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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Women often find themselves orchestrators of holiday magic, the epicenter of planning, gifting, cooking, and orchestrating festive feasts. While spreading joy to loved ones, it can be challenging for women to prioritize personal and...

Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Senate and the House have returned to work but are unlikely to get much done before the Christmas break— which means January is going to be busy. To recap, Congress passed a short-term budget package before the Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

A Friday rally turned an otherwise mixed week for stocks into a solid performance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 2.42%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.77%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.38% for the...

Thursday, November 30, 2023

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and generosity. It's also a period when many people tend to overspend, often leading to financial stress in the new year. But, for those committed to accumulating wealth, setting a...

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Investor enthusiasm for stocks remained strong last week, buoyed by declining bond yields in a holiday-abbreviated trading week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 1.27%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 1.00%. The...

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Internal Revenue Service recently released updated income tax brackets, standard deduction, and retirement contribution limits for the 2024 tax year. While these taxes are not due for some time, it may benefit you to start...

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

A powerful Friday rally left stocks higher last week, extending the market’s early November gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.65%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 1.31%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Friday, November 10, 2023

On November 11, we honor the bravery and sacrifice of those who have served America in the armed forces. It is also a time to appreciate the commitment of our active military personnel and their dedicated families. Let us honor their...

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Many consider the University of Michigan the gold standard for reporting on consumer sentiment and trends. Among its 50 monthly reports, the most well-known is the "UMich Consumer Sentiment" survey, which measures consumer confidence....

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Stocks ripped higher last week on a dramatic retreat in bond yields triggered by easing inflation and a slowing labor market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 5.07%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 surged 5.85%. The...

Friday, November 3, 2023

Investors know that the stock market moves in cycles, but few are comfortable when the cycle takes stock prices lower. And since late August, the cycle has been decidedly lower. If you’re looking for reasons to worry, you...

Thursday, November 2, 2023

I've seen the "Boomerang Generation" in more than a few headlines lately. These young adults return, or "boomerang," to their parents' homes as they attempt to navigate the property market. The key culprit is mortgage rates nearing...

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Snickers! Skittles! Starbursts! While we have our favorites, we are equal-opportunity candy lovers, undoubtedly in the same way you are. But you can ingest only so many M&Ms before it’s time to get back to normal. Luckily, there...

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

That spooky-yet-sweet time of year is coming – Halloween! Whether the costumes you or your kids wear are homemade or store-bought, whether the pumpkins by your home are hard-carved or plastic, whether you trick-or-treat in the...

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Amid a busy week of corporate earnings reports, stocks slumped on cautious earnings guidance, fears of higher interest rates, and growing anxiety over the increasing amount of Treasury bonds and notes coming to market. The Dow Jones...

Monday, October 30, 2023

The Social Security Administration recently announced that over 71 million Americans, including Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries, will receive a 3.2% increase in their benefits for 2024.1 However, it is...

Friday, October 27, 2023

A lot of number crunching needs to happen before the advanced estimate for Q3 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is released. The Atlanta Fed expects Q3 GDP to check in at over 5 percent. Meanwhile, blue-chip economists are forecasting...

Thursday, October 26, 2023

You may have heard the idea that the Fed is trying to “thread a needle” with the economy by raising interest rates to slow growth but not cause a recession. Well, we’re at crunch time with that plan. We’re at...

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Social Security Administration has announced a 3.2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2024. This adjustment means the average Social Security retiree beneficiary will see their monthly check increase by about $57 to $1,849,...

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Rising bond yields and uncertainty over whether this was the close of the Fed’s rate-hike cycle dragged markets lower last week despite solid corporate earnings results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 1.61%, while the...

Monday, October 16, 2023

October brings a dedicated financial focus on many critical financial concepts, including financial planning, estate planning, and long-term care planning. The rising incidence of elder financial abuse is one pressing concern that...

Sunday, October 15, 2023

As a financial professional, I've had the privilege of helping individuals and families secure their financial futures for many years. Much like warding off the monsters under the bed, estate planning is about protecting yourself and...

Friday, October 13, 2023

The Israel/Hamas war is a terrible human tragedy and may escalate in the coming weeks. Christian Chan, CFA, Chief Investment Officer for AssetMark, Inc., shares how, despite the human tragedy of this war, the investment impact on US...

Thursday, October 12, 2023

The Fed’s ongoing pledge of “higher interest rates for longer” has rattled financial markets and raised the cost of everything from mortgages to credit cards. Now adding to tensions are the recent events in the...

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

A Friday rally overcame a shaky week, sending stocks mostly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.30% for the week. Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.48%, and the Nasdaq Composite index added 1.60% for...

Monday, October 9, 2023

In celebration of the culture and history of the first people to inhabit North America, we observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day. As cities and states update their local observances across our nation, it’s important to...

Thursday, October 5, 2023

If you're a fan of Warren Buffett, you'll recognize this quote: "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful." In recent weeks, the investing outlook has become a bit murky, which has led some people to let...

Thursday, October 5, 2023

I hope this email finds you in high "spirits" as we approach the spookiest time of the year. As the days creep closer to Halloween, confectioners weave a sweet web in preparation for this enchanting holiday. Did you know that the...

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Rising bond yields and government shutdown fears left stocks in mostly negative territory for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.34%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.74%. The Nasdaq Composite index was...

Monday, October 2, 2023

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period begins October 15 and ends December 7. During this time, current Medicare beneficiaries have the option to adjust their coverage for the coming year. Any changes to your plan will go into...

Friday, September 29, 2023

We’ve all been there. You’re scrolling through your phone, computer, or tablet, and a notification pops up. “Update Me!” While that isn’t the exact wording, the meaning is the same. Something wants to be...

Thursday, September 28, 2023

So, what happens during a government shutdown, and how might this affect you? Unless the government employs you or you are planning a trip to the Smithsonian, you might not even notice. Social Security checks will arrive as scheduled,...

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Have you ever heard the expression, "If you love sausages, never watch how they're made?" The same is true of stock prices. Warren Buffett once said, "I would tell [investors], don’t watch the market closely." In recent weeks,...

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Rising bond yields and fears of a government shutdown hammered stocks last week, with technology shares bearing the brunt of the retreat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.89%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 2.93%...

Friday, September 22, 2023

In light of the recent cyberattack in Las Vegas, I want to address an increasingly critical issue in today's digital age: cybersecurity. Hackers are increasingly using a tactic known as "social engineering," which involves hacking...

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Sometimes, a picture tells a thousand words, and this chart of the M1 money supply certainly does just that. M1 rose rapidly during the pandemic due to an effort to provide stimulus packages to those who suffered financial loss during...

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Stocks ended the week roughly where they began as investors digested a mixed set of new economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.12%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.16%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell...

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s a headline risk for the markets?” Headline risk is the chance that an unsettling news event–anticipated or a surprise–can add volatility to the financial markets....

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Concerns that the Fed may raise interest rates soured investor sentiment, sending stocks lower in a holiday-shortened trading week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.75%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 1.29%....

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Remember when a college education was reasonably priced? In the past 20 years, the cost of college tuition for public universities has risen 165%. College students and their families have been taking on more and more debt, and they...

Monday, September 11, 2023

Much time has passed since the events of September 11, 2001, and while in some ways it feels like a lifetime ago, the memory remains painfully fresh in my mind. An attack on U.S. soil. The loss of thousands of lives. In the wake of...

Thursday, September 7, 2023

As we observe National Disaster Preparedness Month, we are reminded of the importance of being ready for the unexpected. Whether it's a natural disaster, unforeseen emergency, or the need for comprehensive estate planning, having all...

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Falling bond yields–spurred by weak economic data–helped lift stocks to weekly gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.43%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 2.50%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Sunday, September 3, 2023

More than just a bookend to the summer season, Labor Day is a celebration of workers' contributions to the well-being of our country and the economy. Labor Day was first celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance...

Friday, September 1, 2023

As we observe National Disaster Preparedness Month, we are reminded of the importance of being ready for the unexpected. Whether it's a natural disaster, unforeseen emergency, or the need for comprehensive estate planning, having all...

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

If it feels like the financial markets are lurching from news event to news event in recent weeks, you’re right. They are. The markets were on pins and needles waiting for Fed Chair Powell to deliver his talk at the Jackson Hole...

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Stocks fluctuated last week, jostled by fitful bond yields and headline news, before ending strongly following Fed Chair Powell’s comments on the monetary outlook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.45%, while the...

Monday, August 28, 2023

The stock market rebound has significantly increased the number of workers with $1 million or more in their workplace retirement accounts. According to Fidelity Investments, employees with 401(k) balances exceeding $1 million rose 26...

Friday, August 25, 2023

Nobody ever said you have to like a pullback in stock prices. But it's critical to understand 1) why they happen and 2) why they are challenging. A pullback is considered a moderate drop in prices from recent peaks that occur within a...

Thursday, August 24, 2023

As we approach the back-to-school season, I wanted to discuss an important topic that might be on your mind: the cost of education. Whether you have children or grandchildren preparing for college or considering furthering your...

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Stocks extended their August declines last week as higher yields and weak economic data out of China soured investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.21%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 retreated 2.11%. The...

Friday, August 18, 2023

Wall Street is slowly starting to talk about an “expansion economy” and forgetting about any recession fears. July’s consumer inflation report was soft, so attention will soon shift to gross domestic product in the...

Thursday, August 17, 2023

August is Make a Will Month, a time dedicated to strategizing for the future. You may have seen in the news that Aretha Franklin's loved ones are still caught in a legal battle due to the existence of multiple wills. The lesson from...

