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Prices and the Economy

December 2019

The Federal Open Market Committee raises or lowers interest rates to help keep inflation near a 2% target, which is the rate believed to be consistent with the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate to seek stable prices and maximum employment. According… Read more

What’s Required of the Executor of an Estate?

December 2019

Being named as the executor of a friend’s or family member’s estate is generally an honor. It means that person has been chosen to handle the financial affairs of the deceased individual and is trusted to help carry out his… Read more

Online Shopping Tips

December 2019

In 2018, Internet retail sales rose by more than 14% over 2017, while brick-and-mortar sales increased by less than 4%. About $514 billion in goods and services were purchased in cyberspace throughout the year. Even so, traditional retailers still dominated… Read more

Hot Topic: The Ag Economy: Tough Times for Farmers in 2019

December 2019

Net farm income is forecast to grow almost 4.8% to $88 billion in 2019, but this broad measure of profits includes financial support from the federal government. Direct government payments (excluding crop insurance) to U.S. farmers are projected to hit… Read more

Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed Dangle Tax Benefits

November 2019

As a business owner, you may devote most of your time, energy, and profits to running and growing your business. But working for yourself means that saving money for retirement is also entirely up to you. This is not the… Read more

Taming Investment Taxes

November 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered the marginal tax rates that apply to ordinary income, such as wages and interest from bonds and savings accounts, for 2018 through 2025. Fortunately for investors, capital gains and qualified dividends still receive… Read more

Closed-End Funds May Offer Higher Income

November 2019

Most mutual funds are open ended, which means the investment company can issue and redeem fund shares to meet investor demand. By contrast, closed-end funds issue a fixed number of shares in an initial public offering (IPO), and investors who… Read more

Medicare Open Enrollment

November 2019

Each year between October 15 and December 7, Medicare offers an open enrollment period during which beneficiaries can make changes to several coverage options: Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance, referred to as Original Medicare Part C… Read more

Three Regrets of Retirees

November 2019

A recent survey found that more than half of retirees have retirement planning regrets. Unfortunately, many of these retirees had to cut back on their lifestyles to compensate for financial shortfalls.1 Considering their most common regrets may help you avoid… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Manufacturing Slowdown. . .What Does It Mean for the Economy?

November 2019

In September 2019, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) — which measures a wide variety of manufacturing data — fell to 47.8%, the lowest level since June 2009.1 A reading below 50% generally means that manufacturing… Read more

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