Blog

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Having well-crafted wealth and estate plans is vital for high-net-worth (HNW) individuals in the "Sandwich generation," those individuals caring for their aging parents and children simultaneously. Here are 7 critical considerations...

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

When I read the weekend press, I pay attention to several things. Is there turmoil to talk about? Are there earnings to talk about? Are there conflicting economic reports coming out that require us to be prepared for different possible...

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Last week was a virtual tug-o-war. There were economic indicators that talked about the growth of the economy, and inflation numbers that spoke to what would be the expected action of the Federal Reserve. In the end, economic growth...

Saturday, May 4, 2024

How can you be sure if you need to save more? Consider these six telltale signs to help you decide if today is the day you need to change your saving strategy.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Since the days just preceding Tax-Day, April 15th, the US equity market has been on a tear upward that started back in October. The US Treasury bond markets seem to have been the reason for this. After the Fed raised interest rates...

Show All

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

On Friday I penned a Special Report. I felt that there is enough negative news swirling around that it would be helpful to quantify and compartmentalize the biggest issues that are being bantered about by the media. Stubborn &...

Friday, April 19, 2024

US stock market investors had been enjoying a period of historically low downside volatility (unabated advance) and consistent upside of late. The S&P 500 Index had not endured a 3% correction since 10/27/2023, the longest stretch...

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

To say that it is infuriating reading about all the government spending, and the United States financing of external causes, is an understatement. This is only exemplified by the amount of taxes that we must pay and particularly what...

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The market does not “need” a catalyst to fall (or to rise), and narratives explaining why the market does what it does are often only clear in hindsight. There could be any number of factors that lead to the pullback that I keep on...

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

I hope everyone had a terrific Easter. Except for the rain, it was pretty nice on the Southern California coast. Last week proved to be another week of record highs in the major US stock indexes. Over the last few weeks, I have kept on...

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

We are faced with a very clear dilemma currently. The media, the Fed, and the market prognosticators appear to be solely focused on interest rates and inflation. At the beginning of the year, the expectations were for as many as seven...

Monday, March 25, 2024

Throughout the years, the market has experienced regular periods of volatility. Periodically, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMCC) reviews its monetary policy, which creates both worry and anticipation among consumers and...

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Equity markets finally adjusted from their ascent last week, albeit by a small margin. The closing on Friday March 1st was a smidge higher than on March 8th, which was a whisker higher than last Friday. So tight in fact it almost...

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Taxpayers of all ages may be able to claim a deduction on their 2023 tax return for contributions made to their IRA made through April 15, 2024. And unlike in past years, there is no longer a maximum age for making IRA contributions.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Last week I reiterated that I had an expectation that we would see some kind of a contraction or pullback in the equity markets in the near future, as it has been 19 weeks straight up in the S&P 500. As I had shown in the chart,...

Monday, March 11, 2024

To live a rich life in retirement, start by envisioning what truly brings you joy and fulfillment, down to the finest details. From there, work toward aligning your financial planning and lifestyle choices to make these visions a reality.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

For the last number of weeks, I have been writing to be prepared for the feared seasonal correction / digestion. As of yet, it just has not happened. The media has continued to expound on the point that the fuel that they say would be...

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

If you have a 401(k) plan at work and need some cash, you might be tempted to borrow or withdraw money from it. While this means you could run the risk of running out of money in retirement, there are times when we run out of options...

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

For the last number of weeks, I have been talking about how it could be expected that the markets are prepared for a digestion or a minor correction. I have expressed caution and the possibility of this as a result of the...

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

If you're like many people, retirement may mean relaxing AND working. Whether you've retired from your "regular" job and started a business, or you work part-time to stay busy, your earnings may affect your Social Security benefit check...

Friday, February 23, 2024

Healthcare costs are high, and finding ways to bridge the gap between the age you retire and the time you are eligible for Medicare may take a lot of planning. Here are 4 strategies for navigating healthcare costs during that gap period.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

For the last few weeks, I have been talking about the “expected” pullback in the markets that seems timely in its occurrence. As of yet it really hasn’t appeared. It makes one wonder what the stock market knows that...

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Whether you are getting close to retirement or even if retirement is still a little way off, here are some common questions and answers regarding Social Security.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

In last week's newsletter I gave a lot of perspective on the markets and that it appears that it might be time for a “digestion." Given that I have received many calls and emails about this term "digestion" and how...

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

In last week's newsletter, I covered a few important points. The first point was that earnings have started off being pretty solid. The second point was that February, March, and April; in an election year, have historically proven to...

Friday, February 2, 2024

To determine how an investment vehicle is taxed in a given year, first ask yourself what went on with the investment that year. Here we review how to tell if income from investments is considered ordinary income or capital gains income.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The economy is still growing.  Real GDP rose at a solid 3.3% annual rate in the fourth quarter, and consumer spending was strong in December meaning the first quarter is off to a good start.  New home sales came in above...

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

As you read this note, the S&P 500 is entering the heart of Q4 2023 earnings season. This allows us to step back and look at the earnings rebound to date and the trajectory for 2024. The earnings recovery is approaching its...

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Whether you're seeking to manage your own assets, control how your assets are distributed after your death, or plan for incapacity, trusts can help you accomplish your estate planning goals. Their power is in their versatility —...

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

We've just finished the second week of 2024. After nine weeks straight of an up-stock market to end 2023, 2024 has started with some twists and turns. In this past weekend's Barron's, there was the annual...

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

You know how important it is to plan for your retirement, but where do you begin? One of your first steps should be to estimate how much income you'll need to fund your retirement. That's not as easy as it sounds, because retirement...

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Many IRA and retirement plan limits are indexed for inflation each year. Several of these key numbers have increased once again for 2024. How much can you save in an IRA? The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or a...

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

I always get a kick out of the annual projections from all the talking heads and research departments on Wall Street. I mean think about it. They are all reading the same tea leaves, so how are they usually so separated in what they...

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Thorough tax planning is essential—especially for high-net-worth families, where missing tax breaks or failing to optimize income could cost significant dollars, maybe millions, over a lifetime. Here are four HNW tax planning tips...

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Happy New Year to All! As we turn the chapter on 2023, we are faced with the constant dilemma of "what have you done for me lately?" To rest on the laurels of 2023 does little help anyone on their financial journey to create the...

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Views From the Tower: The last week two weeks of surge have been attributed to last week’s Fed meeting right after my report two Wednesdays ago (December 13th). With their policy announcement, the Fed really just confirmed the narrative...