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Why is August a volatile month? One simple reason: many people are on vacation. And when people are out of the office, the financial markets often see less trading, which can cause big price swings following news events. The Fitch...

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Positive inflation data failed to lift stocks from their August doldrums last week as economic data and a ratings downgrade soured investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.62%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Monday, August 14, 2023

It's that time again! As we approach the back-to-school season, we understand the financial strain it can place on families. However, with some planning and a commitment to a budget, you can avoid overspending on school supplies. We...

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Stocks retreated last week as bond yields increased following the Treasury's announcement indicating “a larger-than-expected funding need” and a downgrade in the federal government’s debt rating. The Dow Jones...

Sunday, August 6, 2023

The irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) can be an important estate strategy tool that may accomplish a number of estate objectives; however, it may not be appropriate for every individual. (Read more)

Friday, August 4, 2023

August is here, the month of simplicity and decluttering! As we embark on "Simplify Your Life Week," it's the perfect opportunity to take a step back, reassess our priorities, and streamline our lives for greater peace and fulfillment...

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate—manage inflation and maximize employment. But sometimes, those economic goals conflict with each other. As you can see in the accompanying chart, labor shortages in 2022 pressured...

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

A Friday surge pushed stocks solidly into positive territory last week, ignited by cooling in an inflation gauge closely tracked by the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.66%, while the Standard &...

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Like some of my clients, you may have seen the latest regarding Aretha Franklin's estate.The Queen of Soul passed in 2018, and years later, her loved ones are still caught in legal trials thanks to the existence of multiple wills.As...

Friday, July 21, 2023

Sometimes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. So I decided to include an image of the June Consumer Price Index (CPI) report to help put inflation in better perspective:Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose just 0...

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Better-than-expected updates last week on consumer and wholesale price inflation buoyed investor sentiment, driving stocks higher and lower bond yields. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.29%, while the Standard &...

Friday, July 14, 2023

Now that summer is in full swing, it's the perfect time to take a trip. But sometimes, even your best-laid plans go a little off-kilter.Here are a few of the most common travel issues and how to make sure that no matter what happens,...

Thursday, July 13, 2023

In advance of 2023, the recession drum beats were so loud it was deafening. Market pundits warned that as the Fed raised interest rates, it was just a matter of time before the economy entered a recession.But it’s July now, and...

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Rising concerns about further rate hikes sent stocks lower to kick off the second half of trading.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.96%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 retreated 1.16%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Monday, July 10, 2023

Does the idea of early retirement ignite a spark within you? In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, many dream of the day when we can break free from the grind and live on our terms. That's where the Financial Independence Retire...

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Financial independence is a term that is often thrown around, but its true meaning goes far beyond merely accumulating wealth. It encompasses the ability to live life on your terms, free from the constraints of financial stress and the...

Friday, July 7, 2023

As the Fed continues its fight against inflation, one of the more challenging parts of the economy is gauging what's happening in the jobs market.One July report showed the private sector added nearly 500,000 jobs, double the...

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Market timing is exhausting. And sometimes, it can be expensive. When you time the markets, you have to be right twice – first when getting out and second when getting back in.In the accompanying chart, you can see individual...

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Independence Day serves as an occasion to reflect upon the principles and values that define the United States of America.This is a time to honor our founders' vision, courage, and sacrifices, through which they secured the cherished...

Monday, July 3, 2023

Stocks posted gains for the week to close out a stellar month, aided by positive economic data and reports that all major banks had passed the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.02%,...

Friday, June 23, 2023

Jerome Powell skipped an interest rate hike at the Fed’s June meeting, but the market isn’t buying what the Fed Chair is selling about what’s next with short-term rates.Powell signaled that two more rate increases may...

Friday, June 23, 2023

The U.S. Department of Education has officially announced that student loan payments will resume in October, ending the three-year-long pause that was implemented due to the pandemic.Starting September 1, interest will begin accruing...

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Jerome Powell skipped an interest rate hike at the Fed’s June meeting, but the market isn’t buying what the Fed Chair is selling about what’s next with short-term rates.Powell signaled that two more rate increases may...

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Here’s a riddle. “I’m a two-word phrase that we heard almost every day for two years, but it has dropped from almost all economic talk in 2023?”Answer: Supply chain.As you can see from the accompanying chart,...

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Stocks climbed last week as reassuring inflation data boosted investor hopes that the rate-hike cycle was nearing an end amid fresh economic data pointing to continued economic resilience.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.25%,...

Friday, June 9, 2023

You may have heard the saying, “inflation hurts savers and benefits borrowers.” The expression suggests that borrowers benefit from inflation because they pay back lenders with dollars worth less than when the money...

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Have you saved enough? Whether you started late, or have regularly saved throughout your career, you might wish you could stash some additional cash in your retirement fund. Fortunately, if you’re 50 or older, you can. The IRS...

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Now that the debt ceiling negotiations are behind us and President Biden has signed the measure, what will Wall Street's wandering eye focus on next?Inflation? Interest rates? Recession? Artificial intelligence?More than likely,...

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Stocks surged higher in the closing days of a holiday-shortened trading week, ignited by a political resolution on raising the debt ceiling and a strong employment report.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.02%, while the Standard...

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Markets moved in sync last week with perceived movement in debt ceiling talks, weakening early in the week and then surging on news of progress. A solid quarterly report and guidance from a mega-cap technology company helped with...

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day is so much more than a long weekend. It is a chance for us to remember those who gave all for this great nation and the freedoms it offers.This Memorial Day, we pay tribute to the lives and legacies of those who...

Thursday, May 25, 2023

It's the month of May, the month that ushers in everyone's favorite holiday. No, not Mother's Day, Memorial Day, or Cinco de Mayo.National 529 Day!While we are big fans of all of the above; 529 Day is a dedicated time to focus on...

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

What is a bull market, and more importantly, who determines if we are in one?Technically speaking, a bull market is defined as a 20% gain in a stock market index, such as the Standard & Poor's 500, from a closing low.So are we in one?...

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Stocks rallied last week, propelled by growing optimism over reaching a deal on raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a technical debt default by the U.S.The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.38% higher, while the Standard &...

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Would it surprise you to hear that investors have moved past worrying about inflation? They have, at least for now.Wall Street has shifted its attention to Washington’s budget negotiations and how the debt ceiling will be...

Friday, May 19, 2023

May is Jewish American Heritage Month!Established in 2006 by President George W. Bush after years of advocacy by Jewish leaders, this month-long celebration recognizes Jewish Americans' essential role in U.S. history.We are incredibly...

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Stocks were mixed last week as good inflation news was offset by mounting debt ceiling concerns and rekindled regional banking fears.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.11%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.29%. The...

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Summer’s here, and the time is right for fun in the sun (or shade). Like many of us, you’re probably looking forward to an extended getaway or family trip. But summer also means planning for hot weather, which can come with...

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Each May is Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate the wisdom of aging people, recognize their many contributions, and facilitate discussions related to older adults. This year’s observance coincides with the 2023 Retirement...

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Don't hold a surprise birthday party for Jerome Powell. He would hate it. And if you plan on visiting the Fed Chair, call first. He doesn't like surprises.Powell delivered on his March promise at the most recent Fed meeting by...

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

A Friday rebound, triggered by a big tech company’s earnings beat and a strong jobs report, shaved much of the week’s accumulated losses.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.24%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Friday, May 5, 2023

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Financial markets can be challenging to understand. And when markets enter a “bad news is good news” cycle, it becomes even more challenging to follow along.Stock prices rallied at the end of April after the Commerce...

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

I wanted to take a moment to update you on the potential changes to Social Security benefits for 2024. As I'm sure you know, the Social Security Administration calculates annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) based on the Consumer...

Monday, May 1, 2023

You may have already filed your taxes, but that doesn't mean you're done!Once you've filed, the hardest part is behind you. But, proper storage and proper discarding of pertinent papers are an essential part of your tax filing. Tax...

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Planning is critical regarding long-term needs, but many people are unsure what insurance covers, and others are often misinformed about Medicare coverage. Additionally, there are differences between Medicare and Medicaid regarding...

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Are you saving for the future?People often come to me asking for financial guidance. Some want to know how to invest or diversify the money they’ve saved, but others admit to me they’re just not sure how to save. If...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

From my perspective, we can't hear the word "better" enough in the weeks ahead."Better than expected." "Better than feared." "Better than forecasted."These are winning phrases that can be used by market pundits when they compare a...

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Stocks remained resilient last week amid mixed earnings reports, hawkish Fed-speak, and lingering recession fears, closing out the five trading days with small losses.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.23%, while the Standard &...

Monday, April 24, 2023

What is financial fitness? We are all familiar with the term physical fitness, and if pressed for a definition, we might define it in terms of our strength and health level. When it comes to an explanation of financial fitness, the...

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Since 1970, the celebration of Earth Day on April 22 has raised awareness surrounding environmental protection. Each year, awareness grows, and more people think about how they might contribute to that effort.One way is to make the...

Friday, April 21, 2023

A recent survey reported that 68% of parents had made financial sacrifices to support their adult children. It's often a difficult decision that can stress relationships, impact retirement strategies, and harm overall financial...

Friday, April 21, 2023

Birds singing, bees buzzing, and slightly longer days are all signs that winter has finally turned to spring. And with spring often comes the urge to deep clean your home, giving you the feeling of a fresh start. But spring cleaning...

