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Fact of the Day (Rare Minerals)

It takes 919 pounds of rare earth minerals to build one 15-ton, F-35 fighter jet, a critical set of components that are about to be much harder to find. China, which controls about 80% of the global supply, is considering an export ban. - arsTECHNICA, February 16, 2021
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Fun Fact (Tulipmania)

On February 5, 1637, “Tulipmania” hit its peak in the Netherlands, with the price of the rare Witte Croonen tulip bulb reaching 1,345 guilders per half-pound, up 2,506% in 33 days. Over the next five years, the bulbs lost an annual average of 76% of their value, until they fetched only 37.5 guilders in 1641.-Investopedia, February 5, 2021
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Fact of the Day (Robinhood)

If you think that the promise of free trading is too good to be true on the Robinhood app, you are probably right. Founded in 2012, Robinhood makes money, in part, by sending customer orders to high-frequency traders in exchange for cash. It’s a controversial but legal practice in the brokerage industry called payment for order flow. When you buy or sell shares on Robinhood, the app is likely executing your trade at a slightly worse price than another broker would.-The Wall Street Journal,
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Interesting Fact (Tesla)

Over the past several years, Tesla has used the strategy of selling regulatory credits to competing automakers who failed to sell the percentage of zero-emission vehicles that 11 different states require. The $3.3 billion from those sales - $1.6 billion in the last year alone – has kept Tesla in the black. Last year, Tesla’s profits were $721 million, meaning they’d have otherwise posted a loss were it not for the credit sales.-CNN, February 1, 2021
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Discussion Topic (Social Media)

For the first time ever, fewer than half of all Americans have trust in traditional media. Trust in social media has hit an all-time low of 27%.-Axios, January 21, 2021
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Fact of the Day (Shipping Rates)

The Baltic Dry Index – a composite measure of the rates charged by shipping lines to move dry goods – is up 128% in a year, including a nearly 60% surge just since early December.-Barron’s, January 19, 2021
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Interesting Fact (Digital Wallets & Passwords)

Digital wallets, that store cryptocurrencies, have soared in value but some investors can’t cash in because they forgot their passwords. One programmer in San Francisco has two password guesses left before being locked out, to access a wallet containing 7,002 bitcoin, or $220 million. -Newsweek, January 12, 2021
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Fun Fact (Pacific Ocean)

There are points in the Pacific Ocean where, if you dug a hole to the opposite point on Earth, you would still be in the Pacific Ocean.-Permaculture Research Institute, May 25, 2017
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Fact of the Day (Bankruptcy Lowest Since 1986)

Last year, U.S. bankruptcy filings - thanks to unprecedented fiscal and monetary support - hit their lowest level since 1986. However, chapter 11 filings, which are primarily used to reorganize larger businesses, jumped 29%.-Axios, January 6, 2021
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Fun Fact (Animals on Planes)

While humans are shunning flights amid the pandemic, animals are becoming the airline industry’s most reliable frequent fliers. For example, Qatar Airways transports roughly 10 horses and 500 farm animals every day. However, animals can be tricky customers. A planned trip to Johannesburg had to be canceled after some young giraffes grew too tall for their 10-foot-high crates.-The Week, November 20, 2020
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Interesting Fact (Past-Due Rent)

By the end of this year, American renters will owe at least $7.2 billion in past-due rent, a sum that could grow as high as $70 billion if the government does not approve a new stimulus deal before then. In such a case, it is estimated that 12.8 million Americans will owe an average of $5,400 worth of missed payments.-NYSSCPA, October 27, 2020
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Interesting Fact (Election Day)

Back in 1845, Election Day was designated as the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. At the time, officials calculated that farmers needed a day to get to the country seat to cast ballots but did not want to interfere with church on Sunday, so they chose Tuesday. -History, December 2, 2019
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Fun Fact (S.N.L.)

