There were many causes for the dramatic declines we saw in the 4th quarter, but I think there were three underlying issues: the China trade war, the Fed’s attitude towards raising interest rates, and the high valuations for many stocks. How will those issues affect the market in 2019?Read More
My blog posts will be written much like I talk in a casual, conversational tone with a touch of irreverence. When reading my posts, keep in mind that much of my writing will contain opinions, humor, generalizations, and speculations. I'm pretty sure both my 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. Ashley, and my superstar assistant, Amanda, will not approve of some of my contractions and misuses of words. Please inform Amanda of any blatant errors that you feel she should have forced me to correct.
In February, commentators said that the economy was strong, earnings were robust, interest rates were rising and to expect a correction. Through February 9th, the S&P 500 is down 7.2%. The sky is falling and panic has set in.
There are several reasons given for the dramatic change in stock market fortunes...Read More
What are Identity Theft Protection Services and do they work?
In a prior blog post, we introduced several tools, credit freezes and fraud alerts, that can be used to help mitigate identity theft, but are there more comprehensive tools out there that monitor all aspects of your financial security? Over the past several years, identity protection services have stepped in to fill this gap. Services such as Lifelock and IdentityForce have become household names over the past couple of years. What are these services and how do they work?
Are Your Investment Accounts Safe? With the recent data breach at Equifax, some 143 million Americans have been made vulnerable. Among the information stolen include names, birthdays, social security numbers, and addresses. With this information out in cyberspace, could a fraudster gain access to your investment accounts or retirement accounts? The answer is…it is unlikely.Read More
Have you been compromised? If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you know that the odds are against you. The current population of the United States is approximately 325 million. Equifax estimates that 143 million Americans were affected by their recent hack. That is approximately 44 percent of the U.S. population....Read More
Easy Ways to Save or Earn Thousands of Dollars a Year
There are many easy ways to save or earn thousands of dollars a year. This post will explore several of these methods such as: how to maximize your deductions and how donating stock or mutual funds to charitable organizations can be more tax efficient than donating cash.Read More
Should You Get a HELOC?
If you have equity in your primary residence, you should consider getting a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Most of the time, you can get a HELOC with no upfront costs or continuing fees...Read More
Your First Million
What is the easiest way to wind up with a million dollars? Start with $10 million…..For those of us without the initial $10 million, how long will it take to accumulate a million dollars?Read More
The Best Type of Investment Account
There are three main types of investment accounts that most of us can use to invest: a tax-deferred retirement account (401k, SEP, IRA), a taxable brokerage account, and a variable annuity...Read More
Five Items Every Family MUST HAVE!
Before measuring the drapes for your vacation home or designing market timing strategies for your retirement plan, make sure you have the following items in place...Read More
Potential Money Saving Ideas
Before you watch the ball drop or set those New Year’s resolutions, let’s talk tax planning. At this time each year, it is always useful to consider year-end personal income tax planning. This year the planning may be even more important. 2016 will be the last Obama tax year...Read More
In 2016 only estates of individuals worth more than $5,450,000 are taxed ($10,900,000 for a married couple). People with estates approaching or exceeding those amounts use various creative methods to avoid paying the tax including a GRAT (grantor retained annuity trust), a...Read More
Over 50 years ago, on February 12, 1966, the S&P 500 reached a new weekly high of 93.81. Weekly highs in a rally are almost always good news – except for the last high of the cycle, which I call a Peak....Read More
The chart below is the Weekly Leading Index (WLI) from 1988 to 2015. The WLI is prepared by the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) and is a weekly representation of the economic activity in the US.Read More