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Over the next several weeks, we will hear from corporate leaders as they update investors on their first-quarter financials and provide a glimpse into the rest of the year.But this quarter, the actual financial results may be of only...

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The combination of an improving inflation outlook resulted in a week of uneven, albeit positive, performance, in which cyclical and financial stocks rallied while technology, real estate, and utilities lagged. The Dow Jones...

Friday, April 14, 2023

If you're an investor looking for something to worry about, you never have to go more than a few days on Wall Street.As you can see from the accompanying chart, 11 economic reports are scheduled for release during 19 trading days in...

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Recently, you may have seen reports that the so-called “depletion date” for Social Security was adjusted. This refers to the predicted date when the long-running program will no longer be able to pay full benefits.Barring...

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Just a quick reminder that the last day to make 2022 contributions to certain retirement accounts is fast approaching. In most cases, the contribution deadline is the same as your tax return filing deadline. For instance, you can make...

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Market timing must be exhausting. Always moving in and out of the markets based on economic analysis or business headlines must be so challenging.The accompanying chart shows that money held in money market mutual funds rose to $5.1...

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Many investors may be tempted to react in the wake of both the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank's financial troubles. After all, the unprecedented events of last week would test the mettle of even the most seasoned investor.The...

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

As the financial markets sort through the banking sector's issues, speculators have adjusted their outlook for interest rates for 2023 and beyond.In the first table, you can see that on March 3, speculators were expecting the Federal...

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Amid the reverberations of two U.S. banks being taken over by regulators and the spread of uncertainty to European banks, stocks trended higher last week on the strength of the technology sector.The Dow Jones Industrial Average was...

Friday, March 17, 2023

The Cookie Monster in all of us will have to learn a little restraint this year. In what is becoming a familiar story, supply chain issues have hit yet another beloved American staple: Girl Scout Cookies.Specifically, some fan-favorite...

Thursday, March 16, 2023

When events like Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank happen, it's natural to wonder how a bank safeguards your funds. Fortunately, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance was designed for this very reason:...

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

For the Federal Reserve, credibility is everything. And its credibility is being tested by how it plans to manage the banking system in the days leading up to its March 21-22 meeting.Last month, Fed Chair Powell confidently told Wall...

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Stocks tumbled last week as investors reconsidered their interest rate expectations after Fed Chair Powell’s Congressional testimony that rates may need to go higher. Stocks also were rattled when a west coast bank was placed...

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Jerome Powell would be terrible to have in your book club. He would always reveal how the book would end.When the Fed Chair spoke following the Fed meeting in February, he said, “we’re in the early stages of...

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

A late-week surge, triggered by reassuring Fed-speak, propelled stocks higher last week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.75%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 1.90%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 2.58% for...

Friday, March 3, 2023

March is Women's History Month, a time to recognize the remarkable contributions of women throughout history. This year's theme is "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories," We're honored to share a few examples of women who continue to...

Thursday, March 2, 2023

One of my favorite Warren Buffett quotes is, “Remember that the stock market is a manic depressive.”What he’s suggesting is that stock prices can sometimes swing wildly from day to day in response to even minor news....

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Investors put the economy on recession watch when the Fed started its “higher in a hurry” push with short-term interest rates in mid-2022.After the 10-year/2-year Treasury curve inverted in July 2022, it was “all...

Thursday, February 23, 2023

The time following Valentine's Day has always served as a reminder that Spring is on the way. The days are getting longer, the birds and the bees are doing their thing, and people everywhere are thinking about future travel and...

Friday, February 10, 2023

The history of the United States is a tapestry embroidered with many cultures. One of the most vivid and complicated historical threads is those belonging to Black Americans. The accomplishments of many individuals, named and unnamed,...

Thursday, February 9, 2023

The stock market can provide some head-scratching moments, which is why I like Warren Buffet’s quote, “...don’t watch the market closely.”Stocks have been strong this year, and they rallied sharply before...

Saturday, February 4, 2023

As the biggest sporting event of the year approaches, football fans all over the nation (including us) are gearing up for the Big Game on Sunday, February 12, at 6:30 PM ET.For many, Sunday means a day of tasty tailgating and...

Friday, February 3, 2023

The initial read on Q4 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) gets released on January 26, and private economists and Federal Reserve estimates have very different economic outlooks.In the accompanying, you can see that the Atlanta Fed’s...

Thursday, February 2, 2023

"Is the bear market over?"That's a question I've been asked a number of times in recent weeks. And my answer is the same, "Let's give it a little time."But people are quick to remind me that stocks are off to a good start in 2023,...

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

January 30 to February 3, 2023, is Identity Theft Awareness Week. Anytime is a good time to tighten up your identity security, but if you haven’t been as careful as you intended, consider this your annual reminder. Here are a few...

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Stocks added to their early 2023 gains amid a busy stream of mixed corporate earnings results and conflicting economic data.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.81%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 2.47%. The Nasdaq...

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

National Financial Wellness Month comes each January. It's a time to remind people to either establish a financial strategy or take some time to sit down and review it with their trusted financial professional.For me, it's time for me...

Saturday, January 21, 2023

The December inflation report had some encouraging news. It showed that consumer prices trended lower for the month, but more importantly, it confirmed that overall prices have been trending lower for the past six months.Now the ball...

Thursday, January 19, 2023

It’s easy to get excited reading the news. With all of the storm and stress of the last few years, it’s only natural to react to each ping of our phone’s news apps with a deep sigh and a cynical “what...

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Stocks rallied last week thanks to fresh confirmation of inflation’s cooling trend and growing optimism that an inflation slowdown may provide the Fed with space to ease up on future rate hikes.The Dow Jones Industrial Average...

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Have you been let go at work? What happens to the money you have saved in your employee retirement plan?If you have been terminated by your employer, you have 4 choices when it comes to your retirement plan money:Cash it out (and lose...

Saturday, January 14, 2023

You may have heard the saying, “inflation hurts savers and benefits borrowers.” The expression suggests that borrowers benefit from inflation because they pay back lenders with dollars worth less than when the money...

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

In the final days of 2022, Congress passed a new set of retirement rules designed to make it easier to contribute to retirement plans and access those funds earmarked for retirement.The law is called SECURE 2.0, and it's a follow-up to...

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

A strong Friday rally triggered by fresh signs of moderating inflation pushed stocks into positive territory to begin the new year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.46%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 1.45%....

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

In a holiday-shortened week, erratic trading left stocks marginally down for the week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.17%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.14%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.30%. The MSCI...

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Congress spent the final days of 2022 on new reforms designed to help Americans save more for retirement.You may hear the changes called SECURE Act 2.0, which is a follow-up to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement...

Thursday, December 29, 2022

A new year is on the horizon. Each day that comes presents something new and exciting both for you and the people in your life.Is this the year you open the door to something new and exciting? Embark on some new travel adventure? Or...

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

While you probably already found your notice in the mail, you may be curious about the COLA increase happening for Social Security recipients in the New Year. Starting in January, beneficiaries will see an 8.7% increase to help offset...

Saturday, December 24, 2022

What does the bond market know that the Fed isn’t telling us?Fed officials recently have said that short-term rates will need to climb to over 5 percent to bring inflation under control. But in the table below, you can see that...

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Just wanted to take a moment to wish you a safe, happy, and beautiful Holiday season. May your celebrations include those you love, good times, and great memories.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Hawkish comments by the Fed and weak economic data heightened investors’ recession concerns and sent stocks lower last week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.66%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 retreated 2.08%. The...

Monday, December 19, 2022

Over the past couple of years, the "Great Resignation" has led many Americans to leave their jobs for other opportunities, while others have chosen a different path: early retirement. We can all understand looking for a more suitable...

Friday, December 16, 2022

Knowing when it’s the right time to retire can be difficult, especially if you love your job. Even professional athletes have a hard time knowing when to walk away!These athletes thought they were ready for retirement but...

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The economic impact of COVID-19 has been felt from coast to coast. And, unfortunately for many pre-retirees, it could potentially impact Social Security benefits as well.A new report indicates that if Congress doesn’t take action...

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The financial markets are complex systems. They can move from one event to the next so quickly that it's hard to know what’s driving prices.For example, look at the roundtrip oil prices in the chart below.Oil prices surged to...

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Recession fears and concerns that the Fed may consider a longer rate-hike cycle sent stocks lower for the week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.77%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 3.37%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Friday, December 9, 2022

The holiday season is upon us; from story time with sorely missed grandchildren to laughter with friends and family over long-cherished memories, there's little doubt that "the most wonderful time of the year" has arrived.For my family...

Thursday, December 8, 2022

It appears that America’s corporate leaders are preparing for the worst while hoping for the best.Almost half of S&P 500 CEOs in second-quarter conference calls pointed to “recession” as a potential headwind in 2023....

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Over the years, the Fed has followed a similar pattern with interest rates. It raises interest rates, then pauses, so it can see how the economy is adjusting to the higher rates. The chart below shows the Fed’s pattern with...

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Stocks ended higher last week as investors navigated the crosscurrents of a potential easing in future rate hikes and continued strength in the labor market.The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.24% higher, while the Standard &...

Monday, November 28, 2022

Growing optimism that the Fed may be ready to ease future interest rate hikes sent stocks higher in a quiet trading week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.78%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 1.53%. The Nasdaq...

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The warmth of the holiday meal beckons. Thanksgiving is a time for gathering with loved ones and observing gratitude.So, as you gather around the table, look around and give thanks for the family and friends surrounding you. Give...

