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Hedge Your Bets

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“Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount.”  ~ Clare Boothe Luce, U.S. Congressman, Ambassador and Author (1903-1987) Question:  What is a “bond ladder”? Answer:  A bond ladder is a portfolio of bonds with maturity dates spread over months and years in regular intervals. In other words, it’s a technique used by bond investors to hedge their […]

Recession or Sustainable Recovery?

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“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.” ~ Harry S. Truman Question:  Do you think we’ll have a recession in 2019? Answer: Based on Harry S. Truman’s quote, the answer would be that it’s not very like that we’ll have a recession based on labor markets and employment rates. In […]

12 Suggestions for 2019

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“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” ~ William Barclay, Scottish author and theologian (1907- 1978) Question: What recommendations do you have as we begin 2019? Answer: Focusing on the elements we are able to influence is a realistic way to approach 2019. The tumultuous nature of 2018 served as […]

Fighting Fear with Facts

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“It is a present because it is a gift, and it is precious because anyone who receives such a present is happy forever. The precious present is just that, the present.”                                     ~ Excerpt from “The Precious Present,”     by Spenser Johnson    […]

Let’s Step It Up

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“Courage is an accumulation of small steps.”                     ~ George Konrad, Hungarian Novelist Question: I’m in the midst of year-end tax planning and have questions about the cost basis of stock. Under what circumstances can it be increased? Answer: The dictionary definition of cost basis is the original value of an asset used […]

Proactive, Not Reactive

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“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”               ~ Plato, Classical Greek Philosopher Question: Could you highlight possible items to review before year-end that may provide tax-savings? This would be a perfect follow up to the last column on tax reform changes. Answer: There are a few items you can consider […]

Breaking the Code

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“Unless you know the code, it has no meaning.”   ~ John Connolly, Irish Author,  from “The Book of Lost Things.” Question: Would you outline last year’s tax law changes? I’m ready to do some year-end planning. Answer: Exemptions, deductions, expenses and credits all underwent a few tweaks in 2017. You’re smart to look at the changes as 2018 comes […]

Do I Need a Financial Advisor?

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“Time is your friend, impulse is your enemy.” ~ John Bogle, Founder,the Vanguard Group Question: I’m trying to decide if I should work with a financial advisor. Understandably, I expect you’ll say yes, but can you explain why and provide specific reasons? Answer: Well, you are right, I do recommend that in most instances there are benefits to working with […]

No Expiration Date

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“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” ~ Nido Qubein, President of High Point University Question: Your last column was on the length of this bull market. What could end the positive momentum? Answer: The same factors that cause markets to go up can bring them down. Detrimental changes in employment figures, […]

Ask The CFP® Practitioner


“Common sense is not so common.” ~ Voltaire, French Philosopher (1694-1778) Question: Is this the longest bull market in history? Answer: That depends on how a bull market is defined. This particular run began on March 9, 2009 and at the time this is being written, financial markets are up for nine and one-half years. The most agreed upon definition […]


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