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Sept 26, 2014

Not all stocks are treated equal

By Joe Clark for The Herald Bulletin

Ive often said to my children, You couldn't pay me to go back to my teenage years. While drama and pressures seem to have accelerated with the advent of social media, some teenage phrases are timeless. My friends and I often pleaded with our parents, Everyone is going, even though many of us were not attending a party. Perhaps you can relate.

Today the media and individuals are abuzz about new market highs, making it sound like everyone has joined the party. But that isn't the entire story. The invitation list for the party seems to be shrinking with each new market rebound. Thats a significant concern for those of us with a vested interest in the longevity and security of the markets.

Most conversations seem to focus on the Standard and Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) which is the most tracked index in the world. Many people believe....

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Sept 19, 2014

Textbooks, Taxes and a Changing World

By Joe Clark for The Herald Bulletin

For the last seven years I have been privileged to teach financial planning to seniors at Purdue University. It is their last class required for graduation before they enter the real world of careers, families and expanded responsibilities. My course uses no textbook because from the moment the books are published, inevitably at least one section becomes outdated. Saying we live in a fluid world is a gross understatement.

Some content changes are merely numerical. For instance....

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Sept 12, 2014

Why We Invest

By Joe Clark for The Herald Bulletin

There are many reasons to put money into stocks and bonds. Some investors buy to show their support and trust in a company, others buy in order to generate income from dividends, while some want to make investments today that will help them have a greater amount of assets later down the road when they retire. With $23 trillion in U.S. retirement accounts at the end of the first quarter this year, according to the Investment Company Institute, most people fall in this third camp.

In other words, people invest primarily to build a retirement nest egg. That is what we call the journey. You save today so you can spend tomorrow.  Even though that is easily understood many people get distracted with the snapshot rather than the journey. We seem to lose our focus and talk of events today rather than outcomes over time. With these thoughts in mind, let's look at some strategies to help focus our thoughts.... 

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