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The stock market edged lower last week as it digested a crosscurrent of conflicting economic data and contrasting comments from Fed officials.The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat (-0.01%), while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Have you saved enough? Whether you started late, or have regularly saved throughout your career, you might wish you could stash some additional cash in your retirement fund. Fortunately, if you’re 50 or older, you can. The IRS...

Saturday, November 19, 2022

How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your Medicare policy? There are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before you renew, add, drop, or switch coverage.Have you switched doctors, or is your doctor no longer...

Thursday, November 17, 2022

October's Consumer Price Index (CPI) had some encouraging news for investors, but others asked, "Is this a game changer or another head fake?"While it's a bit early to know the answer, it was great to see that inflation rose at a...

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

A cooling inflation number ignited a powerful rally on Thursday, sending stocks to strong gains for the week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 4.15%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 5.90%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Friday, November 11, 2022

On November 11, we honor the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served America in the armed forces. This federal holiday – Veterans Day – is a time to reflect on their courage.Please take a moment this...

Thursday, November 10, 2022

The midterm elections have come and gone, and although the results don’t appear as one-sided as many predicted, it seems one party will narrowly take control of the House, while the Senate may hinge on a Georgia runoff.It's...

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The financial markets are on edge this year each time Fed Chair Jerome Powell takes the podium following a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.The chart below shows that the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index has gained...

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Hawkish comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell, following the announcement of another 75 basis points interest rate hike last week, cast a pall over financial markets, sending yields higher and stocks lower.The Dow Jones Industrial...

Saturday, November 5, 2022

You may have heard the phrase “contrarian investing,” but did you know that one of the most reliable contrary indicators is individual investors?Retail investors often do the wrong thing at the wrong time. But this year,...

Saturday, November 5, 2022

As you have noticed, the days are getting shorter – and we are coming to the end of Daylight Saving Time for the year. On the first Sunday of November at 2:00 am, most of America will “fall back” into Standard Time.Be...

Friday, November 4, 2022

I’ve always been a little cautious when people say, “it’s different this time.” But the table below suggests the Fed is approaching 2022’s inflation differently than other financial events in recent...

Friday, November 4, 2022

The midterm elections are underway. In many states, ballots have been delivered and, in several cases, already returned by Americans exercising one of the most sacred of their Constitutional rights.Election Day is always the Tuesday...

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The Internal Revenue Service has released new limits for the coming year. After months of high inflation and financial uncertainty, some of these cost-of-living-based adjustments have reached near-record levels.Individual Retirement...

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Stocks overcame poor earnings results from some of America’s largest companies to post gains last week as investors cheered positive earnings surprises, easing inflation and a rebound in economic growth.The Dow Jones Industrial...

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Stubborn doesn’t seem like a strong enough word, but that’s how Fed officials are describing inflation.Inflation's “stubbornness” has been on full display in recent weeks: First, the Producer Price Index (PPI)...

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Stocks were mixed last week amid wide intra- and inter-day price swings, as technology shares bore the brunt of the downdraft.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.15% for the week. Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Friday, October 14, 2022

Lately, "inflation" seems to be the media's favorite word. Everywhere you turn, there's another story about the impact of inflation. For example, many news outlets have reported that confectionary prices have surged over 30% from last...

Thursday, October 13, 2022

How well do you remember 1981? Harrison Ford had his first bow as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Frogger and Donkey Kong were all the rage at video arcades. Bob Ross left the Air Force and took up painting. On top of that,...

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

We measure the jobs market in many ways, but the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey or JOLTS report seems to be of particular interest to Fed Chair Jerome Powell.The JOLTS report tells the Fed how many job openings there are each...

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

A powerful two-day stock rebound cemented a positive week for investors as a new trading month began.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.99%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 1.51%. The Nasdaq Composite index increased 0...

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Traditionally, I’ve been a little cautious when people say, “it’s different this time.” After all, the past few years have seen more financial “firsts” than most.But despite that skepticism, this...

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Rising recession fears and uncertainty in the bond and currency markets sent stocks to new 2022 lows last week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 2.92%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slumped 2.91%. The Nasdaq Composite...

Saturday, October 1, 2022

If you’ve felt like stock prices were a little more volatile in 2022 than in recent years, your “spidey senses” are right on the money.The S&P 500 has posted 81 daily moves of at least 1% through August. Of those...

Friday, September 30, 2022

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. If you haven’t reviewed your insurance profile in a while, you may be surprised that what made sense in the past no longer fits your life.Here are some ways to quickly evaluate your...

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Wall Street is always searching for a hero to embrace or a villain to blame. And right now, Fed Chair Jerome Powell is the villain.After the September Fed meeting, Powell said interest rates may be heading higher for longer than...

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Last week, Fed Chair Powell said the U.S. would not tame inflation without economic pain. This week heightened recession fears and sent stocks broadly lower.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 4.00%, while the Standard &...

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The hurricane season is descending upon us in dramatic fashion this week.Hurricane Ian is a significant event that will bring massive winds and dangerous storm surges to Florida and the neighboring Gulf states. Whether you’re in...

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), which were created in 1974, are owned by roughly 36.6 million U.S. households. And Roth IRAs, created as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act in 1997, are owned by nearly 27.3 million...

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Have you saved enough? Whether you started late, or have regularly saved throughout your career, you might wish you could stash some additional cash in your retirement fund. Fortunately, if you’re 50 or older, you can. The IRS...

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

The White House recently forgave up to $10,000 to student loan borrowers as part of a larger debt forgiveness program. There are still quite a few questions to be answered, but here are some key points to know.Pell vs. non-Pell: Loan...

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The overhang of Fed Chair Powell’s Jackson Hole speech the previous week carried over into last week as investors recalibrated stock valuations amid a seemingly more assertive monetary policy stance.The Dow Jones Industrial...

Friday, September 2, 2022

We’re entering a tricky time of year: September and October have a reputation for bringing an extra measure of market volatility.Some of the stock market’s most challenging events have hit in September and October, and...

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Schools across the nation are getting back to business. For students, it’s a return to education after vacations, summer jobs, and other activities.For parents, grandparents, and guardians, “back to school” often...

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

A comprehensive sell-off on Friday following comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell drove stocks to losses for the week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 4.22%, while the Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 4.04%. The Nasdaq Composite...

Thursday, August 25, 2022

I’m hearing a lot of mixed messages these days about the economy. Some headlines say we’re already in a recession; some say one is looming. Others hint that we’ll avoid a recession and have a soft landing. It makes...

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Stocks tumbled on Friday, sending stocks to a weekly loss after an otherwise quiet August week of trading.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped -0.16%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 1.21%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Saturday, August 20, 2022

As a parent, you of course want to give your child the best opportunity for success, and for many, attending the “right” university or college is that opportunity. Unfortunately, being accepted to the college of one’s...

Friday, August 19, 2022

Have you heard? The Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law on Tuesday, August 16. While the $430 billion package includes many provisions, I thought I’d highlight three key areas where you may benefit the most.Tax credits...

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Have you ever heard the expression, "What's the smart money doing?""Smart money" is an expression that often refers to experts and suggests that well-informed people have a better perspective on current events and what actions to take....

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

These days, an encouraging word can feel like a relief. Here are a few positive stories I’ve noticed lately – like an “everything bagel” sprinkled with good news.I saw a recent report in The Guardian about the...

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

An improving inflation outlook buoyed investors’ spirits last week, helping lift stocks to solid gains.The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 2.92%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 3.26%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Friday, August 12, 2022

Does waiting 30 days for a government report seem a bit unreasonable? After all, we live in a world of instant messages and real-time quotes. Why should we wait a whole month between updates on the Consumer Price Index to see what's...

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Stocks turned in a mixed performance last week as investors struggled with headlines suggesting that the Fed was unlikely to soon ease up on its current monetary tightening policy.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.13%, while...

Friday, August 5, 2022

"Where there's a will, there's a way." Sage advice that applies not only to our lives but to your estate strategy.When was the last time you reviewed your will or estate strategy? August is National "Make a Will" Month, an excellent...

Thursday, August 4, 2022

In the financial world, some weeks are more important than others, and we just lived through a big one. Let's unpack each of the four key stats:The Fed. As expected, the Fed bumped up short-term rates again at its July meeting. But the...

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

What would you do with a windfall? It’s a question I’ve read or heard a lot lately. Considering the Mega Millions jackpot has now grown to $1.02 billion, it’s safe to say most of us have thought about what it would be...

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Undaunted by another Fed rate hike and news of a contracting economy, the stock market rallied last week on better-than-expected corporate earnings.The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 2.97%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion.And this may be one of those times.Government reports are telling a rather bleak story about the economy. The headlines talk about high inflation, rising interest rates, and a...

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Stocks rallied last week as investor spirits lifted thanks to a better-than-expected start to the second-quarter earnings season.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.95%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 2.55%. The...

Friday, July 22, 2022

Stop me if you heard this already—roughly half the population wasn’t alive last time inflation was at this level.It’s true. According to IMDb.com, Raiders of the Lost Ark was the #1 movie at the box office the last...

Thursday, July 21, 2022

A record-high inflation report, the prospects of a more aggressive Fed, and growing recession fears sent stocks lower– though losses were pared by a Friday rally.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.16%, while the Standard...

Sunday, July 17, 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...

Friday, July 15, 2022

Summer travel is picking up this year. If you’re headed to Europe, you may notice that you get more bang for your buck.Why is that?For the first time in almost 20 years, the U.S. dollar and the euro have reached parity. Souvenirs...

