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The Growing Popularity of Annuities

Annuities are nothing new; in fact, they’ve been around since Roman times, and maybe even before that.1 But they’re seeing a modern-day surge in popularity, fueled by pre-retirees and retirees concerned about stock market volatility and outliving their retirement income. The fixed annuity market experienced significant growth between 2017 and 2018, with a 25 percent…

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Where Is Dad’s Money?

Imagine if, sadly, Dad dies or becomes incapacitated. You’re in charge of handling all his financial affairs, from managing his investments to putting income sources in place for Mom. There’s just one problem: He was an old-school guy who never consolidated his assets or set up online accounts. Also, it appears he worked with different…

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2019 Midyear Outlook

Kiplinger recently noted that the U.S. stock market appeared more resilient than ever, having bounced back from a devastating end of 2018. Employment remains relatively steady, inflation flat and the Fed has indicated reticence to increasing interest rates through the end of the year. In fact, the only headwinds for the rest of the year…

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We Had a Strong Q1 2019; What’s the Outlook for the Rest of the Year?

The first quarter of 2019 proved to be a strong one. The S&P 500 posted a 13.1% gain (the highest quarterly gain since 2009), the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 11.15% and the Nasdaq increased by 16.5%. Bond investors in both developed and emerging markets saw three consecutive months of positive returns. Oil prices…

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Companies Creating Vertical Investing Opportunities, Others Investing in Communities

There is a new trend toward investing in American initiatives that aligns with the president’s focus on making the country great. Initiatives are cropping up to help create the potential for novel investment opportunities. Some of these investments are being created by companies that themselves enjoy shareholder capital. For example, Starbucks is investing $100 million…

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Bull Market Turns 10

March 9, 2019, marked the 10th anniversary of the current bull market, the longest-running in U.S. history. In that decade, the market more than quadrupled, and when you factor in dividends, it’s up fivefold.1 The short-term spikes over the past few years coupled with corporate share buybacks have served to keep performance humming. As we…

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Retirement Planning Tools

Here’s an interesting tidbit from the investment industry: In 2014, Merrill Lynch hired a gerontologist on staff – the first financial gerontologist of all time.1 Why? Because their financial advisors needed to learn how to plan for older people who are living longer than ever. The problems associated with this new era of longevity aren’t…

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IRA Refresher

In 2019, the IRS increased the limit on annual individual retirement account contributions to $6,000 from $5,500. The catch-up contribution for people ages 50 and up remained the same at $1,000.1 If you’re thinking about investing in an IRA or increasing your contribution, here’s some information to help you make your decision. A traditional IRA…

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Insights from the “Oracle of Omaha”

Insights from the “Oracle of Omaha” In his 2018 Berkshire Hathaway annual report, published in February, renowned investor Warren Buffett reiterated the holding company’s objective to purchase well-managed businesses with positive and sustainable economic characteristics – and to buy them at sensible prices.1 Berkshire Hathaway joined many other companies in buying back its own shares…

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Real Estate Update

What a difference a decade makes. After the real estate debacle of the Great Recession, home prices are now near record highs in many markets with mortgage default and foreclosure rates at near record lows, according to the National Association of Realtors, or NAR.1   However, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says some of America’s…

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