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Where There’s a Will…

May 2018

A 2017 survey found that only 42% of U.S. adults — and only 36% of those with children under age 18 — had a will or a living trust.1 (A living trust can serve some but not all functions of a will; you should have a will even if you have a trust.) The most… Read more

HOT TOPIC — Changing Market: Municipal Bonds After Tax Reform

May 2018

January is typically a strong month for the municipal bond market, but 2018 began with the worst January performance since 1981, driven by rising interest rates and uncertainty over changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).1 The muni market stabilized through late April 2018, but uncertainty remains.2 The tax law changed the playing… Read more

Guard Against Growing Cybersecurity Threats

April 2018

Hackers are continuing to target small businesses at an alarming rate. In one 2017 survey, 53% of executives said their businesses had experienced a cyber attack in the previous year.1 When a data breach occurs, outsiders gain access to the personally identifiable information of customers or other individuals, opening the door for identity theft and… Read more

Income for the Long Run

April 2018

In a recent survey of 3,000 Americans ranging in age from 20 to 70, almost two-thirds of the respondents said they feared running out of money in retirement more than they feared death.1 Fear may not be a helpful response, but this concern is not surprising considering changes in the American retirement landscape. People are… Read more

Monetary Policy Update

April 2018

The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. It includes a network of 12 Federal Reserve Banks and 24 branches around the nation. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is responsible for setting monetary policies in accordance with the Fed’s dual mandate to foster maximum employment and price stability. Seven members… Read more

Pick Your Plastic: Debit or Credit?

April 2018

According to a Federal Reserve study, Americans use debit cards more often than credit cards, but the total value and the average value of credit card transactions are higher than those of debit card transactions (see chart). This reflects fundamental differences. A debit card acts like a plastic check and draws directly from your checking… Read more

Dividend Investing: Small Payments Can Boost Returns

April 2018

Owning shares of stock or stock funds might increase the value of your portfolio in one of two fundamental ways: capital appreciation (i.e., price increases) and dividend payments. Of the two, capital appreciation carries the greatest potential for return, but it also carries the greatest potential for loss. And any gains or losses are only… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Trade Tactics: New Metal Tariffs Reflect Policy Shift

April 2018

On March 8, 2018, President Trump imposed a global tariff of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports.1 A tariff is a tax on a particular class of imported goods or services that is designed to help protect domestic industries from foreign competition. The metals tariffs have not been well received by U.S…. Read more

Preparing to Withstand the Loss of Key Players

March 2018

For the most part, the odds of dying young are fairly remote. The probability that people between the ages of 30 and 60 will live to age 65 ranges from about 85% to 95%, depending on gender and age.1 But have you considered that the odds of one out of any two people dying before… Read more

Going Public

March 2018

An initial public offering (IPO) is the first public sale of stock by a private company. Companies tend to schedule IPOs when investors are feeling good about their financial prospects and are more inclined to take on the risk associated with a new venture. Thus, IPOs tend to reflect broader economic and market trends. And… Read more

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