Based on guidelines around pandemic-era media production, television shows are not allowed to host live studio audiences unless they consist only of paid employees, ie, cast and crew. So “S.N.L”, following the guidelines, “cast” audience members for their first live episode since March 7 and paid each audience member $150, making them cast members.-The New York Times, October 6, 2020
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Interesting Fact (Tesla & Battery Costs)

Tesla helped bring battery costs down from over $600/kWh to about $150/kWh…but it needs to land at about $100/kWh to achieve what is referred to as “petroleum parity.” -The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2020
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Fact of the Day (Credit Cards)

On Oct 1, 1958, The American Express Co. introduced its charge card, which was made of paper with the account number and cardmember's name typed. Plastic came along a year later. The annual fee was $6.00. -History of Information 
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Fact of the Day (Social Security)

Age 62 is the most popular age to claim Social Security, with nearly 40% of men and nearly 35% of women claiming benefits as soon as possible. A study estimates that today’s older Americans will lose a total of $3.4 trillion in potential income because of early claiming, with an average lifetime loss of $95,000 per household.-Investment News, September 4, 2020
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Interesting Fact (Zuckerberg)

Last year, Mark Zuckerberg earned $28,538 per minute which means, in two minutes, Zuckerberg made more than a full-time median U.S. worker earns in a year. -Business Insider, June 29, 2020
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Interesting Fact (Cost of Logistics)

Seventy percent of food's final retail price comes from transportation, storage, and handling.-Peter Diamandis, Tech Blog 
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Food for Thought (Restaurants)

During a normal year, restaurants employ 15.6 million Americans and generate $900 billion in revenue. Industry experts predict that up to 80% might never reopen.-The Week, July 5, 2020
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Fact of the Day (Pandemic Work Days)

A study of 3.1 million workers at 26,000 companies worldwide found that the average workday lasts 48.5 minutes longer than before the pandemic. The number of meetings has also increased by about 13%.-Bloomberg, August 3, 2020
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Discussion Topic (S&P and the Government)

Since 1928, the median S&P 500 12-month return under a divided government is 11% versus 8% under a unified government.-CNBC, July 20, 2020
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Fact of the Day (Life Insurance)

The English astronomer, Edmund Halley prepared the first detailed mortality table in 1693. Life and death could now be studied statistically, and the life insurance industry was born.-MacTutor  
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Interesting Fact (Stock Market Predicts the Presidential Election)

Since 1928, the stock market has accurately predicted the winner of the presidential election 87% of the time, including every single election since 1984. When the S&P 500 has been higher the three months before the election, the incumbent party usually has won; when stocks were lower, the incumbent party usually has lost.-Business Insider, June 29, 2020
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Fun Fact (Digital Advertising)

Digital advertising on platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Alibaba are expected to account for more than half of the $530 billion global advertising industry in 2020, exceeding, for the first time, the spending on traditional media such as television and newspapers.-The Week, July 10, 2020
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Happy Valentine's Day

In the U.S., Valentine’s Day ranks 94th in the year for consumer spending at local restaurants, which is even below Cinco de Mayo. Unsurprisingly, Mother’s Day weekend is ranked both #1 and #2 as the top-grossing days of the year.-Morning Brew, February 12, 2020
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Fun Fact (Elvis Presley #2)

In 1956, Colonel Parker negotiated with 20th Century-Fox for Elvis Presley’s screen debut, Love Me Tender.  The studio executives reportedly balked on paying Presley big dollars. Finally, they asked, “Would $25,000 be all right?” Parker replied: “That’s fine for me. Now, how about the boy?”
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Interesting Fact (Elvis Presley)

In 1973, Elvis Presley was the top taxpayer in the country. His manager, Colonel Parker, was in the U.S. illegally and went to great lengths to stay off the government’s radar, including, allegedly, encouraging Elvis to overpay his taxes in order to not attract additional government scrutiny. It is reported that one year Elvis paid 91% of his income to the IRS. -Legacy.com
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Fun Fact (Tesla)

There are only two American car companies that have never gone bankrupt: Ford and Tesla. And of the two, there is only one that has never opened fire on a crowd of protesters: Tesla.-Car Throttle
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Fun Fact (Arctic Circle)

On June 22, the temperature in Verkhoyansk, a small Siberian town, hit 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s likely the hottest temperature ever recorded inside the Arctic Circle.-CBS News, June 23, 2020  
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Fact of the Day (Galileo)

On June 22, 1633, astronomer Galileo Galilei was forced by the Pope to recant his view that the earth orbited the sun and that the sun was the center of the solar system rather than the other way around. He was sentenced to indefinite imprisonment and was kept under house arrest until his death in 1642. In 1992 that the Roman Catholic Church admitted it had been wrong.-Smithsonian Magazine, June 22, 2020
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Fact of the Day (College Revenue)

Colleges in the United States earn roughly $600 billion per year- equivalent to the combined annual revenue of the tech firms Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter.-The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2020 
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Quote of the Day (Giovanni Boccaccio)

