We’re halfway through 2018, and after a booming 2017, our economy has seen its fair share of ups and downs, market volatility, trade uncertainty, and record unemployment numbers. However, as most individual Americans see it, things are looking up. Here’s a bird’s-eye view of our economy as we reach the mid-year mark of 2018. Read More “Our Mid-Year 2018 Economic Update”
Over the course of my 15 years in this industry, I’ve seen my fair share of successes, hurdles, and mistakes. While working with clients, when we talk a lot about what success looks like, it’s just as important to know the potential potholes and how to avoid making the mistakes others have made.
While there’s a long list of mistakes I’ve seen, I believe there are five crucial mistakes I believe are important to avoid making. Read More “The 5 Biggest Financial Mistakes I See”
Did you hear that the European Parliament has proposed to grant “personhood” status to intelligent machines (aka robots)? If you don’t believe it, here’s the exact language:
“At the least, the most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons responsible for making good any damage they may cause, and possibly applying electronic personality to cases where robots make autonomous decisions or otherwise interact with third parties independently.” Read More “Electronic Personhood”
The Trade War that Isn’t—Yet
When most of us hear talk about something described as a “war,” we intuitively recognize that there could be very unpleasant outcomes on all sides. Wars have one thing in common: there is seldom a clear-cut “winner” amid the damage and destruction.
So when President Trump declares a “trade war” against the world’s second-largest economy, it’s natural that many people—including, apparently, a large number of investors—would feel spooked about what’s to come in our collective future. This explains why every escalation of words, and new lists of things that will be taxed at U.S. and Chinese borders, has provoked sharp downturns in the markets.
But what, exactly, is a “trade war?” Beyond that, what is a “trade deficit” and why are we trying to “cure” America’s trade deficit with China? Read More “The Trade War that Isn’t—Yet”
By Colleen Weber, CFP®, CPA
Regardless of whether you are an avid reader of Market Watch or just tune in to the nightly news every now and then, you know that 2017 was a banner year for stocks. In fact, both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 celebrated the launch of 2018 by reaching record highs1 and until the beginning of February 2018, we were experiencing the second-longest bull market since 1929. Read More “Is Your Retirement Plan Ready for a Market Downturn in 2018?”
Sometimes our social interactions seem to happen by default, and we don’t get much out of them. Consider the stock greeting: “How are you?”
What information are you likely to get when you ask this tired question? Tired answers, like: “Busy,” “fine,” “okay,” or “good.”
And what did you learn from that? How did you improve your relationship with the other person as a result of this exchange? Read More “Better Conversation-Starters”
The Long Reach of the IRS
You probably don’t spend a lot of time feeling sorry for a U.S. citizen named Meghan Markle, who is about to tie the proverbial knot with Prince Harry of England. But an article in the Wall Street Journal notes that Ms. Markle, and other American citizens who marry foreigners, face a lifetime of harassment by America’s Internal Revenue Service. Read More “The Long Reach of the IRS”
The Most Expensive Cities in the World
Every year, The Economist magazine surveys the Worldwide Cost of Living, looking at 160 expense items across 133 countries. There are a lot of interesting tidbits to be found in the report, but perhaps the most interesting is a list of the most expensive cities in the world. In 2018, Singapore won this dubious honor. After that, it was a tie between Zurich, Switzerland and Paris, France, followed by 4) Hong Kong, 5) Oslo, Norway, 6) Geneva, Switzerland and Seoul, South Korea, 8) Copenhagen, Denmark, 9) Tel Aviv, Israel, and 10) Sydney, Australia.
No American city? The fact that the dollar fell against other currencies over the past year lowered the cost of living in places like New York (ranked #13) and Los Angeles (#14) when measured in global terms.
How to Argue
These days, it seems like everybody is arguing about everything, and with perhaps a bit more… energy than in years past. And it turns out that most of us are going about our arguments all wrong.
Author Daniel Pink has pointed out that most of the arguments going on today involve two people articulating their points in an attempt to convince the other person, while hardly listening to the arguments being made by the other person. Both sides are assuming that the other person is ignorant of the facts, and try to provide the facts they think are missing—to a person who believes he or she has superior facts, and therefore is not likely to be convinced.