At a class for professionals, L. Paul Hood, Jr., one of the nation’s leading estate planning educators of lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors, recently identified all the things that can go wrong with an estate plan. It’s a lot! For individuals facing estate plan questions, here are some important considerations. The players involved in creating an estate plan include you, the client, of course. But you will probably need to work wit..
The United States is emerging from the darkest period in modern history, and we could be heading into a much brighter economy unless the Federal Reserve slams the door on growth as it fights runaway inflation...
It’s been easy being a buy and hold investor. Until now. Stock market investments, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, approximately doubled in value in the past five years. It was up 26.9% in 2021, 18.4% in 2020 and 31.5% in 2019, and it is 59.3% higher than at the bottom of the Covid bear market in March 2020. The stock market suffered another losing week and is in the throes of the longest weekly losing streak in over..
The economy shrank 1.4% last quarter but is expected to grow 2.7% in the next four quarters. Economist Fritz Meyer, at a webinar for financial professionals today, called the state of financial economic conditions “cognitive dissonance,” which is defined as the discomfort felt when two or more thoughts contradict each other. Here’s a factual perspective of the clashing cognitions of financial economic conditions currently. The most re..
The U.S. economy shrunk -1.4% last quarter, but a +2.7% average growth rate is expected for the next four quarters. In the first quarter of 2022, Covid 19 disruptions to the supply chain stunted growth. “A slower pace of inventory investment by business in the first quarter -- compared with a rapid buildup in inventories at the end of last year -- also pushed growth down,” according to a front-page story in Friday’s Wall Street ..
Five years is not a long time in financial planning. However, it is the shortest time-period to consider in planning a long-term portfolio that can outlive you. In America, the world’s largest and most rewarding financial economic system, building a portfolio that outlives you is the No. 1 financial goal of parents, family leaders, and charitably inclined individuals. Data in this bar chart showing five years of history should inform your..
The stock market had another bad week, as the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 2.8% Friday and lost -2.8% from last week’s closing price. The stock index is 11% lower than the all-time high of Jan. 3, back into correction territory. About 80% of public companies that have reported earnings for the first quarter of 2022 are beating analyst expectations, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal referencing FactSet, a financial da..
A recently published survey of long-term care insurer rate increases offers a rare glimpse into a sector of the financial services industry with a history of causing problems for consumers. Long-term care insurance is intended to protect you if you ever need to stay in a nursing home. Long-term care insurance pays for a nursing-home stay or home health care if you ever suffer a chronic or disabling condition...
Investments in IRAs are the main source of funding retirement income for a vast majority of Americans. Your IRA is probably crucially important to your retirement success and may also play a role in your estate plan. Trouble is, the rules on IRAs have changed and so has the investment environment, and, as a result, taking a strategic approach is not so easy. Here is a very simplified explanation of strategic planning opportunities triggered..
Retail sales rose one-half of 1% in March, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday, climbing for the third consecutive month as prices continued to increase, and the consumer price index measure of inflation soared in March to a 12-month rate of 8.5% -- the highest inflation rate in 40 years. However, there are signs that inflation is probably peaking. While gasoline continues to fuel the worst round of inflation in decades, price hike..
A new survey of long-term care insurer rate increases offers a rare glimpse into an insurance sector with a history of problems for consumers. Long-term care insurance (LTCI) is a relatively new type of insurance. For most of its 50-year history, insurers made overly optimistic assumptions about key factors in the price of their policies, including: how much to charge for policies how many policyholders would keep their policies in force ho..
Although Russia’s atrocious war on Ukraine overshadows all other news, the genocide of Ukrainians is not the main risk to financial economic conditions. Unlike Europe, the terrible events in Ukraine impacts the U.S. economy only marginally. The main risk to the U.S. economy and stock market is not what happens in Kyiv. The main risk to the U.S. is inflation, which is running at its highest one-year rate in 40 years. Runaway inflatio..
Financial services giants make financial planning and wealth management sound very simple in slick TV ads, but it’s not. Managing wealth requires knowing a lot about technical highly topics, like math, taxes and finance as well as history, psychology and how to communicate with loved ones about sensitive issues. This article highlights many of the topics of knowledge needed to manage wealth and why it’s so daunting without the help of a..
The American economy added 431,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.6% from 3.8% in February. Here’s an update on the major happenings in the economy and stock market this past week. With an increase of 431,000 employees in March, the nation now employs nearly as many people full-time as it did before the pandemic struck in February 2020. Employment is down by 1.6 million from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020...