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The Biggest Danger

Here’s a trick question: what is the biggest danger to your long-term investment results?  If you answered something like “market downturns” or “downside volatility,” you’re not only missing a bigger danger, you may be missing the way investment markets work.

Flexible Powers

When a person comes down with any of various forms of dementia, it means he or she requires additional amounts of care.  It also means eventually taking away the checkbook and access to credit cards, to prevent the person with diminishing capacity from responding to Nigerian email pitches or late night infomercials.

Energy Independence Day

Very quietly, the United States economy crossed a remarkable milestone.  As of October, America is now energy-independent for the first time.  For comparison purposes, the U.S. was spending a whopping 4% of its total gross domestic product to buy foreign oil and gas as recently as 2008.

Tax Opportunities Before Year-End

Every year, U.S. taxpayers face a number of year-end deadlines which, if ignored, can be costly and even punitive.  In the latter category, consider people over age 70 1/2 who forget to take the full required minimum distribution from their IRA or 401(k).

What To Do During Market Volatility

After last year’s historically low volatility, its resurgence in 2018 has been hard for investors to stomach. In fact, a recent Allianz Life study found that 37% of investors are anxious about the recent volatility. (1) Are you one of them?

Older Marrieds

Nobody seems to have a good explanation for it, but American adults are increasingly delaying marriage.  According to the most recent population survey by the U.S. Census bureau, the median age at first marriage in the U.S. is now nearing age 30—29.8 for men and 27.8 for women.  That’s up from 27.1 and 25.3 years old back in 2003. 

Pullbacks Galore

Nobody knows why the S&P 500 index declined more than 11% in October; the largest decline since, well, earlier this year. 

Real Estate Sales: Down. Prices: Up

You may have read that there has been a drop in new home sales—down 13% in September compared to the previous September—and that, combined with the drop in stock market values, might have you worried about the state of the U.S. economy. 

Prosperity—Not for All

America is at sailing along at peak prosperity, with the stock market having boomed for 10 years and the last recession coming in the previous decade.  Unemployment is at a 20-year low.  There are arguments about which President is responsible for this great news, but most Americans are prosperous.  Right?

Inflation-shifted Savings Limits and Social Security Benefits

Every year, the U.S. government changes a variety of investment and benefits thresholds based on the inflation rate.  But since inflation has been pretty tame, most of the changes have been modest these past ten years.

That changes this coming year. 

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