Why bonds lose value

As published in the Racine Journal Times | August 1, 2013

You may have been surprised in the past month when you opened your retirement or investment account statement to see you lost money in your bond funds. While it’s true that bonds are typically safer than stocks, this doesn’t mean they are immune from losses.

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Long-term care: A family decision

As published in the Racine Journal Times | July 11, 2013 

What would you say if I told you after age 60, you make worse decisions with your money? You might disagree which is actually because you also become more confident in your decision-making skills. In other words, the actual decisions you make are worse but your confidence in making the decision is greater!  You’d be right to dismiss this accusation if it was just my opinion but there was an actual study supporting these conclusions.

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Saving for college

As published in the Racine Journal Times | June 9, 2013

An interesting survey conducted by Edward Jones earlier this year indicated that 69 percent of Americans were unaware that 529 Plans were for college savings. I’d like to think that the other 31 percent who know about 529 Plans are the ones with children but I suspect there are many folks with children who are also unaware. Fortunately, Wisconsin has one of the better college savings plans as each state typically administers their own plan.

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Identifying the elements of investment risk

As published in the Racine Journal Times | May 3, 2013

As the stock market losses of 2008-2009 become a distant memory, it’s a good time for a refresher on the primary risk when it comes to investing, which is the unexpected loss of value.

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How to time the market

As published in the Racine Journal Times | March 7, 2013

As stocks continue to increase in value, more people are starting to wonder whether they will continue to rise or whether a decline is coming soon. As the major stock indexes build on their gains from 2012, I think it’s a reasonable question for investors to ask (especially since we haven’t seen a major decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in more than nine months).

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Actions for the newly widowed

As published in the Racine Journal Times | February 7, 2013

Do you have a relative or close friend whose spouse recently died? You may be in a unique position to help them through one of the most difficult times in their lives. Too often, we’re at a loss for what to do though. Here are a couple of suggestions for the newly widowed.

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From one generation to the next

As published in the Racine Journal Times | January 3, 2013

Trillions of dollars are expected to be transferred in the coming decades from one generation to another. A common question I hear from older generations is: What’s the best way to leave their money to their children? An unlikely source of guidance for many of us is the second richest person in the U.S., Warren Buffett.

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