Category Archives: Money

Safer but Poorer

In an effort to secure the U.S. borders, the President has attempted to ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, and is meanwhile quietly instituting “extreme vetting” of visitors from other nations—asking them to turn over their phones, social media passwords and financial records.  Even U.S. citizens are experiencing more scrutiny when they attempt to return to their home country.

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Money in Cyberspace

One of the strangest investment vehicles ever designed is something called the Bitcoin, which is at once an exciting new technology for managing online transactions and an alternative currency to national currencies like the dollar, yen and euro.  Last week, people who owned bitcoins discovered that electronic “coins” worth $1,350 were suddenly worth just under $945.  Around the same time, U.S. regulators rejected an effort to create a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

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Creative Giving

Giving to a charity is easy, right?  You write a check and send it off to your favorite 501(c)(3) organization, and get a full deduction for the amount on your tax return, up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.

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Interest Rate Hike

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee just raised the Fed Funds rate from 0.75% to 1.00%—the second rate hike in three months.  So what should you do with your investment portfolio in light of this change?

Nothing.

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Executive Compensation Bloat

We heard a lot about income inequality and the stagnating incomes of middle class Americans on the campaign trail last year, and Wall Street firms that mostly move money around rightly got some of the blame.  But hardly anybody talked about how CEOs routinely loot the treasuries of their own companies, taking money out of the pockets of stock investors and shareholders who they theoretically work for.

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What a Market Top Looks Like

The current bull market in stocks will reach its 8th anniversary tomorrow, and for about the last four years, professional investors and financial planners have been scratching their heads.  The markets have gone up and up and up, and we all know that they won’t go up forever, which means there’s a correction looming somewhere on the horizon.

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Greece’s Return to the Headlines

As you can see from the graph, the nation of Greece, once the subject of almost daily speculation about the viability of its government bonds, has pulled its economy out of a disaster into a muddle.  No doubt, you got tired of hearing about Grexit scenarios and all the times when the European Central Bank and the European Stability Mechanism came to the rescue.

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