Thanksgiving (11/22/2016)

At this time of the year, I find myself thinking of all the blessings we have. Sometimes our minds are filled with all of the negatives in this world. Our senses can become overloaded with the constant battering of the media, trying to get our attention by telling us all that is wrong in the world. The workplace can be a place of stress and worry. To pick your head up and look around at what is good can become hard.

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Perspective (11/07/2016)

Experience has taught us that it’s best to keep our voting and investing decisions separate.

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Earnings and Stocks (10/12/2016)

Stock prices are based primarily on the earnings of corporations. A company may sell a product or service and either earn money or lose money. If a company earns money on a regular basis, it will remain a viable organization. When a company shows losses on a regular basis, something fundamental will have to change.

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Balancing Financial Goals with Kids' Athletics (09/20/2016)

Watching the Rio Games in full swing this past summer brought a little Olympic fever (and lack of sleep!) to many of us. Over 44 million kids playing organized sports may have been thinking about their own gold medal hopes. Sports parents are often the unsung heroes behind top athletes, and their dedication to their children is admirable. A recent survey by TD Ameritrade reveals that sports parents are invested in helping kids achieve athletic aspirations, yet often sideline their own financial goals.

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Stock and Bond Valuations (09/06/2016)

At times, investment markets can project too far into the future, with undetermined consequences. We are in that type of situation now. Bond interest rates have been pushed to all time lows as central banks across the world attempt to create stimulus to get their economies moving. They have, in some cases, pushed interest rates into negative territory.

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Accessing the Value in your Home (08/15/2016)

For many people, your largest asset is your home. While it is important to remember that while you are living in your home, this asset serves as a home first and not a bank account; you can, however, access the value of your home in the form of a home equity loan or a line of credit.

The combined loan to value ratio (CLTV) is the amount you owe on outstanding home loans, divided by the market value of your home. If that ratio is high, lenders will hesitate to let you borrow against the home’s value. Typical CLTVs these days run in the 70-80% range.

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Don't Forget Your 401k (07/12/2016)

When you leave a job, you’re probably focused first on cleaning out your desk and saying good-bye to work friends. Then it’s time to attend to other matters, like what to do with your 401(k). You can’t just throw it in a box, so what should you do?

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Brexit (06/28/2016)

The impact of Britain’s referendum has been felt in the financial markets worldwide. If you listen to the news, read a paper or talk with friends, it is a major topic of current discussion. In our view, the significance of this change is buffered by our belief that The most important factor in successful investing is a well diversified portfolio. While international and domestic stocks are down, U.S. bonds have actually increased in value. By the same token, for those accounts in which we have real estate, that asset class has risen in value, too.

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Charitable Contributions from IRAs (06/10/2016)

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 first allowed taxpayers age 70 ½ or older to make tax-free charitable donations directly from their IRAs. The Act allowed “qualified charitable distributions” or QCDs to be excluded from gross income that would otherwise be a taxable distribution.  The law was originally set to expire in 2007, but was extended periodically through 2014, and finally made permanent by the Protect Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015.

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Credit Cards (05/10/2016)

Credit cards can be effective tools in managing your overall expenses and accomplishing your financial goals. The key is to use cards only when you are able to pay the balance each month or within a reasonable time, to avoid excessive finance charges. With so many cards available to the consumer, you should make sure that you are using the credit cards that best align with your spending.

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