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

If you’re trying to get an inside edge on Wall Street, you’re probably paying attention to an array of stats and measurements. But there’s one indicator you might be overlooking.I’m talking about the...

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

In a holiday-shortened trading week, stocks rallied despite mixed economic data and vacillating energy prices and bond yields.The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.77%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 1.94%. The...

Thursday, July 7, 2022

With half the year behind us, now is a great time to consider what the remainder of 2022 may hold. However, with inflation and economic uncertainty causing many of us to delay or cancel vacations, large purchases, and more, it can be...

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Financial success is a goal for many, but women face unique barriers that can make that goal more difficult to achieve. Understanding today's financial landscape can help women rise to the challenge, know their worth, and take control...

Tuesday, July 5, 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...

Friday, July 1, 2022

The Fourth of July is just ahead – a chance for us all to get together and celebrate what makes America so special. As Americans, we have the liberty to act, speak, think, and worship freely. This precious liberty was fought for,...

Thursday, June 30, 2022

It’s natural to think “defense” during a bearish market season. But why not mix in some “offense” with your defense? Here are three moves we can discuss together that may be helpful during the current...

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...

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Prospects of cooling inflation powered a rally in stock prices last week despite growing recession concerns.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 5.39%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 climbed 6.45%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Sunday, June 26, 2022

During periods of market turbulence, I take comfort in one of my favorite Warren Buffett quotes:“Don’t watch the market closely.”The Oracle of Omaha gave this sage advice in 2016, when Brexit, China’s economic...

Saturday, June 25, 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...

Friday, June 24, 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...

Thursday, June 23, 2022

At the risk of slowing economic growth, the Fed has driven short-term rates higher to rein in inflation. But it’s a tricky proposition.Raise rates too much, and you may trigger a recession. Don’t raise rates enough, and you...

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

What an “interesting” week. In a move unseen since 1994, the Federal Reserve has taken an aggressive stance toward inflation by raising the key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point.Investors initially...

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Some gloomy headlines are coming out of Wall Street lately. Have you noticed?In recent days, I’ve read things like “Brace yourself for economic hurricanes” and “Wall Street investor survey paints a dire outlook...

Thursday, June 9, 2022

As you might have heard, people are talking about a big bump in Social Security benefits next year.The Senior Citizens League says payments could rise by as much as 8.6 percent in 2023, compared to an increase of 5.9 percent in 2022....

Friday, May 27, 2022

Memorial Day is so much more than a long weekend. It is a chance for us to remember those who gave all for this great nation and the freedoms it offers.This Memorial Day, we pay tribute to the lives and legacies of those who...

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Rare collectibles can provide an entertaining form of alternative “investment,” and might seem particularly intriguing when markets are wobblier than Aunt Gertrude’s jello salad. Comic books can sell for millions of...

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

When markets cycle lower like they have been lately, perspective is critical. If you’re not connected to someone with experience, it can be easy to miss the big picture.If you zoom out a bit in history, most investors haven't...

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The number one question I’m hearing this week is, “When are we going to see the stock market reach a low point?” In spite of recent volatility, my answer remains the same: rather than timing the markets, focus on time...

Monday, May 16, 2022

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Friday, January 14, 2022

Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing, and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as you’re driving to work, you see smoke...

Thursday, January 13, 2022

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Friday, November 26, 2021

The holiday season is often a quiet, positive time for the financial markets. The phrase “Santa Claus Rally” was coined in the early 1970s to reflect the stock market’s upward bias during the November-January stretch...

Monday, November 22, 2021

You see it in prices at the grocery store and the gas station. You feel it in your monthly budget. So why don’t the financial markets seem too concerned about inflation?Remember, financial markets are considered...

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Thanksgiving will be here soon. The holiday always gives us a chance to appreciate what we have – friendships, relationships, and a sense of togetherness. These gifts are priceless. This holiday is also an appropriate time for...

Friday, November 19, 2021

At the White House on Monday, President Biden signed a $1T bipartisan infrastructure bill set to enable enhancements for transportation and utilities over the next five years.1Over those five years, $550 billion will be invested into...

Friday, November 12, 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)...

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Financial markets can be challenging to understand. But when markets enter a “bad news is good news” cycle, it becomes even more difficult to follow along.At its November meeting, the Fed outlined its plan to taper monthly...

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

On November 11, we honor the bravery and sacrifice of those who have served America in the armed forces. It is also a time to appreciate the commitment of our active military personnel and their dedicated families.Let us honor their...

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

CNBC’s Mad Money host Jim Cramer created the popular FAANG acronym to denote some of the largest, most powerful companies in the world: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. Recently, changes in those companies are...

Monday, November 8, 2021

A Federal Reserve announcement on tapering, a fresh batch of corporate profits, and encouraging economic data lifted stocks to another weekly gain.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.42%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Saturday, November 6, 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...

Friday, November 5, 2021

To help raise revenue to pay for President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan, Congress is considering a number of tax law changes, including adjusting estate taxes.One of the proposals would reduce the estate tax exemption to...

Thursday, November 4, 2021

There are a lot of questions about President Biden’s Build Back Better plan and potential tax law changes, including an adjustment to capital gains taxes.One of the proposals Congress is considering sets the top rate for taxing...

Wednesday, November 3, 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...

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

A fresh wave of positive corporate earnings surprises sent markets to new record highs last week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.40%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 1.33%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked...

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Financial markets tend to function best when they have clear, strong leadership. When there’s concern about who’s the boss, markets can struggle.Jerome Powell’s first term as Fed Chair ends in February 2022. Until...

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The overhang of bumping against the federal debt ceiling was lifted last week with an agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December, helping propel stocks to a weekly gain.The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 1...

Monday, October 11, 2021

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period begins October 15 and ends December 7. During this time, current Medicare beneficiaries have the option to adjust their coverage for the coming year. Any changes to your plan will go into...

Friday, October 8, 2021

Debates over government debt, taxes, and infrastructure have captured the attention of the nation this week. All eyes are on Washington and Wall Street as these events play out, with potentially far-reaching consequences that seem to...

Thursday, October 7, 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...

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

A funny thing happened in the investment markets the other day. September was living up to its reputation as a volatile month, but then the Federal Reserve came to the rescue.The Fed concluded its Federal Open Market Committee meeting...

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

There’s a famous saying about a hurricane starting from a butterfly flapping its wings on the other side of the world. That “butterfly effect” is certainly happening in terms of the Chinese property market’s...

Friday, September 24, 2021

How much do you know about one of the most important tools you have to help protect you and your family’s financial future? Do you want to find out? Click HERE to take a short quiz and test your life insurance knowledge today!

Thursday, September 23, 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 22, 2021

Healthcare can be one of the priciest yet essential parts of life’s journey. And yet, many struggle to utilize the financial tools that may help. Take Health Saving Accounts (HSAs), for example.In 2019, 55% of those with HSAs...

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

If you are feeling a bit confused about the direction of inflation, you’re in good company. Some of the best and brightest economists in the country are having a tough time getting their arms around the current inflation trends...

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

In a quiet week of news, stocks moved lower amid simmering concerns over the Delta variant’s effect on the progress of economic reopening.The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 2.15%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Sunday, September 12, 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...

Friday, September 10, 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...

Monday, September 6, 2021

The first Labor Day was celebrated over 100 years ago, created by the labor movement as a day to honor the achievements and contributions (both social and economic) of American workers.I’ve always found the way we celebrate to...

Saturday, September 4, 2021

It’s time for your life insurance checkup.September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to review your coverage.1If you don’t have any life insurance, you’re not alone. Life...

Friday, September 3, 2021

The economic impact of COVID-19 has been felt from coast to coast. And, unfortunately for many pre-retirees, it could potentially impact Social Security benefits as well.A new report indicates that if Congress doesn’t take...

Thursday, September 2, 2021

The most recent stats on corporate dividends suggest that global companies are bullish on the world’s economic recovery.Dividends paid to investors are on track to hit $1.4 trillion this year and are expected to stretch even...

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Your workplace retirement account can play a critical role in your overall retirement strategy. However, some have gone further with the accounts than others, especially recently.CNBC reported on findings that place 401(k) accounts at...

Friday, August 27, 2021

If you have a secret, don’t tell anyone at the Federal Reserve Bank. They may leak the story before you’d like.In early August, multiple regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents hit the speaking tour. They made headlines...

Thursday, August 26, 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...

Wednesday, August 25, 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...

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The airline industry plotted a course for recovery in 2021, but recent difficulties may have put that plan into a holding pattern.While major airlines checked in with improving financial results for the second quarter, both they and...

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Have you ever heard the Wall Street expression, "markets climb a wall of worry?"It's the idea that financial markets are constantly on edge. Traders fret about how long a market rally can continue before it runs into trouble. Worry...

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Overcoming jitters about the Delta variant and the reintroduction of mask requirements, stocks climbed higher on strong employment data and a fresh batch of strong corporate earnings.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.78% while...

Thursday, August 5, 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...

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

With overseas investments, we remind people that, “international markets carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risk, foreign taxes and regulations...

Thursday, July 29, 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...

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Corporate earnings season has begun, and the results are turning heads on Wall Street.Of the 120 companies in the S&P 500 index that reported numbers as of Friday, July 23, 89% of them beat the Street’s earnings-per-share...

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Overcoming a COVID-related economic growth scare, stocks moved higher amid a week of strong corporate earnings reports.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.08%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 1.96%. The Nasdaq...

Thursday, July 22, 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 21, 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...

