Blogs

  • Society has done a huge disservice to young people by relying on outdated educational and workforce training models developed 50 years ago. Our one-size-fits-all approach that promotes college as the single path to a profitable, high-skilled profession is putting both the economy and an entire generation at risk. We face a national crisis of rising college costs, decreasing degree-requiring jobs and employer frustration with the younger generations in the workplace. Meanwhile, we’re pushing young people to obtain college degrees while simultaneously ignoring the importance of also acquiring valuable work skills. As a result, only 1 in 5 students feel prepared for today’s job market. We’re saddling them with enormous college debt for degrees that may not pay off.
  • From the Wall Street Journal August 30th, 2019: Gas prices this past Labor Day were the lowest on the holiday in 3 years averaging $2.55/gallon nationally. According to AAA gas prices have remained steady. As of September 16th, 2019 the National average price is $2.56. State by state prices vary depending on taxes. Mississippi has []
  • College costs are rising fast. One way you can save for college expenses is through a 529 plan. Did you know that you can start saving in a 529 before your child is even born? (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • As you move through different stages of life, you will face new and unique financial situations. Did you just get engaged? Perhaps you are wondering how you and your partner are going to manage your money together. Do you have children? Maybe you are looking for ways to pay for their college education. When you navigate through these various life events, you might seek professional guidance to help you make sound financial choices.
  • World Gratitude Day, September 21, is coming up later this week. And while Thanksgiving is the usual time we set aside to celebrate what we are thankful for, there is nothing wrong with finding more time to be grateful. No matter how you spend Thanksgiving, the fact that it is a designated time to be [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. The Connection Between Gratitude and Financial Planning is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • When you retire, things change. After all, you no longer have the stability that comes from having a steady job or owning your business. And the simple mindset of “spend less than what you earn” no longer applies. So, you might have more questions than answers as you enter this new phase of life. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Developing a creation mindset, where you begin to see possibilities everywhere, is a learned skill. The chances of landing on a good idea are improved exponentially by incorporating a wide range of viewpoints. Applying techniques of improvisational comedy helps in proactively coming up with new ideas that can lead to innovation. Part of the joy of doing improve comes from the fact that, as a performer, you are allowed to follow wherever the scene goes without any real expectation to end up anywhere. The unknown, far from being scary, becomes limitless opportunity. The ability to build off of each other’s ideas invariably leads to unexpected places. It doesn’t matter if it’s a joke, a concept or a product, no idea is fully formed right out of the gate. The ability to build off of other’s ideas invariably leads to unexpected places. It enhances the process of going from starter concepts, to bigger and more expansive ideas — and, with some further assessment, editing and iteration, to full-blown realization and success.
  • Auto Buying 101

    Pay close attention to the cost of the vehicle rather than the monthly payment as there are lots of games the dealer can play to charge you more while lowering your monthly payment.
  • At MYRA Wealth, it’s our goal to help our clients become more financially literate and independent. That’s why we prepared 5 financial tips to kick off your fall. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • It’s early September and while everyone is in back-to-school mode, why not take some time to hit the books and learn about some aspects of financial planning that you know little about?  Once we can read, we give less though to literacy, however the need to improve financial literacy is ongoing. While you can rely [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Back to School: Improving Financial Literacy is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Small business owners and real estate investors both understand that taxes can be considered a filter on how much wealth you accumulate. Early on, they hire accountants to help them avoid tax mistakes and to ensure their business decisions are tax-savvy ones. This allows them to keep as much money as possible to reinvest in their businesses, which in turn allows them to accumulate wealth. This also assumes that a successful small business owner or real estate expert is expert in their field. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Evaluate College Costs: it is the net cost not advertised price that counts toward lowering Student Loan debt Finding the college discounts will ultimately reduce student loans.  Colleges post their prices online.  This is just like hotels have rates on room doors and car dealers have sticker prices on car windows. Don’t Pay Sticker… [Continue] (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Aging populations are reshaping the world’s largest economies; it’s caused a global savings glut and is driving current U.S. financial economic conditions. The demographic trends are behind the U.S. yield curve inversion and stock market volatility, but rarely make headlines in the financial press. Here are the facts. Germany’s working age population is shrinking, as is all of Europe’s, Japan’s and China’s, too. In contrast, the U.S. working age population is expected to grow in the years ahead. With the world’s largest economies home to a growing population of retirees, demand for secure retirement income is driving prices for sovereign bonds higher. The glut of savings from income-starved retirees is chasing the certainty of government guaranteed bonds, driving prices higher and yields down. Exacerbating the bond market problem, Germany, the world’s second largest supplier of sovereign bonds after the U.S., has been issuing fewer bonds to avoid burdening its growing population of retirees with paying down government debt. Shrinking the supply adds to the upward pressure on sovereign debt prices and depresses yields. In addition, rising likelihood of a recession in Germany, has forced its central bank to keep interest rates low to stimulate growth. This confluence of the demographic and economic slowdown has boosted demand for U.S. Treasury bonds, driving prices on long-term bonds higher and yields lower. With the yield on a three-month T-bill at 1.99% higher than the yield on a 10-year Treasury bond, at 1.5%, the yield curve is inverted — as it has been for much of 2019. For the past several decades, yield curve inversions were rare and usually were followed within 18 months by a recession. So the current inversion has spread fears of a U.S. recession and caused increased volatility in the stock market in recent months. Retirement income investors may want to consider how lower yields on fixed income allocations in their portfolios might affect them in the years ahead, because the change in supply and demand for sovereign debt is being driven by long term demographics. Significantly, the yield curve inversion is caused by bond market supply and demand and not U.S. economic fundamentals. The baby-boom spawned an “echo” baby-boom generation and that makes the growth path of the U.S. comparatively favorable to the other major world economies. Please contact us with any questions or to set up a meeting, and don't hesitate to share this video with people who might benefit from my work.
