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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thanksgiving is the mother of all family dinners. It’s a celebration of our great nation and the many blessings that occur when people unite together in the spirit of communication. As you’re gathered around the table this year, here’s...

 

Monday, November 13, 2017

November 13, 2017The MarketsSelling it overseas.Most of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index have reported third quarter earnings per share (EPS), which is the profit earned per share of stock outstanding...

 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

All too often, we assume the men and women who fought for our country can take care of themselves. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. There are some important ways ordinary Americans can help those who are returning from battle...

 

Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6, 2017 The Markets “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.”U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s statement is engraved on the front of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington...

 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October 30, 2017The MarketsThe last full week of October was a box full of surprises. First, U.S. economic growth exceeded expectations. The devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria was widely expected to stifle U.S....

 

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Retirement and Social Security are inextricably linked. Not only did Social Security help establish the official U.S. retirement age at 65, it also provides a significant portion of today’s retirees’ incomes. Retirement and Social...

 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Halloween is almost upon us! Whether you’re wearing a costume, decorating your yard/house, or handing out treats, you won’t be alone. More than 179 million Americans are expected to participate in 2017’s Halloween festivities – and...

 

Monday, October 23, 2017

October 23, 2017 The MarketsAnd the hits just keep on coming. Last week was the anniversary of Black Monday. On October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) lost 508 points, or more than 20 percent of its value, as it fell...

 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 16, 2017 The Markets There’s a new kid in town: narrative economics. Last week, Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. His work in behavioral economics and finance recognizes not all economic and...

 

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017 The Markets Slow and steady... It has been 332 days since the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index experienced a 5 percent drop, reported Barron’s. If there isn’t a selloff on Monday or Tuesday, this...

 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 2, 2017 The Markets A lot happened during the third quarter of 2017, but not much changed. The bull market in U.S. stocks continued to charge ahead. Traditional measures of valuation continued to suggest the market is...

 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Smartphones are incredibly handy. That may be why about three of every four Americans own them.1 On average, smartphone users spend almost three hours a day – 86 hours every month – using their phones. They send texts and email,...

 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How times change! In 1940, half of Americans finished their education in eighth grade. College degrees were relatively rare. Just 6 percent of men and 4 percent of women had one.1During the past 80 years, college has become far more...

 

Monday, September 25, 2017

September 25, 2017 The Markets Geopolitics, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin'! In January, Robert Kahn of the Council on Foreign Relations wrote in Global Economics Monthly: “Markets showed impressive resilience in the face...

 

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017 The Markets Last week, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and potency of Hurricane Irma dominated hearts and minds, but there were some diversions and some welcome news, too. The NFL kicked off its 2017 season with...

 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Labor Day is about a lot more than the end of summer and the start of a new school year. The holiday, which celebrates American workers, became a federal holiday in 1894 and was created to recognize the contributions and achievements...

 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In a 2002 interview with Mike Wallace, former First Lady Nancy Reagan said she often reread the love letters written by her husband, former President Ronald Reagan. The letters, which had sustained and enriched their relationship,...

 

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017 The Markets Hope floats. Optimism about possible pro-growth economic policies, including tax reform and deregulation, helped U.S. stock indices finish higher last week, reported Barron’s. It wasn’t all...

 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Markets Here, there, and everywhere… Markets around the world appear to be benefitting from global economic recovery. After pointing out the United States’ economy is the heart of the global financial system,...

 

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Markets North Korea may be a little country, but it can churn up big trouble. The possibility that verbal hostilities between the United States and North Korea could trigger geopolitical conflict had investors on the run last week....

 

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017 The Markets There was some good news and some bad news last week. First, the good news: Thanks to consumer spending and an upturn in federal government spending, the U.S. economy grew faster from April through June this...

 

Friday, July 28, 2017

While some may be concerned about the iconic American meat that arrives in a rectangular 12-ounce tin (and is inexplicably popular in certain island states and American territories), more should be wary of its namesake – the spam that...

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017 The Markets Do we have central banks to thank? Low interest rates, accommodative monetary policy, and improving economic growth have helped stock markets around the world reach record highs, reports Barron’s:...

 

Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017 The Markets It was a good week for a lot of stocks but not bank stocks. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) both finished at record highs last week. Barron’s...

 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI) may bring to mind movies like Terminator, Wall-E, and Transcendence, but the reality of AI is expected to help people find answers to some significant issues. For example, a PwC survey found:1 •...