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

With all the attention given to inflation, stock prices, and job reports, it’s been easy to overlook the remarkable move in the bond market during the past few months.The yield on the 10-year treasury closed at 1.37% on Friday,...

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

On July 6, oil prices reached a six-year high of $76.98 a barrel. This benchmark came as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies failed to reach an agreement regarding an increase in production.1This...

Thursday, July 8, 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, July 6, 2021

Strong employment reports and rising consumer confidence sent the stock market broadly higher last week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.02%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 picked up 1.67%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Monday, July 5, 2021

Summertime rouses our desire to hit the road (or the airport) and travel. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider before you take off.Employment Issues for Airlines: Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights due to...

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Fourth of July is just ahead – a chance for us all to get together and celebrate what makes America so special. As Americans, we have the liberty to act, speak, think, and worship freely. This precious liberty was fought for...

Thursday, July 1, 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 29, 2021

Recently, you may have seen a number of major cryptocurrencies fall thanks to a continuing sell-off that began last week. In fact, over $250 billion was lost in the crypto market alone.1It may be tempting to view this as another...

Thursday, June 24, 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%,...

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

One of the most anticipated comebacks of 2021 isn’t an athlete, rock star, or movie franchise. It’s summer travel, and it appears to be back with a vengeance.Travel agents are working 14-hour days to meet the needs of...

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...

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Recently, you may have seen headlines regarding the Securing a Strong Retirement Act, also referred to as the second version of the SECURE Act, or SECURE Act 2.0.As the bill moves from the House of Representatives to the Senate, many...

Friday, June 11, 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 9, 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...

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Over Memorial Day weekend, gasoline prices hit the highest for this holiday weekend since 2014.1With the Colonial Pipeline outage in the rear-view mirror and an ever-increasing number of adults vaccinated, formerly cooped-up motorists...

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Optimism over the economic reopening and renewed enthusiasm for technology and other high-growth companies powered the stock market higher last week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.94%, while the Standard & Poor’s...

Friday, May 28, 2021

As our nation continues to recover from the effects of COVID-19, one economic trend has been capturing news attention as of late. Consumer prices are rising amidst economic recovery. In fact, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.8%...

Thursday, May 27, 2021

The talk is of tapering, and it’s making investors nervous.The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released the minutes of its April meeting last week. The report suggested that should the economy continue to make progress, it...

Friday, May 21, 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...

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Since the 1980s, unemployment rates have trended higher amongst men than women during a recession. In previous periods of economic downturn, this made sense. Male-dominated industries, like construction and finance, were typically...

Sunday, May 16, 2021

The San Diego Padres signed infielder Fernando Tatis, Jr., to a 14-year, $340 million contract roughly one year after the Los Angeles Dodgers inked outfielder Mookie Betts to a 12-year, $365 million deal. That brings the total to 8...

Saturday, May 15, 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...

Friday, May 14, 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, May 13, 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...

Thursday, May 13, 2021

A recent survey shows that 63% of investors are more interested in protecting their financial assets and planning for uncertainty in the future than anything else.1There are many reasons for this change, but here are a few of the most...

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Stocks meandered around a flatline in a busy week of corporate earnings, ending the trading week slightly lower.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.50%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 was flat (+0.02%). The Nasdaq...

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Did you know that May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month? This year, we invite you to join us in celebrating the often-overlooked contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to this great nation.Whether we...

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have been the recipient of the latest buzz. NFTs are digital files attached to blockchain codes. If you know anything about digital currencies, you’re probably aware that these blockchain codes are...

Tuesday, April 27, 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...

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Investors looking for "green shoots" to confirm that the economy is on the mend have seen plenty of examples in recent weeks. Retail sales rose 9.8% in March, the largest monthly gain since May 2020. It's important to remember that...

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Are your financial goals well-defined? While "I want to have lots of money" may sound like a great goal, it's just too vague. How much is "lots?" If you don’t know … how will you know when you have it? And will the...

Wednesday, April 21, 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...

Friday, April 16, 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...

Thursday, April 15, 2021

If your finances are not where you would like them to be, what can you do about it? April is Financial Literacy Month. This is a great time to start picking up the pieces and learn how to rebuild with confidence. After all, a little...

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

In a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has called for a minimum corporate income tax that would be shared by countries all over the world.1The decrease of corporate tax rates around...

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Spend today, save tomorrow? Okay, we've all been there. But if it seems you're always living paycheck-to-paycheck and never able to save anything for the future, then it may be time to make a change . April is Financial Literacy Month...

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

President Joe Biden introduced the much-anticipated American Jobs Plan, which outlines an approach to spend roughly $2.2 trillion on the nation's infrastructure and other projects.As part of the legislative process, the Biden...

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Overcoming a rocky start, stocks rallied into the close of a holiday-shortened week of trading as technology shares staged a powerful recovery and investors reacted positively to President Biden’s infrastructure spending...

Saturday, April 3, 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...

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Previously, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year had been automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.1More time for allHowever,...

Thursday, April 1, 2021

So you've prepared for your goals and you believe you are on track for your financial goals. That's wonderful. What now?April is Financial Literacy Month. If you haven't put some thought into Asset Protection Strategy, now...

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Among the many changes arising from the pandemic, one of the most noticeable was a change in American spending habits. A survey released in March 2021 by Pew Research shows that Americans have increasingly chosen to put away what...

Friday, March 26, 2021

For those with a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), there may be some good news on the horizon. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden, boosts the amount that companies can allow workers to...

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Less than one month ahead of the traditional date, the I.R.S. has delayed the deadline for filing and paying taxes. The new deadline is May 17, 2021.1,2,3The delay follows continued disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic and a late...

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Spring is here! And soon the landscape will turn greener and the weather warmer. Perhaps you are already thinking about what you would like to do – the trips you could take, that new look for your yard or your garden, a day at...

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Want to ensure your favorite local spots are around after the pandemic? Click here to learn more on how to support your community.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Stocks touched new record highs last week as bond yields steadied, a fiscal relief bill was signed into law, and confidence in a strong economic recovery grew.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 4.07%, while the Standard &...

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion relief package focused on economic relief following the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill was signed into law at the White House on Thursday.1Beyond the much-discussed $1,400 stimulus...

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Do the days seem to be getting a bit longer? You’re correct. It is almost Daylight Saving Time. Many of the timepieces you rely on will automatically make the change thanks to their software, while your analog devices will need...

Tuesday, March 9, 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...

Monday, March 8, 2021

This year we’re celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8. In 1920, women fought for the right to vote. In 1974, single and divorced women were finally able to secure a credit card without needing a male...

Friday, March 5, 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...

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Stocks dropped amid rising long-term bond yields, with sharp declines in high-valuation growth stocks leading the overall market lower.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.78%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined...

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

One time-tested principle of investing is, "when bond yields move higher, bond prices tend to move lower." Investors are doing a "double take" on the 10-year Treasury yield, which recently topped 1.5% — its highest level in...

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

On Monday, Feb. 22, the White House announced several changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that went into effect on Wednesday, Feb. 24. These changes are intended to further target “the smallest businesses and those...

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Imagine your ideal post-pandemic retirement with this hopeful, animated video.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The acronym “SPAC” is showing up more often these days because there is some big money behind the revitalized investment approach.SPAC stands for Special Purpose Acquisition Company, and they are sometimes referred to as...

Friday, February 19, 2021

At this time last year, it was still unknown that a deadly global pandemic was on the rise, eventually stalling economic growth and sending crude oil prices into negative territory. But recently, oil prices have surged, with crude...

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

It can be easy to overlook the nation’s solid economic fundamentals when the financial media splashes stories every day about an army of amateur traders, short-selling mania, and initial public offerings (IPOs) that double in...

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

While many in the United States are beginning to receive vaccinations and people are starting to foresee a life after COVID-19, it remains clear that things aren’t yet back to normal. As a result, there has been a great deal of...

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Recently, Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest people in the world, announced he would take a different role at his company. Corporate moves make the news all the time, but for the largest companies, the story can jump from the business...

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

What's your "go-to" source for financial information?"Family and friends" is the #1 answer given in the annual Retirement Confidence Survey. But a close second is search engines and other online tools, including online forums like the...

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Recently, the world has watched with great interest as a few companies have seen surprising rallies in their stock prices. You may have read stories of individual investors gaining massive returns on their investments, thanks to this...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Former Federal Reserve chair Janet L. Yellen was sworn in as the 78th Secretary of the Treasury on January 26, 2021. This was a moment for historical reflection, as Yellen is the first woman confirmed to this vital cabinet position...

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

You may have heard the news about stocks for certain companies suddenly ballooning, quickly going from lunch money prices to several hundred dollars a share. In one case, the shares rose over 1700% since December 2020.1 So, what...

Monday, February 1, 2021

Every February, Americans celebrate Black History Month. This year, we invite you to join us in remembering the accomplishments of black citizens, past and present, which are an integral part of American history.Whether it’s the...

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Every few months, you may hear the phrase “earnings season” as you listen to financial news.But what exactly is “earnings season,” and why is it important to Wall Street?Earnings season is the time when a...

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Markets drifted lower last week as uninspired investors digested mixed news on the economic front.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.91% while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slid 1.48%. The Nasdaq Composite index stumbled 1...

Friday, January 22, 2021

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that tax season will start a little later than usual. This year the IRS will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax returns on Friday, February 12, 2021.1In light of the December...

Monday, January 18, 2021

This month, America honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.As we look around today, we see manifestations of that legacy in the form of stronger, more diverse communities, in the continued fight for equality, and in the...