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Newport Beach Financial Advisor Ken South shares tips to keep your financial information and accounts safe this holiday season, and safe from cybercriminals.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Print/Read as PDF Overall, despite my 2023 expectations for the S&P 500 and other component parts of the US equity markets have clearly been met. So much so that even though I have been positive on the markets, I am a...

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

I’m not a big baseball fan, but I had to take a pause when I saw that Otani was signing a contract for $700 million over a 10-year period. I mean, what does the team have to charge for a seat, a hotdog, and a beer if they are...

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

If one were to look at the S&P 500 from January 1 of this year till last Friday, the returns have been quite impressive. Given that the annual return since 1900 on the S&P is a little over 10% per year, the 18% return this year (and it...

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Last week, the equity markets weren't the Thanksgiving turkey, instead they were a bit of Thanksgiving champagne, as is the norm for the week of Thanksgiving. As I have been saying throughout November, the heavily oversold readings in...

Monday, November 27, 2023

As a business owner, you should carefully consider the advantages of establishing an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Generally, you're allowed certain tax benefits for establishing an employer-sponsored retirement plan, including a...

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

2023 has been quite a ride. The S&P 500 checked off many boxes early on and held true to probability expectations afterwards. The first 5-day rule. The first month rule. The "January Effect" rule, and so on. The market rallied until...

Monday, November 20, 2023

November brings us Thanksgiving – a day for simply giving thanks. The 11th month also brings us Black Friday and Cyber Monday – two days encouraging us to shop. And since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving also offers us...

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

2022 put the Wall Street cliche' "It's always a bull market somewhere" to the test for sure. For the first time on record both stocks and bonds fell. In 2023 the decline in bond market prices has continued for a third consecutive year!...

Monday, November 13, 2023

Tax planning preparations include small-business owners taking necessary measures to optimize their taxes by taking advantage of deductions and benefits. Here is a brief tax planning overview for small-business owners preparing for tax...

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

To say that this has been an exceedingly strange year would be a gross understatement. Throughout 2023 I have highlighted unusual market developments. It started with the strongest first seven months in 26 years. Read more here...

Monday, November 6, 2023

What is net worth? Your net worth is your personal bottom line. It's what your total holdings are worth after subtracting all of your financial obligations. In financial terms, your net worth is equal to your total assets minus your...

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

For the last couple of months, as the equity and bond markets have been taking it on the chin, I have consistently mentioned the seasonal expectations while at the same time trying to scream my message over the relentless drum beat of...

Monday, October 30, 2023

Asset allocation is the process of deciding how to divide your investment dollars across several asset categories. Stocks, bonds, and cash or cash alternatives are the most common components of an asset allocation strategy. However,...

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Unfortunately, equities are still caught in a buyer's strike. That is, investors are sidelined as the uncertainties abound and cumulatively are preventing investors from adding growth / risk to their portfolios. As the films of...

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Risk management is a key component in any successful business plan. In today's world, it's especially important for business owners to understand the digital risks they face. Are you doing all you can to mitigate the risk of a cyberattack?

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

This week the widening Israel-Gaza conflict is top of mind. I’ve made notes as to the announcement of a major issue to show how the markets have reacted, as well as laid out the important info. for this week & expected macro data...

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The question I keep asking is, "What can happen next?" We go from a US Government shutdown (see special report two Fridays ago), to the ousting of the Speaker of the House, and now the outright attack on Israel by Hamas. This is...

Friday, October 6, 2023

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields surged from a 20-year low near 5.2% in late 1993 to above 8% a year later in what was called the Great Bond Massacre. History rhymes, but it is unlikely to repeat...

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Thus far, 2023 has been characterized by skepticism of the economy and markets and yet equities have risen. The best entry points have been when market skepticism has been the highest, á la March 2023 or even Oct 2022, and if...

Friday, September 29, 2023

What does a government shutdown mean for the markets and the economy? A look back to how the markets reacted leading up to, and after, past government shutdowns, going back to 1960.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

By many measures, the decline that has been experienced since the 2023 high on July 27th at 4607 now seemed to have exhausted the overbought nature of the markets for the year. Click to read more...

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Government employees, such as teachers, firefighters, police, and others, often consider working after their eligible retirement age when presented with a DROPs offer. A DROP program is a tax-advantaged retirement plan that provides...

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

True to form, September remains difficult. There have been no negative surprises, yet interest rates have remained frustratingly sticky, and every slice of our economy is dealing with gasoline prices at new highs. Click to read more...

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Retirement seems like a long way off, but it arrives faster than you think. The big question is, are you ready? What exactly does retirement entail? Analysts suggest there are four designated phases of retirement that a person often...

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

We are about two weeks into September, and all eyes are still focused on the Fed and various measures of inflation. A month ago, many people were pretty sure serious inflation concerns had passed.  After the equivalent of 22...

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, your college student can remain on your health insurance plan until age 26. But there are other insurances you may want to consider for your college student while they're away from home. Whether an...

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

August was a tough month as I have been saying. Markets closed down 2%, not a change in direction, but I don’t like declines no matter what. Up until August 22nd, the S&P 500 was acting like it was going to take quite a drubbing....

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

August continues to be a trying month, and before discussing September, it’s right to look back at August. Interesting as it may be, this August seems to have largely traded in-line with the historical tendencies since 1929...

Friday, August 25, 2023

Whether you are an employee in corporate America or a small business owner, retirement is a part of life. For many, the thought of retiring and whether or not you are ready to take those first steps might be overwhelming or...

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

A week and a half ago I wrote a special report on debt. The reason was twofold. First, the amount of debt on the balance sheet of the U.S. Government is worrisome and continues to lurk in my mind as an ominous elephant that refuses to...

Friday, August 18, 2023

There's no denying that dating can be an expensive endeavor. However, in a high-inflation environment, the financial pressure of courtship is even more palpable. With inflation affecting everything from food and drinks to...

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

August is clearly a difficult month, true to form for 2023. As many often look for a reason, I thought that I would take some time and go over those points that I felt seemed to be most important.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Internal audits play a crucial role in the proper functioning and success of a business. They are an essential component of a company's risk management process and provide management with valuable insights into the effectiveness of...

Friday, August 11, 2023

Last week when the news broke that Fitch had downgraded the United States’ long-term debt rating, I thought I would provide some high-level thoughts. I mentioned it in this week’s Market Perspectives...

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

August started with a bang, but not the bang that makes investors happy. True to form, the first week of August followed the previous Thursday’s negative reversal, engulfing day (a negative engulfing day is when the market is...

