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What Would You Do?

New jobs often come with a lot of excitement and steep learning curves. Consider this example scenario: Charlotte, a freshly-hired employee is a little bit overwhelmed. She’s meeting new co-workers, setting expectations, figuring out the coffee situation, and completing form after form. Charlotte’s new employer has a retirement savings plan, and this fact jogs her… Read More

Market Commentary – 2/20/18

As New York Fashion Week ended, inflation strutted its stuff. Ever since the Federal Reserve began raising the Fed funds rate in 2015, analysts have been anticipating higher inflation. The fact that price increases remained relatively small was a perplexing mystery. Then, last week, inflation increased faster than expected. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported… Read More

Market Commentary – 2/12/18

Back to reality… After months of eerie calm, stock market volatility has returned. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – a measure of how turbulent investors expect stock markets to be during the next 30 days – appeared to fall asleep in November 2016. For more than a year, a level of serenity that is rarely… Read More

Market Commentary – 2/5/18

It was not a good week (Jan. 29-Feb 2) for stocks. Last week, stock markets around the world lost value. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Index (Dow), and NASDAQ all finished lower. Some pundits have been drawing comparisons between the performance of the Dow last… Read More

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Planning For a Disclaimer – 5 Easy Steps

Estate Planning:  While it may seem unlikely, there are situations where beneficiaries decide to turn down an inheritance. Whether it’s to avoid the taxes associated with the assets, or to pass them along to another beneficiary, a disclaimer can help a beneficiary with the option to refuse an inheritance. Executing a disclaimer, however, is not… Read More

Market Commentary – 1/29/18

The numbers are coming in… Publicly-traded companies report their earnings and sales numbers for the previous quarter in the current quarter. For example, fourth quarter’s sales and earnings are reported during the first quarter of the year, and first quarter’s sales and earnings will be reported during the second quarter, and so on. Through last… Read More

Market Commentary – 1/22/18

Last week, the United States government might as well have hung a sign on the front door of the Capitol that read, “Gone negotiating. We’ll be back in…however long it takes.” In 2013, the U.S. government closed for 16 days. About 850,000 federal workers were furloughed and 6.6 million workdays lost. The shutdown affected private… Read More

Market Commentary – 1/16/18

Inflation, inflation, where’s the inflation? The U.S. Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in anticipation of higher inflation. In its 2018 forecast, Goldman Sachs indicated it expected to see “a gradual increase in global core inflation, albeit to levels that are still below central bank targets in most places.” At year-end 2017, Barron’s wrote:… Read More

Tax Info: A Guide to 1099s

If you’ve started taking distributions from your retirement account, you will soon receive a new form that will play a crucial role as you file your 2017 taxes. A 1099-R form is issued for all IRA distributions that are made payable to an IRA or Roth IRA account owner or beneficiary and for all IRA… Read More

Market Commentary – 1/9/18

Whoosh! Bang! Flash! Fizz! Whistle! U.S. stock markets delivered their own version of fireworks to celebrate the New Year. During the first week of 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new all-time high, moving above 25,000 for the first time ever. The NASDAQ Composite and Standard & Poor’s 500 Indices also rose to… Read More