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Talking to Your Teen About Money

You probably feel comfortable talking to your teen about things like school, sports, and clothing. But how do you feel about talking about money? While it may be a tricky topic to broach, odds are that your teenager will rely on you to learn basic financial management skills. And the teenage years can be a critical learning period. According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it’s important to establish strong financial decision-making habits in the teen years because it will help your child better navigate his or her financial life as an adult.1

Prepare your teenager for the financial challenges of adulthood by talking to him or her about the following topics.

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Giving Day

Many Americans consider Thanksgiving and Black Friday to be the unofficial start of the Holiday season.  What many Americans don’t know however, is that the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is internationally known as “Giving Tuesday.” Started in 2012 by 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season, “Giving Tuesday” has quickly caught on in the philanthropic community. Last year, a total of $274 million dollars was raised on “Giving Tuesday,” with several large charities and companies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Facebook offering limited matching to participating donations.

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Beat the Traffic During Thanksgiving Week

It’s the time of year to gather with friends and family to celebrate with a hearty Thanksgiving meal. As Americans prepare for the holiday, traffic patterns have been shifting as the roads grow congested with families traveling to visit relatives or making their final preparations for the big feast. Want to make it to Thanksgiving dinner on time without wasting extra hours on the road? Thinking of doing some last-minute shopping for those stuffing ingredients you forgot about? Check out these graphs from Google Maps to help you plan your trip and make the most of your time.

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IRS to Raise Contribution Limits for 2019

IRS to Raise Contribution Limits for 2019

Many investors are aware of the impact that inflation can have on our ability to purchase goods and services in the future. Assuming a modest rate of 2% inflation, a car that costs $30,000 today will sell for over $45,000 by 2040. To help mitigate these rising costs, the IRS periodically increases the limits on contributions to tax-advantaged retirement accounts which can be accessed penalty-free after age 59½ and in some cases even earlier than that. To account for inflating wages, the IRS also raises the levels of income at which various tax benefits are available, otherwise known as phase-outs. The first table outlines the new 2019 limits for some of the more popular retirement contributions along with a brief description of each. The second table shows the 2019 phase-out ranges for deducting Traditional IRA contributions and saving inside of a Roth IRA. The Traditional IRA phase-outs only apply if the individual participates in a retirement plan at work.

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Our Thoughts on the Recent Market Weakness

Our Thoughts on the Recent Market Weakness

I wanted to take a minute to address the most recent bout of volatility in the market.  Before addressing the causes for the recent downturn and providing our thoughts, it’s important to remind investors of the benefits of having a diversified portfolio.  Different areas of the market will outperform at different times and it can be tempting to wonder, why bother holding asset classes that are not performing as well as others at any given time?  The reason is that changes in the market happen quickly, much more quickly than changes in the economy and much more often.  In fact, since 1980 the average annual intra-year drop for the S&P 500 is 13.8%, yet the Index has rebounded to finish the year positive in 29 of the 38 years analyzed and averaged an annual gain of 8.8%.

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