Friday, August 4, 2023

Sustainable investing is on the rise, accounting for about $1 in every $3 in actively managed assets.1 And with more investors interested in companies with responsible corporate governance, climate change commitments and long-term...

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Before I go into detail on August, I wanted to take a minute and talk about what has investors, both individual and institutional, on edge. If we take a step back and look at the last major correction period, it was the 2008 Financial...

Friday, July 28, 2023

In response to mounting public concerns about global warming and other forms of environmental damage, many companies are launching initiatives to “green” their products, services, and operations. But whether or not you...

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

We are in the final week of July. In the final week, not a lot of economic reports to be particularly concerned about, but a very important Fed meeting just after you get this report (Wednesday, July 26th at approx. 11:00 EST). The...

Friday, July 21, 2023

In late May 2023, Congress sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel saying that it will introduce legislation to correct several technical errors in the SECURE 2.0 Act. The letter, signed...

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The first two weeks of July have come and gone. With them the massive fear of recession/inflation / Russia/China has seemed to abate. As a result, this has provided breathing room for both the stock and bond markets throughout the...

Friday, July 14, 2023

A typical college degree is worth a ton of money over a career. A typical degree – but not every college.College costs rose roughly 7% annually over the past 50 years, about double the average yearly inflation rate. And overall...

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

The June jobs report was released Friday and overall paints a softer picture of the jobs market compared to the “hot” ADP June jobs report released the day before (7/6). Thursday, there was a sharp reaction in the bond...

Friday, July 7, 2023

As the cost of a college education continues to climb, many grandparents are stepping in to help. This trend is expected to accelerate as baby boomers, many of whom went to college, become grandparents and start gifting what's...

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Gains of 10-15% more are likely in 2H 2023 for US Equities - Recent broadening out in market breadth has not yet been followed by an equal broadening out in bullish sentiment. Bull markets are not linear. I expect there...

Friday, June 30, 2023

Regardless of size, companies can benefit when the community in which they do business thrives. For entrepreneurs, giving back to the community may be more than just a charitable act; it can also make good business sense. If you have...

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

It's official, we are now halfway through 2023 here we are with the S&P 500 up around 12%. Who'd thunk? I mean with 10 rate hikes back-to-back, the Russian war, Chinese tensions, and rampant inflation- just to name a few.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Is owning a boat on your horizon? Do you see yourself paddling a canoe? Piloting a motorboat? Helming a sailboat?Of course, it may be easier and more affordable to pop a canoe on top of your car than to maintain a moored boat in a...

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

In the last three weeks, I have brought focus to the current state of the equity markets and how inflation is the focus of the Fed. What we are observing and investing in the midst of is a subtle balance that exists between the motivatio...

Friday, June 16, 2023

What a couple of months. The action in the markets has really been quite historic with extremes being hit in many directions and extremes being pinned on many measures. At the same time, we are having economic indicators that are...

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Maybe you've decided that graduate school is the path to advancement in your current job or your ticket to a better career. Or maybe  you just want to take a few classes to upgrade your skills. Either way, returning to school as...

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The backdrop for the equity markets is continuing to be a quite good one. In last week's report, I tried to touch on a point that I am going to expound on a little bit more before I get started this time. I had mentioned a factoid...

Thursday, June 8, 2023

It is estimated that about 40 percent of business founders were friends before they became business partners.[1] But while starting a business with a friend can be a great way to secure your financial future, it can also...

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Today’s market concerns involve the S&P’s ongoing struggle to rally through 4,200 resistance. Although this hurdle was accomplished last week, the difference in performance between large-cap growth and the balance of the...

Friday, June 2, 2023

The Debt Ceiling is a difficult pill for our economy to swallow. In reality, this worry about the US defaulting on its debt is a broken record. The US has yet to default on its debt due to a failure to raise the debt ceiling. Congress...

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Minted released a study that said that the average wedding takes an unbelievable 528 hours to plan – that’s 22 full days or 66 eight-hour workdays.In the study that surveyed 2,000 people that planned a wedding in the past...

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The S&P 500 ended a tough week, last week, down 1%. Markets don’t like unknowns, and therefore can never properly discount the binary outcome of a debt ceiling/default.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

If you have been to a high school or college commencement lately, then you know the drill: at some point, at least one speaker will urge the graduates to be instrumental in bettering society. They are suggesting they'd like to see...

Thursday, May 18, 2023

With several past and present events involving the White House, data breaches, or classified documents being leaked, the importance of safeguarding confidential information often comes into sharp focus. Of course the unauthorized...

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

In this week’s note, I am going to pretty much take you from soup to nuts on what has gone on, what is going on, and where it “appears” we could / should be going. Since this is clearly an imperfect science, I ask you...

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Why finance?An important ingredient to a successful business is adequate financing (capital). The failure to acquire adequate financing often determines whether a business can get off the ground, not to mention whether it can sustain...

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Yes, we have banking problems. No, this is not 200. It's much more like the 1970s S&L problems. In other words, we do not have credit problems today, we have duration (maturity length in portfolios of the banks) problems. These are...

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Well it was the end of August and some friends convinced me to go on a float trip. I’m not sure if they invited me because they knew I’ve never been floating or if they wanted to see if I would show up in a collared golf...

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

The Fed's job was never going to be easy. Taming inflation is not something it's particularly good at. It tends to raise rates too far, throw the economy into a tailspin, hit the gas again, and surely needs to squash inflation in a secon...

Thursday, April 27, 2023

The thought of retiring may be intimidating for anyone—but if you own your own business, handing your "baby" to new owners might be enough to stop you in your tracks. What might you do to set your successor up for success? What...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The economy seems to be humming along OK. Not too hot and not too cold. The raising of rates by the Fed has been very abrupt and due to the pain it has created within the financial system it is what all remember. But, so was the rate...

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Getting laid off can be a very difficult and emotional experience, especially if you have been with the company for a long time. However, it is important to remember that there are ways to make the most out of this situation,...

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Retirement is an exciting time, but it can be tough to leave behind the safety net of a stable income or the work routine you’ve followed for decades. Many seniors who reach retirement age end up working part-time; this can be...

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Despite the mild pullback on Thursday of last week, last week once again managed to put in a positive return. Four of the past five weeks have been up weeks even though the institutional investors have been more negative and have a...

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Listening to John Coltrane or other favorite jazz musicians is like watching the leaves swirling through the city streets on an autumn day. The cedar and oaky smoke smell from a fireplace can spark a feeling of nostalgia that takes you...

