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You’re in Perspective

Nov 18, 2019

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

Coming down the home stretch of 2019, the market averages continue to gallop ahead.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained a little over1% for the week, lifting its year-to-date gain to a little over 20%.  The S&P 500 Index (SPX) added 0.89% last week to nose-out DJIA with more than a 24% YTD gain.   The NASDAQ Composite Index (COMP) advanced just 0.77% for the week,

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Year-End Financial To-Do: Managing Mutual Fund Capital Gain Distributions

Nov 14, 2019

By Theresa Fry, Senior Vice President and Manager, IRAs, Retirement and Education Planning, Jeffrey R. Wolfe, Senior Vice President, Manager of Wealth Planning Strategies and Bruce Buerkle, CFA, Senior Vice President, Manager Securities Research Support

If you are like most investors, you likely own some mutual funds.  They are common in IRAs, 401(k)s, taxable accounts, etc.  However, when you own mutual funds in a taxable account,

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Year-End Financial To-Do: RMDs and QCDs

Nov 12, 2019

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

As we get older, it seems like the days pass more quickly and that somehow time moves faster.  Science would say that isn’t true, but if you are like me, you might be realizing that there are just 49 days to take care of everything you wanted to get done before the end of the year. 

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A Rug-Man Fan

Nov 11, 2019

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

That may be my goofiest title ever.  Actually, it’s an anagram of “anagram fun,” which is the theme of this week’s article.  Take, for example: “A Ms. Prim Financed a Theft.”  That’s an anagram of “Tariffs and Impeachment,” the two topics that have been the top items in the news lately.  So far, the market hasn’t seemed too concerned about the impeachment circus,

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Go-vember

Nov 4, 2019

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

I welcome the month of November with open arms.  Sure, the days are going to continue to get shorter and the temps are going to continue to get colder, but at least we won’t have to hear any more Octoberfest-based ad schemes.  All last month, car dealers had Octoberfest sales; radio stations had Rock-toberfests; Japanese restaurants had Wok-toberfests.  One craft brewer had a Bock-toberfest. 

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Scary Financial Mistakes: Dying Intestate

Oct 30, 2019

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

As we come to the climax of the Scary Financial Mistakes series, you know how it’s going to end.  The young victim just escaped the monster, made it to the car, turns the key and . . . nothing.  Car won’t start, monster gets them, and moves on to the next co-ed.  Now, what if you found out that the reason the car didn’t start was because they didn’t do something completely preventable,

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Politics and the Estate Tax

Oct 24, 2019

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

Regardless of which study you choose to follow; the estate tax has generated a tiny amount of revenue for the federal government since World War II.  Just after the war the tax generated its highest percentage of revenue, almost 2.6%, but since then it has swayed between 1-2% of total government revenue, typically near the 1% mark. 

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Scary Financial Mistakes: Taking Social Security Early

Oct 23, 2019

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

One of the biggest fears most people have about retirement is running out of money.  Retirement decisions can be scary because your financial well-being depends on you making the right decisions for you and your family.  Deciding when to take Social Security is one of those important retirement decisions that once made, generally cannot be un-made. 

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With Historically Low Interest Rates, Some Planning Ideas May Soar

Oct 22, 2019

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

Interest rates have become a hot topic these days.  Many people complain there aren’t any bonds paying a good enough rate.  Meanwhile, President Trump complains that the Fed’s interest rates are too high.  Credit card rates, home mortgage rates, you name it, and interest rates are everywhere.

While not often top of mind, there are also interest rate issues in the estate planning world. 

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Financial and Technical Data Analysis Graph Showing Search Findings

A Hunka Hunka of Earnings Love

Oct 21, 2019

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

Both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and the NASDAQ Composite Index (COMP) came through the week with small net gains despite a lengthening list of bad news headlines from around the world.  In addition to growing geopolitical tensions, those headlines have recently included more signs of slowing worldwide economic growth.  Data out last week showed that economic growth in China slowed to its lowest rate in nearly thirty years. 

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