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Financial Planning

Investing in Agreement with Your Beliefs

The case for aligning your portfolio with your outlook & worldview.

Do your investment choices reflect your outlook? Are they in agreement with your values? These questions may seem rather deep when it comes to deciding what to buy or sell, but some great investors have built fortunes by investing according to the ethical, moral, and spiritual tenets that guide their lives.   

Break These Ten Bad Money Habits

Do bad money habits constrain your financial progress? Many people fall into the same financial behavior patterns, year after year. If you sometimes succumb to these financial tendencies, now is as good a time as any to alter your behavior. Here are 10 bad habits you should break.

January 2019 Economic Update

In this month’s recap: equity and commodity markets experience major losses, the Fed sends a hawkish message, home sales improve, and the economy maintains its momentum.

THE MONTH IN BRIEF

December 2018 will be remembered for its volatility and its challenges. The S&P 500 flirted with bear market territory, dropping 10.16% for the month. Appetite for risk declined here and abroad in the face of tariffs, concerns about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates too quickly, a federal government shutdown, and questions about the Brexit. It was also a difficult month for commodities. In contrast, Main Street seemed in good shape: low unemployment, high consumer confidence, and strong consumer spending were all evident.1

 

Watch Out for the Top 12 Tax Scams & Schemes

The “dirty dozen” favored by criminals & cheats.

Year after year, criminals try to scam certain taxpayers. Year after year, certain taxpayers resort to schemes in an effort to put one over on the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.). These cons occur year-round, not just during tax season. In response to their frequency, the I.R.S. has listed the 12 biggest offenses – scams that you should recognize, schemes that warrant penalties and/or punishment.

The Steward Approach to Managing Market Volatility

Over the past few months, investor concerns about rising interest rates, oil prices, tech stocks, trade wars and a variety of other daily “headline issues” have resulted in significant market volatility. Looking ahead, volatility may continue as markets adjust to potentially higher inflation and interest rates. To help frame the current market volatility, we offer the following reminders:

The Great Recession: Ten Years Later

10 Years After the Financial Crisis: What Have We Learned?


Where were you in September 2008?  Over the weekend of September 13 & 14, 2008, it became obvious that Lehman Brothers was in serious financial trouble and probably would not survive.  Being on the “inside” of the financial industry we knew a lot was about to change for us and a lot of other Americans.

The Great Recession: Ten Years Later

10 Years After the Financial Crisis: What Have We Learned?


Where were you in September 2008?  Over the weekend of September 13 & 14, 2008, it became obvious that Lehman Brothers was in serious financial trouble and probably would not survive.  Being on the “inside” of the financial industry, I (Tim) anticipated life was about to change for me and a lot of other Americans.  So as our family spent the weekend at a soccer tournament, I was compiling my “depression checklist” in between soccer games.   While I was comfortable with my investment strategy, my plan included a number of cost-cutting items like growing a garden, dropping some of our kid’s expensive activities (like soccer) and pooling resources with extended family.  It also included some opportunistic to-do’s like drawing on our home equity line, looking for investment opportunities and maybe starting a business.

October is the Best Time to Fill Out the FAFSA

October is here – the ideal time for college students to apply for financial aid. October 1, in fact, marks the first day a current or future college student can submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for the 2019-20 academic year. Since some states offer aid on a first-come, first-serve basis, submitting a FAFSA as soon as possible is wise.1,2

Video: How to Choose the Right Investment Advisor

When looking for any professional advisor, it is important to be able to match their characteristics, temperament, client profile and experience level to your own profile.

 

Social Security Update

The Social Security board of trustees just published their annual report which now shows that total Social Security income will fall below expenses in 2018 for the first time since 1982. In addition, the report now projects that trust fund assets available to pay benefits will be depleted in 2034, based on the current program.  At that point there is projected to be revenue sufficient to fund 77% of benefits, so if your benefit is supposed to be $1,000 you would might only get $770.

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