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

This week marks the first week of earnings reports for Q1 of this year. These are clearly important numbers as they are a reflection of the economic prosperity of companies individually. It will be interesting to see if the numbers are...

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Choosing a financial professional is a major decision. Finding someone you trust enough to manage your money and your future may feel like a nerve-wracking choice. Fortunately, by doing some preliminary research and asking tough...

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

At the start of 2023, the street consensus was bearish on equities; both institutional investors and the man/woman on the street were not excited about the year to come. I began 2023 by giving historical statistics of what changes were...

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Everyone needs to have some level of financial literacy to help manage their finances. However, financial literacy becomes even more crucial when you're a business owner. You need to become familiar with common terminology and business...

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

In only two weeks, the stresses to the markets have gone from inflation and the possibility of recession due to higher interest rates to an utter banking crisis. In my last two letters, I addressed the banking issues and attempted...

Thursday, March 23, 2023

When you own a business and have employees, becoming disabled impacts you and your family and your employees and business. As a business owner, you may be responsible for the day-to-day operations, ensuring the business' finances are...

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Given the gravity of the situation in our global banking system, I am going to expound a little bit more on Friday’s note. To say that the last few weeks have been action-packed in finance land would be a gross understatement...

Friday, March 17, 2023

As interest rates have risen over the past couple of years, bond prices have dropped since all those bonds yielding, say, 1% when issued back when rates were lower are no longer attractive compared to the higher-yielding bonds of today.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

The SECURE Act 2.0 was signed into law on December 29, 2022, which will work to close the retirement savings gap with over 90 new retirement provisions. The bill includes a few specific changes that are significant for small...

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

With February in the rear-view mirror and the rest of the statistics still firmly in place, we can make some judgments about what comes next. The next eight weeks is a time for “buying the dip,” as far as historical data is concerned.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Some older workers return to the workforce or continue to work well past retirement age. Workers over 50 may change jobs while working in the same occupation or field later in life to continue their careers for longer. Working while in...

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

We are at the end of the second month of the new year. A year that has started far differently than 2022. As of last Friday (2/24), 94% of the S&P 500's companies had reported their Q4 2022 earnings. Here’s what we know.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Pension plans are still offered at many types of employers today. A pension plan is an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan the employer contributes toward to fund their employees' future retirement.There are two types of pension...

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The last two weeks have not been a continuation of the New Year celebration that has been experienced in the first six weeks of 2023. There has been some “hotter” inflationary economic data lately, and it is too easy...

Thursday, February 16, 2023

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 – the SECURE Act – was passed by Congress and signed into law on the days leading up to Christmas 2019.Incorporated into a broader 2020 fiscal year...

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Investors should be feeling pretty good at this point. In California, the rain storms seem to have passed (for now at least), Super Bowl LVII was filled with drama and decided by a last-second field goal, and bonds, US Stocks, and...

Thursday, February 9, 2023

What is it?A qualified domestic trust (QDOT) allows a U.S. citizen spouse to transfer assets to a noncitizen spouse without having to pay federal gift and estate tax at the time of the transfer.Generally, spouses are treated as one...

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

If you pay any attention to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments you’ll know that his primary measurement of progress against inflation is by looking at the domestic labor market and the cost thereof. Going into...

Thursday, February 2, 2023

With the new year right around the corner, you may be wondering what’s in store for the economy in 2023. To help ensure your financial success, here are some insights into the recent impacts of inflation.What happened in...

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

I have been able to understand how negative the equity markets of the world can be by listening to CNBC in the mornings, at about 5:15 west coast time. When the commentators are interviewing random politicians or business...

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Stock markets in the U.S. and around the globe turned in a rotten 2022, with fears of inflation, rising rates, and supply chain issues swirling around the economy and markets all year.Seven interest rate hikes from the Fed, 40-year...

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Economists have shaped the modern world in many ways. Governments make policy choices in response to the data that we produce about things like GDP and inflation. Social media companies use our insights about human behavior to create...

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

This year has started quite well. In the first week and a half, the equity market was going up in an organized and methodical fashion. Then came last week when the indexes had poked their noses above their respective 200-day...

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Women are more vulnerable to financial insecurity because they typically live longer, have more breaks in their employment and earn less. Making financial decisions is therefore crucial for all women, from Social Security to the rest of...

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

With the first two weeks of trading for 2023 in the books, and deep scares from 2022 deeply engrained in memory, we are welcoming how this year is starting. Opportunities seem to be presenting themselves in both the fixed-income and...

Thursday, January 12, 2023

After-tax funds can be segregated from other funds in the account and transferred directly to a Roth IRA. In fact, it would be a mistake not to. (Don't confuse after-tax contributions to a regular 401(k) with contributions to a Roth 401(k),

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

There is an age-old saying that I have often quoted in my weekly missives, “Don’t fight the Fed.” This still seems to be holding. They have both the rule book and the printing press. They can raise or lower interest...

Thursday, January 5, 2023

What are business life cycles, and what is their relationship to business planning? Generally, businesses pass through three stages before reaching the final stage of decline. The time it takes to reach or to pass through each stage...

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

The end of a calendar year should have little influence on the directional move of markets, yet tax considerations and general emotional motivations often exaggerate moves at the turn of the year. Several key economic events...

Thursday, December 29, 2022

When a spouse dies, the emotional magnitude of the loss can send your life reeling. It can also affect your finances. You are pressured to do many things all at once. It is best to leave off bigger long-term decisions until later, when...

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The stock markets of the world are struggling into the close of 2022, capping what has proven to be a horrible year for equities. In our view, US core inflation has apexed (mid-2022) and now running at closer to 2%. But due to lags in...

Thursday, December 22, 2022

As the calendar gets ready to turn to 2023, there are a lot of economic metrics worth paying attention to, especially as each will have an impact one way or another on our investments. But whether or not markets will reverse course and...

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

As we come to the end of 2022, the US equity market (as measured by the S&P 500) appears locked in a range of 3800-4100. The question we’re asking now is what is it that will cause a move out of this range in 2023? At present,...

Monday, December 19, 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off on November 20th when host-country Qatar lost to Ecuador 2-0, becoming the first host country in the competition’s 92-year history to lose its opening game.If you did not know, the FIFA World...

Friday, December 16, 2022

What is gifting? Transfer of ownership without receiving value. Broadly speaking, a gift occurs when you transfer something (e.g., your business interests) to another party without receiving something of at least equal value in return.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Predicting market values in 2023 is tougher than normal. To give a brief recap; COVID declines led to a substantial bounce in the markets following the March 2020 low, this was then followed by an additionally strong market in 2021,...

