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The Drama on Wall Street

Have your long-term financial goals changed in the last three days?

Are American companies less valuable because investors in China are panicking?

Is there any reason to think that because Chinese investors are panicking, that Chinese companies are less valuable today than they were a few days ago?

2015 Year End Report

In year just past, we experienced many things—a prelude to a Presidential election, a renewal of terrorist concerns, a trip to Pluto—but in the investment markets, we will look back and yawn.  Despite some entertaining ups and downs, particularly in the third quarter of the year, the markets ended pretty much where they began, eking out small gains and losses pretty much across

Irrelevant Ups and Downs

The U.S. stock market gained 2.05% on Friday, the biggest one-day gain for the S&P 500 index since early September.  Of course, this comes after the same index was down 1.1% (Wednesday) and 1.4% (Thursday).

What’s going on?

The 4 Essential Elements of a Retirement Plan

Until recently, many retirees have been able to rely upon the three-legged stool of retirement income sources: A defined benefit pension plan that guarantees a lifetime income, their own savings, and Social Security.

Changes to Social Security Strategies

On the surface, it seems too good to be true.  You have a married couple, where (let’s say) the husband has earned higher yearly income than his wife.  That means he has contributed more to Social Security over his working life.  The husband files for Social Security benefits at full retirement age (currently age 66) and then immediately files to suspend those benefits.&nbs

No COLA

You’ve probably heard by now that the 2016 cost of living (COLA) adjustment for Social Security benefits is zero—the third time this has happened  in the last seven years.  (2010 and 2011 were the other recent years.)  In fact, Social Security benefit increases have stalled since the Great Recession; only once since 2008 have they risen by more than 2%.

Determining Your Risk Tolerance

2015 Third Quarter Report: That Whooshing Sound

Many investors will be glad to finally see the end of the third quarter of 2015, and most of them will feel like their portfolios are worse off than they actually are.  That whooshing sound you hear is not just air being let out of the markets; it’s also an end to that optimistic feeling that many people had been cautiously building during the long 6-year bull market that followed th

Saving Money Versus Paying Off Debt

How to Read the Panicky Market

Some of the most entertaining times to be a long-term investor are those periods when short-term investors are looking over their shoulders for an excuse to sell.  They’re convinced that the market is going to go down before they can get out, and so they jump on any bad news that comes across their Bloomberg screen.

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