Keeping Track (8/28/2019)

An important topic I raised a few years ago in this blog deserves another mention: when you switch or leave a job, don’t forget about your 401(k). Although it may seem impossible that you would lose track of your retirement plan, we live in a fast-paced world with a focus on reducing the amount of paper we all use. As a result, more and more of our statements, storage and communication are now electronic. Losing track of an account, especially when you do not receive a regular, physical statement, is not impossible.

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Your Home Investment (5/7/2019)

With the 2018 tax filing deadline behind us, we see that many taxpayers used the increased standard deduction this year rather than itemizing as they have in the past.  Taxes and interest from your mortgage are often one of the major deductions in itemizing. By not itemizing, you lose the tax deductibility of mortgage interest along with property taxes.  This may cause some to reconsider the benefit of home ownership as an investment.

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Inverted Yield Curve (4/2/2019)

You may be hearing more these days about U.S. Treasury Bills and the inverted yield curve.

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Highlight (2/28/2019)

At the end of 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced inflation-adjusted figures for retirement account savings for 2019, and many changes that will help savers.  The technical guidance on the numbers can be found in IRS Notice 2018-83.

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The Boomerang (2/8/2019)

Those who have followed me over the years might already have heard my Rip Van Winkle story. It’s back again. We are often so focused on what the stock market is doing today that we lose sight of the bigger picture. As most everyone knows, 2018 was not a good year for the stock market or for many other markets. On the other hand, 2017 was a very good year for most asset classes.

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Life Insurance Check-up (12/17/2018)

As is often said, life insurance is not for those who die, but is for those who live. If you die while you have life insurance in place, the people you have chosen as your beneficiaries will receive a sum of money (the death benefit) from your life insurance policy. The proceeds of life insurance are tax-free to the beneficiary and can be used for anything, but often the main purpose is to help make up for the loss of your income.

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Where are the Winners? (11/27/2018)

The year 1994 was a difficult investing period, when both stocks and bonds were down.  History may be repeating itself this year. The November 26, 2019 edition of the Wall Street Journal noted that Deutsche Bank, which tracks 70 asset classes, indicated that 90% were posting negative total dollar returns through mid-November. “That is on track for the highest share since 1920, when 84% of 37 asset classes were negative,” the WSJ stated. In comparison, only 1% of asset classes were negative last year.

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Moving On (11/7/2018)

Midterm elections are in the books for the most part.  After much anticipation, Americans have chosen to shift the balance of power in Washington D.C., giving Democrats control of the House of Representatives.  Republicans maintain their control of the Senate, meaning that we can expect legislative gridlock through the remainder of President Trump’s term in office.

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Downsizing (9/28/2018)

If you’re thinking about downsizing your home soon or for retirement, consider a few observations before moving forward. Three out of four Americans say they would downsize their home to reduce ongoing costs and benefit from the equity, according to the 2017 study “Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions” released by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  A smaller home is not always the ideal solution. You might find unexpected financial and emotional challenges after making the switch. Following are some common misconceptions surrounding downsizing.

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Upbeat Data (9/11/2018)

The economy has been sending out some very positive signals this year. In the first and second quarters, we saw large amounts of corporate spending on capital projects. These range from new facilities, new equipment, and new computers to major new projects. Some of this spending has been possible from the repatriation of money from overseas.

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