Friday, December 9, 2022

Any small-business owner could attest that everyone needs a break sometimes. And the holiday season may provide an opportunity to take a few days (or longer) for yourself—whether traveling, spending time with the family, or...

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Investors are incredibly inventive in their thoughts and solutions, which is why all crisis situations get dealt with. When all seems lost, the market finds a low and starts higher once again. The pain point needs to become enough...

Friday, December 2, 2022

Here are some things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves between now and the end of the year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

This week is very interesting as it follows a Holiday week with extremely low volume yet a lot of information.  The data from last week seems to be setting the stage for year-end. To begin with, I wanted to go over what we got...

Friday, November 25, 2022

Hurricane Ian barreled ashore with winds of up to 150 mph (240 kph) on Florida’s southwest coast on Sept. 28, 2022.The storm’s powerful winds and torrential rains reduced entire communities to rubble, killing more than 120...

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

It doesn't seem to feel like it has not even been two years, but there’s no uncertainty for me in believing that locking down the economy to “slow the spread” of coronavirus was a massive mistake. There are no...

Friday, November 18, 2022

Why would you want to give away your business?Sometimes better to gift than sell due to tax lawThere may be personal (nontax) reasons why you would want to gift some or all of your business interests. There is also a good reason built...

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

We knew that last week would be quite a week with the Election on Wednesday and CPI released on Thursday. Not to be outdone, we also had the crypto disaster of FTX going on at the same time. At the end of the week, we had a massive...

Friday, November 11, 2022

The holiday season means shopping is at its peak, and while many consumers are familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they may be less familiar with Green Monday. Held on the second Monday of December, Green Monday is another...

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

As I write this note on Mondays, Election Day is Tuesday and will bring results for key Senate, House, and Governors races from around the country, plus local legislative races and more. For the federal races, we...

Friday, November 4, 2022

Shoppers spend nearly $20 billion every year on Small Business Saturday. If you’re not familiar with this particular holiday, it takes place in the U.S. the day after Black Friday in November, and a few days before Cyber Monday...

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

With a surprising level of consistency over the past 100 years or so, stocks have followed a broad pattern that coincides with presidential terms. The months leading up to midterm elections have generally been the worst in what is...

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The term HENRY (High Earners Not Rich Yet) refers to individuals who have the potential to become wealthy in the future because of their income. These individuals or families earn between $250,000 and $500,000 per year and are between...

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

At present, it isn't entirely clear whether we are, or are not, in a recession. The first two quarters of this year had negative GDP growth, which usually marks a recession. Now we have politicians debating the very definition of recession

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Before Monday and Tuesday of this week, we have had six times where the markets tried to rally only to reverse and decline once again.Thursday of last week appeared to be a bit different in that it was what is called a "positive...

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Looking back to the start of October, Monday, and Tuesday of last week were clearly different from what we experienced in the month of September. The 4% level on the 10-Year US Treasury yield is sort of looking like a line in the sand...

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

“Unpredictable price movements are part of long-term investing, which is distinct from the concept of risk.” I meant that when I wrote it in September, and the actions of late cannot be any clearer evidence of this. Since...

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

To say that 2022 has been a tough year would be a gross understatement. From remnants of COVID mandates to delayed air travel to spiking interest rates, this has been a year of numerous and never-before-seen combinations of issues...

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

When it comes to planning for your retirement income, it's easy to overlook some of the common factors that can affect how much you'll have available to spend. If you don't consider how your retirement income can be impacted by...

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

At present we are clearly in a battle. On one hand, we have the Federal Reserve trying to rein in inflation by raising interest rates and on the other side, we have the economy as measured by the GDP and the stock market. The Fed keeps...

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

What health care benefits are available in retirement?Health care in retirement is available from many sources. Government programs (such as Medicaid and Medicare) offer numerous health care benefits. However, you may need to purchase...

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Friday's market was the third day in a row that the equity market, as evidenced by the S&P 500, moved higher. This is occurring in the face of extreme negative readings from Institutional investor polls as well as numbers from the...

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Understanding your style of investing is an important step – especially today. Are you a Growth investor or a Value investor? Or do you prefer a mix of the two?

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

I don’t know about you, but the long 3-day weekend surrounding Labor Day makes me stop and enjoy that last bit of Summer. That pause is important to help take a deep breath and appreciate the memories and laughs that were shared...

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law on August 16, 2022, includes health-care and energy-related provisions, a new corporate alternative minimum tax, and an excise tax on certain corporate stock buybacks. Additional funding is...

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

In last week's note, I gave numerous charts and tables explaining why I believe that the market decline had run its course from January 4 through June 16th of this year. In actuality, there are many leading companies...

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Suppose you have read or watched a story about converting an IRA to a Roth IRA after age 60. In that case, you may have seen this strategy portrayed negatively or only highlighting the benefits. This article will cover myths about...

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

In past reports, I discussed the personality of mid-term election years coupled with the consequences of the Fed raising interest rates. From January 4th to June 16th, the S&P 500 incurred a 26% decline. In my note last week, I discussed...

Thursday, August 18, 2022

MedPAC cautions that Medicare Advantage may worsen Medicare's sustainabilityBaby boomers’ huge numbers and surprisingly shaky health threaten government old-age benefits. That’s why you might need to bolster your own...

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

After inflation readings came in higher than had been seen in 40 years, last week we got CPI and PPI numbers that were far more manageable, and as a result, the new "fear de jour" became that of a drastic recessionary slowdown as a result o

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Being an educator requires expertise and that you stay current on developments in your field. However, that level of ongoing attention can make it difficult to find the time to stay on top of issues that affect your finances, or to put...

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

In this week’s note, I’m going to go over two main points. First, I believe that the relationship between the employment numbers of last week combined with the Fed’s course of interest rates has a direct effect on the...

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Are you covered by insurance if your dog bites a neighbor? How about if your tree falls on a neighbor's fence? And what if you're sued when someone slips and falls on your front walk? You can find the answers to these and other...

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The markets and the economy are based on simple principles of economics and forward progression of earnings to create proper (perceived) valuations for companies today and into the future. The massive amount of money that was thrown at...

Friday, July 29, 2022

Many parents are committed to sending their children to private elementary or secondary school. Yet paying private school tuition can present a compelling cash flow problem. The reason is that, unlike with college or graduate school,...