“The best thing for us to do in our present situation would be to leave the city. We should go and stay on one of our various country estates, having as much fun as possible. There we will have a clearer view of the heavens, which are so much more attractive to look at than the walls of our empty city.”- “The Decameron” by Giovanni Boccaccio, written in 1351 after the Black Death
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Interesting Thought (Hotels Closing)

As many as 25,000 hotel rooms, or roughly 20% of the New York total, may not reopen. For perspective, the number of closing rooms is equivalent to the entire hotel market of Jacksonville, Florida.- The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2020
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Happy New Year (Billy Crystal)

"With the Chinese New Year there are dragons, parades, firecrackers – with the New Year in America there are big parties, the ball drops in Times Square, you get drunk, tell someone you love them, and throw up on their shoes. With the Jewish New Year, we fast, we can’t turn on the lights, we confess our sins. Happy New Year. What a party. A bunch of guilty, hungry people, sitting in the dark."  -Billy Crystal 
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Talking Point (Working from Home)

The Social Security Agency currently has 53,000 employees working from home and they are processing claims and appeals faster than before. The SSA’s backlog of pending cases has also fallen 11% and calls are reportedly being fielded faster as well.-NPR, May 5, 2020
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Interesting Fact (Quarantinario)

The Black Death killed 20 million Europeans in the 14th century. Venice, a major trade port, grew nervous. If a ship was suspected of harboring the plague, it had to wait 40 days before any passengers or goods could come ashore. Venice built a quarantine center on an island off its coast, where sailors from plague-infested ships were sent either to get better or, more likely, to die. This 40-day waiting period became known as quarantinario, from the Italian word for 40.-NPR January 26,
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Interesting Fact (Cruise Ships)

Cruise ship companies are lining up for a little love from the Feds, but the big secret of the cruise industry is they really don’t pay all that much in taxes anyway. The U.S. tax rate for major cruise companies was just 0.8%. The companies tend to be headquartered in Florida, but the ships are registered in foreign countries in attempts to skirt U.S. taxes and those countries tend to be the ones with more favorable tax regimes.  Last year, their global tax rate on over $17 billion in
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Food For Thought (Investing in a Crisis)

Investors bold enough to invest in stocks during the dark days of the Great Depression would have seen their stakes grow tenfold by 1957. -Marketplace, January 5, 2009
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Fact of the Day (Freight Industry)

The Coronavirus is hammering a global freight industry that relies on China. Shipping rates for the massive ships that carry raw materials have dropped more than 90% since the peak of September 2019.-Bloomberg, January 31, 2020  
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Talking Point (Apple Watches)

In 2019, Apple sold more watches (30.7 million) than the entire Swiss watch industry (21.1 million).-CNBC, February 6, 2020
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Fact of the Day (Philanthropy)

In the five years between 2014 and 2018, Warren Buffett was America’s biggest philanthropist giving away $14.7 billion, or 16.3% of his net worth. His friends Bill and Melinda Gates gave $9.9 billion.-Forbes, January 20, 2020
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Fun Fact (Misinformation Spreads Quick)

Researchers from MIT analyzed 126,000 cascades of tweets, shared by 3 million people between 2006 and 2017 and found that, on Twitter, misinformation moved six times faster than the truth. -VOX, March 19, 2018
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Fun Fact (Electric Cars)

In the United States today, there are roughly 76,000 electric vehicle charging stations, compared with 168,000 stations that serve gas. -Marketplace, January 9, 2020
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Talking Point (College Enrollment Numbers)

Nearly 250,000 fewer students enrolled in college this fall than a year ago. Researchers attribute the decline to low unemployment, the rising cost of college, and a falling national birth rate.-NPR, December 16, 2019
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Fact of the Day (Batteries)

It takes 100 times the energy to make an alkaline battery than the battery will eventually release over its lifetime. On a per-watt basis, an alkaline battery will emit 30 times the greenhouse gas as a coal-fired power plant.-OneZero, October 30, 2019
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Quote of the Day.

“When everyone is saying the same thing, a different outcome is likely to occur.”  -Sir John Templeton
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Talking Points (The Media)

"We are graduating the fewest number of journalists in the history of journalism. Meanwhile we have five times the news outlets we did twenty years ago."-The Science of Fear by Daniel Gardner  
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Fun Fact

Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest and came in third.-Newsweek, April 16, 2019
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Fact of the Day (Renewable Energy)

Oil, natural gas, and coal account for 81% of the world’s energy consumption- a figure that hasn’t changed in 30 years despite the rapid growth of renewables such as solar and wind power.-Axios, August 26, 2019
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Whats Makes A Leader?