  • Hello All, I am getting ready to head out next week on my annual road trip to the Midwest with my dog Lily. My wife cannot go this year so Lily is the next best companion! I have made this trip many times in the past 8 years with Lily, and before her, our beautiful [Continue]
  • One of my favorite movies is “A Wonderful Life”. It is a Christmas Classic starring Jimmy Stewart. It is about man who believes he has been wasting his life in a bank and everyone was getting ahead in life but him. He thought this until an angel shows him all the wonderful things he has in his life. Do you need an angel in your life to show you what you are missing? I believe it may be a purpose and happiness.
  • Taxes on long term capital gains and qualified dividends are progressive - a higher tax rate is imposed on those with a higher income.
  • Immigrants founded 25% of new businesses in the US. Unfortunately, there are many scams targeting businesses and many of them prey on small business owners - and immigrant small business owners can be especially vulnerable. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • It’s back-to-school time: the point of the year parents look forward to sending their children off to school, knowing that another summer break is months away. However, some parents of adult children are in the opposite mode—instead of sending children away, they may need to welcome their adult children (and possible the childs spouse and [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Set Boundaries When Adult Children Move Back In is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Stocks have been more volatile because the difference between perception and reality of financial economic conditions is growing wider. The S&P 500 — the key benchmark of America — is supposed to price shares after discounting everything — the Federal Reserve’s policies, politics, inflation, and population trends. When fundamental facts grow harder to discern, stocks grow more volatile, and that’s what’s been happening lately, especially with the widespread misperception of the yield curve inversion. A yield curve inversion is when the yield on 10 year US Treasury Bonds is less than the yield on three-month T Bills. Since the 1960s, when investors thought the 10-year long term outlook for bonds looked worse than the three month outlook, inverting the yield, recessions usually followed 12 to 18 months later. While the recent inversion of the yield curve is perceived as evidence a recession is on the way, the reality is very different. The inversion of the yield curve currently is being driven by negative interest rates in Europe. Negative yields in Europe and Japan — an unprecedented condition in the largest economies in the world — is a new thing and it’s not widely understood.
  • Years after their deaths in 2016, Prince and David Bowie have drawn numerous comparisons from admirers. They both had edgy musical styles that captivated millions of people. They both created numerous hits over several decades. They both courted controversy. And they both amassed hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of their star-studded careers. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • In many parts of the United States, it’s essential to own a car. Here are the steps you should take to hit the road once you arrive in the US as an immigrant. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • After the yield curve inverted on Wednesday, August 14, financial headlines turned grim. ”Longer-term rates below shorter term rates are a clear signal from bond investors that they think the United States economy is on the downswing, that its future looks worse than its present.” But this widely-held view in the financial press may be relying more on the yield curve than they should. In the past, when the yield curve inverted, it was because investors saw fundamental economic measures slowing down, but that’s not happening now.
