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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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Economic Effects of U.S. Putting ‘America First’

At the start of this century, the internet enhanced global communication, and the world transitioned into one massive economy. But this new landscape came at a cost, and after years of hardships, including terrorist threats, domestic recession, income gaps and divisive politics, the country is now turning its focus inward on “America First” economics.1  …

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Impact Investing

The new federal government stance toward deregulation may lead many companies to roll back operational practices, potentially resulting in higher profit margins.1 However, shareholders may have a say in this decision.   As deregulation spreads throughout the nation, impact investing also is becoming a popular trend among shareholders. Many investors don’t want to simply have…

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Strategies for Optimal Social Security Payouts

Social Security benefits are typically synonymous with retirement income. It would be inefficient to create a retirement plan without first estimating how much you will receive from the government.1 According to a 2018 report, Social Security benefits represent approximately:2   33% of elderly income 50% or more of income for about half of elderly married…

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