 

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017 The Markets Things you may want to know… Last Friday, Financial Times (FT) published, ‘Five markets charts that matter for investors.’ Among the issues addressed in the charts were: • The bond...

 

Monday, July 3, 2017

July 3, 2017 The Markets This is the way the quarter ends – with a central bank scare. Central bankers are stodgy. They speak carefully. For many, reading the words ‘Federal Reserve’ is enough to cause boredom to set...

 

Friday, June 30, 2017

On July 4, 1776, the American colonies claimed independence from Britain. This declaration eventually led to the formation of the United States. As we celebrate the birth of our great nation, test your knowledge with this brief quiz.1...

 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The bull market in U.S. stocks has been charging ahead for more than eight years.1 While that’s young in people years, it’s ancient in bull market terms. Since World War II, the longest bull market in U.S. stocks lasted for almost...

 

Monday, June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017 The Markets It has been a very good year, so far. Through the end of last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted 24 record highs and delivered returns in the high single digits. The MSCI World ex USA Index was...

 

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017 The Markets All eyes on inflation! Inflation is the way economists measure changes in the prices of goods and services. The United States has enjoyed relatively low inflation for a significant period of time. Last week,...

 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

You’re probably familiar with ‘20 Questions.’ It’s a classic long-distance-car-trip game that encourages creativity and deductive reasoning. On this Father’s Day, try playing a version that can help you learn a lot more about your...

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

June 12, 2017 The Markets Stock market historians may dub 2017 the Xanax year. Traditional historians will probably choose a different moniker. Stock markets in many advanced economies have been unusually calm during 2017, reported...

 

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017 The Markets The bull market in U.S. stocks is getting really old! In fact, this bull has been charging, standing, or sitting for more than eight years. In April, it became the second longest bull market in American history...

 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 30, 2017 The Markets Is preparing for the future more important than enjoying the present? There is a lot to enjoy today. Last week, Financial Times wrote: “Wall Street ended an impressive week on a steady note – eking...

 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Wouldn’t it be something if you could plump up your retirement savings as easily as you can put on a few pounds eating fast food? Here’s one way to do it: Open a health savings account (HSA). It offers a triple tax advantage and you...

 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have given their lives in the service of our country. See what you know about Memorial Day by answering a few questions from an AARP quiz.1 1. Memorial Day was created to honor...

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017 The Markets How much is too much? There has been no shortage of drama since the new administration took office – legislative setbacks, controversial hiring and firing, and fiery tweets on various topics. Regardless,...

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May 15, 2017 The Markets Does performance tell the whole story? American stock markets have delivered some exceptional performance in recent years. Just look at the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index. Barron’s reported...

 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Changing diapers, arranging play dates, driving car pools, calming squabbling siblings, attending musicals and sporting events, chaperoning proms, coaching teams, helping with college applications…moms have a lot of responsibilities....

 

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017 The Markets Is it complacency? Exuberance? Uncertainty? Exhaustion? Insight? Intuition? Last week, all three major U.S. stock markets gained value and two reached new record highs. On the face of it, that’s great news...

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017 The Markets It was a good week to own stocks. Not all financial news was good news last week, but that didn’t prevent U.S. stock markets from moving higher. Barron’s reported on the good news: “This past...

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

We are all, inexorably, marching toward old age. By 2030, 72 million Americans will be age 65 or older.1 The good news is longevity has been improving, and people are remaining healthy and vibrant at older ages. The bad news is...

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017 The Markets Last week, investors multi-tasked, pushing both U.S. bond and stock markets higher. In March, the Federal Reserve raised the Fed funds rates for the second time in three months. Typically, we would expect...

 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April 17, 2017 The Markets And the survey said... In late 2016, Natixis Global surveyed 500 institutional decision makers representing corporate pension plans, public pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies,...

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017 The Markets U.S. stock markets are sending mixed signals. If you look at the performance of the CBOE Volatility Index (a.k.a. the VIX or fear gauge), which is a measure of market expectations for volatility in the near...

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Some people may name a medical device or implant, such as a hearing aid, an artificial joint, or a pacemaker. Others may say they couldn't live without their electric bikes, GPS devices, tablets, or food processors. A surprisingly...

 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

It’s tax season! Every year, around this time, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes its dirty dozen – a list of scams criminals use to try and ferret out personal information and/or steal money.1 For example, if you received an...

 

Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27, 2017 The Markets You’ve read it before – and it’s true. Markets hate uncertainty. Failure to pass the American Healthcare Act, which was supported by Republican leaders in Congress and President Trump, may...

