The Effect of Debt on the Global Economy

The national debt is a measurement of how much the federal government owes creditors, most commonly depicted as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). A high debt-to-GDP ratio is considered viable when the economy is expanding, because that growth allows the government to generate higher tax revenues to help pay down the debt. However,…

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What’s Ahead for the Stock Market?

In November, the Dow experienced its best month since 1987, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes enjoyed their best month since April of this year.1 With the election behind us and a vaccine on the horizon, the stock market has plenty to celebrate. Many consumers used the pandemic period to shore up their savings,…

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Open Enrollment: Health Care Insurance Takes Priority

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) – passed in 2010 and known colloquially as “Obamacare” – has experienced quite a ride. Initially, it was embraced by millions of Americans for whom it afforded tax-subsidized health insurance without access to employer-sponsored coverage. At the same time, it was derided for increasing government sharing costs…

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China’s Rebound

In mid-November, China signed an important and symbolic free-trade agreement with 14 countries, including Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia. The deal, which represents 30% of the world’s population, eliminates tariffs and quotas on 65% of goods traded in the Asia-Pacific region. Global economists say the deal is further evidence of Asia’s growing power,…

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Social Security Updates

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced a new cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) starting in 2021. Beneficiaries can expect a 1.3% increase in their income payouts next year, which is actually smaller than the COLA increase was for this year.1 For single households, that’s an average increase of about $20 a month; $33 for married retirees.2 Among…

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Advantages of Gender-Lens Investing

Gender-lens investing is the tactic of screening companies through female-centric filters. According to analysis by the Wharton School of Business, these filters include: Advancing women in finance Advancing women in leadership Advancing products and services that improve the lives of women Advancing companies that have a positive effect on their female employees Advancing companies that…

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Let’s Talk About … the 401(k)

The 401(k) originally began as a company profit-sharing plan. Companies had been funding defined benefit pensions for years, but as their annual profits and stock prices experienced volatility, they looked for ways to share that burden with employees. Through profit sharing, workers made money when the company did and made less during down years. While…

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America’s Need for Better “Infloodstructure”

In February, Spirit Airlines decided to transfer a portion of its operations from Miramar, Florida, to Nashville, Tennessee. The key driver of this decision was recurring hurricane and tropical storm risk. This means a loss of 240 jobs for the Panhandle area.1 By mid-September of the 2020 hurricane season, mainland U.S. had already been hit…

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Employers: Lessons From the Pandemic

We’ve learned a lot about infectious diseases this year, as well as how to adapt our lifestyles in response to a pandemic. It will be interesting to see if and how U.S. businesses adjust their operational models to account for the potential for future pandemics or other catastrophic events. According to the employment-population ratio, nearly…

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Financial Advising During a Pandemic

The pandemic has been hard on nearly everyone, and it’s particularly difficult for professionals who normally meet with clients in an office setting. Fortunately, financial advisors have been able to adapt to this “new normal.” Our goal is to be our clients’ trusted advisors. Once that relationship is established, we can work with clients by…

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