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Winter Winds with no HealthCare Breeze….Are you ready for it?

November 1 began the 6 week open enrollment window that ends December 15. The health care exchange is designed to provide health care to Americans who are not covered by an employer provided health care plan.

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Global Asset Allocation Views – 4Q 2017

The October 7th-13th cover of The Economist led with the phrases “The bull market in everything” and “Are asset prices too high?” The main article mentioned potential bubbles in equities (at an all-time high), fixed income (boosted by easy monetary policy), real estate (see the 2007 Financial Crisis), and cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Etherium, etc.).  I will focus my attention on equities since they tend to be the most important, and largest, component of a client’s long-term growth. What I would like to share today are some of the counter-arguments I have come across in my research regarding...

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The Goldilocks Economy and Bear Markets

Sorry for the pun (hopefully you have heard of The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears), but as we get near year-end it seemed opportune to discuss the current market sentiment and our future outlook. The U.S. economy is currently in a sweet spot, or a Goldilocks effect, of not being too hot to spur rapid inflation but not too cold to cause a recession.  A bear market, loosely defined as a drop of over 20%, and a recession, two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, seem a long way off. There are a few factors that warrant monitoring: Loose Fiscal Policy – U.S. GDP in a range...

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College Planning 101

The dreaded Free Application for Federal Student Aid will be available October 1st of this year and should be easier to complete because you can use 2015 tax returns and not have to do any updates in the spring after filing your 2016 returns.  The following link summarizes the changes and gives some tips on obtaining the most aid possible. http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/25/pf/college/fafsa-application-changes/    But for those people who are new parents or still have children younger than college age there is still the daunting question of “How will I pay for college”.  As is the case with all...

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You are the parent? So What?

The applications are in, standardized tests are complete and a college decision has been made.  Now all there is to do is outfit the dorm room and drop the kids off, right?  Maybe not.  A recent visit to an attorney’s office to update our estate documents opened our eyes to something that we hadn’t thought of before. Consider a horrible, but not unthinkable situation:  Your adult child is no longer living in your home. You get a call from a roommate or friend saying that there has been a medical emergency and your child is in the hospital.  Your first instinct is to call or rush to the...

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Teach Your Children Well

Several of the people in our office have college-age children as do our clients, so conversations around topics to prepare us for when our children enter the work force full-time occur frequently. In general, we find that the young people want to be independent and are willing to learn what is necessary to make informed financial decisions. The area that recent graduates have the most questions about is 401ks and other retirement plans: what they are, how they work, what a company match is and how much they should save?  Our recommendation is generally to contribute enough to receive the...

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