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Seven Sins of Divorce

Published by Mark Petersen

Divorce is one of the most emotional experiences people may contend with in their lives. With the exception of Ross Geller on Friends, most people may only experience divorce once or twice in their lifetime. With limited exposure to the process, it may be easy to get caught up in the moment and fall victim to one or more of the seven sins of divorce. Read more

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Unabashed Optimism

Published By: Erik Christman, CFP®, CPA 

It seems sometimes that we go out of our way to find things to worry about. Whenever I hear talk about how bad things have become, I understand that, yes, some people are hurting and need our help, but the vast majority of Americans wake up each day with a roof over our heads, clean water and more than enough to eat. Read more

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It’s Never Different This Time

Published By: Erik Christman, CFP®, CPA 

Most of us remember exactly where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. That horrific day not only changed the lives of thousands of families in New York; it also set our country on a complicated path the outcomes and implications of which are still being debated. We will truly never forget.  Read more

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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Who knew tax reform could be so easy? Less than two weeks after going to conference, Republicans reconciled the differences between the House and Senate bills and released their final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last Friday (12/14) afternoon.[1] The final legislation provides significant permanent tax cuts for businesses, including reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Most individual taxpayers will also receive tax benefits, including lower marginal tax rates, and a reduction in the top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 39.6% down to 37%. However, all of the individual tax breaks will expire at the end of 2025 to comply with Senate rules. Read more

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Could Living a Long Life Cause You to Go Broke? Strategies To Make Your Money Last

Published by Scott Ford, Member of the Investment Committee for Carson Group Partners

Have you ever thought about the possibility of living past the age of 100? If you haven’t, you probably should. While there are currently about 75,000 centenarians in the United States, it is predicted that by 2050 that number will rise to 1 million.[1] People are living longer than ever before, and this plays a significant role in how you plan for your retirement. Read more

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Rebalancing

Published By: Erik Christman, CFP®, CPA 

Rebalancing is an important discipline in portfolio management. At least annually you should compare your current portfolio to your original investment plan and make sure the portfolio is still on track. Why is this important? Because a particular style often will go through a cycle of three, four, even five years when it is in vogue and has a great run. For example, for three years in the late 1990s, it seemed you could do no wrong in the tech space.The NASDAQ Composite climbed from around 1,300 in late 1997 to 5,048 in March of 2000, an incredible gain of 288 percent in a little over two years! But then, just a year later, it fell to 1,900 and eventually dropped to just above 1,200 in September of 2002. All of those spectacular gains achieved in two years were totally wiped out two and a half years later. Read more

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Diversification – Another Perspective

Published By: Erik Christman, CFP®, CPA 

We look at diversification in two ways—across asset classes and within them.

The three major asset classes are stocks, bonds, and cash. You can divide your holdings across those classes for a level of diversification. In diversifying across asset classes, we may determine, for example, that 15 percent of your overall portfolio should be in large US stocks. Now, that’s still a big portion of the portfolio, but we actually have several holdings making up that 15 percent.

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Financial Planning is for Everyone

Published by Beth Schanou

Everyone can benefit from some form of financial planning. Not all plans look the same because we are individuals and have unique needs, but the need for some amount of planning is present for every age group and financial status. Often this can be difficult to embrace because in order to plan effectively, there is a need to open up and share personal information including finances and goals. This isn’t always easy. Read more

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Twenty Times As Much Comfort

Published By: Erik Christman, CFP®, CPA 

Our rule is that no single growth investment should make up more than 5 percent of your portfolio. That’s the level of diversification that we believe could provide you the comfort of knowing your portfolio will manage through good times and bad, whether for the economy or for a particular holding. Read more

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Medicare 101: What You Need to Know

An often overlooked aspect of financial planning is considering health insurance options. Health care costs continue to rise, and as you grow older the likelihood you’ll need those services increases. Read more