Sunday, January 17, 2021

On October 26, the Treasury Department released the 2021 adjusted figures for retirement account savings. Although these adjustments won’t bring any major changes, there are some minor elements to note.401(k)sThe salary deferral...

Saturday, January 16, 2021

The personal savings rate in the United States, which is the amount of income left after taxes and household spending, has reached some significant milestones.In April, when much of the country stayed home to avoid the COVID-19...

Friday, January 15, 2021

As election season draws to a close, it's a great time to review what type of legislative support would be needed to pass certain policy proposals that may come forward from the Biden Administration.It's important to remember that...

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The first week of 2021 has already had many ups and downs. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that the 2020 issues go away, and so far, 2021 has been no exception to this rule.The markets opened on January 4 and...

Thursday, January 14, 2021

After a bit of political posturing in December, the $900 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (2021 CAA) was signed into law by President Trump as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact employers and employees...

Friday, November 20, 2020

As the United States sees a rise in cases of COVID-19 across the nation, news of two promising vaccines out of hundreds being tested has offered a ray of hope for a fatigued world.1A positive reaction to these vaccines affects every...

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

As an investor, it can be tempting to get caught up in daily news headlines. Consider how news about the election and COVID-19 vaccines have moved the markets over the past several weeks. But having a financial strategy can help you...

Thursday, November 12, 2020

After many weeks of telegraphing a long and careful ballot count, this week’s election lived up to that prediction in races for the Senate, the House, and the presidency. While Americans voted Tuesday, Wall Street cast its...

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Now that several major news groups have projected Joe Biden the winner of the presidential election—and Congress appears divided with Democrats in control of the House and Republicans the Senate—it’s a good time to...

Thursday, November 5, 2020

With all the election chatter and stock market volatility, it may have been easy to miss the ongoing uptrend in long-term interest rates.The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond is sitting just below 1%. Just a few short months ago, the...

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Earnings are coming in, reflecting the third quarter of 2020. However, it’s important not to jump to any conclusions about the state of the overall economy based on the results reported from a small handful of companies...

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

It should come as no surprise that the economy is the most crucial issue in the upcoming election.But here's something that may surprise you. More than 90% of investors say they plan to change their portfolio in the 12 months...

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The upcoming election is prompting some people to reconsider their investment strategy.In fact, 45% of consumers with $100,000 or more investable assets expect to make changes to their portfolio due to the upcoming 2020 presidential...

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

It’s a startling statistic.45% of consumers with $100,000 or more investable assets expect to make changes to their investments due to the upcoming 2020 presidential election.1Second-guessing your investment strategy is natural,...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

On October 13, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) officially announced that Social Security recipients will receive a 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2021. This adjustment will begin with benefits payable...

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are now open for the academic year 2021-22. Applying for the FAFSA allows you to qualify for grants, scholarships, and other federally-sourced aid, such as...

Thursday, October 8, 2020

It should come as no surprise to hear the economy is the top issue for voters in the 2020 election. Nearly 8 in ten voters say that the economy will be very important to them when they cast their votes.1But when voters say...

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

When training to become a financial professional, much of our course work centers on the six critical areas of creating a financial strategy. Some recognize October as Financial Planning Month, so it's an excellent opportunity to...

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Stocks were mixed last week as worries that stretched from Washington D.C., where prospects of a new fiscal stimulus bill dimmed, to Europe, which saw an increase of new COVID-19 cases.The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.75%,...

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

In theory, investors understand that stock market corrections are part of the investing process. But experiencing a setback—like the one we’ve witnessed in the past four weeks—can raise a lot of shoulda, woulda,...

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

As the U.S. presidential election draws near, expect to see more and more headlines that propose, "What will happen next if this person is elected?" or, "What policy changes to prepare for in the next four years?"In reality, however,...

Thursday, September 17, 2020

To some, this may hardly feel like an economy headed for a bright future. But don’t tell that to home builders.Builder confidence in August jumped to an eye-popping 78 in August, according to the Housing Market Index courtesy of...

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A U.S. drug company recently said that it’s in late-stage trials for its coronavirus vaccine and reported that it could be given to Americans as early as the end of the year.1Great news. But it seems like every few days...

Friday, September 11, 2020

Football is back, which means Summer is coming to a close, days will get shorter, and sweaters will soon be in play.This year, there was no pre-season, so professional football started in September, which coincidentally, is a...

Thursday, September 3, 2020

To some, this may hardly feel like an economy headed for a bright future. But don’t tell that to home builders.Builder confidence in August jumped to an eye-popping 78 in August, according to the Housing Market Index courtesy of...

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), one of the most widely followed stock market indices, has made some key changes to its starting lineup.Salesforce.com, Amgen Inc.and Honeywell International Inc. have replaced Exxon Mobil Corp....

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Some people in recent weeks may have been feeling that “the stock market seems to be doing so well but I’m not participating.”A look behind the headlines helps tell the story.A CNBC study found that between the stock...

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Two high-profile companies—Apple and Tesla—have announced stock splits in the past few weeks, which makes it a great time to discuss what’s involved when a company announces a stock split.Remember, any companies...

Thursday, August 20, 2020

This month, many universities and colleges are welcoming students back to campus, even if most campuses are largely online this year.But that's not all that's different. The current administration has issued an executive memorandum...

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

"Will I outlive my retirement money?" That's one of the top fears for people who are starting to prepare for their retirement years.So I have to chuckle a bit when I see headlines that say, "Here's how much money Americans think they...

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Are you one of the many retirement account holders who took a mandatory distribution this year? If so, you may be able to manage the taxes associated with Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. There...

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

One of my favorite Wall Street quotes is from Mark Twain, who said:“October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June,...

Thursday, July 30, 2020

With all of the storm and stress of the year 2020, you’d be forgiven if you momentarily forgot that we’re due for another national election in November. Many states will be selecting governors, representatives, and...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

To some, the buying and selling of a company’s stock by corporate officers and directors can be an indicator of Wall Street sentiment.In July 2020, the ratio of companies with executive buying compared with executive selling...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Recently, you may have heard that financial industry regulators established a new set of rules designed to guide investors who work with an investment professional. This new set of rules is called “Regulation Best...

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

In the era of COVID-19, and the financial woes it has created, I often get asked, “Why is the stock market holding up so well when the economy appears to be struggling?”To understand why the markets react — or...

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

With the economy and financial markets flashing mixed signals, it’s no wonder that lawmakers are deadlocked on whether to pass a Phase 4 of the CARES Act.More than $3 trillion in stimulus has been pushed into the economy since...

Thursday, July 2, 2020

A jump in COVID-19 cases dampened investor enthusiasm last week, sending stock prices lower on worries that rising infections could derail the economic recovery.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 3.31%, while the Standard &...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

In our uncertain climate, it’s unsurprising that when American investors are thinking about their financial strategy, that the topic of life insurance comes up.For some, it’s always been front of mind. For younger...

Friday, June 26, 2020

Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may now be able to access retirement accounts to help cover daily expenses, penalty-free.Now, in addition to those who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19...

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

An “eye-popping” $2 trillion in cash has been stashed in deposit accounts at U.S. banks since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the country in January.1This surge of money into banks has no precedent in history.Several...

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reported in recent weeks that the U.S. economy officially entered a recession in February 2020. This transition brought a 128-month expansion to an end, the longest in post World War II...

Thursday, June 11, 2020

As Americans adjust their spending habits in a rapidly changing economy, they are building cash reserves at an unprecedented rate.The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on May 29th that the personal savings rate hit a historic 33%...

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

In recent days, we have watched as outraged and frustrated protestors spilled out into the streets of American cities. Across our communities, unhealed wounds have been brought vividly to our attention once again. Our firm is committed...

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Upbeat comments by the Federal Reserve Chairman and more signs of an economic turnaround combined to help fuel a powerful rally in the stock market last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.29%, while the Standard &...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Hindsight is 20/20. It’s only human to imagine what it might have been like to turn left instead of right on some fateful day. However, that sort of daydreaming is unhelpful when investing, especially when it leads you to try...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Undeniably, Spring 2020 has tried the patience of investors. An 11-year bull market ended. Key economic indicators went haywire. Household confidence was shaken. The Standard & Poor’s 500, the benchmark for the broad stock...

Friday, May 15, 2020

Even in “normal” times, the news can be depressing. But these days, it can seem like there’s an awful lot to worry about. Here’s a sampling of the types of headlines I’ve seen recently: Why US hospitals...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service knows that many taxpayers have had a stressful spring. So, it has reset the federal tax deadline. You now have until July 15 to file your 1040 form. July 15 is also the deadline to pay any federal taxes...

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Are you or someone you know currently making federal student loan payments? In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, some welcome relief may be on the way. Thanks to the recent passage of the CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Education will...

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has put tremendous pressure on stock prices, prompting some investors to blindly and indiscriminately sell positions at a time when the entire market is trending lower. Worried investors believe "this time it's...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

American lawmakers have passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a program that will offer small business loans to employers in need of aid as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.1,2 The bill is a $484...

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Are you eligible for a stimulus check from the Treasury Department? As of Friday, April 24, the Internal Revenue Service said it had issued 88 million payments to individuals across the country. It plans to send out more than 150...

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Few life events are more stressful than a job loss. If you or someone you know is in this situation due to COVID-19, you’ll likely have several questions about job hunting, unemployment insurance, and health care. You may also be...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Thanks to COVID-19, flying is down, driving is down, and the price of fuel is way, way down. On April 20, U.S. crude oil dropped to its lowest level in more than 30 years, due to a slump in demand. That day, West Texas Intermediate...

