Moving On (11/7/2018)

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

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Downsizing (9/28/2018)

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

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Upbeat Data (9/11/2018)

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

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My Social Security (8/15/2018)

If you do not already have one, opening a free “My Social Security” account would be a good idea. This secure account allows you to have convenient online access to information on your record and to manage your benefits once you start receiving them. You do not have to wait until you receive benefits to sign up.

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Extra Credit! (7/13/2018)

Building credit is important for all ages.  We have recently seen a few estate cases where the surviving spouse with many credit cards and car loans through the years find that they do not have their own individual credit.  The credit cards they hold were issued as the second card and their name was the co-name on a loan.  Suddenly, they need to establish credit in their 70s.  According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an estimated 45 million Americans may not have their own credit.

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Disruption! (6/25/2018)

We humans don’t like change. When change comes slowly, we learn to accept it. When change happens quickly, without our understanding of what the change portends, we become worried. The anxiety we feel results in a seeming lack of direction. If we know “what the deal is”, we can take measures to assimilate the change. Currently, our society is going through a number of changes, resulting in a disruption of the status quo.

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It's Personal (6/8/2018)

A recent Marketwatch article claiming “you should have twice your salary saved by age 35” has angered many across the Internet. The article, which included advice from Fidelity Investments, said you should have the equivalent of a year’s salary saved by age 30, and double that by age 35.

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The Market in Perspective (5/14/2018)

In looking at the investment markets for the year, thus far, volatility is an important factor. The stock market, as measured using the S&P 500, began the year at 2674. It proceeded to go up to 2873 by early February, a gain of 7.4%. Most investors were very happy thinking that 2018 would be a continuation of the rapid increases from 2017. This was not to be the case.

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Lifestyle Creep (4/26/2018)

Our New England winter finally appears to be subsiding into some warmer weather. As we shed our heavy winter clothing for lighter gear, we may find that some of our clothes don’t fit due to weight gain. If you are not weighing yourself regularly, this could come as a surprise to you. You were comfortable in your winter gear, but revisiting your warm weather clothing shows you the change.

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Business Earnings (03/27/2018)

Last year I wrote about the high earnings multiples of U.S. stocks. One of the easiest measurements of a stock, or stock market, is the relationship of earning to prices. For example: if Company A earns $1 over one year and the price of the stock is $20, its price earnings ratio is 20 (take the earnings and divide it into the share price). If Company B had earnings of 80 cents and it too had a stock price of $20, its price earnings ratio would be 25 (20 divided by .8). Currently, the trailing price earnings ratio (past years’ earnings) for the S&P 500 is 24.91.

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