The Story Behind the Song: Silent Night

Silent Night is one of the most famous songs ever written.  In fact, it’s officially considered a national treasure in Austria.  But the origins of Silent Night are surprisingly humble. Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright It was on a Christmas Eve night in 1818 that a young priest named Josef…

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Are You a Boy Scout Or a Meteorologist?

As the end of the year approaches in Colorado Springs we’ve had very little snow. I’ve watered our lawn twice in the last week. Will the snow we hope for ever really come this season? I’ve noticed the threat of winter weather typically forces people into one of three categories.  First, you’ve got the “Meteorologist-in-training.” …

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LPL Research’s Outlook 2018

Return of the Business Cycle At LPL Research, we’re looking ahead to a “return of the business cycle.” Instead of relying on intervention by the Federal Reserve (Fed) to propel employment and personal consumption, we will turn to fiscal policy and improving business fundamentals to spur further growth in the economy and stock market. Regarding…

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Social Security Q&A

Have a question about Social Security? Send your questions to Greg at Greg@2ndHalfWealth.com   Q: I am currently 65. My first husband is deceased and we were married 18 years. My second husband is also deceased and we were married 6 months. I was 60 when I married my second husband. Can I collect a survivor…

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End-of-the-Year Money Moves

Things you can do before & for 2018. What financial, business, or life priorities do you need to address for 2018? Now is a good time to think about the investing, saving, or budgeting methods you could employ toward specific objectives. Some year-end financial moves may help you pursue those goals as well. What can…

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Three Questions You Should Be Asking

I came across this classic story not long ago. It’s called “Three Questions” by Leo Tolstoy, and it was written in 1905.  Now, I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t Tolstoy the one who wrote War and Peace?  One of the longest books ever?  And it’s true: Tolstoy wasn’t known for being concise.  Fortunately, “Three Questions”…

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Thanksgiving Proclamation of October 3, 1789

  By the President of the United States of America: a Proclamation. Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor — and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their…

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Finding Tax Free Income

We have approximately 40 days left to consider a Roth conversion for 2017 (these must be completed by December 31st each year and we prefer December 20th). It’s generally a good idea for investors to consider including a Roth IRA in their overall retirement planning. Roth IRAs have the potential to grow tax-free, which may…

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Paying Tribute to Our Veterans

As you know, Veterans Day is drawing near.  While thinking about the day and what it represents, I came across a quote that really struck me: “War is for the participants a test of character: it makes bad men worse,and good men better.” – Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Some of the best people I know are…

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Are You Shuffling to Retirement?

The World’s Toughest Race Imagine this scene for a moment. The ultra-marathon of 543.7 miles of endurance running from Sydney to Melbourne, Australia in 1983 was about to begin. Picture the registration table with world-class athletes signing in wearing shoes and running clothes of companies who backed them for the race. Along came a man…

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Don’t Be Mental

If this isn’t you – who should you share this with? A few years ago, I met with someone who we’ll call Sam.  He asked me a very simple question: “Why can’t I ever seem to get ahead financially?” I asked Sam to tell me a bit more about himself.  He continued: “I’m a college…

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Want To Go To Hawaii?

Where will you go when you’re enjoying your 2nd Half? We’ve heard from clients recently who have been to: Hawaii   New York Phoenix   Their Backyard San Diego   Cabo San Lucas Disney   Cancun Death Valley   Sedona Europe   Outer Banks Ecuador   RV Travels Washington, DC   Shark Swim in Baja  …

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$86,400 Can’t Stop Today

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400.  It carries over no balance from day to day.  Every evening, it deletes whatever balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course! Each of us has such a bank.  Its name is…

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Who Wins, Who Doesn’t

Since President Trump’s election, the markets have climbed to record heights, partially thanks to investor enthusiasm for Trump’s policies. One of those policies is tax reform.  After months of behind-the-scenes talks between the White House and Capitol Hill, Republicans have at last released their plan to update the tax code. Tax law is murky, and…

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Las Vegas Tragedy

I don’t think anyone truly knows what to say when a tragedy strikes.  The shooting in Las Vegas is a terrible tragedy.  What can we say that hasn’t been said before?  How can words alone make a difference? It’s also hard to know what to do in times like these, especially when we are very…

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6 Questions You Must Ask

Recently, an acquaintance of mine admitted that it was time to start thinking about retirement.  “The problem,” he said, “is that I don’t even know where to begin!” I told him that, before doing anything else, he should ask himself … The Six “W” Questions of Retirement Do you remember learning the six “W” questions…

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I Can And So Can You

I’d like to tell you a fable that makes a true point. Once upon a time, some eminent scientists developed an interest in the bumblebee.  (Let’s make them actual rocket scientists, at NASA.)  They hoped the tiny insect held some secrets of flight that could be applied to shuttles re-entering the atmosphere. But the wings…

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I Got Hit. Did You? 143 Million Hacked

You’ve probably seen headlines like this over the past few days: Equifax® Says Cyberattack May Have Hit 143 Million Customers1 Credit agency Equifax announced one week ago that it suffered a data breach affecting 143 million U.S. consumers. The announcement prompted me to check if we had been hacked. Our personal responses from Equifax were:…

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Check Out the Pale Blue Dot

This September marks a special sort of birthday.  It’s the 40th anniversary of the launching of Voyager 1. Voyager 1 is a probe built by NASA, launched on September 5, 1977 to study the outer Solar System.  Its primary mission was to study Jupiter, Saturn, and their various moons.  Having accomplished this, the probe is…

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Charlottesville – What I Believe

Whenever a tragedy occurs, it prompts us all to stop and think. We think about why the tragedy happened, and what we can do to prevent it in the future. We think about what we love and value most. We think about what that tragedy says about us, both as Americans and as human beings.…

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Fire and Fury – North Korea

There once was a time when the threat of nuclear war hung over America’s head like a storm cloud that just wouldn’t go away. Those days, thankfully, are long over—but the sky turned a little bit grayer in the last couple weeks. As you probably know, tensions have surged recently thanks to news that North…

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Newton’s 3 Laws #2

Last month, I introduced Newton’s Laws of Finance.  They’re my spin on Newton’s famous “Laws of Motion” that you probably learned about in school. This month, let’s look at Newton’s Second Law.  Here’s how a textbook might describe the original: The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to…

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LPL Commentary: Buy the Dip? What Dip?

Beyond the double-digit gains and series of record highs, the absence of pullbacks is perhaps the biggest story for the S&P 500 in 2017. What may cause pullbacks is extremely difficult to predict, but we are mindful of the risks across central bank policy, policymaking in Washington D.C., and geopolitics. Historical technical analysis tells us…

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LPL Commentary: Tax Reform Pivot?

Republicans’ latest unsuccessful attempt to reform healthcare means that we are closer to the pivot toward tax reform. Despite several challenges, we continue to expect a tax deal to get done in early 2018 that may provide a nice boost to corporate profits and could help to support stock valuations. The likelihood of the healthcare…

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Newton’s 3 Laws #1

When you were in school, you probably learned about Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. First published by Sir Isaac Newton in 1687, these laws explain how physical objects move. They are so important—and easy to understand—that most of us still remember them even decades later. I was thinking about these laws the other day when…

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