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March of the Obscure

Published January 6, 2010 4895 Views

Lately there is much reading of tea leaves in attempts to determine the direction of the US economy. Are we in recovery? Still in recession? Or are we recovering only to suffer a "double dip", where we come up but then go back down? The answers are never obvious. To get a confident sense of dire...

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Planning for Retirement in Stages

Published January 5, 2010 4611 Views

While vacations and holidays typically provide a break for most of us, there is one big break ahead that's a priority on most everyone's calendar -- retirement. While it may be closer for some, we all should make sure we're financially prepared when the time comes to take a permanent day off! It's...

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Things that won't change in 2010.

Published January 5, 2010 4436 Views

The first decade of the 21st century is now behind us. To say that is was a bumpy ride would be an understatement. Overall the S&P 500 lost just less than 25% of its value over the 10 year period. Yesterday George blogged about the events that shaped the decade and as important as it is to know...

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Will They Ever Come to a Decision on Estate Tax?

Published January 4, 2010 4684 Views

It was eight years ago when a law was enacted to briefly repeal the estate tax for individuals passing away in 2010 and then bring it back in harsher terms for those passing after 2010. Many of us thought that the current Congress would undo the impending repeal and permanently or temporarily keep...

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The Year & Decade Past

Published January 4, 2010 4606 Views

To start our new year and new decade let's take a look at where financial markets have been over the last 10 years: 2000: the top news story was the US presidential election which ended in a photo finish and was decided by the Supreme Court. The Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 ended with a loss...

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Are We Experts in You?

Published January 1, 2010 4887 Views

We've been getting a lot of feedback about the new T.V. spots and the most common is surprise over how we managed to "find so many actors" among our clients. None of the clients featured in the spots are professional actors, and none were given a script to read; the reason everyone...

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Pay Yourself First

Published December 31, 2009 4640 Views

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, sometimes it seems like your day-to-day living expenses just eat away at your entire paycheck. Putting money away for the future may be the last thing on your mind. Even so, you need to remember that taking care of your longer-term financial goals is just as...

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A larger tax break if you have children in College

Published December 30, 2009 4859 Views

My daughter's home from college for the holidays but unfortunately the Vassar bursar's office doesn't extend the same break to me when it comes to paying tuition! However, the American Opportunity Credit (which was introduced as part of the stimulus package) has replaced the previously-offered Hope...

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Municipal Bonds May Be Good For Your Portfolio

Published December 30, 2009 4568 Views

If your investment portfolio consists of only equities, you may want to diversify. Stocks and other equity securities are an important part of your investment mix, but you may also want to consider some fixed income investments like municipal bonds. These will not only provide you with federal- and,...

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Coca-Cola in the Congo: Looking ahead in the post-recession global economy

Published December 29, 2009 4645 Views

It is probably fair to say we've moved beyond the bear market. With the benefit of hindsight, it is common sense to ask: would we have done anything differently? For my part, it's difficult to say with any conviction that I would have. I bought stocks for clients that I thought were strong but prove...

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