  • In “Are you confident about your retirement savings? That could be dangerous,” USA Today and TheMotley Fool discuss a survey that found “38% of retirees say they felt either extremely or very confident in their savings before they retired.” Notice that this is how they felt before actually retiring. It is possible that these same survey [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Reached Your Retirement Savings Goal? Keep Saving. is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Instead of writing an article trying to convince everyone to hire someone, I figured I’d write an article to a different audience. This audience is filled with people who feel like they’re well enough on their own, but are trying to figure out what they’re missing by not hiring a financial advisor. No advisor, regardless of how good they are, will be able to add value to their client’s life if the client perceives there is no value to add. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Part 2 of Do You Want To Retire Early? F.I.R.E. is an acronym. It stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. There's a growing movement of people who are practicing FIRE principles and retiring decades earlier than expected as a result. Smart, often middle-income earners are using a simple formula of high savings rates (50-70% of their incomes) + frugal living (minimalism) + low-cost stock index fund investing (Warren Buffett’s standard investment advice) in order to reach financial independence within short, usually around 10-year periods of time. For obvious reasons, FIRE is sometimes referred to as “the ultimate life hack.” This large and growing community has an ever-increasing cadre of 100+ high-traffic bloggers, most of whom chronicle their FIRE journeys and publish details of their methods, and report their actual personal financial information along the way. It’s a fascinating voyeuristic genre with an alluring punchline: retire early and pursue your true passions! There is more and more journalistic coverage of FIRE. Just search Google News for “early retirement” or “early financial independence” and you’ll find almost daily coverage of this fascinating phenomenon. Joining us for our discussion on Do You Want To Retire Early? is who is calling in from his Seattle Washington WA office . Paul Merriman is a nationally recognized authority on mutual funds, index investing, asset allocation and both buy-and-hold and active management strategies. Now retired from Merriman, the Seattle-based investment advisory firm he founded in 1983, he is dedicated to educating investors, young and old, through weekly articles at Marketwatch.com, and via complimentary eBooks, podcasts, articles, recommendations for mutual funds, ETFs, 401(k) plans and more, at Paulmerriman.com . He has 3 Complimentary Ebooks “First Time Investor: Grow And Protect Your Money,” “101 Investment Decision Guaranteed To Change Your Financial Future,” And “Get Smart Or Get Screwed: How To Select The Best And Get The Most From Your Financial Advisor.” WELCOME BACK TO MASTERING YOUR MONEY, PAUL MERRIMAN
  • If your baby was recently born in the US and you want to take it to India, there are certain steps you need to take. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Get Ready for Retirement

    It can be tricky to come up with a plan to meet your goals.
  • One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to estate planning, is simply beginning. If you have done that, congratulations—many people avoid that first step. Once you have a will at the very least, they are other little glitches that may occur and we want you to be aware so that your diligence in planning [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Should You Give Your Heirs Copies of Your Will? is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • It’s not the best of times, nor the worst. But the latest data is a tale of two of U.S. economies. From a record-high level in September 2018 of 61.3%, manufacturing activity has plunged, and the latest monthly data shows it slipped further in July. This data series is designed to signal a recession when it falls to less than 50%. At 51.2%, the manufacturing economy inched closer to indicating a recession could be on the horizon. Meanwhile, the survey of purchasing managers at non-manufacturing companies, those in the service economy, declined to 53.7% in July. It has also plunged from a record level in September, but it’s still well within its normal range. It’s much more important and it’s indicating growth is ahead.The “Service Economy” is not growing like it did during the tax-cut fueled peak of September 2018, but it’s doing okay. Continued growth is confirmed by the survey of 60 economists conducted in early August by The Wall Street Journal. The consensus forecast of 60 economic professionals for the next five quarters is for an average quarterly growth rate of 1.8%. That may seem paltry compared to the 3.1% growth rate in the first quarter, but it aligns with the long-term growth rate expected by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. With the service economy expected to grow slowly through 2020, the manufacturing sector is more vulnerable to higher tariffs on U.S. exports to China. The tale of two economies is an epoch and the drama affecting manufacturing draws headlines but is not so important to the epoch story of America’s economic growth.
  • Introduction The news media is constantly reminding you of terrible events occurring locally and around the world each day that you cannot control. In addition, financial gurus are everywhere predicting the direction of the economy and the markets. Listening and watching all of this fills your head with negative thoughts and as a result, you [Continue]
  • Do You Want To Retire Early Part 1? F.I.R.E. is an acronym. It stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. There's a growing movement of people who are practicing FIRE principles and retiring decades earlier than expected as a result. Smart, often middle-income earners are using a simple formula of high savings rates (50-70% of their incomes) + frugal living (minimalism) + low-cost stock index fund investing (Warren Buffett’s standard investment advice) in order to reach financial independence within short, usually around 10-year periods of time. For obvious reasons, FIRE is sometimes referred to as “the ultimate life hack.” This large and growing community has an ever-increasing cadre of 100+ high-traffic bloggers, most of whom chronicle their FIRE journeys and publish details of their methods, and report their actual personal financial information along the way. It’s a fascinating voyeuristic genre with an alluring punchline: retire early and pursue your true passions! There is more and more journalistic coverage of FIRE. Just search Google News for “early retirement” or “early financial independence” and you’ll find almost daily coverage of this fascinating phenomenon. Joining us for our discussion on Do You Want To Retire Early? is who is calling in from his Seattle Washington WA office . Paul Merriman is a nationally recognized authority on mutual funds, index investing, asset allocation and both buy-and-hold and active management strategies. Now retired from Merriman, the Seattle-based investment advisory firm he founded in 1983, he is dedicated to educating investors, young and old, through weekly articles at Marketwatch.com, and via complimentary eBooks, podcasts, articles, recommendations for mutual funds, ETFs, 401(k) plans and more, at Paulmerriman.com . He has 3 Complimentary Ebooks “First Time Investor: Grow And Protect Your Money,” “101 Investment Decision Guaranteed To Change Your Financial Future,” And “Get Smart Or Get Screwed: How To Select The Best And Get The Most From Your Financial Advisor.” WELCOME BACK TO MASTERING YOUR MONEY, PAUL MERRIMAN
  • Today the Dow dropped 800 points, the worst day for the year. But headlines failed to point out, again, that bonds made a killing. In fact, over the last eight trading days, long-term government bonds have gained almost four times as much as stocks have lost. Did you see that headline anywhere? [More] (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Retirement Investing for the Faint of Heart It can be scary retiring after a near lifetime of working.   Perhaps even scarier is realizing that you must live on what you have now in investments.   The markets daily ups and down with the television, radio, and social media hype only enhance this fear.  How are you… [Continue] (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • One of the biggest concerns in retirement is outliving your money. Before considering early retirement, calculate how much will be needed to meet your desired lifestyle, including inflation and unexpected expenses.
