For Our Clients

Educational Resources

Businesses Need Protection from Losses Due to Employee Death or Disability

Sep 17, 2020

By Dan Schulte, Senior Vice President and Manager, Annuities and Insurance

All businesses, regardless of their size, have key employees who are invaluable to the success of the company. In a small business, each employee usually has a more direct effect on a company’s profitability because there are fewer employees interacting with customers, creating products and performing services. As a result, the loss of a key employee due to death or disability can be especially difficult for small businesses to operate until a replacement employee is found.

Read More

Today is National 401(k) Day

Sep 11, 2020

By Edward “Ed” V. O’Neal, Senior Vice President and Manager, Retirement Plans

Addressing the Retirement Savings Gap Remains a Focus of National 401(k) Day

The month of September is often connected with the celebration of Labor Day, a holiday to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the contributions of laborers to the development of the United States.  But over the past several decades, September has also included the celebration of National 401(k) Day which is scheduled for September 11 and is designed to promote retirement savings education.

Read More

Their Get-Up-and-Go Must’ve Got Up and Went

Sep 8, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

The sweet emotion of the stock indices dancing steadily higher for the past couple months was suddenly squelched last Thursday.  The mega-cap tech stocks, which had helped pump up the major averages for months, suddenly deflated.  When it became evident that those leaders had, at least temporarily, lost their mojo, it triggered a rush for the exits in those names and weighed on the market in general. 

Read More

The Time for Life Insurance is Now

Sep 3, 2020

By Dan Schulte, Senior Vice President and Manager, Annuities and Insurance

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, which is a month-long public awareness campaign sponsored by the nonprofit organization Life Happens.

The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated just how quickly lives can change due to illness and/or death.  The outbreak has resulted in many people thinking about how to increase the financial security of their families,

Read More

Stressing the Fabric of the Market

Aug 31, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

Another week of gains in the broad averages left me grasping for some suitable imagery that could present an accurate visible representation of the market’s current overextended circumstance. While it may be a bit of a stretch, I opted for spandex. Not just any old spandex, but that overstuffed, stretched-to-the-limit spandex appearance like rubber bands on a marshmallow.  Another series of fat gains last week further bloated the averages to new record highs,

Read More

Consider Ways to Minimize Your Tax Bill

Aug 28, 2020

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

We all look to create the best portfolio for our personal goals. Some of the important choices to help do that include whether you should invest in a stock as opposed to a bond, selecting growth or value-oriented investments, following industry trends, certain sectors, etc. Making these decisions can become overwhelming, but you also need to consider another deciding factor: taxes.

Read More

Emphatic Pneumatic

Aug 24, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

Those tall colorful plastic cylinders with wild hair and waving arms are apparently called “air dancers.”  They’ve been around for years.  You’ve seen them weaving and dancing in front of all sorts of businesses: car lots, restaurants, resale shops, funeral homes.  Okay, maybe not funeral homes but they are nevertheless unnaturally pervasive.  Their telepathic messages shout, “Shop here!”  “Look at this!” “You don’t know what you’re missing!”  I’m thinking they should put a few of those things out in front of the New York Stock Exchange: “Great deals!”  “Don’t miss out!”  “Zero percent financing!”

Those air dancers seem to be a good metaphor for recent stock market activity on a couple different levels. 

Read More

Make Your Wishes Known Should the Unthinkable Happen

Aug 14, 2020

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

If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that you never know what may be around the corner. Quarantines, closings, video meetings; no one saw that coming. In short, what this means is you need to plan for the unexpected.

One key area of planning – especially highlighted by the pandemic – is the need to have a health care directive or a living will.

Read More

Tortoise Fortis

Aug 10, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

It was a pretty good week for the markets.  Just about everything chalked up a gain for the week.  Precious metals streaked higher but gave back a bit of their advance on Friday.  All eleven U.S. equity sectors were in the plus column for the week.  Most international markets, both developed and emerging, extended their recent rallies.  Two of the top gainers on the week were sectors that had been at trailing the rest of the field: The Russell 2000 Index of small-cap stocks (RUT) climbed just over 6% and an index of MLP and Infrastructure companies added 6.3%.

Read More

IRS Provides Potential Relief for Employers on Retirement Plan Costs

Aug 6, 2020

By Edward “Ed” V. O’Neal, Senior Vice President and Manager, Retirement Plans

The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic downturn has caused many employers to make some tough financial decisions in meeting their operational and payroll obligations. As employers continue to look for cost-cutting strategies, many have contemplated the reduction or suspension of employer contributions to their 401(k) or 403(b) plans. The process of suspending or reducing employer contributions to retirement programs can be particularly challenging for employers sponsoring a safe harbor 401(k) or 403(b) plan.

Read More