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Educational Resources

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.

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The Rockettes Rocked It

Aug 3, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

Last week the market was like a dance competition where the top prize went to a group in which a half dozen members at the front of the lineup were wowing the crowd while the rest of the troupe was tripping and stumbling behind them.  Rallies in a relative handful of the mega-cap tech stocks, before and after their earnings announcements, enabled the NASDAQ Composite Index (COMP) to waltz to a 3.69% gain for the week. 

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Mettle of Metals Meddles Markets

Jul 27, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

The big story in the markets last week was the continuing rally in precious metals.  Gold gained about 5% for the week, and Silver spiked nearly 18%.  While media outlets are quick to attribute the rally in precious metals to a flight to safety amid the pandemic, a more accurate description is probably a flight out of paper currency.  Following a decade of central bank printing presses running at full speed,

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Vaccinate Your Investment Portfolio Against Pandemic Volatility Using These Five Proven Strategies

Jul 21, 2020

Although the stock market is currently on an upward path, it’s likely that a rise in infections could lead the stock market to sink suddenly as the second wave of the virus begins winding its way through the population. We have very little we can do about the pandemic other than observe all of the safety measures in place to keep us safe. But is there a way you can help safeguard your portfolio?

These five tried-and-true investment strategies are designed to work whether the market is rising or falling fast.

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I Love a edaraP

Jul 20, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

The focus of my article last week was the disparity in performance between the few leading groups and the rest of the market.  While the market’s procession higher had slowed considerably in recent weeks, a few groups had continued to parade higher with many lagging sectors bringing up the rear.  There also had been a disparity in performance between a relative handful of mega-cap stocks,

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Mind the Gap

Jul 13, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

The disparity in performance between the few leading groups and the rest of the market widened again last week.  While it feels like the averages have been steadily marching higher, it’s been a relatively small group of stocks that have been racking up most of the gains.  Most groups have been trading sideways or lower since early-June.  Thanks to a big day on Friday,

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Celebrate the Journey to Financial Freedom with This Three-Step Process

Jul 2, 2020

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

As we were ringing in 2020, who could have imagined what the following months could hold. In February, as news about the virus began, the economy started to spiral. There have been about 47 million unemployment claims since the beginning of the pandemic. That means that millions of Americans are now searching for financial solutions to keep them above water.

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Reality Timeout

Jun 29, 2020

By Pete Biebel, Senior Vice President

Just when it looked as though the market could trend endlessly higher with the explicit backing of the Fed, there was suddenly a spike in COVID infections.  Just when the potential valuations for social networking and online shopping stocks seemed limitless, there was suddenly concern about the future.  It seems more likely that the declines in the market in two of the last three weeks were not a timeout from reality;

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Three Surprising Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Check

Jun 17, 2020

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

With the first round of stimulus checks delivered and another round being discussed in Congress, now is a good time to review ways to make the most of the income you have received. For many, the stimulus checks were a welcome relief – calming anxieties over how to pay bills such as rent, mortgages, and utilities or provide food to put on the table.

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July 15 Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines Quickly Approaching

Jun 16, 2020

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

The year 2019 may feel like a lifetime ago, but if you haven’t yet filed or paid your federal income taxes for 2019, that deadline will be here before you know it.  After the coronavirus reached pandemic status in March, one of the first announcements from the IRS was the extension of the 2019 federal income tax filing and payment deadlines to July 15,

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