Market Thoughts: Looking Ahead and Abroad

The mid-year U.S. economic recovery numbers look strong. On Wall Street, analysts predict that our economy will expand by trillions of dollars and create 2 million good-paying jobs throughout the next 10 years. However, despite nearly 1 million jobs reported in July alone, the White House cautioned that the resurgence in COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated…

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Roth vs. Traditional IRA

It would be nice if the Roth IRA had been around long as the traditional IRA. Imagine the long-term benefits of tax-free growth throughout a 40-year career. Annual contribution limits for IRAs are relatively low ($6,000; $7,000 for 50-plus), but the Roth is a good complement for investors who also contribute to an employer-based retirement…

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Retirement Withdrawal Strategies

As hard as retirement saving and investing may seem, that’s the easy part. The real challenge is figuring out how to make your accumulated savings last throughout your and your spouse’s retirements. You need a strategy, and it’s best to have that strategy developed before retirement begins.   Because life expectancy is longer these days,…

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21st Century Tree -Hugging Strategies

The phrase “tree hugger” refers to an environmentalist who advocates for the preservation of woodlands. Its original historical reference is to an incident that occurred in India in 1730, when local villagers literally hugged trees in an effort to prevent foresters from chopping them down for materials to build a palace. In doing so, more…

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Tax Strategies

  In an effort to pay for new legislation, the Biden administration has proposed higher taxes for the nation’s highest earners. The president advocates returning the top tax rate to 39.6% for individuals earning $452,700 or more, and married couples with more than $509,300 in combined taxable income.1   This top tax rate was just…

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The Job Market in the Post-Pandemic Era

According to the most recent Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum, 50% of employees will need new skills training by 2025 as the pace of technological innovation continues to grow. Among business leaders, 94% say they expect employees to learn new skills while on the job, compared to just 65% who made…

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What’s Driving Oil Prices?

Oil prices are influenced by supply and demand, and 2020 was a great demonstration of this principle. With global and local shutdowns due to the spread of the coronavirus, there was less demand for products and services. While online shopping was up, foot traffic in stores languished and retailers – both local and nationwide –…

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Wealth and Income

Spectrem Group’s recent Market Insights Report found that millionaire investors in the U.S. achieved a new record last year. The number of households with a net worth ranging between $1 million and $5 million (excluding primary residence) increased by 600,000, reaching 11.6 million in 2020.   Furthermore:1 The number of households with a net worth…

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Qualified Business Income Deduction

One of the provisions included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction. It is designed as a tax break for small businesses or self-employed individuals and is comparable to the enhanced tax breaks legislated for larger companies. However, while the corporate tax changes are made permanent,…

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Vaccine and Technology: Where to Get Help

One of the biggest flaws in the COVID vaccine distribution plan is its heavy reliance on the internet. Meanwhile, older seniors — the first and most critical targets for the vaccine — are the least-experienced internet users.   Most state and local plans have created websites that allow people to sign up for a vaccine…

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