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017 The Markets Three steps and no stumble… Technical analyst Edson Gould developed a market rule of thumb known as ‘three steps and a stumble.’ It states stock prices may fall after the Federal Reserve...

 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It has been said everyone in America is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you have Irish ancestry or merely enjoy a good celebration, test your knowledge of the old country by taking this quiz. 1. What is Gaeltacht?1a. A region of...

 

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017 The Markets Rate hike ahead…maybe. Last week’s U.S. employment report was better than expected. The United States added 235,000 jobs in February, which was a few more than economists had forecast. It may...

 

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6, 2017 The Markets It was a grand slam. Major U.S. stock markets were positively euphoric following President Trump’s speech on February 28. Optimism about the new administration’s pro-growth policies propelled the...

 

Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27, 2017 The Markets Once upon a time, five blind men discovered an elephant. Each man examined a different part of the elephant and formed a unique impression about the animal. One believed an elephant was like a pillar,...

 

Monday, February 27, 2017

More than one-half of working Americans know little or nothing about Medicare costs.1 Not knowing can be expensive. On average, people who haven’t yet retired estimate they’ll spend approximately $50,000 on health care after retirement...

 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 13, 2017 The Markets What’s the word ‘phenomenal’ worth? It all depends on who says it. Barron’s shared Wilshire Associates’ calculations which indicated the word was worth about $175 billion...

 

Friday, February 10, 2017

The celebration of Valentine’s Day is attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote a poem about love and St. Valentine in the 1300s. Although this poem did not mention chocolate, the tasty treats have since become a Valentine’s Day...

 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Markets U.S. stock markets were unsettled last week. President Trump's executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries to the United States for 90 days, in tandem with some disappointing earnings reports,...

 

Monday, January 30, 2017

January 30, 2017 The Markets An historic moment for U.S. stock markets… The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 20,000 last week. Barron’s cautioned investors not to make too much of the milestone since, “There...

 

Monday, January 30, 2017

How many times did you login to a digital account today? It probably was more than once. Some people access digital sites via computer or tablet, but many others rely on their phones. Deloitte recently reported the essentials of life...

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

January 17, 2017 The Markets Around the world in a few paragraphs… The post-election adrenaline rush may be over in the United States. Barron’s reported: “The new year began with high hopes, with the bulls expecting...

 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepted the award and took the opportunity to articulate his hope the civil rights movement would be successful, as well as his hope for all mankind:1 “…I must...

 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 9, 2017 The Markets …And, they’re off! Bullish sentiment helped world equity markets get off to a fast start last week. Just name a country or region – developed markets, emerging markets, the United States,...

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

…And, it may have some thorns. There’s something you should know about retirement. It’s not as easy as everyone makes it seem. Remember what life was like when you tied the knot? How about once you had children? Or, when you accepted a...

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January 3, 2017 The Markets What a difference a year makes! At the start of 2016, investors were rather pessimistic and risk averse, preferring bonds to stocks. By the end of the year, they were quite optimistic and preferred stocks to...

 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Holiday Greeting - The Way You Eat in 2017 What can we expect in the New Year? If international food consultancy Baum + Whiteman is correct, we may find ourselves embracing new food trends including:1 • Restaurants without seats. We...

 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Retirement IncomeHere’s a million dollar question: How will you transform your savings into income that will last throughout your retirement?1There are probably as many answers to that question as there are retirees. However, all...

 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 27, 2016 The Markets Missed it by that much… The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) got within 13 points of 20,000 last Tuesday. It finished the week about 90 points below the vaunted milestone. “The Dow has...

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

We hope your holidays will be filled with family, friends, merry-making, and good cheer. One way to ensure a happy holiday season is to stay safe online. Here are a few tips that may help. 1. When using public Wi-Fi at a hotel, coffee...

 

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19, 2016 The Markets The Federal Reserve put a hitch in the markets’ giddy-up last week. It wasn’t the Fed’s second interest rate hike in a decade that caused markets to stumble. December’s rate hike...

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 12, 2016 The Markets Dad: “Fra-gee-lay” …it must be Italian!Mom: I think that says “fragile,” honey.Dad: Oh, yeah. This holiday season, investors’ enthusiasm for U.S. stocks has rivaled old...

 

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016 The Markets Flirting with higher interest rates. Last week, yields on 10-year Treasury bonds rose to a 17-month high of 2.44 percent, reported The Wall Street Journal, before retreating to finish the week at about 2.4...