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Today, the frictional buzz is now all about inflation and recession. It feels quite strange that the Fed would be raising interest rates as the economy is supposedly racing into the jaws of a recession. As I often like to say, “I...

Thursday, July 21, 2022

When it comes to health and wellness, many people are stuck in the short term. There are so many fad diets, exercise crazes, and quick-fix supplements out there that it can be difficult to cut through the noise and create a sustainable...

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Last week started quite weak and looked like it was going to be another disaster of a week until it turned on a dime Thursday and was up strong on Friday. This week started out on the upside and then turned when Apple mentioned that it...

Thursday, July 14, 2022

The cyclist can win with a few strategic moves and by avoiding crashes. To reach your financial goals, you don’t have to outperform every benchmark every year. For long-term investors, avoiding and mitigating losses can be a key...

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The big news that came out since the last note I wrote was the employment number that was released last Friday. On the surface, it looked strong. As a result, rates rose (due to economic strength), the US Dollar rallied to another...

Thursday, July 7, 2022

If the value of your stocks, bonds, or other capital investments has increased substantially, there are a few steps you can take to minimize taxation. These include timing the sale of your capital assets, using capital losses...

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

In the June Federal Reserve meeting (when it raised interest rates by 75 basis points, or 0.75%), it issued an updated economic forecast based on incoming economic data. It is currently looking for the economy (GDP) to grow by 1.5-1.9%...

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Wildfires are incredibly destructive, fast-spreading, and tough to contain. Worst of all, a fire may come as a complete surprise to those impacted. Natural disasters can also displace tens of thousands of residents, as was the case in...

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Over the past few weeks, the economic indicators have been showing that the fear of inflation seems to be easing. As all financial news followers should know, the Fed’s primary mandate is to sustain an orderly economy. This means...

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Money is the capital and like in cycling – it’s the losses that matter To reach your financial goals, you don’t have to outperform every benchmark every year. For long-term investors, avoiding and mitigating losses is...

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

It is clear that we are in a market correction. During corrections, the markets tend to exhibit similar characteristics that we assume will exhaust themselves, and usually, they do. At times, though, instead of the small, digestible moves..

Thursday, June 16, 2022

No matter how careful you are in running your business, accidents happen. And no matter how big or small your business, you'll have to plan for these and other risks if you want your business to thrive. One way to do this is with...

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

In the 1980s, "goods" inflation peaked when the Fed, under Volcker, broke the back of inflation. Today, as opposed to back then, we can see virtually everything in an instant to evaluate the actions of the Fed. Powell stated that his...

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Vacation homes require a special type of insurance--one that protects your vacation home but doesn't overlap with your already existing homeowners insurance coverage. Here are some things to consider when insuring your vacation home....

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Last Friday JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon made one of the most irresponsible public displays I've seen in some time. He talked about a "hurricane" hitting the US economy. The drama of this is clearly typical with social media being what...

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Consider a safety course and make sure you adequately insure your vessel On bright and sunny summer days, the allure of the water can be irresistible. If you live near a lake, river, or ocean, boating trips may be the perfect getaway...

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

To begin, I hope that everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend. I certainly did after the week we just experienced. After seven down weeks back-to-back, the markets finally had a positive one! Unfortunately, this is how Bear Market...

Friday, May 27, 2022

California’s CalSavers Retirement Savings Program (CalSavers), introduced in 2019, is designed to help as many as 7.5 million Californians access a workplace retirement program, providing a portable option that employees can keep and....

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Last Friday I put out a special report titled, "Market at a Crossroad." To my analysis and the various market measurements that I have been presenting the last few weeks, it was sort of looking very extended to the downside....

Friday, May 20, 2022

If you are newly married with no children, you may have a special opportunity to build your savings and investments. Financially, a married couple can be more than the sum of its parts. One spouse can work steadily, while the other...

Thursday, May 19, 2022

In the spotlight today: economic expectations due to domestic retailer weakness, sentiment, and valuations — the big things you need to know: The S&P 500 is still trading as though it’s experiencing a growth scare, a...

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

In this week’s letter, I believe that we have enough meat on the bone to address a few of the different issues that have been plaguing markets and set up a road map for an investor going forward. I want to first break down what...

Friday, May 13, 2022

Many couples blame their marriage problems on disagreements and an inability to see eye to eye. Marriage counseling is a great option for couples who need to learn how to better communicate, but it might not solve the problem that...

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

This week I really don't have a whole lot to share with you. I really don’t need to restate that we have a market that has a number of different issues raining on its parade. So, I am going to put some...

Friday, May 6, 2022

What counts is how your money is invested now in anticipation of rate hikes At their recent March meeting, the Federal Reserve moved its fed funds target rate from near zero to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%. It was the first rate hike...

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Last Thursday, when the Commerce Department announced that the 2022 first-quarter GDP dropped 1.4%, many market commentators voiced surprise. As many observers should know, after so many negative concerns this should have been far from...

Friday, April 29, 2022

If you're paying attention to the news, you've probably come across story after story on the health of Social Security. And depending on the actuarial assumptions used and the political slant, Social Security has been described as...

Friday, April 29, 2022

Few sporting events hold as much tradition as the Kentucky Derby, which began in 1875. You probably know of mint juleps, fancy hats, and maybe a few fan-favorite thoroughbreds running in the race, but the history of the derby spans...

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Thus far, 2022 has been a year in which equities and bonds have had the proverbial "kitchen sink" hurled at them. Given all this, the US equity market is about where it should be; beat up but not dead. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

The inflation/interest rate cycle at a glance When prices rise, bondholders worry that the interest they're paid won't buy as much. In an effort to control inflation, the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates to encourage investors...

Thursday, April 21, 2022

After a decade of robust market gains, 2022 has begun much differently, with inflationary fears and conflict in Ukraine sapping the strength from animal spirits and sending US markets to their first negative quarter since COVID began...

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

To say that this has been a difficult and different start to a year is a gross understatement. At the end of last week, we started getting the parade of earnings for the first quarter of 2022—beginning with the large money...

Friday, April 15, 2022

Even though the Federal Reserve has been keeping its benchmark federal funds rate at historic lows recently, it's important to remember that rising rates can affect you as a consumer and investor. What is the federal funds rate? The...

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

This week’s commentary is going to be short and sweet – well, ‘sweet’ is still up for debate. Last week, I went into extensive detail on what I am noticing and paying attention to. We are in quite a precarious...

Friday, April 8, 2022

Many couples may find themselves confronted with a dilemma as retirement nears. If you plan to receive your pension payout on a monthly basis (rather than in a lump sum), you must decide whether you want to receive a higher payment...

