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The Graduate

HT.. to the folks at Gluskin Sheff on a piece focusing on the labor markets.  If you are a parent/grandparent are you sitting down with your child/grandchild and advising them on fields of study in college?  Based on the following… don’t rely on their University to give them sound advice.  The following is a brief portion from their article: “Perhaps part of the problem is that the U.S. education system is churning out graduates that are not really in great demand by the private business sector — we didn’t read much about the demand for social scientists and psychologists in the Beige Book. We’ve reached a state where more people are graduating…

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Robotics.. The Next Big Thing

This is very good read from the folks at Lord Abbett on Robotics.  We are very positive on the technology sector.  A long term shift is afoot that will impact our lives in ways still yet to be imagined: The robotics revolution may be in its early stages, but unlike earlier technological advances, it is moving at a rapid clip that draws comparisons to the way the World Wide Web upended industries in just 20 years. Lord Abbett professionals discuss the investment implications. For well over a century, robots1 have figured in all kinds of theater, literature, and film. In some cases, they were benign, like the life-size dancing doll in the…

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Is Your 401(k) Ripping You Off?

Approximately 51 million Americans have invested an estimated $3.5 trillion in 401(k) plans, according to the Investment Company Institute.  If you’re one of them, you’re probably being ripped off, big time. Did you know that Landmark can provide an effective, easy-to-use, low-cost 401(k) plan?  Recommend us to your HR manager for a review of your current plan. A February 2014 paper by Ian Ayres and Quinn Curtis, “Beyond Diversification: The Pervasive Problem of Excessive Fees and Dominated Funds in 401(k) Plans,” provided sobering advice for plan participants. The study looked at more than 3,000 401(k) plans with more than $120 billion in assets. It found that fees were so high in 16…

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Where is Inflation?

We have written on numerous occasions about our real fear of deflation, and the fact that we see no impending signs of inflation to come in the near future. The following are some excerpts from a piece by Dr. Ed Yardeni this morning that enforces our thoughts: “The CPI inflation rate for this group of 34 advanced economies was just 1.6% y/y in January. It’s been hovering in a 1.0%-2.0% range since the start of 2010. The Eurozone’s CPI inflation rate is especially low at 0.7% during February…. In the US, the CPI inflation rate was just 1.1% last month….. I’ve argued that there may simply be too much competition…

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Rich Habits… Do You Have Them?

We hope you enjoy these success habits.  Your daily behavior does determine your economic outcome. Early Bird - 44% of wealthy wake up at least three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor. Goal Setting - 80% of wealthy people are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this. Accountability - 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor. Self Improvement - 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor. Networking - 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16%…

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It’s Crunch Time

The severe winter weather in most of the country dampened January’s housing and other economic reports.  Walmart and several retailers have also been reporting weakening results.  Is it the weather or a more serious slowdown that is brewing? I wanted to include part of a blog post by Joe Davis at Vanguard that sums up a good question…. Is There A Gorilla In Our Midst? In a famous experiment, psychologists Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons asked people to watch a video of people playing basketball and count the number of passes. Technically, the answer is 15, but that misses the point of the experiment. In fact, the right answer was…

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Save, Patience and Resisting the Chase

We strongly feel that investors can enhance their long-term returns by avoiding three common mistakes: Not Saving Enough - Most people spend too much and set aside too little to invest.  Try to save a good portion of your income each year to build up wealth. Having Unrealistic Expectations on Market Returns - Most people expect the markets to deliver more than is plausible. In a world of low yields, long-term returns will probably be below historical averages. You must be patient. Chasing Past Success - Investments, unlike normal goods, become more popular when their prices rise and less popular when their prices fall.  We suggest that you rebalance into areas that are…

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Budgets Work.. Pay Attention to Your Money

This is a great graphic from HelloWallet on the benefits of a budget. Budgets can be detailed or at a high level, but everyone should have a framework.  People invest in Fortune 500 companies, and we expect them to have a budget and five year plan to be successful.  The same applies to you… someone in your household should be plotting and reviewing your personal progress. Enjoy..

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Taxes… The New Weapon on the War on Poverty

Statistics reported last year by the Tax Policy Center stated that families with incomes in the top 20% of the nation will pay an average of 27.2% of their income in federal taxes. The top 1 percent of households, those with incomes averaging $1.4 million, will pay an average of 35.5%. These tax rates, which include income, payroll, corporate and estate taxes, are among the highest since 1979. This leads to the question of why do we have a revenue problem now?  We feel the answer is found in the explosion of tax subsidies being provided today: Starting in the late 1970s, poverty programs changed dramatically. Tax subsidies played a bigger role and, as…

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Goals Instead of Resolutions?

This is a very good article by the folks at Behavior Gap that apply to finance or your life… I thought it was worth passing along…. Since we’re halfway through January, I thought it might be the perfect time to talk about New Year’s resolutions. If you set them, how are you doing? Still sticking with it or has your enthusiasm dropped off a bit? I ask, because I think we may be overlooking something that makes resolutions very difficult to keep. Josh Brown described it perfectly at the end of 2013 when he outlined why he sets goals instead of making resolutions: “I don’t make New Years Resolutions because they imply…

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