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How to Evaluate a Stock

By John Culpepper | October 26, 2021 | Comments Off on How to Evaluate a Stock

There are moments in history when people have claimed investment choices don’t matter because if the market is up across the board, you cannot fail. That is not true. In fact, that should never be guiding financial advice. However, there is no doubt that the market has been up for many years — notwithstanding the…

How Inflation Risk Can Affect You

By John Culpepper | October 19, 2021 | Comments Off on How Inflation Risk Can Affect You

Inflation is a steady rise in the price of goods and services over time and actually signals both good and bad economic conditions. On one hand, as prices rise, someone living on a fixed income cannot purchase the same amount of goods, so they tend to reduce spending or buy cheaper alternatives. On the other…

Sustainably Investing in Our Future

By John Culpepper | October 12, 2021 | Comments Off on Sustainably Investing in Our Future

While extreme weather events typically affect only certain parts of the country, there is increasing concern that climate change will affect the overall economy – including our investment portfolios. For this reason, the federal government is making composition changes to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the retirement plan for federal employees. The TSP currently holds…

Status Update: Young Adults in America

By John Culpepper | October 5, 2021 | Comments Off on Status Update: Young Adults in America

Over the past 20 years, America’s young adults have experienced significant unemployment, massive student debt, extreme weather events, a global pandemic, a contentious political environment and dramatic socio-economic turmoil. Not that these things didn’t happen in previous generations, but today’s young adult is far more involved and aware due to the 24-hour news cycle and…

Market Thoughts: Looking Ahead and Abroad

By John Culpepper | September 28, 2021 | Comments Off on Market Thoughts: Looking Ahead and Abroad

The mid-year U.S. economic recovery numbers look strong. On Wall Street, analysts predict that our economy will expand by trillions of dollars and create 2 million good-paying jobs throughout the next 10 years. However, despite nearly 1 million jobs reported in July alone, the White House cautioned that the resurgence in COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated…

RMDs in 2021

By John Culpepper | September 21, 2021 | Comments Off on RMDs in 2021

Last year, the Setting Every Community Up for Security Enhancement (SECURE) Act increased the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from 70½ to 72. The purpose of RMDs is to spread out the tax burden associated with the years of tax-deferred earnings investors accrued in qualified retirement plans.1 If you expect RMDs to be an…

Young People: Who Said You Have To Be Wealthy To Invest?

By John Culpepper | September 14, 2021 | Comments Off on Young People: Who Said You Have To Be Wealthy To Invest?

Young adults have weathered difficult times the past two decades: mass school shootings, extreme weather conditions, student loan debt, and a global pandemic. But now they’re witnessing an unprecedented job market, where even those with little to no work experience can dictate their own terms. It’s important that we steer our young adults to good…

What is Investing on Margin?

By John Culpepper | September 9, 2021 | Comments Off on What is Investing on Margin?

This year, investors are making record-high margin investments against their accumulated assets. According to FINRA, margin debt had reached $847 billion by the end of April.1 Much of this activity is fueled by low interest rates and rising stock prices, making leverage investing more appealing. However, investing on margin poses significant risks. You can purchase…

College Savings: An Update

By John Culpepper | August 31, 2021 | Comments Off on College Savings: An Update

Congress is known for passing enormous bills with lots of little-known provisions that are not entirely central to the key objectives of the bill. Alas, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 is one of them. It contains changes to how students and parents apply for student aid via the Free Application…

Roth vs. Traditional IRA: Retirement and Estate-Planning Advantages

By John Culpepper | August 24, 2021 | Comments Off on Roth vs. Traditional IRA: Retirement and Estate-Planning Advantages

It would be nice if the Roth IRA had been around long as the traditional IRA. Imagine the long-term benefits of tax-free growth throughout a 40-year career. Annual contribution limits for IRAs are relatively low ($6,000; $7,000 for 50-plus), but the Roth is a good complement for investors who also contribute to an employer-based retirement…

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