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Take, for example, a friend of mine, who was experiencing some troubling medical symptoms. Typing her symptoms into a search engine led to an evening of research and mounting consternation. By the end of the night, the vast quantity of unfiltered information led her to conclude that something was seriously wrong. One of the key characteristics that distinguishes an expert is their ability to filter information and make increasingly refined distinctions about the situation at hand. For example, you might describe
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The Flat Out Truth

What is a yield curve, and why are stock investors interested in its shape? A yield curve gives a snapshot of how yields vary across bonds of similar credit quality, but different maturities, at a specific point in time. For example, the US Treasury yield curve indicates the yields of US Treasury bonds across a range of maturities. Bond yields change as markets digest news and events around the world, which also causes yield curves to move and change shape
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2018 Midterm Elections: What Do They Mean For Your Estate Plan?

Strategic Planning Guidance in Light of the Midterm Results Estate planning is meant to be an ongoing process, not a one-time transaction. In the same way that you never stop budgeting, saving, and investing as you go through life, it is also sensible to see estate planning as a lifelong project. Let’s look at some of the considerations you should make now that the 2018 midterm elections are in the history books. Planning in a Fluctuating Political Climate Estate plans
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Midterm Elections— What Do They Mean for Markets?

While surprises can and do happen in elections, the surprises don’t always lead to clear-cut outcomes for investors. It’s almost Election Day in the US once again. For those who need a brief civics refresher, every two years the full US House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for reelection. While the outcomes of the elections are uncertain, one thing we can count on is that plenty of opinions and prognostications will be floated in the days
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Three Legal Strategies When Facing a Major Health Event

            What You and Your Family Need to Know Receiving a health diagnosis or learning that you need to undergo major surgery can cause substantial disruption in your day-to-day life. During this time, the last thing you may want to think about is estate planning. Although you may have many things going through your head at the moment, now is a crucial time to make sure your estate plan is in order.  Proactive planning can
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A Question of Equilibrium

“Sellers were out in force on the market today after negative news on the economy.” It’s a common line in TV finance reports. But have you ever wondered who is buying if so many people are selling? The notion that sellers can outnumber buyers on down days doesn’t make sense. What the newscasters should say, of course, is that prices adjusted lower because would-be buyers weren’t prepared to pay the former price. What happens in such a case is either
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Investing Strategically, Not Emotionally

While many of us understand that our emotions can compromise our long-term financial goals, it isn’t always easy to ignore media hype. But letting emotions guide our investment decisions can have a real impact on our portfolios. Sometimes what seems like a reasonable investment strategy is actually emotions in disguise. We believe these emotional strategies can be particularly harmful, because at first glance they may seem like good, even rational, ideas. Emotional strategy: Waiting for the “right time” to invest. Timing the market is
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Timing the “Market” Without Timing the Market

A common question of late centers around whether it is a good time to invest in the “market”, taking into consideration the all-time highs we’re experiencing. It is understandable to have this concern. Although there is conclusive evidence to suggests that attempting to “time” the market does not work over the long term, there is a way to overcome this common fear. A key note: When you hear all the talking heads on TV, or the news headlines, or even your friends
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7 Retirement Planning Challenges That Focus on Your Life

While one of the most obvious challenges in retirement is not running out of money, there are other important factors to consider and prepare for that may not be as top of mind. Even if you don’t consider yourself close to retiring, you may be able to use this information to help you plan for the future or even assist a parent, loved one, or friend. Ages and Stages – For many, retirement could be a 30+ year expedition. Time spent
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High Income Earners: Reduce taxes and cut future Medicare costs

Without the right planning, accumulating a large IRA can come along with some unexpected consequences, including higher future taxes and increased Medicare costs for high income earners. Here’s how the situation arises in the first place. Medicare charges premiums to participants in Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits, and Part D, the prescription drug benefit. In 2018, the basic premium for Part B is $134 per month, while it varies for Part D depending on the plan. However, high-income
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