether you are gaining or losing purchasing power...

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

If there is a "silver lining" to all the inflation talk, it may be that Social Security benefits are expected to see a larger-than-normal increase in 2022.Preliminary estimates call for a 4.7% cost-of-living increase (COLA) in Social...

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

With COVID, there were some who believed that progress on this health issue was a necessary precondition to economic recovery.In recent weeks, we have seen some promising trends emerge on the health front. The CDC is reporting the...

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Inflation can be a scary word for people who are retired. It’s code for “prices are going up, but my income may stay the same.”The most recent reading on consumer prices put inflation back into the conversation. The...

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

A cyberattack shut down a major gas and energy pipeline supplying the East Coast of the United States for several days. The actual pipelines themselves are still functional and have since started running again, but it’s led to...

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

What does it mean when two of the most powerful voices in American financial life seem to be saying two different things?In one corner, we have the “Oracle of Omaha,” investor Warren Buffett. As one of the nation’s...

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Will your retirement dreams match your reality?That's perhaps the most critical question to ask people who are currently retired. Was your retirement what you expected, or was it something else?For more than 30 years, the Employee...

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Now and again, the price action on Wall Street can surprise even the most seasoned investors.Look no further than when President Biden in late April proposed an increase in the tax on capital gains to 39.6% from 20% for those...

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Recently, you may have seen reports that a record-low number of homes are available for sale—roughly 1.03 million nationwide. If you compare that to the average number of homes for sale during the past 10 years, it's no surprise...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

It can be exhausting trying to keep up with the whims of Wall Street.Lately, the financial markets have been fixated on federal taxes and what may be proposed on Capitol Hill in the weeks and months ahead.Wall Street’s focus on...

Friday, April 2, 2021

Inflation has emerged as one of the top financial concerns for investors as they size up the economy for the rest of the year.According to research by Deutsche Bank, Google searches for “inflation” are rising rapidly and...

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

There’s an old Wall Street maxim that says, “markets climb a wall of worry.” And these days, there’s plenty to worry about with the trend in long-term interest rates.The 10-year Treasury yield in recent weeks...

Monday, March 15, 2021

I’m sure you’ve heard that the House recently passed the Senate another round of stimulus to try and counteract the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new stimulus package could narrow income eligibility to...

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Most people understand that stock prices don't go straight up. But when market volatility increases, the price action can test the mettle of even the most seasoned investor.In recent weeks, stock prices have trended lower with a few...