Month: December 2014

December
29

Provided by: Jon McGraw

It’s Now a Gas to Gas Up

With gas hovering around $2 a gallon in many parts of the country, chances are you’re smiling every time you fill up the tank. The oil price drop, which is one of the biggest stories of 2014, is a twist on a familiar tale. Rising supply (production in non-OPEC countries, like the United States, increased)…

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December
22

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Geopolitics and Monetary Policy and Deflation! Oh My!

It was a wild, wild week. First, the Russian central bank announced a massive rate hike and the country’s main deposit rate rose from 10.5 percent to 17 percent. The move was the largest single increase in Russian rates “since 1998, when Russian rates soared past 100 percent and the government defaulted on debt,” according…

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December
17

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Fed Notes: December 17, 2014

Federal Reserve Calls for Patience Janet Yellen and Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members used the temperate word of “patience” to describe their move toward raising short-term interest rates in 2015, moving away from the current Fed Funds target rate of between zero and 25 basis points. In what is perhaps the least unanimous vote…

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December
15

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Holiday Consumer Confidence Rises as Oil Drops

It was no fun to be an investor last week. The week prior, a commentary in The Wall Street Journal’s blog, MoneyBeat, offered this insight: “Falling oil prices are thought to be good for stocks because they stimulate consumer spending and hold down inflation. The lower costs support economic growth, boost corporate earnings, and lessen…

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December
08

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Record High U.S. Markets and Strong Jobs & Wage Reports

In the United States, it was more of the same ole, same ole… The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 closed at record highs for the 34th time and 49th time this year, respectively. The impetus last week was a jobs report that far exceeded expectations. For the 10th consecutive month, more…

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December
01

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Advancing Charitable Giving Can Bring Tax Savings

I recently met with Elmer and Grace. Their estate plan is to leave a good portion of their assets to two charities. They put this in place because they don’t have children, didn’t feel their extended family members needed the money, and they wanted to leave a real legacy to a couple of causes that…

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December
01

Provided by: Jon McGraw

U.S. Markets Still World Favorite Place to Invest

If investors around the world were voting on their favorite stock market, there is little doubt U.S. markets would finish near the top. Barron’s explained, “For the past three years, Wall Street has been trouncing the world’s other markets, inducing investors to pile in and bail on other assets.” So, how popular are U.S. markets?…

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