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Educational Resources

A Distant Ship’s Smoke on the Horizon

May 11, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

The stock market seems to have become comfortably numb to the economic ills that the COVID contagion has wrought.  The recent statistical data provided some measure of how much the economy has suffered, but even as that data has worsened, the stock market seems to be feeling no pain.  Clearly, the market is looking beyond current conditions to what the future might bring. 

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Turning the Corner

May 4, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

Three consecutive gap-up openings to start the week lifted the major averages to record gains (for the month of April) by midweek.  It seemed that the promised monetary and fiscal stimulus along with the decrease in the number of new COVID cases domestically and the proposed gradual reopening of our economy were all the market needed to celebrate the hope that a return to normal was just around the corner.

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Forgettable Financial Issues to Review Because of COVID-19

Apr 28, 2020

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

With the COVID- 19 pandemic there are a lot of changes in the world.  Wearing masks in public, maintaining social distancing guidelines, etc. – it can be a lot.  With all these changes, you may be overlooking a few key financial issues that could cost you in the long run.  Here are some things to consider:

  • FSA Contributions – If you make Flexible Spending Account contributions for things like child care,

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The End or the Eye?

Apr 27, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

Volatility is coming down.  The daily ranges of the market averages are tending to narrow.  The market has essentially been trading sideways for the past two weeks.  Following the violent swings of the previous two months, a period of relative calm is certainly welcome.  But, does this climate change signal the end of the stormy weather, or is it just the eye of the hurricane?

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We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Rope

Apr 20, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

One common tension-inducing gag in old movies was to have the hero, at some point in the adventure, get stuck in quicksand.  The audience would be on the edges of their seats as Dash or Lash or Errol sank slowly into the pit.  Of course, help would never arrive when the star was merely knee deep in the quagmire.  Things wouldn’t even get exciting until he was at least in up to his waist. 

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Can College Spring Semester Refunds Be Redeposited in 529 College Savings Plans?

Apr 20, 2020

By Theresa Fry, Senior Vice President and Manager, IRA’s and Retirement Planning

College Refunds and 529 Plans
Recently, colleges and universities have begun issuing partial refunds for spring 2020 semester expenses. With campuses closing to in-person classes and the transition to online learning, more schools may be expected to follow suit.  As a result, many students and parents receiving refund checks have questions about whether these refunds can be put back in to the student’s 529 plan and if it is a good idea to do so.

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Tax Tip Tuesdays: Action Plan for 2020 Taxes

Apr 14, 2020

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

So, the traditional end of tax season would be tomorrow, and while the tax world has been pretty uneventful this year, everything else this year has been anything but normal.  There have been some changes due to the SECURE Act, but the Covid-19 virus has rattled many things.  Let’s take a look at what we’ve discussed during this Tax Tip Tuesday series,

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Fold or Raise?

Apr 13, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

The stock market just had its best week since 1974.  Over the past several weeks, investors have cycled through a series of high emotions driven by the rapid and dramatic shifts in market valuations: Fear, panic, relief and now confusion.  Was the huge rebound over the last few weeks the beginning of a new bull market?  Or, was that rally just a brief but spectacular rebound in a continuing bear market? 

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Tax Tip Tuesdays: When’s the Last Time You Did a Paycheck Check-Up?

Apr 7, 2020

By Theresa Fry, Senior Vice President and Manager, IRA’s and Retirement Planning

This time last year, many taxpayers were shocked to discover that despite getting income tax refunds in the past – and changes in the tax laws that promised reduced income tax rates, a doubled standard deduction, and an increased child tax credit – they owed money to the IRS!  Were you one of those unhappy taxpayers? 

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All Errors Are Not Created Equal

Apr 6, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

Thank you for taking a few minutes to read this week’s article.  Amid the horrors of the Covid-19 crisis, the day-to-day swings in the stock market are a mere sideshow.  Our entire country is suffering, and things will get worse before they get better.  We still have no idea of how bad things might get, how long before the number of infected citizens declines,

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