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go but ought to be.” -Rosalynn Carter
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Talking Point (Our Government Wants Us to Succeed)

“As the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues. Prosperity is the real way to balance our budget. By lowering tax rates, by increasing jobs and income, we can expand tax revenues and finally bring our budget into balance.”-President John F. Kennedy, September 18, 1963
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Your Skills Have Value! (A Short Story About Picasso)

There is a famous fable about Pablo Picasso that goes something like this. One evening, while enjoying a meal at a restaurant, Picasso—the world’s most influential artist at the time—was interrupted by an admirer. The fan handed Picasso a napkin and said, “could you sketch something for me? I’ll pay you for it. Name your price.” Picasso took a charcoal pencil from his pocket and swiftly drew a sketch of a goat. As the fan reached out to collect the n
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Interesting Talking Points (Massive Land Purchases by USA)

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase, buying 827,000 square miles that now cover 13 states for $15 million, or more than $340 million in today’s dollars. In 1867, America bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million ($124.8 million in today’s dollars) and in 1946, the U.S. offered $100 million for Greenland, which is worth an estimated $1.3 billion in today’s dollars.-MarketWatch, August 19, 2019
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Wall Street Quote of the Day

On average, consumers buy 60% more clothing today than they did 15 years ago but keep the items half as long. Nearly 60% of the more than 100 billion garments produced annually end up in incinerators or landfills.-The Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2019
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Talking Points by Mark Zinder

What are you doing to differentiate yourself from the roughly 630,000 advisors that are doing the same thing? I have been asking that question for years. And now, Investment News is asking you the same question. To stand out from the crowd, consider helping your clients get their financial house in order.
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When Couples Differ on Money

 You see money one way, your partner sees it another. Don’t let financial disagreements take a toll on your relationship. Differences about money can cause friction in your relationship. That’s why a trusted, impartial financial advisor can be such a valuable intermediary when couples disagree about spending, savings, and investments. A financial advisor can address your differences through a process of communication, fact gathering and compromise.Silence is toxic. Avoiding the
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Blue-Chip Stocks Explained: What They Are & How To Invest In Them

By Jules Pileggi / October 3, 2019The term “blue-chip stock” is used as shorthand for the stock market’s biggest industry leaders. They are the A-list of stocks—you probably know their names, and they’ve been prominent for years and years. These are stocks like Amazon, Apple, and Berkshire Hathaway. Here is a closer look at where the term “blue-chip” came from, as well as how and why to invest in them.  Origin Of The TermWhere do
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Have Kids, Accomplish More?

Two studies link parenting and productivity.Being a mom may make you a more productive worker. Two recent studies have made that claim, and the flextime often requested by working moms may be a contributing factor. Ernst & Young research concluded that, on average, women working flexible hours wasted less time at work (11.1% of the day) than other workers (14.5%). A study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis noted that women with two or more kids were more productive over the c
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Quote of the Day

“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.” ? Robert Frost
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Filing for Social Security?

 Before you do, think about these factors.A Social Security claiming decision should be carefully thought out. Here are some things to consider before you apply for retirement benefits. Have you talked to your spouse? There are 81 possible scenarios by which married couples can claim Social Security benefits, as opposed to 9 for an unmarried person. The two of you should explore which claiming strategies could generate greater Social Security income.1 Do you know how large your monthly bene
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Should You Break Away from Social Media?

 Ever think about taking an extended vacation from social media? That may seem radical, unthinkable—but it may be good for you. It’s a challenge: in one scientific study, people were asked to spend 99 days off Facebook, and many ended up abstaining for less than a week.1What are the possible long-term benefits? You can connect with people (and the real world) in a real way. Too much social media use may actually make you feel disconnected—not lonely, but still alone. The c
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Long-Term Care Choices

 
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Set It, Forget It, Regret It?

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Quote of the Day

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3 Reasons You Can't "Set and Forget" Your Retirement Plan

3 Reasons You Can't "Set and Forget" Your Retirement Pla   Retirement is unpredictable. In order to help ensure you'll have enough money to last your entire life, you need a plan that can flex and change with your needs. Here are three reasons you should consider reevaluating your retirement plan at least once a year or after you experience a life-changing event, like a job change or major health problem. 1. Your needs may change over time. A significant health issue could
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Are You Saving for These Expenses?