Friday, April 17, 2020

The stock market staged a broad rally this week, buoyed by the prospect that COVID-19’s grip on the nation may be easing and news of another Federal Reserve program to help stabilize businesses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average...

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up nearly every aspect of American life. To say it’s been a difficult time would be an understatement. However, difficult times may open doors to new possibilities. Businesses are changing their...

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Here’s a quick refresher: a correction is defined as a decline of 10% or greater from a recent high in the financial markets. Corrections can last anywhere from days to months, but few have lasted longer. Recently, we’ve...

Monday, April 6, 2020

In light of current events and potential financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has postponed the 2019 federal income tax filing and payment deadline until July 15, 2020.1,2,3 Those...

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

As I’m sure you know, the $2 trillion “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” (“CARES”) Act was recently signed into law. The CARES Act is designed to help those most impacted by the COVID-19...

Monday, March 30, 2020

CARES Act, which includes an estimated $2 TRILLION or more in stimulus, was signed into law. Read insights and details here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

In your investing lifetime, you may only see a situation like the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a few times. This is a circumstance where complete candor is necessary. The truth is that we can’t yet gauge the full economic...

Thursday, March 12, 2020

What has upswings and downturns, troughs, peaks, and plateaus? Though such terms could easily describe a roller coaster ride, they are also commonly used to describe the business cycle. The business cycle – also known as the...

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Whether through inertia or trepidation, investors who put off important investment decisions might consider the admonition offered by motivational speaker Brian Tracy, “Almost any decision is better than no decision at all...

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

FILING FINAL TAX RETURNS FOR THE DECEASED When a family member passes away, there are many decisions that need to be made and many emotions to handle. The last thing anyone thinks about is taxes. Unfortunately, even the deceased...

Thursday, February 27, 2020

If you're like many small business owners, running your own business is an all-consuming endeavor. In the face of everyday demands, choosing a retirement plan for your business can become a casualty. The idea of establishing a plan...

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that taxpayers and businesses spend 8.1 billion hours a year complying with tax-filing requirements. To put this into perspective, if all this work were done by a single company, it would need...

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Every year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases its list of tax scams, spotlighting the myriad ways that people try to separate you from your money.¹ The “Dirty Dozen” Identity Theft Using your personal...

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The reason withdrawals from an Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) prior to age 59½ are generally subject to a 10% tax penalty is that policymakers wanted to create a disincentive to use these savings for anything...

Thursday, January 30, 2020

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...

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Everyone loves a winner. If an investment is successful, most people naturally want to stick with it. But is that the best approach? It may sound counter intuitive, but it may be possible to have too much of a good thing. Over time,...

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

HOW TO MAKE THE TAX CODE WORK FOR YOU By April 19, 2019, 137million taxpayers had dutifully filed their federal income tax returns.1 And they all made decisions about deductions and credits – whether they realized it. When you...

Thursday, January 16, 2020

YOUR EMERGENCY FUND: HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing, and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as...

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Who among us wants to pay the IRS more taxes than we have to?1 While few may raise their hands, Americans regularly overpay because they fail to take tax deductions for which they are eligible. Let’s take a quick look at the six...

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Washington was busy this holiday season. As many of us were looking forward to some well-earned time off, new legislation was passed, and it affects some of the old rules for traditional Individual Retirement Accounts. These changes...

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Oh November. You may be thinking about soup and turkey. We are definitely thinking about year end tax planning. You may be anxiously awaiting your daily PSL (pumpkin spice latte). We are calculating RMD's (required minimum...

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

For inquiring minds... http://www.giesassociates.com/resource-center/investment/how-stocks-work

Monday, March 25, 2019

Military families face unique challenges, making personal finance even more critical.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Six overlooked tax deductions to help manage your tax bill.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Do you know how to set up your financial goals for success? This knight does.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Understanding tax strategies and managing your tax bill are an integral part of a sound financial approach.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Bonds may outperform stocks one year only to have stocks rebound the next.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Getting ready for retirement? Before you can cross that bridge, you’ll need to cross some important items off your to-do list.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

While Americans are entitled to take every legitimate deduction to manage their taxes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) places limits on your creativity. Here are some examples of deductions from the IRS that were permitted and some...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

An 11 year old from Bellingham, WA recently started a newsletter to bring more happiness to our city. Subscribe and be happy!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Some people may want a more advanced gifting strategy that can maximize their gift and generate potential tax benefits.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

When you take the time to learn more about how it works, you may be able to put the tax code to work for you. Read More

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

That big list of dreams and goals isn't the only way to look at your bucket list. View More

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Not sure what to make for Christmas Dinner this year? Find inspiration with Edible Seattle's list of recipes.

Monday, December 10, 2018

How literate are you when it comes to your finances? Brush up with these five basics. Read Here

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Ever wonder exactly how stocks work? Read on for more information. Read More

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

In order to get where you want to go, you need to know where you are. You can get a view of your financial position by generating a personal net worth statement. View Here

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

From the Dutch East India Company to Wall Street, the stock market has a long and storied history. View Here

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Are you a thrill seeker, or content to relax in the backyard? Use this flowchart to find out more about your risk tolerance. Read More

Monday, November 12, 2018

Being healthy not only makes you feel good, it may also help you financially. Read More

Thursday, November 1, 2018

How do the markets usually react to elections? Was the 2016 election any different? View More

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Understanding the cycle of investing may help you avoid easy pitfalls. Watch Now

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of “paying yourself first.” Read More

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Many people have the potential to earn a small fortune during their working years. Yet some are unaware of how their annual income adds up over the years. This calculator, designed to help you estimate how much you may earn before you...

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Here is a quick history of the Federal Reserve and an overview of what it does. View More

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Having an emergency fund may help alleviate the stress and worry associated with a financial crisis. Read More

Thursday, September 27, 2018

China owns a portion of the total outstanding debt of the U.S. Government. What does it mean? Read More

Monday, September 24, 2018

We all know the stock market can be unpredictable. We all want to know, “What’s next for the financial markets?” View More

Monday, September 17, 2018

Compound interest is the addition of interest to the principal sum of a loan or deposit, or in other words, interest on interest. Read on to see how powerful it really is. Read More

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Financial and Healthcare Documents Read more

Monday, September 10, 2018

Pundits say a lot of things about the markets. Let's see if you can keep up. See more

Monday, September 10, 2018

MONEY DRAINING FOOD MYTHS The road to better health may sometimes involve an extra expense here and there, but you should be careful about wasting money on diet ideas with promises that are more based on myth than fact. Identified...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Seasoned Traveler Tips

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Are you an owner of a thriving business or a medical or legal practice? Are you a highly paid executive? If you have children, at some point they may discern how wealthy you are – and in turn, learn how “rich” they...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Whether you want to leave work at 62, 67, or 70, claiming the retirement benefits you are entitled to by federal law is no casual decision. You will want to consider a few key factors first. How long do you think you will live? If you...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

On September 7, credit reporting agency Equifax dropped a consumer bombshell. It revealed that cybercriminals had gained access to the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans between May and July – about 44% of...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Imagine finding out that your computer has been hacked. The hackers leave you a message: if you want your data back, you must pay them $300 in bitcoin. This was what happened to hundreds of thousands of PC users in May 2017 when they...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

SMART TIP: Grilling burgers? To make your patty juicier, try dunking it in very cold water for about 20-30 seconds before placing it on the grill. WHO SAID IT? “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure....

Thursday, July 12, 2018

At first glance, the rules surrounding inherited IRAs are complex. Here are some questions (and potential answers) to consider if you have inherited one or may in the future. Who was the original IRA owner? If the original owner was...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Many households and businesses are insufficiently insured. The problem is not necessarily the quality of coverage, but the breadth and depth of it. Your own business or household may be more vulnerable than you realize. Too many people...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Major changes may be ahead for federal tax law. At the start of November, House Republicans rolled out their plan for sweeping tax reforms. Negotiations may greatly alter the content of the bill, but here are the proposed adjustments,...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

An executive transitions into a consulting role at age 62 and stops working altogether at 65; then, he becomes a buyer for a church network at 69. A corporate IT professional decides to conclude her career at age 58; she serves as a...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act into law on December 22, and on January 1, some key details of the Internal Revenue Code will abruptly change.1 There will be night-and-day change, both figuratively and literally....

Thursday, July 12, 2018

MONTHLY NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE RETIREES JANUARY 2018 “All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

It’s not uncommon – Many a well-educated, socially conscious, environmentally friendly investor winds up buying shares of companies whose beliefs and business practices are far removed from their own. Why? Often investors...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Are the days of itemizing over? Not quite, but now that H.R. 1 (popularly called the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act) is the law, all kinds of itemized federal tax deductions have vanished. Early drafts of H.R. 1 left only two itemized deductions...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Stocks sometimes retreat. That reality can be overlooked in a long bull market. Bear markets do appear, and a deep downturn could force you to sell securities in retirement, so you can pay for necessary expenses. Right now, you might...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fewer taxpayers are itemizing in the wake of federal tax reforms. You may be one of them, and you may be wondering how many receipts, forms, and records you need to hold onto for the future. Is it okay to shred more of them? Maybe not....

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sometimes more money can mean more problems. “Lifestyle creep” is an unusual phrase describing an all-too-common problem: the more money people earn, the more money they tend to spend. Frequently, the newly affluent are the...