Market Update from JPH Advisory

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As I’ve said many times in the past, “the market can go down 10% at any time for any reason or for no reason at all.” Unfortunately, over several days in late-August, I was proven right. Volatility has returned with a vengeance to equity markets after almost 4 years without a correction (i.e. a market [...]

Protect Your Identity Online (Part Three)

Protecting Your Identity Online: Fighting Back

Step Three: Start Fighting Back This is my third and final post about “Protecting Your Identity Online.” As you’ll recall from the previous posts, the number one way to protect yourself is a “credit freeze,” and knowing your rights and options if you are victimized is vital (since there is a very high probability that most people will be hit at some [...]

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft (Part One)

Credit Freeze

Step One: Freeze Your Credit, and Help Leave Fraudsters Out in the Cold According to the Justice Department’s latest statistics, approximately 7% of U.S. adults can expect to experience some form of identity theft this year. That’s one in every 14 people. And according to the FTC it takes an average of about six months [...]

Income Inequality the Wrong Focus

Shanghai, China

The president has called it the “defining challenge of our time.” And he is not the only one focusing on “income inequality.” A simple Google Trends chart (below) shows how interest in that search term has increased significantly over the past few years. But what disturbs me about the focus on “income inequality” and similar [...]

Is ‘Free File’ Really Free?

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I came across an article recently in The Wall Street Journal by Laura Saunders discussing the limitations of the Federal program ‘Free File’, and my interest was piqued. I have long been an advocate for anything labeled ‘free’, and have taken some heat from friends in recent years for the number of hoops I am [...]

5 Tax Breaks Just Renewed by Congress

image credit: homesandland.com

In an article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, Laura Saunders gave five important tax breaks that are being extended to 2014. These provisions had expired as of January 1, 2014, but it was widely expected that Congress would eventually choose to extend them, as they have for each of the last few years. As usual, Congress [...]

Why the Dollar has been Rising, Not Falling

Image source: forexcrunch.com

“Remember the currency wars? They were about the notion, popular over the last few years among financial commentators and not a few global policy makers, that the nations of earth had become locked in a pattern of debasing their currencies in pursuit of a momentary economic advantage, a race to the bottom that would end [...]

Behind the Global Growth Slowdown

image source: WSJ

As we have been discussing with clients and writing in our newsletters, the global growth rates that the markets have been “baking in” are somewhat optimistic. Earlier this year, stock market valuations in the US were projecting we would reach a 3% GDP growth rate, not the 2.0-2.25% we have been experiencing for the last 5 years. And the [...]

If You’re the Target of a Potential Scam, Talk to Your Advisor First

image source: stanford.edu

“The IRS left a message on my machine that I owe them money and may take me to court. Do you know if it’s real?” This question (and others like it) is one that advisors like us get all too often. A fellow advisor and colleague reported the following to me when he was asked [...]

Small-Business Lending Still Slowing Down Economy

Downtown Carrollton

I was initially drawn to this recent Wall Street Journal story because it’s situated in a small town just minutes outside of Atlanta, and probably only about 40-50 miles (as a crow flies) from our office. But the situation in Carrollton is just a microcosm of the issues facing the US economy as a whole; [...]