Have you saved enough for these major retirement expenses?Many people approach retirement thinking that their cost of living will decrease once they stop working. This is only partially true, and misconceptions about future expenses can cause your finances to fall short. Health care costs can be high. Medicare helps to pay for some medical expenses, but coverage is limited. Out-of-pocket expenses can be substantial, requiring extra insurance, significant savings, or both. Either way, you need to
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Preparing for the Future

I’ve been teaching for years, and comparative literature is my passion. Plus, being tenured gives my wife Christina and me a sense of security that’s hard to beat. But lately, when I write up a new syllabus, I wonder how many more of those semester outlines I’ll craft. After all, I’m 63 now.The past few years, I’ve been asking myself: How will Christina and I know when it’s time to transition from this professional pace? And when I’m ready to retire, wil
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Here’s how likely a double-digit correction might be in the next six months

Stocks are hitting record highs again as investors cheer a U.S.-China trade detente and high hopes for a rate cut as soon as this month.But while Wall Street bets on those two market-moving developments, a better glimpse of the’s next move could lie in the historical data, according to Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial.The S&P 500's first-half rally puts it in good company, he says — of the 20 times stocks have rallied by more than 10% in the first six
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Pretend You’re Retired for a Month

Lessons to learn from this experiment. Retirement is ideally a happy time of your life, freeing you up to do things you’ve long postponed. However, the prospect of retirement can also cause stress if you’re not sure you have enough money to retire in the lifestyle you’d like. We suggest a dry run: Try living for a month on your projected retirement income. The results might be eye-opening. Now’s the time to calculate your monthly retirement income. You’ve built your
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Career Moves That Make Sense After 40

It’s a great time to take stock of your career. It was once unthinkable to stray from your primary career before you retired, but that’s no longer the case. A career change in your 40s is a great way to redeploy all the business and interpersonal skills you’ve accumulated over the previous decades. The trick is to find a career that is both personally satisfying and financially rewarding. Begin by taking stock. Think about what you like and don’t like about your current c
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Cash Could Soon Be Kaput

 The rise of mobile pay and what it might mean for your personal finances. The growth of mobile payments has far outpaced that of credit cards, making a cashless society much more likely in the near future. Here’s what to expect as this phenomenon starts to snowball. Faster Checkouts. It doesn’t matter where you shop, mobile apps make checking out quick and user friendly at any store that accepts this form of payment. You don’t have to worry about digging in your wallet fo
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Quote of the Day

We must look for the opportunity in every difficulty instead of being paralyzed at the thought of the difficulty in every opportunity. -Walter E. Cole
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You’re Not Your Loved Ones’ Bank

 Say ‘no’ to loan requests and protect your wealth—and relationships.Some people may treat you differently when you’ve acquired substantial wealth. Chalk it up to human nature, but you might find an unusual friendliness mixed with the occasional request for funds—a loan, a gift, a pledge, or some other way to spend your money.Saying "no" is often the right thing to do. It’s natural to be sympathetic to a loan request from a family member or frie
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Dollars and Sense

What influences your spending choices? Social media can pressure you to spend more than necessary. We have all seen our friends post images of an expensive dinner, a pricy resort stay, a new car, maybe even their first condo or house. Seeing these message can influence your spending habits. Millennials are known for frugality, but the reality may differ. An American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) survey found that more than 75% of millennials want to have the same cars, clothe
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Don’t Just Manage Time...Master It!

Plan out some of the hours in your day, so that you can have more time to yourself. Ever wish you had more time? Or, perhaps, you wish you could clone yourself to get everything on your to-do list done. Some time management tips may help you reduce stress and free up some space on your calendar. Get everyone in bed by a certain hour. This is a must. When all the kids are in bed, you can go to bed. (You can stay up if you wish, but remember how restorative sleep can be.) Your kids will wake up re
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The Criteria for Your College Tour

 What should you look for, and what may matter most?How can you get the most out of a college visit? A well-rehearsed student guiding you around campus won’t tell you everything. You and your child should strive to take additional steps.Head to the financial aid office. If your student has a financial aid award letter, this may be the right time to start negotiating a financial aid package. The visit may also help you discover some new scholarship prospects. Go to the career services
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Volunteer Vacations

