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Investment Strategies for an Expensive Marketplace

Investment Strategies for an Expensive Marketplace

​ August 2, 2016 Investment Strategies for an Expensive Marketplace As we enter the eighth year of the current bull market, many ‘experts’ are calling for a correction and the arguments (as always) are compelling. I don’t believe anyone knows what the future will bring but I do believe prudence would dictate taking a more balanced approach to risk management. The following strategies are ones I believe worth consideration in the current environment. Continue Reading

Good News! Maybe?

Good News! Maybe?

​Here’s some Good News: Healthcare spending is expected to increase more slowly during 2016! It’s projected to grow by 6.5 percent this year, according to a report from PWC. That’s still a lot faster than inflation. The Economist projects overall consumer prices in the United States will increase by 1.2 percent this year.The report suggested several factors are contributing to lower healthcare spending, including:The Affordable Care Act’s Cadillac Tax. PWC reported the tax “…is motivating businesses to enact high cost-sharing….

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An Unequal Inheritance

An Unequal Inheritance

​Are you leaving the same amount to all of your beneficiaries?One-third of all parents with wills have divided their estates unequally among their children, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). The study found bequests in complex families – families with stepchildren or estranged children – are more likely to be unequal. The Squared Away Blog reported:“…parents with stepchildren are considerably less likely to include all of their children than are parents who have only biological offspring. This…

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The Big Mac Index

The Big Mac Index

​If you like fast food and a good deal, you can find a really cheap Big Mac in Russia. The Economist created The Big Mac Index 30 years ago as a rough-and-ready gauge of world currencies. The index is based on the idea when currencies are aligned correctly, the same product (in this case, a Big Mac®) should have the same price in different countries when that price is denominated in a single currency. This is called purchasing power parity (PPP).For…

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Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

​ February 23, 2015 Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, I have always appreciated the irony in this quote by Mike Tyson.Don’t get me wrong; I am a big believer in planning especially when it is flexible and adaptive to change, but I feel our industry has turned a good tool into a bad product. In the following article I intend to go over some of the potential limitations of…

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Leaving China?

Leaving China?

​Capital has been leaving China…When Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified before the House Financial Services Committee last week, she made no bones about the fact the Fed is keeping an eye on economic developments in China and evaluating the ways in which changing circumstances in the country, including currency devaluation, could affect global growth and the U.S. economy.Yellen is not the only one worried about currency devaluation in China. The New York Times reported Chinese companies and wealthy citizens…

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A Look Back at the Fourth Quarter

A Look Back at the Fourth Quarter

​Fourth quarter, a look back…The Federal Reserve pulled the trigger. At the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the Fed finally acted, tightening monetary policy by raising the funds rate from 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent. It’s important to remember the Fed doesn’t actually set interest rates. It takes actions designed to influence financial behaviors. The Fed has given rates a push, it remains to be seen whether its efforts will bear fruit.The European Central Bank (ECB) acted, too. Although,…

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Looking Back

Looking Back

​Looking back… Each week, ‘The Economist Explains’ blog expounds on subjects ranging from current events to economics, from philosophical or scientific issues to everyday oddities. Let’s take a quick look at a few of its headlines during 2015:Why the Swiss unpegged the Swiss franc (January 18, 2015). Remember when the Swiss National Bank removed its currency peg last January? The Swiss franc realized double-digit gains in value and the Swiss stock market dropped.Everything you want to know about falling oil…

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Yuan to Join IMF

Yuan to Join IMF

​Next year, China’s renminbi (A.K.A. yuan) will join the U.S. dollar, euro, yen, and pound, when it is added to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket – a supplementary foreign exchange reserve asset that is defined and maintained by the IMF. It will become the third weightiest currency in the basket. After the renminbi is added, the U.S. dollar will comprise 42 percent of the basket (unchanged from 2010). The euro will be 31 percent (down…

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It’s That Time of Year!

It’s That Time of Year!

​It’s that time of the year. No, not the holidays. It’s the time when investors begin to consider pundits’ forecasts for the coming year. Here are a few of those forecasts:“Flat is the new up,” was the catch phrase for Goldman Sachs’ analysts last August, and their outlook doesn’t appear to have changed for the United States. In Outlook 2016, they predicted U.S. stocks will have limited upside next year and expressed concern that positive economic news may bring additional…

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