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Investment Themes for This Year

Jun 26, 2018

In the investment community, all eyes are on inflation this year. Economic analysts at Merrill Lynch anticipate further tightening in the labor market, to the tune of 3.9 percent unemployment by the end of 2018. Along with the tightened labor situation, they also expect personal consumption expenditure (PCE) inflation rising to 1.8 percent by year…

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Investing in Europe

Jun 19, 2018

It’s often said that when one asset class falters, others are likely rising. To some extent, this may be occurring with U.S. equities. The stock market correction that started in February amid fears of rising inflation has continued through March with the threat of a global trade war.1     According to Bank of America…

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Putting a Value on Real Property

Jun 12, 2018

Real property generally refers to land, but it also can include structures, bodies of water and machinery.1 It typically denotes property of significant value, which is why state and local governments choose to impose taxes on our homes. These levies could be considered a progressive tax, in that people who own more expensive homes likely…

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The Income Gap and the Economy

Jun 5, 2018

The income gap between the wealthy and the poor is widening in the U.S.1 Why does that matter? Because there are studies that indicate a wide swathe of income differentiation is not good for economic growth.   In the years following the Great Recession, we often heard how slowly the economy was recovering. That was…

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Banking Trends

May 29, 2018

In its recent 2018 Banking Industry Outlook report, Deloitte identified six key themes that are driving trends for financial institutions today:1   Redefining what makes for a positive customer experience Managing a myriad of technology platforms Mitigating cyber risk Adjusting to competition from fintech (financial technology) companies Aligning business strategy with regulatory compliance Reimagining the…

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Inflation: Expectations for 2018

May 22, 2018

It seems as if inflation has been biding its time. Since the financial crisis a decade ago, growth in prices and wages has been muted.1 However, many financial analysts believe that’s about to change.     A jobs report from early March revealed continued hiring and a moderate increase in wages. The stock markets welcomed…

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Exclusive vs. Inclusive Investing

Mar 15, 2018

There are many different approaches to investing in the stock market, but most fall under two categories: exclusive and inclusive. Exclusive means conducting thorough research on prospective companies and investing in a portfolio of select, thoroughly vetted securities. One of the advantages of this approach is that if an investor’s research pans out, he could…

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Assessing Risk

Jan 23, 2018

It is common to have a very traditional interpretation when we think of investment risk, such as the belief that stocks are seen as a risky investment, and bonds less so. But many issues have come to light in the past decade that cause us to think about risk differently. For example, there’s the risk…

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Artificial Intelligence: Innovation for Today’s World

Jan 16, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly changing the way businesses build products and even provide customer service. We now have automated virtual assistants and “chatbots” answering customer service calls.1 We even have self-driving cars being tested for pizza delivery.2   These quantum leaps in technological advances present both opportunities and challenges. For example, the way we…

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Update on the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Jan 9, 2018

In August, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed to delay the launch of the final portion of the new “fiduciary rule” until July 2019. Part of the rule went into effect in June of this year, mandating that any financial professional making financial recommendations to a client with regard to an individual retirement account (IRA)…

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