  • While marriage, death, and divorce all have very different emotions and connotations associated with them, the one common bond they have is money in motion.
  • Sallie Krawcheck of Ellevest told CNBC that “The No. 1 investing mistake women make has nothing to do with where they invest. In fact:  “When it comes to investing, the biggest mistake women make has nothing to do with where they’re choosing to invest their money — in fact, women tend to earn higher returns than [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Women: Are You Investing Enough? is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • A financial plan is a snapshot at a moment in time accompanied by a list of recommendations intended to put you on track to achieve your goals. Conversely, financial planning is an iterative process that identifies what needs to be done and is updated routinely as changes in your life occur. In other words, hiring a financial planner to present a financial plan is like going to the doctor one time for a checkup. Hiring a financial planner to help with ongoing financial planning is like routinely seeing your doctor, even when you feel perfectly healthy. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Last week trade wars were and still are in the news. Dow Falls 800 as Yuan Reels, Trump Jabs at China Last weekend horrific news of two more mass shootings in the US. Mass Shootings in ElPaso, Dayton Leave 31 Dead Data hacks, overdoses, deadly weather, shark sightings.. The drumbeat of bad news never ceases. []
  • Introduction I wanted to share information I have learned about the Equifax data breach settlement. First, let’s review what this settlement is all about. In September 2017, Equifax announced that it had been the victim of a cyberattack on its systems. Thieves stole the personal information of approximately 147 million U.S. consumers. The information included [Continue]
  • For much of my adult life, every December 31st I'd fall into the same trap. Around Thanksgiving, I'd remember that I was supposed to do my charitable giving for the year. I'd think about how meaningful it would be, how much of a difference it would make, how carefully I'd choose the organizations, how my ...
  • Summer isn’t over and there is still time to relax on the beach, the park, or your own backyard with a good book. And when we say good book, we don’t necessarily mean a book with financial advice. USA Today’s “Alpha women and fancy yachts make for good summer investing and finance reading” offers suggestions [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Read and Reflect on Fiction with Financial Themes is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • When it comes to your financial future, there are things you cannot control such as the stock market, the economy, or major world events. To increase your odds of financial success, I believe it is more important to focus on the things you can control. My Five-by-Five formula for reaching your financial goals includes five [Continue]
  • Money and More (C) has been taking a break from Tax Season through the middle of the Summer.  We will return later this month.   Rorik (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • The first week of August is Simplify Your Life Week. If you find that tackling money management directly is difficult you may find that if you can streamline and simplify your life, you may also find ways to save money. Once you see the benefits, you may seek out more direct financial planning help. You [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Simplify Your Life and Improve Your Finances is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Studies show that most people spend about 80% of their pre-retirement expenses in retirement.
  • While some parents are reluctant to discuss finances with their children, it might be helpful in some cases for children to know just how much things like summer camp cost. Sometimes children must attend camps because their parents have to work. In other cases, children want to attend specialized camps. The costs for camps can [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Tips for Saving on Summer Camp Costs is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Achieving a financially secure retirement requires careful planning, diligence saving, and prudent investing. But are we up to the task? According an overwhelming number of media pundits and articles, very few of us are planning responsibly for our retirement, and most of us are headed for a retirement of financial struggle. ​
  • The summation of a Bloomberg article that states that many Americans opt to receive Social Security benefits at the wrong time may be confusing: “Most retirees should wait longer to access their benefits, researchers find. Some should claim them sooner.” Why does this advice seem to be contradictory? Because there is no one rule for claiming [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Deciding When to Claim Social Security Isnt a Guessing Game is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Receiving or accumulating a lump sum of cash can result in a major investment quandary - "Do I investment this all at once, or invest it over time?"