Funny About Money

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Money is both basic and complicated. It enables us to get the things we want, yet people are often reluctant to talk about how much they make, how much they have or how much they pay for things — even to their own family. In fact, according a recent survey of affluent investors: 62% said…

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2015: Beyond the Cold

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As parts of the country dig out from under the snow this winter, it’s important to remember that, despite life’s uncertainties, you can always count on one thing: Spring will come. It may be a small comfort, but it never fails that sunshine, warmer temperatures, blooming flowers, leaves appearing back on the trees and people…

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Keep Calm and Carry On

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During World War II, the British government used a poster campaign to help the general public prepare for and deal with the realities of war on their personal lives. The first poster was encouraging: “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Us Victory.” The second was a bit menacing: “Freedom is in Peril.” The…

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Love and Marriage

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As the song goes, “love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.” Interesting then, that if you don’t put the horse in front of the cart, things go awry. Perhaps it is the same with relationships. Only about half (50.5 percent) of Americans ages 18 and over were married in 2012, which is…

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Consumption

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In society, consumption means a variety of things. Economically speaking, the term refers to the purchase of consumer goods. In ecology, consumption refers to the natural food chain. And finally, the antiquated definition of consumption refers to tuberculosis — the infectious disease of yore. Today, we generally speak of consumption as a positive economic force.…

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The Power of Confidence

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In January, American consumer confidence reached an 11-year high. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 98.1, up from 93.6 in December, which is the highest level since January 2004. Thanks to lower gas prices, more people said they are likely to buy a car than in any other time in the last…

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Retirement Income Tips

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A lot goes into retirement income planning. You have to estimate how much you’re going to spend years from now, when sometimes it’s difficult to know what you’re going to spend this year. Cars break down. The roof leaks. The furnace needs to be replaced. Life is a cornucopia of who-knows-what will happen next. In…

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Wage War Wages On

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The hacking incidence at Sony may have hurt actor Seth Rogen and the release of his film, “The Interview,” but it was a boon for actress Charlize Theron. After leaked emails revealed her male co-star Chris Hemsworth was being paid $10 million more than her in their film, “The Huntsman,” she successfully renegotiated equal pay…

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Political Environment: The Battle Begins in Earnest

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The economy is in good shape for starting a new year, but lines have already been drawn in the sand where our political engine is concerned. Republicans have a long list of pent-up priorities, including the Keystone Pipeline, repealing portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and reversing the president’s executive action enabling…

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2015 Outlook

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Last year left the U.S. in decent financial shape. Oil prices tanked and the U.S. dollar surged. Inflationary pressure is low, and the stock market ended the year strong. The analysts at Fidelity believe this positive environment should continue at least early into 2015. The economy is in a mid-cycle expansion with solid employment gains…

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