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

It's clear that the buzz of the last few weeks has been college basketball's Sweet Sixteen tournament, and Monday of this week was the last game of the season's Final Four. Needless to say, it was very exciting with...

Friday, April 1, 2022

As you approach retirement, many important decisions await you. If you have a qualified employer-sponsored retirement plan, whether it is a traditional pension or defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k), you will have to decide how...

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Domestic growth continues to be strong. Since our economy is very diverse, growth can be categorized in many ways. Some are growing off the charts (commodities), some are growing at normal rates (consumer staples and consumer...

Friday, March 25, 2022

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), tax scams tend to increase during tax season and/or times of crisis.1 Now that tax season is in full swing, the IRS is reminding taxpayers to use caution and avoid becoming the victim of...

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

In today's newsletter, I am going to cover what I believe to be the important points to cover that should be focused on instead of focusing on the continued death and destruction being espoused by the media. As far as I see it, these...

Friday, March 18, 2022

Making sure your investments help you work towards your true life goals Too often during uncertain times, we inadvertently compare ourselves to the people around us – and that may lead us to make financial mistakes. In his book...

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Vladimir Putin's diabolical invasion of Ukraine has succeeded in turning Russia into a rogue state, and with his nuclear threats, he is playing an insanely dangerous game. The nations of Europe have placed themselves in a...

Friday, March 11, 2022

No matter what markets are doing, be assured that this time is not different Bear markets happen. Bull markets happen. Just stick to your financial plan, and stay calm and disciplined. When the market sours or slumps, don’t...

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

There is so much going on right now that I’m not even sure where to begin. By now, anyone plugged into the news and financial markets should have a rough idea of what has been happening: The war in Ukraine...

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

As humans, we are inherently emotional animals. As such, right, wrong, or indifferent, we want an answer to a problem. Why did it happen? How bad will it get? How do we fix it? This year has not been pretty for the broad markets....

Thursday, March 3, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has drawn condemnation and punitive sanctions from the United States, Europe, and their allies. The humanitarian cost of war cannot be measured, and the long-term economic effects could take months or...

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

It has been some time since we have had the “darlings” of Wall Street be the “heels” of the market for such an extended period of time. It could have been due to their unabated runs higher or maybe their...

Friday, February 25, 2022

In the U.S., more people are choosing to remain single and not be partnered. Census data shows that in 2019 the share of American adults who were neither married nor living with a partner had risen to 38 percent according to an October...

Thursday, February 24, 2022

As the heat held strong on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I have to wonder if Putin and China’s Xi bought index puts against the US stock market to benefit from the decline experienced last week? Most textbooks omit the chapter...

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

One of the most popular questions we’ve received lately is what could happen in the upcoming midterm election? Although we are a long way away from Election Day, it is important to note that a new president has historically...

Friday, February 18, 2022

As of 2018, about 58 million Americans had a 401(k), while around one-third of households owned an individual retirement account (IRA).1, 2 Yet for as commonplace as these retirement accounts can be, the nuances of contributions...

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

By any number of measures, the markets have taken quite a hit. For example, as of January 25th, 2022, the average stock in the Russell 2000 Index has experienced a drawdown of almost 40%, and in the NASDAQ Composite, the average stock...

Friday, February 11, 2022

The average college student graduates with around $30,000 in student loan debt. While this isn't an insurmountable amount of debt for a degree that may boost your earning potential, it also makes it important to maintain responsible...

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Before I dive into this week’s focus, I want to take a moment and talk about some major policy items that people should be aware of: First, I want you to remember that the markets (stock, bond, currency, and commodity markets)...

Friday, February 4, 2022

Most of us find the notion of creating (and sticking to) a budget about as appealing as spring cleaning chores. And, with the stress that usually accompanies tax filing hopefully behind you, you may not be inclined just now to tackle a...

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

If I’m being honest – last week was brutal. I know I wasn’t the only one who was looking for a bag of frozen peas to help numb the pain of losing the octagon match against the Market. But hopefully, no one’s...

Friday, January 28, 2022

Things to think about as you review your long-term retirement strategy Tempted to stash your money in a bank certificate of deposit (CD)? Or maybe under your mattress? Think either one of them will keep pace with inflation? Think again...

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Normally when you think of January you think cold temperatures or winter. But as of late, the markets have been heating us up and not in a good way. Maybe we can compare it to when you’re wearing a thick turtleneck that you...

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

"You got to let me know. Should I stay or should I go? If you say that you are mine. I'll be here 'till the end of time. So you got to let me know. Should I stay or should I go?” —The Clash, June 10, 1982

Friday, January 21, 2022

Market corrections happen about once every 19 months – and we’re at 19 After the stock market’s fantastic growth in 2021, many believe a pullback (or even a correction) may be a healthy thing. Such a drop is not...

Thursday, January 20, 2022

This past week certainly wasn't the destroyer that the first week of the year was, but after a promising bounce following the Monday morning punch to new short-term lows on the major indexes, the sellers did come back to try and finish...

Friday, January 14, 2022

On December 15, 2021, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve System made a significant shift in monetary policy in response to rising inflation. The Committee accelerated the reduction of its bond-buying...

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Many analysts were disappointed by last Friday's job report for December, but we think the headline masks an overall report that shows continued improvement in the labor market and a possible surge in small-business start-ups. On the...

Friday, January 7, 2022

A traditional IRA offers a great way to shield income from taxation while boosting your retirement accounts. Meanwhile, a Roth IRA can let you pay tomorrow's taxes today. But how can workers who are eligible to contribute to either...

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2021 was the year of a continued virus, rising inflation, and the promise of higher interest rates from the Fed. Not a trifecta of great things, yet the market had its best year out of the last three really good years! So that means...

Friday, December 31, 2021

We all have things we’d like to see happen in the New Year. Whether it’s an improvement to your health and well-being, a new career you’d like to pursue, or a bad habit you need to break, resolutions are sometimes...

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Now that 2021 is about done, the next logical question is where will the S&P 500 be at the end of 2022. Regarding this logical yet elusive question, it is clear that one could guess, but given how strange the environment has been for...

Friday, December 24, 2021

Before you lock in that 15%, make sure you consider all the variables Are you thinking about bailing out of stocks before year-end while the capital gains rate is low? Before you hit the sell button, think it over carefully. For now,...

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

To me, this current market is starting to feel a lot like it did when COVID first hit in 2020, yet this time we know what happened. In 2020, there were very severe cases that, to many, became lethal. There was no vaccine as of yet, and...

