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Friday, 04 November 2016 08:46

Election Season and the Stock Market

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As Tuesday, November 8 gets closer and closer, we receive several questions and concerns about how the presidential election will affect the stock market. I'd love to say we had a crystal ball that would tell us who the next president would be and how that person would influence the markets, but we have yet to find it. Perhaps the best way to address these concerns is to take a look at past elections. While historical data is no guarantee of future results, it can be a good barometer of what we might expect in the next few weeks.

Monday, 31 August 2015 00:00

Playing Politics in Your Portfolio

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In case you missed it, we are well into another presidential election season. While I'm not sure we ever took a break from the 2012 round, already the herd of 2016 hopefuls are canvasing the country. Over the next year, Republicans and Democrats will parade themselves in front of every TV camera they can find and pander to every potential voter they stumble across. During that time, you will hear expert after expert talking about the impact of each candidate on everything from stocks to schools. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for or even which candidate will be best for your portfolio. What I will tell you, however, is be careful in making long-term plans based on what might happen next year.
Tuesday, 04 August 2015 00:00

Estate Planning for Your 18th Birthday!

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Excitement is building for your child who is about to move out of the house and into a college dorm. As the parent, you are, of course, proud and ecstatic she has been accepted and is attending her favorite college, but at the same time you're a little apprehensive. So many thoughts are running through your head about her moving away from home and living in the big world with all the various decisions to face every day.

As the countless fears may be crossing your mind, one may include getting that dreaded phone call, the one you have had nightmares about in the middle of the night. The phone call notifying you that your child was in an accident. So you rush to the hospital ... But wait, didn't your child already have her 18th birthday? Yes. Well, this means they are a legal adult, and you as a parent no longer have the power or ability to obtain any knowledge or make any decisions for your young adult without the proper legal estate documents.

Tuesday, 07 July 2015 00:00

An Annuity for Everybody?

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Almost anybody can tell you what life insurance is. The concept is pretty simple – you are paying an insurance company a premium and if you die while the insurance contract is in force, the insurance company has to pay the agreed upon benefit.

An annuity is really the opposite. For an annuity, you pay the insurance company a premium and they pay you until you die. As with life insurance contracts, there are all kinds of variations – from death benefits to inflation protection and about anything in between. You can customize an annuity to fit almost any request. Research shows, however, that the annuity that provides the best value is also the most straightforward, the single premium annuity. This type of annuity can be either immediate – in which the annuitant pays the premium and the income stream begins immediately, or a deferred annuity in which the annuitant pays a premium and then 5, 10, or 20 years later begins receiving income.
Monday, 15 June 2015 00:00

Lower Debt, Raise Savings

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You have paid all your bills this month and you have some extra cash left over. Great! Now, what to do with it? Many people debate on what is the best approach between paying off debt and saving. Well, one answer does not fit everyone since each person's areas of focus are different. You need to analyze your own situation to develop a customized plan,

Start by first knowing what is good debt and bad debt. Good debts are obligations that have a low interest rate and can potentially be tax deductible. For example, student loan debt or a mortgage loan are considered good debt, as you can deduct the interest you pay on your income tax return. Most good debts are for items that are essential for everyday living. Bad debts are classified as high interest obligations that can become extremely expensive over time and costly to your financial well-being. A few examples are credit cards, which commonly have interest rates that can sky rocket, or car loans, as your car depreciates continuously from the moment you drive it away from the lot.
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