 Volunteer VacationsThey could be among the most memorable journeys you take. Travel with a difference: the essence of the volunteer vacation. You take the trip, you help make the difference for others, and perhaps you see the world differently as a byproduct. If you are thinking about combining travel with some service, there are things you should know. Know the various options. If you’re traveling solo, you’ll commonly work alongside locals on a community-organized project, an
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Making Vacation Easier on Your Wallet

Saving money when planning a trip - the dos, the don’ts. Imagine coming home refreshed from a wonderful vacation, made even more satisfying because you saved 20%-30% on its cost. That can happen. With a little planning, a trip can become notably cheaper. When you travel can make a difference. Book a trip during the off-season or the “shoulder seasons” adjoining it. Hotels and air carriers hike their prices in peak season, so avoid that time. The same goes for how you travel. Yo
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Save and Invest Without Even Thinking About It

Automate your retirement planning and wealth-building approach.Build your emergency fund with automatic transfers. Practically any bank or credit union can arrange daily, weekly, or per-paycheck transfers of money from a checking account into a savings account, or split your incoming paycheck into percentages going to both accounts. Try some apps. Apps like Qapital subtly direct spare change from debit and credit card purchases into your savings account.1Arrange per-paycheck salary deferrals. Pa
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Working a Little After You Retire

What should you remember as you look for a job? Finding work at age 60 or 65 is decidedly harder than finding work at 30 or 35. It can be done, but there are key things to keep in mind. You should be open to different kinds of work. Employers sometimes regard older jobseekers as inflexible—resistant to new technologies and unwilling to accept variations from their established occupations. Communicate that you are evolving in your life and career, learn a cutting-edge technology to return t
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Clean Energy

So far in 2018, corporations have purchased 7.2 gigawatts of clean energy, shattering the 5.4 gigawatt record set in 2017. Facebook alone accounted for 1.1 gigawatts.Source: Bloomberg, August 3, 2018
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Quote of the Day

A cardinal sin of investing is "hope". Hope is fine in sports and religion, but it has no place in investing. Hope is nothing more than emotion, and emotion clouds your decision-making and allows you to ignore discipline and logic. Hope is never part of the equation and don't forget it.Per Jim Cramer
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Little Known Military Benefit

The HEART Act permits rolling all or part of life-insurance and combat-related-fatality payouts directly into the tax-free retirement plan, but few take advantage of this little-known benefit. I realized how important is was when I had a prospect come to me with proceeds from her husband’s life insurance contract.  I started to look into this benefit for her since it would’ve allowed her to put up to $500,000 into a Roth within one year of receiving the proceeds.  The widow
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Democracies Today

More democracies exist today than at any previous point in history: There were 11 in 1900, 20 in 1920, 32 in 1970, 77 in 2000 and 116 in 2018.Source: The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2019
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11 Year old Hacker

At the hacking convention DEFCON, 11-year-old Emmett Brewer hacked into a replica of Florida’s election website changing its voting results. It took him less than 10 minutesSource: Qz.com, August 13, 2018
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Quote of the Day

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Republican President

S&P 500 has produced the best outcome under a Republican president and a split Congress yielding an average annual return of 12% since 1928.    -MarketWatch, November 8, 2018
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Manufacturing Leader

One sector of manufacturing where America remains a leader: computer chips. The U.S. exports $44 billion in semiconductors annually, making them America’s fourth-largest manufacturing export after cars, airplanes, and refined oil. There are roughly 80 wafer-fabrication plants in the U.S. in 19 states. Source: Axios, September 5, 2018
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Quote of the Day

The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business-or almost anywhere else for that matter.Lee Iacocca
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Since the Early 1800's

On average, since the early 1800’s, stocks have returned 6.7%, after inflation. Bonds came in at 3.5%, Treasury bills at 2.6%, gold at 0.5%, while the dollar actually depreciated by -1.4%. That means $1 invested in stocks over that time would have turned into $1.4 million while that same dollar in bonds would have become $1,599 and T-bills would be worth $263. Gold clocks in at $3.09 and if you held onto that dollar, it would now be worth 0.95 cents. Source: Wharton, September 18, 201
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Quote of the Day

Keep steadily before you the fact that all true success depends at last upon yourself! -Theodore T. Hunger
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$300 Billion in Overseas Cash

Companies in the United States brought $300 billion in overseas cash back into the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018.   
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Quote of the day

