"…… Since advisers are in the business of marking out a path through the confusion, a little turmoil can actually help business. Anyone can feel like a smart investor during a strong market. Not so in a wobbly one.
‘What people want to know now is how to go about making decisions,’ said adviser Michael Boone, owner of MWBoone and Associates in Bellevue. "The existing clients hopefully have learned that somewhere along the way. But we are experiencing good demand of people coming in saying, ‘I just felt like I was recovering from 2002, and here we are all over again.’"
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In this increasingly tough economy, people are not only having a tough time selling their homes in slow markets, they’re also having a tough time keeping their jobs.
That means there are families facing a dangerous squeeze. For those who have a chance to seek employment in other markets or simply want to move for any reason, they’re facing the prospect of their current home sitting empty while the lender still wants their monthly check.
No wonder why renting seems like a good solution. But before you make that decision, consider the pros and cons.
"Last week’s batch of economic data was largely ignored by financial market participants, who were preoccupied with oil prices and another leg down in the perceived fortunes of the financial sector. In short, the incoming data continue to paint a picture of an economy that is slow growth mode – but not a recession, with core inflation in check and ongoing weakness in housing and the non-exporting sectors of the manufacturing economy".
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"We have frequently highlighted the investment implications of this year’s elections. One of the ways the election impacts the markets is through the candidates’ stances on tax policy. The market impact of the investor tax cuts in 2003 that lowered dividend and capital gains tax to 15% was difficult to discern, given the geopolitical and economic environment at the time, and the impact of the reversal of these provisions may be equally difficult to discern separately from their macro context"…..
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"….. By and large most people are paid now as a percentage of assets. If assets drop by 10 percent and you are paid as a percentage of the assets, your income drops by 10 percent," said Michael Boone of MWBoone and Associates in Bellevue."
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Medical debt is a leading cause of bankruptcy in this country – a fact made even more frightening because it is devastating people who actually have health insurance. According to January statistics from the Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit health care action group, more than one in six Americans—or 17.7 percent of the non-elderly population—lived in families spending more than 10 percent of after-tax income on health care in 2004, up from 15.9 percent in 2001.
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Last week, perception met reality on the economy and inflation….and reality won out on both accounts.
- The date released on the economy last week suggest that contrary to the perception that the consumer is dead and the economy is in recession, the consumer is alive and well and the growth rate of the economy is likely to have accelerated between Q1 and Q2 2008, due to a booming trade sector and suprisingly strong consumer spending.
- The pre-dominate concern in the financial markets last week was the fear that runaway inflation in the coming months would lead to draconian Fed rate hikes. The reality – is that there has been no discernable spillover of higher commodity and import prices into core inflation in the U.S.
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Foiling I.D. theft is no longer just a matter of buying a document shredder and keeping track of your receipts – though it helps. I.D. theft evolves every day and according to security experts, net-savvy thieves are getting more efficient about blending their illegal activity on the ground and online. Here are some examples from Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a non-profit group focusing on the latest I.D. theft trends and assistance for victims:
"The much anticipated May jobs report sent mixed signals to the economy. While the small decline in the monthly payroll job count is consistent with a mid cycle slowdown, the sharp 0.5 percentage point gain in the unemployment rate suggests that the economy may be in recession.
The other reports released last week for April and May painted a decidedly more upbeat picture of the economy in Q2 2008:"
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