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Educational Resources

So Much Typing, So Little Time

Jan 13, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

I got a great time-saving idea late last week from an article by Jason Gay, a Wall Street Journal columnist.  I simply need to create a smart key on my computer that, with one key stroke, instantly types out, “The major averages all hit new highs again last week.”  I hit one key instead of about fifty!  My typing proficiency is demonstrably substandard;

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Happy Year-End Statement!

Jan 7, 2020

By Joanne M. Welker, CFA, Senior Vice President and Manager, Advisory Services

Unlike last year at this time, 2019’s year-end statement should provide feelings of relief, pride, and satisfaction versus last year’s fear and consternation after the market’s decline in December 2018.  Once you get past the celebratory feelings, there are some things you should consider and keep in mind when reviewing your year-end statements.

The S&P 500 was up 28.9% in 2019,

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A Little Iran on the Parade

Jan 6, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

All of Wall Street enjoyed watching as the stock market marched steadily higher through the fourth quarter of 2019.  Then, last Thursday’s big gain on the first trading day of 2020 promised that the procession would continue.  The high-stepping Technology sector was the drum major that lead the parade northward with most other equity sectors in lock-step, trailing behind.  Stocks were responding to the drumbeats of Fed liquidity injections and signs of progress in trade talks with China. 

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Year-End Review and Outlook

Dec 31, 2019

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

The stock market has enjoyed an incredible rally in the final months of 2019.  It was pretty much the exact opposite of the way stocks performed in late-2018.  A year ago, stocks were finishing a rough December, and that came after a not-so-good October and November.  Stocks had fallen steeply with the worst negative momentum in years.  A year ago, in late-December,

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Year-End Financial To-Do: Create a Plan for the Future

Dec 31, 2019

By Debbie Placke, Vice President, Manager Financial Planning Tools and Marketing

Bring on the New Year! As you celebrate the end of 2019 and bring on the holiday cheer for 2020 hopefully you feel good in knowing that you have a financial plan for the future. If you don’t have a plan in place, the start of a new year is a great time to start thinking about working with your Benjamin F.

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Year-End Financial To-Do: Only a Few Days Remain for Certain IRA and Retirement Account Deadlines

Dec 19, 2019

By Theresa Fry, Senior Vice President and Manager, IRAs, Retirement and Education Planning

Some people enjoy the thrill of waiting to the last minute and like the rush of adrenaline when they work under the pressure of a deadline.  If that’s you, then you’ll be happy to hear you have eight business days left in 2019!  If you are more of a planner and list maker like me,

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Year-End Financial To-Do: Review Your Estate Plan

Dec 17, 2019

By Jeffrey R. Wolfe, Senior Vice President, Manager of Wealth Planning Strategies

This time of year many people are making a list and checking it twice.  While you’re at it, why don’t you check the status of your estate plan to make sure everything is in order.

The first step is to make sure you’ve even got a plan!  It’s estimated that more than 50% of adult Americans don’t have an estate plan.

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No-Go, Go-Go, No-Go and BoJo

Dec 16, 2019

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

Through the first three sessions of the week, the market was in a no-go mentality.  A promising presidential trade-talk tweet was all it took to propel the major averages to moon-shot opening gains on Thursday morning.  That go-go reaction lasted about 45 minutes and lifted both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and the NASDAQ Composite Index (COMP) to new highs.  The balance of the week again saw a no-go market as the averages traded sideways,

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Year-End Financial To-Do: 529 Plans and Education Expenses

Dec 12, 2019

By Debbie Placke, Vice President, Manager Financial Planning Tools and Marketing

As the year comes to an end, there are so many things to think about. The holidays, guests, gifts and celebrations are probably all front in your mind. Don’t let all of these things distract you from keeping your finances in check. If you have a child who is attending a private school or university adding extra expenses to your budget,

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Year-End Financial To-Do: Should You Take or Defer Gains and Deductions?

Dec 10, 2019

By Jeffrey R. Wolfe, Senior Vice President, Manager of Wealth Planning Strategies

The end of the year is a wonderful time to review your tax situation for opportunities to pay less taxes or pay taxes at a lower rate.  Review your portfolio, other investments and your projected income to see where you may find yourself on the tax bracket spectrum.  If you can, work with your tax advisor to see whether you should take or defer certain gains or deductions in this year or the next.

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