Friday, December 17, 2021

For some, it’s easy to put personal finances on the back burner during the last few months of the year. However, before the year comes to an end, it’s essential to review your finances. By doing so now, you can make the...

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

If there haven't been enough interruptions already, this week should be the last big week of the year, with five major central banks scheduled to meet and nine more from emerging market countries. And yesterday's PPI was not the most...

Friday, December 10, 2021

Not knowing what Congress will do should not stop you from planning One variable that is hard to plan for in retirement is taxes. There are steps you can take, though, despite the uncertain tax landscape. We don’t even know what...

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

At the close on Friday, the NASDAQ Composite Index was down 6.1% and the S&P 500 was down 3.5%, from their recent all-time record highs.  The 10-year US Treasury yield had cratered from 1.71% to 1.34%, a decline in the 10-year...

Friday, December 3, 2021

Saving money can be hard. It often feels like your paycheck goes in your bank account and a minute later it’s gone. Between bills and unexpected life moments, it always seems you’re left saying “I’m broke...

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

I know it may sound strange, but I really think that the markets needed a day like Friday. Was it painful? Was it a shock? Was it based on a new variant? I think it was something totally different altogether. I believe we had a...

Friday, November 26, 2021

After his grandfather died more than a decade ago, Lamarr Couser and his family were caught by surprise when the funeral director asked whether the World War II veteran was covered by a life insurance policy from the Department of...

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Today’s report will be a little different than usual. There once again isn’t much new to say about the short-term setup in the market, so while I will discuss that a little, the main emphasis will be on the bigger picture...

Friday, November 19, 2021

Remember, early planning puts time on your side Whether retirement is around the corner or decades away, there are more options than ever to help you plan for it. Let’s look at Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)...

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

"Critical Thinking is the desire to seek patience, to doubt fondness, to meditate slowness, to assert readiness, to consider carefulness, to dispose and set in order and hatred of every kind of imposter" — Francis Bacon, 1605...

Friday, November 12, 2021

Contrary to what many people think, trusts are not reserved only for the wealthy. The truth is, people from all walks of life may benefit from a trust. What Is a Trust? Generally speaking, a trust is a legal entity that allows someone...

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Exiting last week, roughly 90% of the S&P 500 constituents have reported their quarterly results, with 82% of them beating on EPS and 68% beating on revenue, which compares to an average of 79% beating on EPS and 65% beating on revenue...

Friday, November 5, 2021

Whether you're a current business owner or a budding entrepreneur burning with the next great idea, one of the most important steps you can take on your road to success is creating a business plan. Why? A well-thought-out and...

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Brother wind, rain, a broken supply chain, rising inflation, slowing GDP, flattening bond yield curve, Cushing oil supply hitting critical point, slowing incomes (due to ending of Government subsidies), flagging sentiment, nor...

Friday, October 29, 2021

Sustainable investing is on the rise, accounting for about $1 in every $3 in actively managed assets.1 And with more investors interested in companies with responsible corporate governance, climate change commitments and long-term...

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

When I am asked what I worry about in the financial markets, the answer usually is "nothing and everything,” because everyone else in the market seems to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying, and so all of the relevant...

Friday, October 22, 2021

Few U.S. high schools have comprehensive personal finance programs, which means that some teens enter adulthood without a deep base of knowledge on topics like investing, budgeting, and consumer debt. Even those who feel they're fairly...

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

In the face of the greatest stimulus in the history of mankind, it is a small wonder that it is leading to the US adding as much debt in the last 18 months as was in place up until 2006 for the whole history of this country. There can...

Friday, October 15, 2021

The past two years presented many small-business owners with unprecedented challenges. This year’s tax planning preparations include necessary measures for small-business owners to satisfy existing, new and modified tax laws that...

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

This week is set to begin earnings season for the third quarter of this year. It should be kicked off with earnings reports from large money center banks. If one were to look at the markets from a week ago, things were starting to look...

Friday, October 8, 2021

But retirees need to remember that inflation is a symptom, not a cause Does increasing inflation boost economic growth? And do dropping prices hurt growth prospects? No and no. But to hear the Federal Reserve tell it when Janet Yellen...

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Investors have become preoccupied with Federal Reserve monetary policy with regard to the anticipated tapering of the Quantitative Easing bond-buying program, along with continuing concerns about the virus and the variant. With the...

Monday, October 4, 2021

Knowing the different types of investment risk can help you cope with market volatility. When was the last time you checked your retirement plan balance? If your balance was less than it was the last time you checked, you probably felt...

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

It's important to understand where the market has come from over the past couple of weeks. As I have noted in recent missives, the rally that we're seeing following Monday of last week's gap-down panic break on the "supposed"...

Friday, September 24, 2021

Your retirement portfolio might be up, but inflation is crushing your returns On August 11th, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index increased 5.4% over the past 12 months. Shockingly, media outlets...

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

I've spoken about the major economic and international elements that seem to be shaping the direction of our US equity markets, but this week seems to be a little more tenuous. In my September 8th missive, I started out by talking...

Friday, September 17, 2021

California recently joined several other states by enacting a legal workaround for the $10,000 limitation on state and local tax (SALT) deductions.1 This $10,000 limit was part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and had a major...

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Valuation is a perfect example of something that investors are told matters a great deal, but I have not seen any real evidence to support that in practice. Those who disagree with me will try to tell me otherwise, but you have to...

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

In 2021, 44.7 million Americans are facing the burden of student loan debt. They owe more than $1.53 trillion in student loans. These alarming statistics prove the importance of saving for higher education. In the past, many parents...

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

For the last two weeks, every time it looked like the stock market might correct a bit deeper it (once again) just came right back. As it stands, the only real hook to hang a hat on for the widely expected September swoon is the...

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The rules and consequences of IRA beneficiary arrangements are complex The rules pertaining to Individual Retirement Account (IRA) beneficiaries can be complicated. Here is a quick look at the limitations the Internal Revenue Service...

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

I plan on talking a bit about where the markets are as they seem to continue to go to all-time highs: the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, New York Stock Exchange, and the NASDAQ Growth Index. Yet the negativity and...

Friday, August 27, 2021

"Secular bull markets tend to last 15-20 years and sometimes longer. So, a case can be made that we are approximately 12 years into this bull market and there is no reason not to expect this one to extend for years to come. In fact,...

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Producer Price Index surges to all-time highs, and the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average does as well, hmmmm, that's a little strange. Inflation at the producer level is rising at never-before-seen levels and the indexes...