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

For about 35 years, investors have enjoyed a bull market in bonds. At the start of 1982, the interest rate on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds was 14.2 percent. By November 1, 2016, interest rates had fallen to 1.8 percent.1 Since bond...

 

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016 The Markets It’s a myth! According to WebMD, the amino acid L-Tryptophan is not responsible for Americans’ post-Thanksgiving food coma. The real culprit is overeating. So, last week’s post-feast...

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving is America’s second favorite holiday,1 and it offers something for everyone. You can enjoy family togetherness, feasting, football, school plays, parades, gratitude, and, of course, shopping. If you’re a traditionalist,...

 

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016 The Markets This time it’s the end. Really. Possibly. It seems like experts have been forecasting the end of the bull market in bonds for years – and they have been doing so. In July 2010, bond guru Bill...

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016 The Markets Surprise! Markets were remarkably sanguine following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. There was a moment of panic. As election results rolled in on Tuesday, Gold prices...

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

“American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on TV. They don’t fight for Mom, apple pie, the American flag. They fight for one another. ”1 Stars and Stripes used the words of Lieutenant Colonel Harold “Hal”...

 

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7, 2016 The Markets Markets hate uncertainty – and that may create opportunities. Last week, investors experienced another bout of election jitters, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index fell for the ninth...

 

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016 The Markets It’s almost over… During July 2016, Pew Research reported almost 60 percent of Americans were suffering from election fatigue. They weren’t uninterested in the election. They were just...

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

In the 1970s, a TV episode of The Odd Couple taught viewers never to assume.1 It’s a lesson we appear to have forgotten. Many Americans assume Medicare will provide financial assistance to help with long-term care costs in retirement....

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

In the 1970s, a TV episode of The Odd Couple taught viewers never to assume.1 It’s a lesson we appear to have forgotten. Many Americans assume Medicare will provide financial assistance to help with long-term care costs in retirement....

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

People of a certain age will remember ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.’ The animated television special debuted in 1966,1 way back when there were only a few channels and you had to get out of your seat to change them from one...

 

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Markets “Verrrry interesting.” Arte Johnson’s catch phrase from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In may not have described U.S. stock markets last week, but there were some interesting economic, cyber-security, and...

 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Markets ‘Tis the season! Third quarter earnings season, that is. Every quarter, companies report earnings to let investors know how profitable the companies were during the quarter. When profits grow, a company’s share...

 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Markets Markets were relatively calm during the third quarter of 2016, yet they delivered some attractive returns overall. In the United States, all three major U.S. indices posted record highs twice during a single 7-day period in...

 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The MarketsAs expected… The U.S. Federal Reserve left rates unchanged last week and markets celebrated. Across the globe, national stock market indices finished the week higher. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s...

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

That’s how much Americans had spent on pain relief medications and treatments when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) completed its report in 2011. If you factor in lost productivity, the economic cost of pain rose to more than $560...

 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

If you ask people what creates stress in their lives, money is often at the top of the list. Stress in America: Paying With Our Health found money was a somewhat or a very significant source of stress in the lives of 64 percent of...

 

Monday, September 26, 2016

The MarketsAs expected… The U.S. Federal Reserve left rates unchanged last week and markets celebrated. Across the globe, national stock market indices finished the week higher. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s...

 

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Markets “We can never know about the days to come, but we think about them anyway…”--Carly Simon Economists and market analysts have been thinking a lot about the Federal Reserve and the actions it may take...

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The MarketsAttention investors: U.S. interest rates may be moving up and it might happen this year. During last Friday’s speech at the Federal Reserve’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed Chairwoman...

 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Labor Day weekend — the three days dedicated to celebrating American workers — marks the end of summer and, for some, the start of a new school year. It’s a good time to relax and ponder thoughts about work and play: “No work is...

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The MarketsAttention investors: U.S. interest rates may be moving up and it might happen this year. During last Friday’s speech at the Federal Reserve’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed Chairwoman...

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

You may not have heard of the Longevity Market but, if you’re older than 50, you’re one of its 74.9 million members.1 It may be easiest to think of the Longevity Market as another way of describing the Baby Boom and preceding...

 

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Markets How do you measure stock market valuation? If you look at conventional measures – like price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios – then U.S. stock markets appear to be pricey. The Wall Street Journal reported trailing...

 

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Markets How do you measure stock market valuation? If you look at conventional measures – like price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios – then U.S. stock markets appear to be pricey. The Wall Street Journal reported trailing...