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Oil and Gas in Past 7 Years

For seven straight years, the U.S. has pumped more oil and gas out of the ground than any other country.  U.S. natural gas production stole the top spot from Russia in 2008, and exceeded Saudi Arabia's oil production in 2013. Since 2008, U.S. petroleum and natural gas production has jumped nearly 60%.-Quartz, May 23, 2018
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Quote of the Day

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.-Margaret Mead
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Paris climate agreement

The United States may have pulled out of the Paris climate agreement but that doesn’t mean that government and business leaders aren’t still trying to meet the agreement’s emission targets by its 2025 deadline. The U.S. originally promised to cut its carbon emissions by more than a quarter from 2005 levels and is currently on track to cut them by 17%, and could hit 24% by the deadline. -MarketPlace, September 12, 2018 
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Quote of the Day

"Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness."-George Santayana
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Relationships

Strong social relationships boost a person’s chances of staying alive by 50%. That’s about the same improvement to mortality as the one that comes from quitting smoking. -Bloomberg News, October 9, 2017  
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Quote of the Day

Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.-William Thackeray
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The Wall Street Journal

For years, customer calls have been answered on a first come, first served basis.  Today, with the use of data mining, companies can instantly examine factors like a caller's credit history and social media profile to "tailor calls for each customer" by matcing them to the agents who've had success with similar customers.Source: The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2017
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Largest Surplus in History

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ENERGY INDEPENDENCE

  Friday, January 27, 2017 The United States imported 30% of the energy it consumed in 2006, a dependency that has dropped to just 12% in 2016. Source: TerraJoule.us
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Quote of the Day

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.-Anne Frank
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Not Completely on Our Own

24% of the petroleum consumed by the United States in 2015 (including crude oil, gasoline and diesel fuel) was imported from foreign countries. The 24% was the lowest import percentage since 1970.Source: Energy Information Administration
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Quote of the Day

"Reputation is for time: character is for eternity.-J. B. Gough
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House Prices

The average price of a single family home in the United States peaked in March 2007, bottomed in May 2011, and then rose back above its March 2007 average high price in November 2015 where it has stayed through July 2016 (latest data released). From its May 2011 low, home prices are up +32%. From its March 2007 previous high, home prices are up just +4%.Source: Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight
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Quote of the Day

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Medical Loss Ration

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance companies to spend at least 80% of the premiums they receive on health care services (e.g. doctors and hospital bills) and no more than 20% on administrative costs (e.g. sale commissions and advertising). If your monthly health insurance premium was $500 in 2015 and your health insurance company spent 75% of premiums received on health care services (5% short of the required 80%), you were due a $300 refund by 9/30/2016 ie., $500 X 12 x 5%S
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Quote of the day

Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow.  The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.-Abraham Lincoln
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Social Security Facts

  Friday, October 28, 2016   The Social Security trust fund is huge. At $2.8 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2016, it exceeds the gross domestic (GDP) of every economy in the world except the five largest: the U.S., China, Japan, Germany, and the U.K.. In an average month, 48.2 million people age 62 and older receive a retirement benefit from the Social Security Administration. Source: Social Security Administration, 2016
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Quote of the day

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
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Sage Advice

It was 8 years ago (10/16/08) that Warren Buffet wrote his “Buy America, I Am” op-ed article in the New York Times. Buffett encouraged investors to “be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” Buffett’s letter was released less than 5 months before the stock market bottomed on 3/9/09, ending a 57% decline of the S&P 500*.source: New York Times*The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization weighted index of 500 stock
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Quote of the Day

Quote of the DayAll love that has not friendship for its base, is like a mansion built upon sand.-Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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HealthCare in Retirement

  Friday, September 23, 2016 A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need an estimated $260,000 to cover health care costs in retirement, a 6% increase over the 2015 calculation. The new estimate was the highest since Fidelity started making calculations in 2002. Not included in the estimate were other health-related expenses, such as over-the-counter medications, most dental services and long-term care.-Fidelity’s Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, 2016
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$100,000

  $100,000 Friday, January 5, 2018 More hurricane-related relief: Retirement plan participants and IRA owners who live in an area affected by Hurricane Harvey, Irma or Maria and sustained an economic loss may take a "qualified hurricane distribution" of up to $100,000 until January 1, 2019.  Thes distriubtions are not subject to 20% withholding or the 10% early distribution tax.  Taxpayers may spread the tax liability for these distributions or re-contribute these amoun
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