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The Inverted Yield Curve

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So what exactly is an inverted yield curve and does it really matter? Historically, when long-term interest rates fall below short term rates, more often than not, recessions ensue. However, more recently the results have been mixed. Back in February of 2005 Allen Greenspan, then Fed Chair, debunked the theory that an inverted yield curve signaled an economic slowdown, calling it a “misconception.”  He said, “the quality of that signal has been declining in the last decade, in fact, quite measurably.”  The thinking is that when interest rates, ten years or longer fall, investors believe the long-term economic outlook is

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Two Charts that Can Make Investing Easier

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Investing offers what in theory seems like an easy trade: long-term wealth creation for short-term volatility. But the reality is that it’s not so simple. The promise of gains over 10 or 20 years becomes less compelling as you face large market drops that take place over the course of a day or two, never mind when the losses accumulate for weeks or months at a time. Make no mistake about it: investing is hard, and the most difficult part is managing your emotions against the swings of the market and the constant chatter from the financial media. Below you’ll

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Is Sharing for Adults, Too?

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My wife Amy and I have two sons–Miles and Charlie–who are four years old and almost two years old, respectively. Do you know what one character trait we spend the most energy and time attempting to teach them? Of course you do! It’s sharing. Share the Legos. Give your brother a turn with that truck. Let that kid use the swing now. Pass the ball. We parents (and teachers, and coaches, and camp counselors, etc.) must be ever vigilant, for the children are constantly tempted to do anything but share. This is all well and good, but sometime in the

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Equifax and Capital One: How to Protect Yourself

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Last week, the consumer credit reporting agency, Equifax, settled with the US Federal Trade Commission over its 2017 data breach that affected over 147 million Americans. The settlement of up to $700 million includes as much as $425 million for individual settlements. On Monday, Capital One announced that a hacker had gained access to the personal information of over 100 million people. Among the personal data exposed were names, addresses, dates of birth, credit scores, transaction data, Social Security numbers and bank account numbers. It would appear that we are living during a time where hacks, data breaches and stolen

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Debt Presumes on the Future

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One thing that gaggle in Congress can agree on is spending billions of our hard-earned dollars, while turning a blind eye toward the futures of our children and grandchildren. Yesterday, the House voted to raise the federal debt and spending limits to allow them to spend 1,000,000,000,000 (a trillion) dollars more than they collect for each of the next two years. Our founding fathers are spinning in their graves as fast as the National Debt Clock. To raise a trillion dollars, without interest, they would have to set aside $1.58 MILLION A DAY for 243 YEARS! The men who risked

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Do It Now

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My family and I just returned from a trip to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, a journey we’ve made three times over the last two years as we’ve tried to get a handle on why Emily hasn’t been feeling well. During our last visit the team of specialists we met with gave her, in my words, a “non-diagnosis-diagnosis” of a “non-differentiated” auto-immune illness. They realized something was going on, they just couldn’t say what. When I think back to when Emily’s symptoms first began, I’m reminded of how quickly things can change. I’m sure the progression wasn’t this dramatic (or maybe

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A Crummy Commercial!

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The New York Times ran an article a couple of weeks ago entitled “How E-Commerce Sites Manipulate You Into Buying Things You May Not Want,” which was full of the sort of depressing and sometimes disturbing data privacy-related information that you may have grown accustomed to of late. Modern capitalism is many things, and one of those things is an incredibly efficient if not altogether wise machine to get us to buy a bunch of junk we don’t need and then turn around and buy some more tomorrow. At any rate, I had two immediate, visceral reactions to the article.

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Enjoy Financial Freedom Before You Are Financially Independent

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One of the major goals we often help clients plan for is financial independence. Imagine the freedom of knowing you do not have to work. You would be free to start the company you have always dreamed of, serve an organization you are passionate about regardless of pay or take an extended trip with your family or friends. Maybe you would worry less about money and the minutia of your daily finances. What if I told you that it is possible to experience some of that same freedom before you are financially independent? Or if you already are financially independent,

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Declare Your Independence from Financial Tyranny

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Some 243 years ago the United States of America became a sovereign nation simply by declaring it, knowing all too well that the prospects of achieving it against the will of the most powerful nation on earth were infinitesimal. The men who signed that now-famous document faced being hanged for high treason, should the Continental Army and Navy fail to defend and win their new country’s independence. Unmitigated audacity, against all odds – that’s what July 4th represents in this country. Since our beginning, Americans have been courageous, strong, and independent-minded, escaping the tyranny of Europe’s kings and institutions to

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Four ways the SECURE Act may impact you.

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There is a bill working its way through Congress that could impact every retirement saver and, potentially, their heirs. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act has four important provisions that you should be aware of: It increases the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) age: Currently, everyone must begin to withdraw from their IRA or 401(k) in the calendar year they turn age of 70 ½. (There are narrow exceptions where 401(k)s are concerned.) In response to people both working and living longer, this bill would push the RMD age back to 72. There’s no indication as of

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