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Insightful Articles

Charitable Donations Thumbnail

Charitable Donations

Americans have a history of being charitable. According to the Giving USA Foundation's annual report, individuals, corporations, and foundations gave a record $471.44 billion to charities, social causes, and other qualified organizations in 2020. The US tax code encourages charitable giving by providing various income tax incentives to charitably minded taxpayers. Some of the more common tax-favored charitable donation methods are Cash Donations, Qualified Charitable Distributions, and the donation of Long-Term Capital Gain Property.

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June Swoon

In my May 29th client email, I said, "I still expect we may see a Summer Swoon. This isn't unusual between Memorial Day and Labor Day and would not be a cause for alarm." And right on cue, a couple of weeks later, we see a June Swoon. As we get into July, we'll begin to get second-quarter earnings announcements. I expect corporate earnings will continue to be good. Ultimately earnings and earnings expectations are what drive equity prices. Until we get into second-quarter earnings, I expect markets will remain focused on inflation and the Fed. As a result, volatility may continue.

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April Inflation

This week the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported April PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) excluding food and energy, the number rose 3.1%. This marks the first time this number has been over 3% since 1992. This is an economic number that the Federal Reserve watches closely as an indication of inflation at the consumer level.

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My View on Bitcoin

What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a digital unit of value. It is an encrypted text file stored on the Bitcoin blockchain. The Bitcoin blockchain is an encrypted, decentralized ledger on a global public computer network. That is as technical as I'm going to get. Let's focus on the idea of a ledger. When you deposit money in your checking account or write a check against the balance, your bank keeps records of the inflows and outflows on an account ledger on their computers, and it is denominated in dollars. But it is still just an encrypted text file that represents value. We trust that we can exchange the value represented by that text file at the bank for physical currency or transfer the value to others to buy goods and services.

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Is Inflation Just Around the Corner? Thumbnail

Is Inflation Just Around the Corner?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January Consumer Price Index (CPI) report this week. CPI is a measure of inflation at the consumer level. CPI rose1.4% year over year. I know, it's thrilling! It seems people either yawn at this number or don't believe it accurately reflects what's going on in the real world. So, what is inflation, and why is it something we need to watch right now? Inflation is an increase in prices or a fall in the purchasing power of money. Some believe that Washington's response to the Financial crisis and actions by the Federal Reserve will be inflationary.

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How to Avoid Online Romance Scams Thumbnail

How to Avoid Online Romance Scams

Several months ago, I had the opportunity to attend a webinar put on by the National Cybersecurity Alliance. The topic was general cybersecurity practices for businesses. Periodically they send me information on other cybersecurity topics. Recently, they sent an email titled "How to Avoid Online Romance Scams." With Valentine's Day approaching, I thought this would be an excellent time to take a deeper dive into this topic. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2019, online romance scams were the costliest category of any scam reported, with losses totaling over $200 million and the median individual loss being $10,000. And that's just the losses that were reported. We don’t have the 2020 numbers yet but I suspect the increased isolation brought on by the Pandemic has increased the number of victims and losses.

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