September 2017

Financial markets recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of Amazon’s debut as a public company.  And it has been 21 years since the Quarterly first featured the economic and investment potential of the Internet – the “information superhighway,” as it was often described at the time.

Back then and for two decades since, fascination with the Internet has mostly revolved around streamlining and enriching people’s access to one another, their entertainment media, and retail goods and services.  That phenomenon has spread well beyond our desktop computers to tablets, smartphones, etc.

Just as profound are the rapidly advancing capabilities of connected things – everyday objects continuously sending and receiving data, enhancing their efficiency and responsiveness to the people and environment around them.>

A recent Business Insider Intelligence report estimated that by 2020, this “Internet of Things” will comprise as many as 24 billion devices operating around the world, easily eclipsing the number of traditional computing devices accessing the Internet. The next five years may see some $6 trillion of investment in such devices and technology.

August 9, 2016

Well, the good news is that the three major US Equity Indices (Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P 500) are solidly in positive territory year to date, as of 08/19/16.

Of course, we got here through many dramatic swings accompanied by many over dramatized events. The most recent event was Brexit – and to listen to the talking heads, the global economy was surely heading into a tailspin. The uncertainty that the UK exit created was not to be taken lightly, but o nce cooler heads prevailed the outcome was far less dire. It will be years before the post-Brexit rules are finalized and that may cause some trepidation for UK businesses. According to Bloomberg news, it appears that the UK may be heading for a recession. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like it will spread to the rest of the European Union, which is regaining its economic footing on most every level. And isn’t the Federal Reserve keeping us guessing – to raise or not to raise? Thus far, the moderate governors, including Chair Janet Yellen, have taken a “wait and see” approach and are closely watching inflationary factors and continue to wait until inflation floats closer to 2%. It looks like rates will likely be raised before year end, but most indications point to the December Fed meeting rather than September’s.

June 7, 2016

Bill Cass

Housing may represent the largest share of household expenses in retirement, but it’s not the expense causing the most concern among savers. More than one-quarter of adults surveyed in a new poll cite health-care expenses as their top financial worry about retirement. The 2015 Bankrate poll found that one-third of people over 50 were worried about the burden of expensive illnesses or injuries. More than a quarter of younger savers — ages 30-49 — also shared the same concerns.

Investors may choose to alleviate their concerns by finding ways to include health-care costs in their financial plan. Like other expenses in retirement, planning for health care can make a difference. Here are three strategies individuals may explore now to help mitigate the impact of rising health-care costs in the future.

February 3, 2016

If you’re still keeping old tax returns and receipts stuffed in a shoe box stuck in the back of the closet, you might want to rethink that approach.

The IRS has teamed up with state revenue departments and the tax industry to make sure you understand the dangers to your personal and financial data. Taxes. Security. Together. Working in partnership with you, we can make a difference.

You should keep your tax records safe and secure, whether they are stored on paper or kept electronically. The same is true for any financial or health records you store, especially any document bearing Social Security numbers.

You should keep always keep copies of your tax returns and supporting documents for several years to support claims for tax credits and deductions.

Because of the sensitive data, the loss or theft of these documents could lead to identity theft and have an economic impact. These documents contain the Social Security numbers of you, your spouse and dependents, old W-2 income and bank account information. A burglar could easily turn your old shoe box full of documents into a tax-related identity theft crime.

Here are just a few of the easy and practical steps to better protect your tax records: